CuriosityCat: The Signal Oct 6: Tories 132 seats; Liberals 132 seats; NDP 71 seats

Trudeau has led his Liberal Party to a forecasted number of MPs equal to those that Harper’s tired Conservatives might elect: 132 MPs each.
With neither the CPC nor the LPC having a majority of seats (170 MPs), this result would mean the end of the Harper government, and a new Liberal Party government, with Justin Trudeau as prime minister, and Harper as leader of the Opposition.

Now, if the Liberals claw one extra seat from the CPC or NDP, then Harper will resign as PM on the evening of October 19, as he promised Peter Mansbridge in the CBC interview, and Trudeau would take over as PM on October 20.
Then we can start righting the many wrongs that Harper has inflicted on our democracy, and set in motion the commission to replace the FPTP system of electing our MPs with a more democratic one (hopefully a modified proportional representation system).
So, everyone: vote in the advance polls (just in case robocalls start up again), take someone younger with you to vote as well, and vote strategically so as to unseat a sitting Conservative MP in your riding, if you have one.
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CuriosityCat: Another 4 LPC seats and Harper resigns on October 19

The Poll Tracker for October 5 shows the steady surge of Liberal Party votes, and translates the various polls into a national seat projection.
Harper told Peter Mansbridge that if the Conservatives won one seat less than any other party, he would immediately resign as prime minister.
With two weeks to go, the Liberals only need four (that’s right! 4!) more seats to reach the Harper Resignation total:

While you are at the site, check the seat projections and polls for Battlegrounds BC and Ontario.
And help make Harper’s decision easier by voting in the advance poll; take someone younger than you along to vote as well.
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CuriosityCat: Who is the Change Agent in Canada’s election? It’s no contest, really

Mulcair has only two weeks to reverse a dramatic reversal in the minds of voters of just who, in an election where about 70% of the voters want a change, bears the Change mantel.
Harper is an also-ran in the Who is the best change agent stakes (offering less of the present is not a recipe for change).
Mulcair started the race with the best chance to represent the change that most voters want to take place on October 19. But somewhere on the road his chariot to victory lost a wheel or two and veered off to the right of the road. Round about the same time that Mulcair decided on a read my lips: no deficits economic Inaction Plan.
Here’s the bad news for Mulcair, from a CBC/Innovation poll:

Unless a miracle happens, Mulcair has run out of time.
And for Harper, unless a miracle happens, he has run out of time to change voters wishes for something new, into a wish to have him back in power as leader of a majority government.
The Change Agent Thunderdome

What a race! Three men enter the Thunderdome, and now two of the men need a miracle for them to stagger out of it alive.
We are heading for a very welcome change of government on October 20, and for substantive electoral reform before April 2017.
So kiss Goodbye to the archaic first past the post system of choosing our MPs, and say Hello to a far more democratic system.
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CuriosityCat: Trudeau’s Message to Conservative Supporters

Today Justin Trudeau had a message for supporters of the Conservative Party that should resonate all the way up to the close of the polls on election night October 19:

But I want you to keep something in mind. Always.

In the end, we are all Canadians.

Conservatives are not our enemies. They’re our neighbours.

They want what’s best for their country, just like we do. They want safe communities and a growing economy. They want better jobs and more opportunities for their kids. They want their country to stand for something in the world, with the tenacity to solve big problems.

We don’t need to convince them to leave the Conservative Party. We just need to show how Stephen Harper’s Party has left them…

What kind of country do you want to build?

What kind of Canada do you want to leave to your kids?

Do you want Stephen Harper’s unambitious vision of a small, fearful country? One where we are divided against one another and suspicious of the world.

Or do you want a confident, positive vision of Canada? One that is clear-eyed about the challenges we face, but optimistic that we have all that we need to meet them head on.

I believe in this country. I love it with all my heart. And I know you do too.

See: our campaign has never been about me. It has never been about the Liberal Party. It has always been about Canadians.

Once Harper resigns as prime minister on October 20, then Conservative supporters can start considering what type of leader they want for their party, and the dialogue can begin.

