Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Tea leaves from Saskatchewan

Tea leaves from Saskatchewan

Moreover, now that the Obama phenomenon has passed through America's system, there is no charismatic alternative in sight, capable of leading any electorate on another tax-borrow-and-spend bender.

(Which means, watch out for charisma on the Right. My own paradoxical fear at the moment is the emergence of politicians who can articulate a neo-fascist agenda, inviting people to turn to government for centralized discipline and regulatory order, by scapegoating "the moneylenders" and other easily demonized targets, plus picking on minorities; thus preying on the same insecurities and envies the Left preyed upon to extend the Nanny State.)

I'm not sure... perhaps someone can help here... Is it Mr. Warren who has somehow described Mr. Obama while projecting those qualities to someone on the right, or is it his editor. I wouldn't think that a writer worth his salt would put a whole parenthetical thought into an article, but then again, I don't have much experience reading Mr. Warren either.

h/t SDA

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

What took him so long?

No PST on clothing for children up to 17: Premier Brad Wall

Premier Brad Wall announced in a press conference on Tuesday that his government make good on their "first campaign promise" by November 15, and extend the PST exemption on chidren's clothing from those under 14 to those under 17.

I mean honestly, he's been reelected for 15 hours, and he didn't announce anything yet? What was he waiting for?

Good to see that he's already hitting the ground running. Good to see that he's pursuing a growth agenda and wants to get the province to 1.1 million in 4 years. Good also to see that he wants to pay off the debt within the next decade and hopefully sooner.

My wish list is for him to implement one of the pieces from the NDP platform - reduce the small business tax rate to zero. Having said that, they should also reduce the general corporate tax rate by a similar amount so that more money is left in the hands of those who would create jobs. The only other thing that I would like to see is for Saskatchewan to become the first right-to-work province in Canada. It is absurd that unions don't need to report financials to their members nor do they need to be accountable for how the money gets spent. David Akin was partially right on Sun News last night - he complained about the lack of accountability legislation and the fact that a corporation or union could donate whatever they wanted to a political party or candidate. This election proved him right as the unions were the ones running the negative ads while the NDP maintained their rosy positive ads. In Saskatchewan, corporations understand that they have to work with both flavours of government, and so they tend to stay out of the fight in order to avoid a certain Orange Crush of their own. Unfortunately, the unions haven't been taught that lesson, and are unlikely to ever be taught it. I would say that Ontario has a similar problem with this issue though.

One last thing - kudos to Sun News Network on the quality of their broadcast, and the chutzpah to devote virtually its entire prime time slots to a province in which it doesn't currently hold a permanent establishment, and which covers only 3% of the population of the country. It is interesting to note that not even the taxpayer funded CBC Newsworld devoted as much time or resources to our little election, never mind it's regular affiliates. For all they did, thanks Sun News.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Voters overwhelmed by issues: expert

Voters overwhelmed by issues: expert

Politically minded people are making the push to get a healthy voter turn-out today, but University of Saskatchewan political studies professor Joe Garcea doesn't think everyone will focus on what matters.

"In many cases they actually forget the issues, especially if there are too many of them."

Interesting that a political science professor would think that there are too many issues. This would speak to a lack of cohesion and coherence on the part of the NDP, and ultimately a bad campaign.

See, for the Saskatchewan Party, their job was simple - they had a massive lead and all they had to do was play defense. Don't give your opponent any more headlines than they create for themselves, and don't prolong your opponent's talking points if you can help it. In this, they did a good job, while keeping to their own narrative of framing the election as the Frugals vs the Spendthrifts. In that narrative, the NDP played right into their hands, promising everything under the sun in every sector of the province, all on the back of a single "review" of potash royalties (how can it be a review when the outcome is predetermined?).

