Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Gay Marriage is Contagious

On Nov 4th 2012 The U.S made history passing same sex marriage votes in three states altogether. In 2012 Same Sex Marriage was legal in 9 states and the District of Columbia (DC). 2012 was the year with the most legal same sex marriages votes passing in the U.S.

In 2010
Only 5 states and DC allowed same sex marriage in the U.S
and 10 countries allowed same sex marriage in the World

In 2013
12 states and the DC allow same sex marriage in the U.S
and 14 countries allow same sex marriage in the world

Most of the new countries and some of the new states occurred in the past few months. If Prop 8 is overturned we can add one more american state to the list, and in the next 2 years same sex marriage will be voted on by another dozen something states, which all look poise to pass same sex marriage. Including Ohio the swing state which will hold a vote overturning it's constitutional ban on same sex marriage.

But most importantly 3 out of the 4 new countries all occurred in the past couple months. The developed world and even the developing world is jumping on the ban wagon. Same Sex marriage is legal in most Brazilian States, Finland will soon have a vote that will easily pass, and even religious countries like Israel will have a vote in 2 years to legalize same sex marriage (And multiple major parties are in support of it)

In short this decade will be the great leap in Gay rights throughout the world, and we will most likely see in 2020 a most developed countries in the world legalize same sex marriage.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

BC Election Prediction and Hopes.

It seems the easy victory the NDP were hoping for was all but swept away after the leadership debate. Granted the NDP are still 7% on average ahead of their closes rivals the Liberal party of British Columbia. It actually peculiar when you think about it that most of the recent provincial elections we had greatly diminished the lead of the front runner come election day (Mainly Quebec and Alberta).

This BC election isn't much different from the Quebec elections. A Liberal party slightly right wing being in power for over a decade, and a new opposition leader coming from the left hoping to change everything. The Major differences of course being that Quebec has the separatist movement and the Incumbent party in BC has a new young leader.

The point I am trying to get across is that I have a hypothesis that the BC Liberals will shrink that gap even more when the ballots are counted. I make this hypothesis based on experience.

First Experience:
In Quebec most people hated Charest, but a solid 30% still voted for him, why? Because Charest ran the economy angle and the I know what I am doing angle too. He made Marois and Francois Legault seem inexperienced and especially Marois bad for business. Christy Clark is playing the same angle. She wants to appear that she is the economically best choice for BC. And come election day Charest closed the 7% gap to a measly 0.7%. Christy Clark won't be as lucky, she isn't running against a sovereigntist who is banging the drums of an issue no one cares about. BC voters may last second buy into the BC Liberal rhetoric that they are better for the economy.

I would predict that the BC NDP will win a majority, and the BC Liberals a close 3-4 points behind. Anyways I hope that the BC Greens do well and carry at least one seat, and there was some hope in the last week with the Greens polling to in the low ten's, but now come election day the Green vote is the least stable and has diminished to 8-9 percent which may not even be attainable, as the BC greens are only running candidates in 61/85 ridings. Still I wish Jane Sterks and the Greens good luck!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Green BC seats

In this post I will explain the possibility of a green seat in BC in this coming election May 14th.

Jane Sterk Green party leader will be running in Victoria Beacon Hill. This riding in the last election elected Carole James by a large margin

2009 election result
NDP  13,400    55.4%
Lib       6,375    26.3%
Green   4,106    17.0%
Indep      319     1.3%

This riding carries a lot of advantages for Jane Sterk particularly a high Green party base, but Jane Sterk has no chance of winning this riding in the upcoming election. Why? Because the incumbent party in this riding is the NDP, which if the polls are correct are maintaining most of their support in this riding. The Liberals are currently polling well below what they were polling in 2009 and therefore will most likely fall into third place on May 14th, and even if all those Liberal voters go to Jane Sterk she would still not manage to win this riding, because the NDP will most likely maintain over 50% of the vote.

Why did Jane Sterk pick such an impossible riding? She had so many better options to chose from. Like Sannich North and the Islands or West Vancouver Sea to Sky.

Either of these ridings would have been better. Sannich North would have been good, because Elisabeth May is the Green MP for the riding, and she could try and muster up her supporters to vote for Jane Sterk in the provincial election, and this riding would have also been more ripe for the taking, because the incumbent party running in Sannich North is the Liberal party that is polling almost 15% below where they were in the last election.

