Nova Scotia Politics

The Red Wave

Posted on by CalgaryGrit in Nova Scotia Politics | 9 Comments
*Spoiler Alert* In a surprise twist, the Liberal Party isn't dead after all.

*Spoiler Alert* In a surprise twist, the Liberal Party isn’t dead after all.

For a while, it seemed like PEI would be the last bastion of Liberalism in Canada. Nearly 10% of the Liberal Party’s parliamentary caucus hailed from the island, and with long-standing Liberal governments in Ontario, Quebec, and BC teetering on the brink of defeat, it looked like Robert Ghiz might be the last grit standing. A spec of red engulfed in a blue-orange mosaic.

At one point this year, there were 7 Liberal leadership races going on. This presented an opportunity for renewal, but could also be viewed as an uncertain party in a period of extended turbulence.

Now, Christy Clark has a fresh mandate, Kathleen Wynne tops the polls, and Philippe Couillard has given the PLQ new life. The youthful leadership of Brian Gallant has staked the New Brunswick Liberals to a 23-point lead, and the Newfoundland Liberal Party has gone from third to first in the polls. Even the long moribund Manitoba Liberals are showing signs of life.

And, oh yeah, there’s that whole Trudeaumania thing.

The latest good news from Liberal land comes from Nova Scotia, where voters tuned into another Dexter finale tonight, tossing their NDP Premier overboard after a single term in office (the first Nova Scotia party to suffer this fate since 1882). To replace him, they turned not to the PCs, but to a Liberal Party which has not formed government this century. McNeil didn’t just win, he dominated, taking two-thirds of the seats, while the NDP tumbled to third.

Politics are insanely complicated, so it’s best not to grasp for common threads between elections which have little in common. The BC Liberals are a very different party from the Nova Scotia Liberals, and Christy Clark was in a very different situation from Stephen McNeil. We all loved to talk about the winning streak incumbent governments were on in Canada…until Jean Charest (and now Dexter) lost. There’s likely not a lot linking this string of good news for Liberal Parties across Canada, other than natural voting cycles.

Still, the results in Nova Scotia provide us with more evidence that the reports of the Liberal Party’s death have been greatly exaggerated.

Provincial Unrest

Posted on by CalgaryGrit in Alberta Politics, BC Politics, New Brunswick Politics, Newfoundland Politics, Nova Scotia Politics, Ontario Politics | 11 Comments
Alison Redford, after seeing her latest poll numbers.

Alison Redford’s approval ratings have fallen to “Stelmachian” levels

Angus Reid has released their quarterly Premier approval ratings. As per usual, Brad Wall is more popular than God, and everyone else is a little more human:

Wall (SK): 64% approve, 28% disapprove
Alward (NB): 41% approve, 50% disapprove
Selinger (MB): 38% approve, 49% disapprove
Wynne (ON): 36% approve, 37% disapprove
Marois (QC): 33% approve, 62% disapprove
Dexter (NS): 30% approve, 62% disapprove
Redford (AB): 29% approve, 66% disapprove
Clark (BC): 25% approve, 67% disapprove
Dunderdale (NL): 25% approve, 73% disapprove

While Wall’s number sticks out, there are a few other interesting tid-bits from this poll:

1. Obviously enough, these numbers spell bad news for Darrell Dexter and Christy Clark, who are both heading into elections considerably less popular than the opposition leaders trying to defeat them. Still, it’s worth recalling that this same poll found just 19% of Ontarians approving of McGuinty a mere 10 weeks before re-electing him in 2011. Sometimes you can win without being loved.

2. The danger may be less imminent in Newfoundland and Alberta, but the Tory dynasties in both provinces must be feeling a bit like the New York Yankees this season – it’s far too early to count them out, but you have to wonder if this is the begining of the end.

Redford’s numbers are right around where Ed Stelmach’s were when the Tory establishment mounted a putsch 2 years ago. Like Stelmach, Redford won with little caucus or establishment support, and has struggled to keep up with the Wildrose fundraising machine.

I don’t think the Tories will or should force her out, but when your approval rating is below Raj Sherman’s, you need to at least watch your back.

3. A lot of Ontarians still haven’t made up their minds about Kathleen Wynne.

4. The most surprising finding, at least for me, was that the Premier of New Brunswick is named David Alward. Who knew?

Provincial Matters

Posted on by CalgaryGrit in BC Politics, New Brunswick Politics, Newfoundland Politics, Nova Scotia Politics, PEI Politics, Quebec Politics, Saskatchewan politics | 10 Comments

Charest stands a better chance running against this guy, than against Pauline Marois and Francois Legault

Your Friday morning coast-to-coast link roundup:

Atlantic Canada: CRA’s quarterly poll numbers have been released, showing the PCs up by 12 in New Brunswick and the NDP up by just 2 in Nova Scotia. The PEI headlines scream about “plunging” satisfaction with the Ghiz government, but the Liberals still lead 20 points – I think most Premiers would be happy if their numbers plunged to those depths. In Newfoundland, the PCs still lead by 16 points, but that’s a far cry from the old days when Danny Williams routinely polled over 100%.

Quebec: Expect protests on the streets of Montreal to continue through the summer, as negotiations between embittered students and the Quebec government have broken off. Far be it from me to tell Jean Charest what to do, since the man has repeatedly proven himself to be a modern day Lazarus, but if I were him I’d roll the dice and call an election on this issue. Even if the public is mixed on his handling of the protests, it’s a chance for him to look strong and make the election about an issue he could potentially win on.

Saskatchewan: Nothing to see here – everyone still loves Brad .

British Columbia: At the other end of the “most popular Premiers” poll is Christy Clark, who has taken to explictly criticizing Angus Reid. Perhaps the situation isn’t as dire as the polls suggest, but it’s been over a year since any pollster showed Clark ahead and four different companies confirm double-digit leads for the NDP. We’re still a year away from the BC election, but that incumbent winning streak we’ve heard so much about is going to be seriously put to the test (if not before then in Nova Scotia or Quebec).

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