For the NDP's point of view, Mr. Garcea is absolutely right. There were too many issues, and none gained traction. They demonized the potash industry. They demonized landlords. They promised money and tax breaks for everyone and everything. With so many different pellets in their scattergun, it's surprising that none actually hit the mark. But the problem is that with so many shots, most of them were played out before the election even began. Nothing announced in the last 28 days could reasonably be called a surprise, and given their tactic of positive advertising for themselves, and letting the unions to do their negative advertising for them, it's no surprise that nothing gained traction.

In the end, the sun will shine tomorrow, the NDP will end up with a few less seats (I'm predicting 40-18 SK Party), and business will have 4 more years to develop in this province of wide open skies and endless opportunity.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Party leaders' final-week travel plans are truly telling

Party leaders' final-week travel plans are truly telling

The Friday before the election, it's time to clear the decks.

I read the above article by Murray Mandryk, and there were a couple of questions I had for Murray:

Wall's Monday morning announcement at the Emerald Park Child Care co-op was undoubtedly a safe campaign photo opportunity that politicians love and reporters tend to hate - mostly because they are so darn effective.

First question for Murray, is why would a supposedly neutral reporter hate a campaign event that is effective?

Second question.  If reporters hate them so much, why would they bother to show up?  There is an adage in politics that you "Never pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel".  Wouldn't it make sense that it's the reporting of the event that makes them so effective?  If a campaign event happens and nobody shows up to report it, would it really be effective?

Just a little food for thought for our "neutral" political reporters.
I can't disagree with the rest of the analysis that states that the NDP seem to be in trouble (much like the Liberals were in the last election) when they choose to target formerly safe seats to campaign in during the last week of the election rather than targeting possible seats that could be picked up.

Introducing NDP Monopoly

NDP Monopoly by TannerFM

H/T John Gormley Live & Jack FM

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Sask Party and NDP Offer Misguided Housing Policies

  • The NDP and Saskatchewan Party are both promising financial incentives for
    first time home buyers, while the NDP is also promising a gst rebate for home
    builders on construction of houses under $280,000.

  • Incentives for home purchases inflate the housing market temporarily.
    Evidence from the US shows that home prices declined by $15,000 after their
    $8000 home buyers tax credit expired.

  • The tax rebates to home builders will do nothing to reduce home prices,
    since prices are set by supply and demand, not the cost of inputs. In a tight
    real estate market, the savings will not be passed on to consumers, and will
    amount to a subsidy for home builders.

  • Saskatchewan should follow the lead of US jurisdictions that have maintained
    housing affordability during economic booms. Cities such as Houston and Atlanta
    have experienced explosive growth while maintaining lower housing prices than
    Regina or Saskatoon by maintaining sensible housing regulations.

  • Read it all:

    Sask Party and NDP Offer Misguided Housing Policies: FCPP - Frontier Centre for Public Policy

    Tuesday, November 1, 2011

    NDP announces cost-savings calculator

    NDP announces cost-savings calculator

    As I suspected... when I used the NDP's calculator, their platform has absolutely nothing for me.

    In fact, not only am I one of the evil people that needs to pay for their promises, their platform promises to discourage business, which hurts my business.

    It also has a fatal flaw in it in that it assumes that if you own your own home, you're looking to purchase another one in the next 4 years.

    Thanks for nothing Link.

    Update: After the calculator actually worked yesterday afternoon, it told me (after checking off the box that I do indeed pay utilities) that I will save $540 from the NDP platform.

    SO.  Let's do the math - average household is 2.5 persons.  Population is north of 1.06 million.  That comes to roughly 424,000 households.  Each household saving $540 (I assume it's the default so that everyone can feel good that yes, even the NDP will benefit you) means a cost to the provincial treasury would be a further 229 million (not included in their platform).

    Now here's the rub... Not only has the NDP not mentioned these savings in their platform, other than a throwaway line about maintaining the lowest cost utilities bundle in the country, is that they have committed to increase renewable energy generation by 400 Megawatts within the next 4 years.  The costs of renewable energy generation is at minimum 50% higher than the highest cost conventional generation - Natural gas.

    Again, sorry Dwain, I don't buy it.  Thanks for nothing.