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CuriosityCat: Red Tide moves towards Liberals in Quebec and in Ontario, says Nanos poll

The latest Nanos tracking poll for Sunday October 4 is very good news indeed!  Please make sure everyone you know who wants change on October 19 gets a copy of this and also shares it with all their friends.
Here’s the vital Battleground Ontario results:

And here’s what’s happening in the vital battlegrounds of Ontario, Quebec and BC (my underlining):
The latest tracking by Nanos Research for CTV News and the Globe and Mail shows that, regionally:
  • The Liberals lead in Atlantic Canada, with 52.1 per cent support, and in Ontario with 44 per cent support.
  • The Conservatives lead in the Prairies, with 51.6 per cent support.
  • In British Columbia, there is a tight race between the NDP (34.9 per cent) and the Liberals (34.3 per cent).
  • The NDP lead in Quebec with 32.9 per cent, but support continues to slide.
And here’s the movement of voters in Quebec towards the Liberals (the beginning of a Red Tide in that important province):

Remember to vote in advance polls if you can!  And take a friend along with you, especially a younger voter.
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CuriosityCat: Liberals surge to 43% in Battleground Ontario says Nanos

Here’s the Nanos latest poll:

Nanos Nightly Election Tracking Highlights (3-day tracking ending October 2) – Federal Liberals trend up for last two nights of Nanos tracking
  • National Ballot – In the latest Nanos tracking completed Friday evening the Liberals had 34.6% support followed by the Conservatives at 30.5%, the NDP at 25.1%, and the Greens at 4.8% nationally.
  • Battleground OntarioThere has been a noticeable movement in one of the key battlegrounds in favour of the Liberals over the past two evenings of tracking. Support for the Liberals in battleground Ontario stands at 43.6% while the Conservatives are at 33.8%, the NDP at 18.6% and the Greens at 4.0%.

That surge in Ontario is a large one; seems many voters there have decided that the best choice for managing the economy is Justin Trudeau and the Liberals.
And they are moving away from Thomas Read my lips: no deficits Mulcair, and from Stephen No Hope & No Vision Harper.
Add to this the dramatic change in Quebec, where the Orange Surge has turned into the Orange Crash, and we are speedily heading for a Liberal Party majority government on October 19.
That leaves less than 17 days before Stephen Harper resigns as prime minister on October 20, and tootles over to the Governor General to tell him this.
And by April 2017, we will have passed a law to remove the FPTP system of electing our MPs, and replaced it with one that better reflects modern democracies. Before that date, the chances are very high that we will be going to the polls in a referendum, to choose between two alternative methods of electing our MPs: an alternative vote system and a modified proportional representation system, all fleshed out in the commission that the LPC has committed to appoint asap after the election.
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CuriosityCat: The Signal for Oct 3: Non-Tory seats 202, Tory seats 134 Result? New government

If you have not bookmarked The Signal for your daily fix of the poll of polls, then do so immediately, and tell your friends to do so as well.
As of today, October 3, a change of government on October 19 is even more certain than yesterday, because the LPC and NDP together will have 202 MPs versus Harper’s Swan Song Singers 134.
That’s a whopping 68 more MPs than Harper will have, and Harper will be far short of the magical 170 seats he needs for a majority, and to survive as prime minister:
And the Ontario results are good, too:
Plus the BC results:
Spread the word about The Signal!
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CuriosityCat: What will happen on election day? The Signal points the way: a change of government

Say welcome to a new poll of polls aggregator service named The Signal. It is one pollster that you will be checking on a daily basis in the 17 days left before our election on October 19.
The Signal is a creation of Vox Pop Labs. This is how the Toronto Star describes it:
To gain a more precise picture of the voting landscape across the country, the Star has teamed with Vox Pop Labs, an independent research organization, to utilize their election forecasting tool, named The Signal.

Faith in pollsters’ findings has been tested in recent years, both home and abroad. After failed efforts to predict the Liberals win in the B.C. election of 2013, the Star asked “Why do pollsters keep getting it wrong?” Across the pond, British outlets pondered the same question only this year, when forecasters’ projections for the general election woefully undervalued support for David Cameron’s Conservative Party. 

