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Messages - Nik

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1
NHL Transactions / Re: 2021 Offseason Moves
« on: Today at 01:36:20 PM »
Interesting: Chara back to the Island

It's almost like they're a medium skilled team who tries to get by on hooking and holding in the playoffs.

2
Non-Hockey Chatter / Re: Federal Election 2019
« on: Yesterday at 09:02:25 PM »
Liberals would, of course, be criticized for spending too much or too little in the next election even if they were governing with a majority. So, it's not just that the "end result" of concessions, being "hammered" by left and right alike, aren't desirable--they could've avoided that by not holding an election!--but that there'd be some benefit to "governing as they see fit" and a sense that being forced into concessions has produced suboptimal results.

You're missing my point a little there. Sure "We want more Right Wing policies" and "We want more Left Wing policies" would be the Conservative and NDP lines regardless but at least in a majority government, the record the Liberals would be defending would be their own. As is they're facing those criticisms despite at least attempting to govern by some form of compromise and the siding with the Conservatives are front and centre in the NDP's appeals to the NDP/Liberal swing voters and vice-versa with the Conservative/Liberal swing voters.

If you think the key to appealing to voters is Centrist politics, and if you don't then like I said you wouldn't be a Liberal, then you're going to want a Centrist record to run on rather than a half-Left, half-Right record you were pushed into.

Isn't that what's happening? Turns out there aren't enough voters who would vote for Liberals whose main interest is in seeing a Liberal majority?

Well, A) we'll see on Monday(or next week, anyway) if the Liberals get that majority and B) we'll never really know if the Liberals would have eventually won a Majority absent an election being called right now. It may be that people who otherwise would have voted Liberal have been deeply offended by an election being called or it may just be that opinion polls before an election don't mean much and that when faced with actually going to the polls, people tend to revert to their natural political inclinations rather than just "Do I like how the Liberals handled the pandemic?" winning out.

Either way, I think it's safe to say that "Well, the Liberals would win a majority but only if they never called an election" is not seen as particularly valuable political currency.

Right! The first part of your either/or is what I'm getting at. the cudgel-wielders are partisans who vote how they vote and use whatever argument's at hand, but lots of people eligible to vote probably are "dangerously naive"--and either reluctant to participate in an election they perceive to be needlessly called or willing even to punish a party for doing such a thing. If you know that's a definite possibility, that that's how voters may well respond to the election you call, what do we call a party that goes ahead and calls the election anyway? "Dangerously naive" sounds pretty good, but is, alas, taken.

Well, wrong works and it certainly wouldn't be the first time a party with a minority government had been wrong about which way the winds were blowing but I think it's kind of ridiculous to think that a political organization like the Liberal party wouldn't, in their own internal polling, have asked the obvious follow up of "Would calling an election during the pandemic offend you so much that you change your vote?" after asking people what they thought of their performance and still liked their chances. That the election was called is a pretty good sign that the Liberals did their internals and still liked their chances.

If the Liberals are in a weaker position after this election, which is still a legitimately big "if" right now, I'm sure there will be all manner of post-mortems trying to explain why and, sure, a crucial percentage point or two might be lost because of people who don't generally understand how political parties work. That said, I don't think we need to humour that demographic by similarly being pollyanna-ish about why elections get called and when.

I can't tell if the bolded bit is a prediction or a statement about how such elections are run.

If the former: I'm not predicting anything, of course. But I just wonder why it isn't being used here, because it does seem like some new wrinkle to add to electoral politics that, as an American, doesn't come naturally to me. An election in the middle of a set for standard term ought to be precipitated by some compelling need to get the consent of the voting public.

Admittedly, I'm not an expert in American politics but considering how things like gerrymandering, voting rights and, say, trying to overthrow election results go down south it seems like "How come that political party is doing what they think is in their best interests regardless of the potential consequences or democratic legitimacy?" would actually be fairly recognizable. If the US government had the ability to call a snap election do you really not think it would be used by the Democrats when they thought it benefitted them the most and the same with Republicans?