West Vacouver Sea to Sky would have also been a better choice for the green party leader Jane. Not only is the incumbent in the riding a Liberal, which provides loads of opportunity for the Greens to grab the seat, but the green party got a strong nearly second place showing in 2009. In fact the Green candidate in the riding got more votes and a greater share of the votes in West Vacouver Sea to Sky than Jane Sterk did in her previous attempt at a seat in Esquimalt-Royal Roads.

The Green party especially those in BC need to understand that they can win in some ridings if they run their best candidates their. The Greens in BC missed a golden opportunity to capture their first seat in the British Columbia assembly by not running their leader in the best riding.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

RNC of the 20th Century.

The Republican National Committee continues to live in the past. Just recently the RNC has passed a resolution affirming that the national Republican policy on same sex marriage is that marriage is only between a man and a women.

Even as many Republicans are coming out in support of same sex marriage the RNC continues to deny the inevitable, and continues to drag along this issue, which is one of the past.  The RNC at the same meeting last week stated that they do have a problem reaching out to minorities. The RNC stated that they need to be reaching out to African Americans, Latinos and Asian Americans, but have provided no road map on how to do it.

The RNC is being pressured by right wing groups like the Family Research Council to maintain their outdated polices, and this will be problematic for the RNC. This tug of war between social conservatives and social conservatives is one that has existed for many years but has became amplified since the tea party movement in 2010.

In 2012 you would think that the RNC would have learned it's lesson that only pandering to social conservatives in your base won't help you appeal to moderates. The Tea Party movement may have died down, but the vast majority of Republicans are still claiming to be apart of the tea party. Senators like Ted Cruz shows how much the Republican party is stuck back in the 20th century.

With over 52% of young Republicans supporting Gay-Marriage and with 60% of young people believing that abortion will be legal. It will be very hard for many Social Republicans to run for re-election in the following years running on the current RNC policy platform.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

BC Election.... No Show.

The British Colombian election is set for May 14th, and it's pretty straight forward. People in BC no longer support the BC liberals after three consecutive terms. BC Liberals have been losing popularity since they won the 2009 BC election.

The NDP started out the year nearly at 50%, and having twice as much support as the Liberals. The BC Conservatives which usually get 3-4% in the polls started to eat away at the BC Liberals support, and almost took second place just a Little over a year ago. But ever since May 2013 the BC Conservatives have collapsed and the BC liberals have started building up some support.

Right now the election looks like a no show, but their our some interesting things to look out for.

1. The support and seat capability of the Greens
2. The strength of the Conservatives
3. How big will the NDP win

1. The greens
The Greens are currently polling at around 10-13% which is very high for the Green party in British Columbia. Unfortunately the Greens won't get a seat in this election most likely. Jane Sterk decided to run in Victorian Beacon Hill which was a bad decision. This riding is home of the former leader of the BC NDP Carole James who carried the riding with 55% of the vote in 2009. With NDP polling above their 2009 levels it will be hard to see how the Greens can go from 17% to a victory in this riding. With the NDP running high it's hard to see how the Greens could combat the stream. The Greens will very likely place a strong second in this riding.

How will success be measured
- The Greens success will be measured by whether or not they are able to gain a seat or improve their share of the popular vote.
 (I will go to greater detail on the riding the green party could win in this election.)

2. The Strength of the Conservatives 
The Conservatives just about a year ago was tied for second place with the BC Liberals, but like many parties that suddenly blib high in the polls it is often short lived. (Remember when Francois Legault was leading in Quebec). What will interesting to see is whether the Conservative party of BC can became a real visible party in British Columbia elections. 
How will success be measured 
- If the Conservatives get 10% of the vote it will be a big win for them, because it will show that they do have a base in province to build on. 
-Another interesting thing to look out for is whether or not the Conservatives in BC will beat the Greens in popular vote. 

3. How big will the NDP win?
If all goes well, and no gaffes emerge than the NDP should be heading for a big majority government come May 14th. The real test for the NDP is whether they will be given power, because they are popular or because the other is less popular. In 2009 the BC NDP got 42% of the vote, and today they are polling anywhere between 46%-38%.If the NDP don't improve their numbers on 2009 that would prove that the NDP won only, because the BC Liberals are unlikable.  

