With 10 days to go, a Liberal friend sums it up: Everyone I talk to expects an NDP  government. Everyone. They say, "Darrell's a good leader." They say, "it's his turn." I haven't heard a single person say they expect someone else to form the government. He could win a majority....

Andrew Coyne thinks BC Premier Gordon Campbell's embrace of a "real" carbon tax (i.e., one in which every dollar of income raised by taxing carbon was returned in reduced income taxes) may have won him the election. He hopes it will serve as a template for a new conservative coalition.
Others have noted the discomfort Campbell’s embrace of the carbon tax caused the NDP, under attack throughout the campaign by its traditional environmentalist allies. Less commented upon was the degree to which he was able to draw those kinds of voters to his own party. Simply put, Campbell has reinvented the conservative coalition.
ATV's CTV Atlantic's domination of supper hour television reflects an unerring ear for Maritime sensibilities. Host Steve Murphy is affable, respectful, and moderate, and these qualities draw viewers in droves. They were not on display, however, on October 9, 2008, when CTV officials chose to break an earlier undertaking and air three false starts of a mid-campaign interview with then-Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion, who stumbled repeatedly in response to an awkwardly worded question from Murphy. (The National Post's Colby Cosh wittily dissected the grammatical minefield underlying the Francophone Dion's incomprehension of Anglophone Murphy's question.) CTV Atlantic News Director Jay Witherbee gamely defends the network decision, contending that politicians cannot expect mulligans in election campaigns. Contrarian is more inclined to the view of the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council panel that reproached the network this week.

Most economists have at least grudgingly accepted the need for deficit spending to replace economic activity lost to the worldwide economic meltdown. But when CBC Radio's The Current sought to analyze Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's miscalculation of the federal deficit, the national broadcaster's idea of balance was to match Harper booster Janet Ecker with anti-tax zealot Kevin Gaudet. Ecker is a former Ontario Tory finance minister who now toils for the Toronto Financial Services Alliance. Halifax native Gaudet is national director of the Canadian Taxpayers' Federation. With balance like that, who needs a center?...

Liberal, NDP, and Green party reps at last night's election forum on environmental issues expressed grave reservations about letting Xstrata open its proposed undersea coal mine at Donkin, Cape Breton. CBC reporter Jennifer Henderson has tape of the exchange, which has the potential to blow into a major issue in Nova Scotia's coal communities. Guess what? They have a point. Donkin coal is too dirty to burn in our own power plants under current and planned emissions standards. Why should we export it to be burned elsewhere? Isn't that like issuing a license to pee in the far end of the...

windmills-s2 Kings South Green Party candidate and deputy leader Brendan MacNeill was the surprising star [*] of last night's all-party environmental forum. The Acadia environmental studies major, who already has an environmental technology diploma, came across as thoughtful, poised, well-prepared, persuasive. Unfortunately, like many Nova Scotia environmentalists, MacNeill has been seduced by the independent power producers' self-serving lobby for guaranteed, above-market rates for their product. After the jump, a brief explanation of why this approach is wrong-headed for Nova Scotia.  

You almost had to feel sorry for Howard Epstein as he struggled to defend the NDP's $28 million carbon subsidy at last night's all-party environmental debate, held at Dalhousie Medical School. Howard is a lifelong energy policy wonk. He knows it would be asinine to use millions in taxpayer dollars to create incentives for Nova Scotians to consume more coal-fired electricity. But alas, that's the heart of the NDP's energy strategy, driven no doubt by focus groups showing "ordinary" Nova Scotians are pissed off about rising power bills. Said Howard: The price signal is important, but you can't ignore the poor....

Paul Withers and Jean Laroche were among the first to speculate that Rodney MacDonald's promise to lock up 15-year-olds found abroad after curfew was simply an effort to shore up his base. But is the Progressive Conservative Party base in Nova Scotia really characterized by cranky, youth-hostile, law-and-order right-wingers? Or is that some Reform-influenced caricature of the Conservative base? The party of John Hamm, Finlay MacDonald, and Robert Stanfield was traditionally long on moderation and centrism. The notion that yahoo sloganeering will discourage longtime Tories from slipping away to the Liberals in hopes of blocking an NDP government looks like a sign...

In a debate just concluded on CBC Cape Breton, NDP candidate Fraser Patterson noted that Victoria-The Lakes MLA Keith Bain is the only member one of only two [*] Conservative MLAs never named to cabinet. "In my opinion, that's just another sign of Rodney's bad judgment," he said.