28 December 2018

The ins and outs of Equalization #nlpoli #cdnpoli

Each year,  Canadian media conduct year-end interviews with politicians and every year the interviews are nothing but space fillers.

This year's version with Premier Dwight Ball  - for NTV (broadcast but not posted yet)  and the Telegram, thus far - are no exception. They asked the same questions,  got the same replies, and anyone that actually watched or read them got the political-turkey sleepies.

The only spark of life came on NTV when Lynn Burry uncharacteristically lost her composure over Equalization and the amount of money Quebec gets.  Burry got so riled up that she actually interrupted Ball just as he started to wander through an answer.

Burry is like a lot of people, especially in the provincial petro-states across Canada,  who decided to get angry at "Quebec" for something that happens every year:  the Quebec provincial government collects the lion's share of federal Equalization transfers.  Provincial governments in Alberta,  Saskatchewan , and Newfoundland and Labrador are all in financial trouble and some of the locals, especially politicians in power, complain about what is happening in another province.

The problem with Burry's question - as with the entire Equalization outrage is that it just nonsense.  So let's just apply a little insight into the whole business and sort things out.

17 December 2018

A spring election now seems more likely #nlpoli

Here's the local poll tracker, now that the final party choice poll of the year is in.  (CRA Q4 Omnibus)

It's every party choice poll by any firm (less a couple of outliers)  all converted, where necessary, to show the results as a share of all choice.

Undecideds are a valid option in the SRBP world.

You can see that the Liberals are still roughly where they were in the middle of the year:  hovering just under 30%.  In this latest poll they are about seven points ahead of the Progressive Conservatives, which is to say they are really not in a very comfortable spot.   They are a minor swing away from being in a bad spot.

The PCs, meanwhile, have been on a slide since the first of the year and they just rebounded slightly.  But given that the rebound is less than the margin of error for all these polls,  they really haven't to any amount worth speaking of.
The NDP are a dismal, distant, and decidedly irrelevant third.