If the Liberals fail to get their desired Majority, which seems like a pretty good bet right now, then absolutely some people will say that the lack of a really popular or dynamic policy platform that won the day with voters will be a reason why but I think expecting a really dynamic policy platform from a Centrist party might not ever be realistic. The Liberals appeal is always going to be based on a sort of middle of the road, stay the course philosophy and they may just have overestimated that appeal to a deeply polarized electorate. 

For example, I recall Theresa May had a pretty terrible election result when she called an election without reaching a clear "I wanna do X" crisis point, whereas BoJo did a lot better when explicitly seeking a "Brexit, now or never -- let's just get it done" mandate and/or having an electorate polarized around the terrifying, and more-probable-than-last-time, prospect of a PM Jeremy Corbyn.


I mean, I'm not an expert in UK politics either but I'd say that May's bad result wasn't based so much on lacking a clear vision for policies as it was the fact that she was a PM who was just chosen by her party to succeed a resigning David Cameron, hadn't won a general election and, to put it bluntly, was not a very good candidate. Seeking a mandate in that situation, I think, was more about her trying to have some sort of weight to throw around in her own party when she knew that the brexit hardliners in her party would never vote for her own vision of a softer brexit and she needed to have a Majority that didn't need them. Losing seats there probably had more to do with that schism in her party between the Brexit hardliners and her own pro-remain Conservative faction than it did anything else. Her "I wanna do X" was pretty clearly "Negotiate a soft brexit" and that proved to be a very tough sell to a party that made up the bulk of Brexit voters.

If the latter and some basic fact about the how these elections are run and understood: I get that my "well, why y'all voting now if there's no major thing you're voting on?" might sound naive, but how far is it really from the behavior of your average edible voter?

Sure, I mean, I could argue that a government's performance during these unprecedented times is actually a fairly major thing to seek a mandate over but regardless, there's no denying that if the Liberals don't win a majority or even end up with a weaker position post-election there will be people saying they majorly fouled up by calling the election and the proof will be in the pudding.

That said, I still think you have to work from a position of the Liberals just being wrong about their polling rather than thinking that they couldn't have foreseen people being frustrated about an election call.

3
Non-Hockey Chatter / Re: Federal Election 2019
« on: Yesterday at 11:53:22 AM »
It's easier to follow the bit on the course the election's taken since it was called, as that makes sense to me, but I guess what I fundamentally don't understand about these systems with snap elections is this: good polling, so time to get a mandate to... do what? "Have a majority." Ok. But what for? "Be in office." And then do what?

Well, the obvious answer there is to govern as they see fit. Why that's desirable is pretty clear from how the campaign has gone. The Liberals made numerous concessions to the NDP during their pandemic management and the end result? The Conservatives criticizing them for spending too much and the NDP criticizing them for not spending enough.

We could argue all day if the concessions they had to make ended up making for better policy(I think it did!) but the end result is having to run on a record that isn't really theirs and getting hammered from both Parties that they at times sided with. 

If it's just a matter of popularity polls seeming to give Liberals the opportunity to seize a majority, calling an election under such circumstances seems like the sort of transparently calculating and perhaps even cynical move that could well erode that popularity!

If that's true that would speak very poorly to the political werewithal of the voters. I'm not a LPC supporter but any government in a minority is going to be looking for an opportunity to call an election to try and win a majority because if they don't and the polling turns bad you can be pretty sure that the opposition parties would trigger an election themselves and try to gain more power.

I have a lot of reasons why I wish the Liberals didn't call this election but anyone out there who would react negatively to the idea that political parties will opportunistically try to win more seats as soon as possible is either dangerously naive or simply using that as a cudgel when they damn well know the party they support would do the same thing if their poll numbers looked good.

I would genuinely love it if another Liberal minority decided to form a coalition with the NDP and enact a good chunk of the NDP agenda as a result but if the Liberals were amenable to doing that they wouldn't be in a Centre-Right party to begin with.

And, apart from the ought-to-be-predictable ways it could go sideways, don't you still need to go to voters and be able to point at something the other parties are preventing you from doing? Even if it's really just about hitting a certain number of seats to do, uh, nothing really different than before.