How will success be measured 
- If the NDP don't improve on their election results from last election. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Justin Trudeau Wins

104,552 votes, yes just over 80% of the people who registered for the Liberal party of Canada leadership election ended up voting. A statement that was said quite often that night was that in this election more votes were cast than in any other leadership election. This is well...... true if we are talking about federal political parties.

In 2003 the Conservative leadership election
97,397 votes were cast
In 2012 the NDP leadership election
65,108 votes were cast

Although if we include provincial leadership elections the Liberal leadership election just held yesterday would only place second. The party that has obtained the most votes when it comes to electing a leader in Canada goes to the PQ (Parti Quebecois) in 2005. Yes in 2005 105,259 members of PQ voted to elect André Boisclair as leader of the PQ in Quebec.

Justin Trudeau first test as leader will be coming in the following month. That test will be the By-election in Labrador (which the Liberals are looking very likely as the winners). Justin Trudeau will most likely as all new leaders start to spike in the polls the important thing to watch here is how high will Justin Trudeau go. If Justin Trudeau ties with Harper or will Justin Trudeau lead and if so how much. All this is very important, because from the spike we can usually expect the true solid support to be anywhere 5-10% below.

What will also be interesting to watch is when will the new Conservative attack ads come, but right now it's the honeymoon. The Liberals are trying now to sell the new leader bit as much as they can to fund raise as much as possible, and the high poll numbers and media will help Liberal fortune's in the short run. The real show begins in the Fall session of next year, where Harper will have to start directing his attacks at either Mulcair or Trudeau.

Monday, April 01, 2013

A Green Canada Includes The West!

Canada may be out of the Kyoto protocol, but even our own non scientific target of 17% below 2005 levels by 2020 won`t be reached at this rate. Due to Harper`s indifference on climate change Canada is falling behind most nations not only when it comes to environmental action, but also maintaining past successes. Harper made Canada the only country not to stay on the UN convention combating droughts.

In Canada emissions are going up. Canada is way above it`s Kyoto agreements. Right now Canada emits 690 Mega tonnes of CO2. Nearly 20 tonnes of CO2 per capita, which makes us one of the biggest polluters  in the developed world. Who is to blame? Alberta. I think it is an over simplification to blame everything on Alberta. And yes while it is true that Alberta over represents itself in CO2 emissions in Canada compared to it's portion of the population. 

Alberta isn't a bad province, because it has oil, and yes oil isn't a bad thing. Oil is a vital resource in today's modern economy. The problem though is that Alberta's Tar Sands are polluting to much, and will hinder Canada ability to reach any target. The Problem is that Alberta is built on this vital resource. Alberta's low unemployment rate and usually* decent public finances are all due to the cash cow that is the OIL!

Quebec and other eastern provinces who don't have as many resources like Alberta, haven't found it too hard to reduce CO2 emissions. Ontario is 6.5% below 1990 levels (That means Ontario reached it's Kyoto target) Quebec is 2% below 1990 levels. Both these provinces have pledged to reduce CO2 emissions by  15% in Ontario and 20% in Quebec from 1990 levels by 2020. For Quebec and Ontario it is much easier to be green and so far these provinces are leading by example. 

The western provinces don't fair so well. BC emission are up 28% above 1990 levels, Manitoba 10%, Alberta 37% and Saskatchewan 69%!!!!!! Harper has taken no action on these frighting numbers. For me even though I live in Quebec I see that Canada can't reach any target no matter how low emissions are in Central Canada.

My Vision for a green Canada include's the west. In order to create a green Canada we need to get the west off fossil fuels, and yes that means getting rid of the old economy and creating a new economy. For this we can't just say to Alberta your on your own. The federal government must help the west invest in green energy to create a new western economy off fossil fuels. A green Canada doesn't mean high unemployment in Alberta. It means new and sustainable employment in the west. 

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Pro Same Sex Marriage GOP Candidate.......Maybe?

With Rob Portman, the senator from Ohio along with the many prominent Republicans like Dick Cheney, Meg Whitman and Laura Bush supporting gay marriage is it possible to see a GOP candidate in 2016 run supporting gay marriage.