So what signal is The Signal sending us about the election?
That we are headed for a change of government. The national results Vox translates into the following seats:

And the forecasted votes are:

The important thing to note is this: The total of Liberal and NDP seats is 199, a huge margin over the projected seats of 137 for Harper’s ‘new’ Conservatives.

This means that the Tories are not going to win a majority (they need 170 seats for that, and are far from that magical number). And, given the outright rejection by both Mulcair and Trudeau of any chance that their parties will prop up a minority Conservative government after the election, Harper will fall from power on October 20 or soon thereafter.
The Liberals, with more seats than the NDP, will then be given the chance by the Governor General to try to form a minority government that will enjoy the confidence of the House.
And within 18 months – by April 2017 – we will have a new electoral system, replacing the current archaic FPTP system.
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CuriosityCat: Niqab: In defence of Thomas Mulcair

Thomas Mulcair: Man of Principle

Mr. Mulcair was asked a simple question, loaded with peril, and he answered it very clearly in the last debate on foreign affairs. His answer to the question whether he agreed with the federal court’s decision regarding the right of a woman to cover her face with a niqab was Yes.

Yes, a woman could do so if she wished for personal reasons or for religious reasons to cover her face during the ceremonial part of the citizenship ceremony.
No, she had no right to cover her face during the part of the citizen admission process (that precedes the ceremony) that requires a would-be citizen to identify herself or himself, to ensure that she or he is indeed the person seeking admission as a citizen of our country.
Mr. Mulcair’s answer was both reasonable, and moral. And consistent with the highest values of our society. He deserves credit, and our support, for taking the stand that he did when he answered that question.
The fact that he is now losing support in Quebec for his answer, is regrettable.
The issue of the niqab is a complicated, and little understood in Anglophone Canada. In the Rest of Canada, many jump to the conclusion that so many Canadians living in Quebec who do not wish to countenance the wearing of a niqab by a woman in any public office or during any interaction between a citizen and the state, do so out of racial prejudice.
This might be true of some, but it not true for many of those who object to the use of the niqab in such circumstances. Quebec has been wrestling with what is called the identity issue for years now. It is a spillover from the bitter discussions that have and are taking place in many member states of the European Union.
The issue is complex, because woven into it are several strands, some at variance with other strands, others supporting other strands.
One strand is racial animosity towards Muslims. If the opposition to the wearing of a niqab is based on such racial animosity, then those who hate that way are not displaying the core values of Canadian society. Our society is not founded on racial hate as a mainspring; nor do our laws have any such basis. Our Charter of Rights and Freedoms rightfully sets its face against any such racial hatred as being a permissible driver of any action by any level of government with any citizen. To those who oppose the niqab because of such racial hatred, we – all Canadians, no matter where they might live – should say: Enough! Those are not Canadian values. And we support Mr. Mulcair against any attacks on these grounds.
Another strand is the fear of many people that their existence as a separate, identifiable cultural or ethnic group (be it German, Italian, British, French, in Europe; or Francophone in Quebec, descended primarily from French settlers so many years ago) is threatened if others who do not share those group values are allowed into the country, and prefer to practice a different set of values. The Canadian response to such fears has been the conscious choice of multicultural diversity, as a source of strength, as opposed to forced assimilation. And that has worked very well. It is a core Canadian value.
However, a variant of that strand of concern is the fear of a being swamped ‘in my own country.’ This is especially true of many people in Quebec, who see themselves as a small group, facing up to the huge mass of non-French people in north America. We understand such concern, and we support steps taken to preserve the cultural values, as long as those steps do not deprive other Canadians of their own core rights.
In the European Union the niqab has become a symbol of attempts to preserve a way of life, as in France. It has become a lightning rod, a symbol, used to represent several different strands. And it is very effective when used this way, because it is so identifiable.
There is nothing in the decision of the federal court on the wearing of a niqab during the ceremonial party of the citizenship admission process that threatens the swamping of anyone in Quebec. We should stand with Mr. Mulcair in supporting the federal court decision against those if that is their primary reason for opposition to it. It can in no way be described in and of itself as a tipping point, which will plunge Quebec into chaos and unwanted cultural change.