I don't think anyone is going to campaign on "We want to do X but they won't let us". What they're going to do is have a policy platform that is different from the other parties and, one assumes, the implication is then pretty clear that they're promising to enact those policies if they win a majority rather than a half-baked compromise of those policies.

Take something like addressing people with disabilities. The Conservative policy on that is a pretty conservative one, offering tax incentives and tax credits to people working with disabilities but nothing for the people who can't work. The NDP policy on it is what they call a Guaranteed Livable Income to come by way of direct payments. The Liberal policy is pretty vague but includes direct payments without mentioning any sort of actual living standard being met. I think it's safe to assume it's a direct benefit to people living with disabilities but not as much as the NDP would give.

I don't think they need to come right out and say "If we persist in a Minority government we either would need to win the support of the NDP and enact a benefit we think is too costly or get the Conservatives on board and not have a direct benefit or one we think isn't big enough". People tend to know that the Liberals represent the middle ground. Multiply that issue by whatever the number of policy areas are being discussed in this election and you have a pretty comprehensive case being made for what a Liberal Majority would mean, even hypothetically, in terms of policy.

4
Non-Hockey Chatter / Re: Coronavirus
« on: Yesterday at 08:56:39 AM »
I don't think there's a drastic difference between provinces(aside from Alberta) and it's sort of hard to tell how things are in general in the country because of all of the election news. I think, you know, in Ontario and Quebec things are tense because we're all sort of expecting a 4th wave to get worse from schools being open but it's supposed to be a warm fall so you'll probably get to enjoy patios and such at least and avoid closed settings.

5
Non-Hockey Chatter / Re: Federal Election 2019
« on: September 16, 2021, 12:05:16 PM »

So I don't want to get into anything partisan here or engage in electioneering but I have to say I'm fairly frustrated right now. I've had my ballot to vote by mail for a week now and for the first time in my life I'm really not sure who to vote for or if I'll be voting at all. For every other election it's been easy for me. Because I'm not a member of any party I read platforms, decide which one fits my particular views to best(which, to date, has always been the NDP) and vote for them.

But this year I'm struggling with it. I'm still most on board with the NDP platform but I really dislike the way Singh has campaigned and, just personally, I have a tough time voting for a party that's finding anti-semitic candidates left and right. Throw in the fact that I live in a iron-clad safe LPC riding so even in the best of years I'm voting for a no-hope candidate which makes holding my nose and voting NDP again seem almost comically useless.

I'd never vote for a right wing party, which to my mind includes both parties with realistic chances of forming government, I actively dislike the Greens and the only other choice in my riding are the Communists and I don't think I'm quite at that stage in my intellectual devolution.

I don't know...I think I may just write in Tommy Douglas.

6
Non-Hockey Chatter / Re: Coronavirus
« on: September 16, 2021, 10:32:50 AM »
Restaurants sort of require unmasking to do stuff like indoor eating and drinking.
Big Box Stores, or any store really (with enough aisleway) does not require unmasking to work.

I suppose I might add that with restaurants and, say, movie theatres they're places that you are going to want to have a leisurely time and stay there for as many as 3 hours whereas grocery or big box stores, usually, you're trying to get out of there as quickly as possible.

But probably the larger issue there is that places like restaurants/movie theatres are seen as less essential than grocery stores or big box stores(which can be grocery stores) and that by cutting people off from them you're not seriously harming their ability to just live their lives.

7
Non-Hockey Chatter / Re: Coronavirus
« on: September 16, 2021, 09:54:02 AM »
As an aside, I think every government in the world made a mistake calling it a vaccine passport. Why couldn’t they just stick with immunization record? Which is nomenclature that already exists.

Well, I guess to somewhat play Devil's Advocate it was important for them to stress that this was a new thing that would have very serious consequences. If the lack of a "passport" meant people couldn't go to movie theatres or restaurant or just flat out being denied entry into some countries then I think it may have been soft selling it to simply mention it as "updated immunization record" especially when it may very well involve an actual piece of identification.