In 2012 all the GOP candidates where opposed to same sex marriage. Most in fact supported a constitutional amendment prohibiting the marriage of anyone other than a man and a women. Only John Hutsman supported civil unions. And it should be noted that Ron Paul said that the government should get out of marriage and let everyone pretty much define it for themselves.

Currently most of the candidates that may run don't support marriage equality. John Hutsman who now supports marriage equality may be the only candidate in the 2016 republican primary to support same sex marriage. But the question shouldn't be if a pro same sex marriage candidate is possible, but whether the position is winnable.

Currently most republicans 61% according to current polls are against same sex marriage. But this is also generational, among republicans ages 18-44 46% support and oppose same sex marriage. While 45 and up oppose same sex marriage by a margin of 64%-25%. Considering big major donors of the Republican party come from an older generation it is fair to say a pro gay marriage GOP candidate may find it hard to find influential friends in this party.

The Republicans have only started to warm up to this issue and yes in three years more Republicans will probably change their minds. Especially with the supreme court ruling coming in June  but also in the some 8 states that will have a vote on this issue in the next 2 years.

Anyways the 2016 GOP primaries and Caucuses should be interesting. A fight between the younger Republican generation and the older. The tug of war if you will. Santorum will most likely champion the cause for social conservative, but it will be interesting to see which major candidate will take his challenge. If any?

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Labrador By-Election!

In the midst of scandal Peter Penashue resigned and is seeking re-election in Labrador. This by-election is perfectly placed to be a present for the next Liberal leader. Another seat for a party that lost so much in the last election would be a great present for the parties future leader.

The prospects look very promising. First the big boost is of course the scandals around Peter Penashue will most defiantly make him lose many votes. And in fact that is really all that is needed to elect a Liberal in the next election. Labrador only elected Peter by 78 votes. This riding has a long Liberal history. Since Newfoundland  became a part of Canada in 1948 this riding has only elected a conservative twice. In 1968 and 2011. Every other election since 1948 this riding has elected a Liberal.

Added on to that, the Conservatives have committed practical political suicide in the east supporting drastic changes to Employment insurance. Even the Conservatives support for the seal hunt won`t do much good as the Liberals are also in favor of keeping the seal hunt going. The NDP will have some issue`s though conveying that message. With the Greens even deciding to step out of this election in favor of some sort of co-operation to unseat Peter Penashue (that the NDP refused to take part in) that frees up some 132 progressive votes from the last election, which most certainly will vote for either the Liberals or NDP.

Put all these together and it seems that the Conservatives will be even lucky to place second let alone first. The first place winner looking at the evidence will most likely be Yvonne Jones the Liberal candidate. If the Liberals win this by-election it will grow the Liberal caucus to 36, which is 2 more than the 2011 election results. We are the only major party which has grown in size since 2011. The Conservatives are down 2 so far at 164 and the NDP are 3 down now at 100.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Same Sex Marriage..... About Time!

This week the U.S supreme court has been hearing oral arguments for and against same sex marriage as well as the Defense Of Marriage Act (DOMA). The answers to these cases will come in at the end of June. Quite frankly I am hopeful, but know that the supreme court will probably not make a national consensus on this issue.

The Supreme court of the U.S unlike our own is very politically motivated. It is relatively safe to assume that their our 4 justices on both sides of bench for and against same sex marriage and Anthony Kennedy in the middle is left to decide. What I suspect will probably occur is that the Supreme court will strike down Prop 8 claiming it is unconstitutional. Therefore re-legalizing same sex marriage in the California, and California only. This unfortunately I don`t believe will be a Rov Vs Wade decision, where the entire country is effected by the ruling.

California if the supreme court strikes Prop 8 down will be the 10th state to legalize same sex marriage. Currently there is a push to legalize same sex marriage in Illinois, Hawaii, Ohio, Rhode Island, New Jersey and Delaware. As new polls show that a clear majority of Americans believe that we should let all people marry. Then Marriage equality will only be a matter of time. The supreme court could settle this problem once and for all, or continue this inevitable fight for marriage equality. If DOMA is repealed it will give the thousands of Gay and Lesbians couples already married in 9 states and DC all the rights of marriage.

In the meantime France, New Zealand and the U.K are putting this issue to bed. It`s only a matter of time... it`s only a matter of time.