Another strand is the wish to preserve a core right that has taken decades to be recognized in Canada: the right of equality between men and women. This is enshrined in our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and is a basic Canadian right. But to those who say that a woman who chooses to wear a niqab while celebrating her admission as a citizen of our country, is being prevented – by the very act of wearing the niqab – from being an equal to a man, we say No, we do not agree with you. We understand that some fear that women are forced to wear niqabs by men as public evidence of the inequality of women compared to men. If there is any force involved in this fashion, then the use of such force is contrary to basic Canadian values, and should be resisted. Physical force against such a woman’s person would be dealt with under our current Criminal Law. Social pressure, on the other hand, should be dealt with by other means, including those dealt with below.
However, the federal court case did not revolve around this issue; it dealt with the wish of a woman to wear  her niqab in part of the admission process. That is as far as it goes. And that is what Mr. Mulcair agreed with.
Justin Trudeau forcefully stated his view: that just as the state has no right to tell a woman what to wear, so too the state has no right to tell a woman what not to wear. If those who are opposing Mr. Mulcair are doing so because they believe that any level of government in Canada (city, provincial or federal) should legislate against the wearing of a niqab in any interaction between a citizen and that government, including but not limited to the ceremonial part of the citizenship process, because this reduces a woman’s equality with men, then we have a wider issue.
I side with Justin Trudeau in his argument about the limits on the rights of any level of government in Canada to force a woman to wear clothing acceptable to those who run that government.
However, to those who feel strongly that disapproval should be voiced by citizens against the wearing of a niqab by a woman, because they believe it is a symbol of the oppression of women, then I say: By all means. Protest, debate, write letters to the editors of newspapers, hold meetings. Exercise your lawful rights to discuss any topic you wish to; that is your right under our Charter of Rights and Freedoms. But do so without expecting the state to step in and legislate the opposite unless our basic rules of law require it (such as witnesses in criminal cases, where there are conflicting values at stake; admission as a citizen where identification is necessary at some stage).
Yet another strand in this complex fabric is the desire of many to have the state be a secular one, rather than a religious one. If they see the wearing of a niqab as being a visible symbol of the interference of a religion with the secular nature of Canada, and therefore want to ban it through legislation to prevent the intrusion of religion into the secular nature of the Canadian state, then the answer to them is rightfully No.
No, the state does not have the right to ban a niqab simply because of fears of the secular nature of the state being undermined by such an act. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms sets limits on the rights of the state to interfere with the rights of citizens, including religion. There are other means apart from banning the use of niqabs to address the secularism issue. We encourage others to pursue those lawful methods (discussion, example, education, etc.).
That brings us to the despicable behaviour of those who would use the niqab issue as akin to tossing a dead cat on a table during a discussion, in an attempt to change the channel on discussions being held during our long election campaign. 
To focus on the niqab issue with the primary purpose of stirring up racial or religious hatred, in an effort to shore up support for a political party that wishes to become the government of this country, is disgusting. As voters, we should expect and demand of anyone wishing to become prime minister of this country a standard of moral behaviour that does not stoop to such immorality.
Just as there are limits in the freedom of speech rights of a person to the crying of Fire! in a crowded cinema, so too are there limits to how low a politician should be able to stoop in order to set one Canadian against another, or one group of Canadians against other groups, just to gain power. Anyone who does that, for those purposes, should be treated with contempt, and rejected.
Mr. Mulcair, you are an honourable man, and a good representative of the voters in your  riding. You have displayed very high standards of morality in your public dealings at various levels of government, and you are leader of a party that has high moral principles. Your position on the federal court niqab decision is an honourable one, fully in accord with core Canadian values.
I and many others, salute you for the stand you have taken.
And I can assure you that you and your party will have a very significant role to play after the October 19 election, no matter the result of the vote tally. We will, as Canadians, be looking to you to maintain your high moral standards, and to help remedy the debasement of our political values that we have seen take place over these past few years.
During the Friday debate, I recommend that your persist in your defence of your principled position on the federal court niqab decision, and call out all those who would use such issues to divide Canadian from Canadian, for base purposes. We will be sending your good wishes during that part of the debate.
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