Politics: majority or minority government?

Self-tutoring about Election 2019: the tutor discusses majority vs minority government.

As far as I can tell, the Liberals and Conservatives are dead even right now: 31% to 32%. NDP is at 19%.

There is another close split: Canadians’ preference, this time, for majority government vs minority: 43%(maj) vs 40%(min).

From my point of view, the reason for the preference is simple: if you love the party you’re voting for, you want them to have a majority. If your vote is a compromise because your ideals aren’t totally represented by any single party, you want a minority government.

The Liberals won a majority in 2015.





Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Politics: do Canadians care about balancing the budget?

Self-tutoring about politics: the tutor continues about the idea of balancing the budget.

Supposedly, 77 percent of Canadians think the next government should balance the budget. Yet, last I read, no major party is offering to do so during the coming mandate. To my knowledge, the Conservatives and Greens both offer to balance the budget after 5 years.

Why, if 77 percent of Canadians want a balanced budget, aren’t the parties all striving to do so immediately? The likely reason is that Canadians might be less decisive about how important balancing the budget is: while 77 percent think it’s ideal, only 31 percent think it’s the leading priority. Sixty-nine percent see it backseat to something else.

So, to wrap up: 77 percent of Canadians see balancing the budget as important. Sixty-nine percent see another government priority (either program spending or tax cuts) as more important than balancing the budget.

Very decisively Canadian:)




Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Politics: Singh’s proposed super-wealth tax

Self-tutoring about politics and the coming election: the tutor mentions the super-wealth tax, as he understands it.

We are used to federal consumption tax (GST) and income tax, but what about tax on holdings? Perhaps Singh’s proposed “super-wealth” tax would be such.

As I understand, Jagmeet Singh is proposing a 1% tax on the real estate, luxury items, and investments of Canadians whose total $20M or more. Around one Canadian per thousand, apparently, might be eligible.

Such a tax might seem like a gutsy idea, but who would it hurt? 1% of 20 million is 200,000…probably negligible to those who qualify to pay it.



Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

English: obfuscate

Tutoring English, vocabulary is always interesting. The tutor mentions a word he recently noticed: obfuscate

obfuscate: to make more confusing; to hinder understanding.


Barber, Katherine et al. Oxford Canadian Dictionary of Current English. Don Mills: Oxford University Press, 2005.

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Politics: Singh: “Don’t settle for less”

Self-tutoring about politics: the tutor continues about the upcoming vote.

My wife and I’ve been married 24 years. Take it from me: she’s no dreamer. Likely the dreamiest action she ever took was to marry me; I don’t imagine her feet have left the ground since.

We’ve been talking about the election. “Diane,” I began a couple of days back, “I’ve encountered the term ‘strategic voting’, which means voting against the party you don’t want, rather than for the one you like best.”

“Sounds like sound strategy,” she assented.

My wife’s French Canadian, from industrial northern Ontario. She represents a prominent Canadian profile: pragmatic and, at best, cautiously optimistic. Her point of view hearkens back to Canada’s virtual two-party system of the 80s and before, when only the Liberals or Conservatives, it seemed, could ever win. Therefore, voting against the party you really didn’t want equated to voting for your favourite: Canadian common sense. (BTW: the Yanks still seem to live in such a universe.)

For me, the 1993 election effectively ended Canada’s two-party system. The Liberals easily won a majority, true. Yet, two new parties, Bloc Quebecois and Reform, won substantial numbers of seats as well, each many times more than the Conservatives. Therefore, the “two-party” model didn’t longer apply. It was an exciting time.

Chretien’s Liberals, from their big win in ’93, went on to balance the budget and even brought surpluses thereafter. Many people wondered if they were inspired to govern so well because the Bloc and Reform were serious parties who would pose a true challenge next time, if the Liberals didn’t perform.

Now, in 2019, if the NDP can win enough votes to cause a minority government, they will likely incite better government from whoever wins. Maybe, this election, the marriage of “dreaming big” and “strategic voting” is a minority government, perhaps that includes a fresh point of view and completes Parliament’s kit of Canadian representation.





Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Politics: Promises, part 1

Self-tutoring about politics: the tutor continues about promises.

In yesterday’s post I mention the idea of political promises and why they might get abandoned.

One disadvantage that a promise to “save” inevitably carries is that it involves investment. Let’s imagine a government promises to balance the budget by cutting spending, for instance. (Don’t worry; from what I’ve read, the concept is academic.) Someone, by consequence, has to sacrifice now for a better life later.

Realizing the benefit of a balanced budget requires imagination and patience, which people are perhaps less trained to have these days. “Don’t believe without proof,” people often say. Yet, to a hostile audience, proving even an obvious fact can be very difficult. I don’t imagine proving the sun will rise tomorrow is easy to do, if possible at all.

To believe the impact that running a deficit can have, perhaps a person needs to have lived through it. I did, in the early 90s. That’s why, to me, balancing the budget is important.

Are most voters simply younger than I now, or do some my age forget Canada before a few courageous ones restored the books in the 90s? (They came to power in ’93).




Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Politics: promises: part 0

Self-tutoring about politics: the tutor reflects about promises.

“Broken promise” was a term oft heard in the 80s. My memory is that government spending cuts were frequently discussed back then. Conventional wisdom was that, campaigning, a party wouldn’t mention spending cuts, but rather the opposite. From office, they’d later cut programs or fail to deliver new ones they’d committed to during the campaign.

On first thought, in a democracy, such practices shouldn’t be possible long-term, since a party that breaks a promise can be removed from office next time. However, there is a way that a party can get away with breaking a promise: if people don’t really care.

Most parties like to be in power. Once there, they have vast resources to carry on research about what voters “really” want. Moreover, people’s priorities can change in a few years. Therefore, what seemed a prominent issue the year before the last election, may barely matter now – at least to voters.

Politicians have to “live in the moment,” because their voters do. I don’t believe I recall a party getting voted out because they broke a promise.



Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

English: vocabulary: decedent

Tutoring English, new words emerge. The tutor mentions one.

I heard someone say “decedent” recently, so wondered if it’s a word, which it indeed is. A “decedent” is one who is deceased.


Mish, Frederick C. (editor). Merriam-Webster Dictionary.Springfield: Merriam-Webster, 2004.

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Politics: Canada’s federal deficits 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 (projected)

Self-tutoring about Canada: the tutor offers figures for Canada’s deficits 2016-2019

Looking around for a list of Canada’s deficits 2016-2019, I couldn’t find one. What’s up with that?

Well, for interested parties, I’ve compiled one:

YearDeficit $B

Sources don’t necessarily agree on the specific numbers, which tend to adjust as final data becomes available after a given year end.





Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Politics: the coming Canadian election, part 0

Self-tutoring about the coming election here in Canada: the tutor begins….

Monday, October 21, 2019, Canadian voters once again have a decision to make.

Irretrievably academic, I began research by looking up the rules for election dates. When I was a kid, I recall an election could be held up to five years after the previous one. In such a case, this election is coming a year early.

Apparently, Canada now has a fixed election date: the third Monday of October, four years following the previous election year. I guess Harper’s Conservatives brought it about in 2007.

Fixed election dates are rather American, if you ask me. No disrespect: I love the United States. I just think they should continue being American, while we should continue being Canadian:)

I’m sure I’ll be posting more about the coming election, and about politics in general.







Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

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