8
Non-Hockey Chatter / Re: Coronavirus
« on: September 15, 2021, 11:17:53 PM »
I’m finding that article either confusing or misleading. They have spent the money but just not all of it? So what’s the issue? It’s not like the funds have disappeared, they’re still there to be used.

Then again, I’m not sure I’m getting the message they are trying to convey.

I think you need to look at it within the larger context of what appears to be the divide between the Conservatives and the other parties with regards to dealing with the pandemic. If the money is there, and you need it, other parties seem to think you should spend it and then, later on, if you need more borrow and spend more. The Conservatives clearly favour a more, well, conservative approach.

So in hearing this news, I think it's fair to ask "Did the Conservatives not spend money they otherwise should have and maybe have done a better job in blunting some of the economic damage of Covid/helping to stop the spread?" especially in the midst of a Federal Election where pandemic spending seems to be a pretty central issue.

9
Non-Hockey Chatter / Re: Federal Election 2019
« on: September 15, 2021, 11:16:09 AM »
Yeah, and that's on the bureaucratic side, where they get less public criticism aimed at them individually (unless they're near the top of the food chain). The civil servants definitely mostly believe in the job. The elected officials, on the other hand, I'm not so sure. I think those that really believed in the job would find ways to do the work that come with less unnecessary public scrutiny and partisan politics.

For sure. Just from personal experience my interactions with the political staffers, regardless of party, tended to show that the lower level people could be real believers and very nice people but it was so ruthless on that side of things that anyone who advanced was going to be the real cutthroat jerks(which, again, I'd say was true of all parties).

I think a lot of people who get MP or MPP nods, they're the sort of people who are really attracted to the very specific kind of prestige the job comes with. Making a ton of money at a Law firm or bank might have social cache or whatever but you don't have people calling you "Minister" and you're not being interviewed in the local paper.

10
Non-Hockey Chatter / Re: Federal Election 2019
« on: September 15, 2021, 10:53:31 AM »
Why would anyone with real integrity want that when they can get more lucrative and similarly prestigious positions in the private sector?

That's something I really do wish people understood. When I was a civil servant just about everyone who was in a senior position who left government work for the private sector would get way more money wherever they went. It was sort of a running joke amongst the people who stuck around.

I certainly wouldn't say everyone in government is great or anything but the vast majority of the people I know still in those roles are genuinely there because they believe in the job.

11
Non-Hockey Chatter / Re: Useless Thread
« on: September 14, 2021, 11:56:00 PM »

He was a Habs fan but RIP to Norm MacDonald, legit one of the comedians who made me laugh the most in this world. If you haven't seen it this clip from him on Conan back in the 90's is probably my favourite talk show guest appearance ever:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKmadR4Ye54

12
Non-Hockey Chatter / Re: Federal Election 2019
« on: September 14, 2021, 09:03:40 PM »
Mine was at a community centre, which is where it usually is. But, election posters were taped on the wall with masking tape and were crooked. I mean, I guess it's not worth the money, but I just figured it'd be a bit classier, given its importance in our society.

It's the omnipresent reality of government work. Things are dingy, people complain about how dingy they are. Things are nice, people ask why their tax dollars are paying for it.

13
Non-Hockey Chatter / Re: Coronavirus
« on: September 14, 2021, 12:01:51 AM »

Sounds legit.

14
Ok Blue Jays Talk / Re: 2021 Blue Jays General Discussion Thread
« on: September 13, 2021, 11:14:45 PM »

Fair enough. I guess modern pitching staffs are almost this catch 22 where you feel you need 8 or 9 guys because pitchers can't go the distance but then you sort of have to find work for all of them so they're not out of practice for the games where you actually need them.

15
Ok Blue Jays Talk / Re: 2021 Blue Jays General Discussion Thread
« on: September 13, 2021, 11:02:08 PM »
It really bothers me that they didn’t let manoah finish the game.

Like, you think he wanted to but they wouldn't let him? Or just in general you think he should?

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