Posted by: jmtoriel | April 19, 2007

Times they are a changin!

Could it be that Canadians are reassessing the importance of the environment and climate change by thinking more into the future. There is a newly established passion in the political climate that is encountering a change indeed.

While the passion displayed in Canadian politics over federalism issues takes a step back in the concience of the electorate, the desire for action to prevent the rise of climate change is triggering a crisis.

We should step beyond the traditional partisan politics when it comes to climate change as seen this past weekend with Elizabeth May and Stéphane Dion making a deal on the basis of collaboration. This is not a coalition, but rather a compromise to overcome the barriers set by the archaic First Past the Post system. Some may call this undemocratic, but more Canadians are realizing just how undemocratic the system is already. Should the Green grassroots movement just wait-and-see in the hopes of having strong advocacy and leadership in parliament as we head deeper into a climate crisis and let the oil and gas industry hold the reigns on legislation? Is a party from outside the legislature going to continue to steer politics towards better legislation whenever there is an election, and find, once again, that there is no concentration of Green voters to get elected?

There is no question we need a better and more representative system, but until then, we must lessen the increasing partisanship and smearing/negative campaigning and work together to provide an honest approach to politics.

For now, we are content with the minority parliament and loosening our ties to the traditional parties. We can move forward on this news. I’m a “spoiler”, and you can be too. End the need to vote strategically and start voting FOR the candidate you desire in the next federal election (whenever that may be).

Here is the latest Decima Poll:

Bruce Cheadle, The Canadian Press
Published: Tuesday, April 17, 2007
OTTAWA — Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservatives may have bounced off the magical 40-per-cent ceiling and again find themselves a few scant percentage points ahead of the second-place Liberals in public support.
A new poll by Decima Research suggests Tory support was back at 34 per cent nationally, far short of the majority stratosphere and two points below where the Conservatives were on election day in January 2006.
The Liberals polled 31 per cent nationally, while the NDP got 15 per cent, the Green party 11, and the Bloc Quebecois, seven.
The survey – one of many that suggest a volatile electorate yawing under current events – follows a series of polls over the past month that indicated Tory fortunes were riding a post-budget updraft.
Decima CEO Bruce Anderson said Tuesday the Harper Conservatives have a history of public momentum followed by sudden stalls, stretching through the federal elections of 2004 and 2006.
“I think there has been a ceiling against which the Conservatives have been bumping,” said Anderson. “What we see now is the ceiling is a little higher than it was in ’04, but it remains.”
The latest survey, provided exclusively to The Canadian Press, was conducted Thursday through Sunday and suggests the much-predicted spring election may be on hold after all.
Political sabre-rattling by the Tory government in recent months had Liberals claiming Harper was set to engineer his own government’s defeat and force an election.
But Anderson says volatility in public opinion makes that a very risky proposition for any party hoping to climb above 40 per cent in voter support and win a majority mandate.
The situation is especially intriguing in Quebec, where the Bloc hit a new low of 29 per cent, and the upstart Greens tracked 13 per cent.
The Liberals led the Tories 23-20 in the province, while the NDP trailed with 10 per cent support.
“It’s fairly clear that the BQ vote is shaking itself loose,” said Anderson, with the Greens playing what he calls a potential “spoiler role” for Liberal and Conservative fortunes.
Ontario opinion is also on a roller-coaster, with the latest Decima survey putting the Liberals ahead of the Tories 39-35. The NDP polled 13 per cent and the Greens 11.
Yet when the most recent three weeks’ worth of Decima surveys in Ontario are averaged, the Tories are still on top, 38-34, over the Liberals.
Nationally, the three-week rolling average has the Conservatives at 36 per cent, Liberals at 29, New Democrats at 15 and the Greens at 10.
Quebec and Ontario together account for 183 of parliament’s 308 seats, and Anderson said double-digit Green party support in the two biggest provinces is the wild card.
“It’s one of those $64,000 questions,” said the pollster. “It’s easy for people to fall into the conventional wisdom trap and say, `Oh, that vote’s not real. It will dissipate by election day.”’
But Anderson believes that as long as the public is satisfied with minority governments – and nothing to date suggests otherwise – people may feel comfortable spending votes on the Greens.

National numbers in Decima’s weekly telephone poll of more than 1,000 respondents are considered accurate within plus or minus 3.1 percentage, 19 times in 20


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