The (Right) News Rundown
- Official Government of Canada Report
- MyDemocracy.ca was a survey tool launched by the Liberals at the tail end of 2016 designed to poll ordinary Canadians on their voting system.
- The word about MyDemocracy.ca was spread through post cards sent out in the mail in December.
- The website was criticized for being vague and pushing respondents towards certain types of answers.
- There were roughly 383,000 responses and 96% of which originated from Canada*
- Canadians are generally satisfied with Canada’s democracy. 67% are somewhat or very satisfied.
- Canadians want a voting system that is easy to understand. They want to know what the result of their ballot is going to yield.
- Broad support for greater freedom for Members of Parliament: 77% of Canadians prefer MPs to do what their constituents want even if it means going against their party. 83% strongly agree or somewhat agree that MPs should always act in the interest of their constituents even if it means going against their party.
- But Canadians also want clarity on which party should be held accountable even if decisions are made by one party. 59% would prefer having a few large parties that can appeal to a broad range of people rather than having many small parties.
- Canadians oppose mandatory voting
- Support for online voting turns on security. 72% somewhat or strongly agree that online voting would increase participation, but 49% only would prefer online voting if the security could not be guaranteed
- Canadians oppose lowering the voting age (66%)
- Canadians support limits on the length of election campaigns (90%)
- Overall this was an unexpected result from this survey since during the survey and months leading up to it, the government was pushing its own electoral reform agenda.
- Canada’s Energy and Environment policies are not compatible with Trump’s policies in the US
- If Canada wants to maintain a good relationship with Trump’s White House, he’ll have to be onboard with the bigger brother’s plans
- Bigger issue of pipelines eg: Keystone XL
- Canada is US’s 2nd biggest trading partner, US is Canada’s 1st by a large margin
- Canada would be devastated without US trade, while US would be hurt by a reduction of Canadian trade, there are other options
- Overall, interesting and surprising word choice and tone criticizing the federal government from CBC commentator Rex Murphy writing for the National Post which has a different target audience than his usual CBC audience
- Message from Brian Jean on Consolidating Conservatives (YouTube)
- Race to be conducted summer 2017
- “Make Alberta a place of unparalleled greatness”
- If the PCs select a leader that is willing to talk unity a new party must:
- All members must be treated as equals
- Members will decide the name for this conservative movement
- A party dedicated to individual freedom, fiscal responsibility, religious and civil liberty, equality of opportunity, committed to ethical government, and committed to preserving the greatness of Alberta.
- Provide Albertans with the greatest degree of control of the political process, putting Albertans and the members in the driver's seat.
- Jason Kenney is of course receptive to this as he is running the unity platform for the PC Party
- Richard Starke also running for PC leadership has since proposed a PC-Wildrose coalition keeping the two parties separate but working to defeat the NDP in the next election.
- The unity process between the Alberta Wildrose and PC Party was expected to be a more complicated. It was not expected that before the PC leadership race wrapped up that both parties would be interested in having this discussion.
- Real estate price skyrocketing has caused many commercial properties to become unprofitable
- Trending towards higher volume pumps with less locations Costco style
- Also happening with grocery stores, banks and other retail outlets
- Part of a bigger trend of higher housing prices that plagues Vancouver as well as Victoria
- Attempts to curb housing prices by municipal gov’t with foreign buyer tax
- Interesting how the article doesn’t mention housing prices at all
The Firing Line
- First 8 months of 2016-17 fiscal year was $12.7b
- In the same time period for the previous year the government had a $1bn surplus
- “The double-digit deficit figure wasn’t a surprise” since Trudeau pledged “and the budget will balance itself.”
- Compounding the problem of increased spending, government revenues were also down $1.1b
- The government has no timeline for balancing the books.
- If left unchecked the budget will not be balanced until 2055. This will also leave Canadians with a national debt of $1.5T
- The importance of having a balanced budget cannot be understated.
- Balanced budgets are hallmark of good fiscal management and signal to the investor community that the government is serious about economic growth.
- If a budget is not balanced that means that a government is ultimately borrowing to pay for the excess. In times of economic growth there is little reason to be spending excessively since all entities, governments and households included, need to be ready for a rainy day.
- This is an article that really should be gaining more presence in our day to day media lives but isn’t. Borrowing and poor fiscal management can lead to credit downgrades which is a poor health signal for an economy.
Word of the Week
newly received or noteworthy information, especially about recent or important events: I've got some good news for you.
Source: New Oxford American Dictionary
How to Find Us
Episode Title: Unity, Surveys, and Economics!
Recorded Date: January 28, 2017
Release Date: January 29, 2017
Teaser: On this first episode of The Right Side we discuss the future of democracy in Canada, unity in Alberta, and what budget deficits mean for each and every citizen.
Edit Notes: None