Inside Politics

Recently by Terry Milewski

Power & Politics' Ballot Box question

Friday we asked: 
Is the government doing enough to ensure access to food in the North?

- Yes: 65 votes (5%) 
- No: 1109 votes (92%)
- Not sure: 33 votes (3%)

Power & Politics' Ballot Box question

Friday we asked: 
Do you think Canada's mission against ISIS will be over in 6 months?

- Yes: 34 votes (3%)
- No: 931 votes (95%)
- Not sure: 10 votes (1%)

Power & Politics' Ballot Box question

Friday we asked: Do you think Doug Ford can win the Toronto mayor's job?

- Yes: 968 votes (52%)
- No: 878 votes (47%)
- Not sure: 17 votes (1%)

Power & Politics' Ballot Box question

We asked: Should Canada accept the results of the referendum in Crimea?

Here are the results:

Yes: 1291 votes (27%)
No: 3397 votes (71%)
Not sure: 97 votes (2%)

Power & Politics' Ballot Box question

Yesterday we asked: Should the government make prostitution illegal? Here are the results: Yes: 17% (353 votes) No: 81% (1703 votes) Not sure: 2% (47 votes)

Power & Politics' Ballot Box question

We asked: Should a byelection be delayed until Elections Canada rules on Peter Penashue?

Here are the results:

Yes: 95%
No: 5%
Not sure: 0%

Is that Baird or Bard?

It's nearly always a good idea to quote great poets and statesmen in your address to the United Nations.

Nearly always.

In the case of Foreign Minister John Baird, the quotations -- properly attributed -- were standard fare from Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Kahlil Gibran and Martin Luther King. And who's gonna argue with them?

One additional quote, though, was not attributed.

Click through to read more about Baird's choice of words.

Dealing with Dilma

In hockey and economics -- two subjects on which Stephen Harper knows his stuff -- it's not always obvious when a deft play has occurred. Was it the goal, or was it the clever pass that set it in motion? Was it the tax cut, or was it blind luck?

Latin America is a place where, well, Harper's no expert. His trip so far is not exactly blasting open the doors of the heavily-protected Brazilian market. But when called upon to handle the former Marxist guerrilla who now runs Brazil, Harper managed a deft play that was unmistakable.

What did he think of Dilma Rousseff's smackdown of Standard & Poor's?

President Rousseff, now managing a capitalist success story in the world's seventh-largest economy, didn't mince words about the downgrade decision that has made life harder for her country. As Harper looked on, she bluntly said she disagreed with it. It was "rushed." In fact, she added, "I would even say incorrect."

Brazilians are struggling with a sky-high currency, which makes their exports costly and is caused by a flight from the floundering U.S. greenback. S & P just made a bad situation worse.

When the leader of a two-trillion-dollar economy turns her guns on a credit rating agency, it matters. So, was Harper's new friend in Latin America correct about S & P being incorrect?

The Prime Minister's deft answer ... after the jump.

Wrong, wrong, wrong: How the voters made fools of us all - except maybe Jason Kenney

Before we all start spinning our brilliant theories to explain why Stephen Harper did so well, let's admit it. We got it wrong, wrong, wrong.

Oh, we'll get to those clever theories soon enough. But can we quickly get a fast mea culpa out of the way? With luck, no one will notice.

The fact is that the political geniuses on the campaign planes were hopelessly out of touch - political staffers and journalists alike. A senior aide to Stephen Harper said his best-case scenario was 157 seats. That was his most extravagant dream! A longtime Calgary MP picked 149. So did I.

A veteran cameraman picked 155, and we pitied him as we pitched our $10 into the pool. One respected reporter picked 139. We all thought, dammit, why didn't we do the same? One thing we were clear on: there was no way the Tories would get a majority.

'Rise up!' Ignatieff goes for broke

What exactly can Michael Ignatieff do to drive voters off their couches and into the streets with pitchforks, determined to turf Stephen Harper out of power?

So far, not much. He must be wondering what it takes. He damns the Tories in his professorial way and tempts voters with a "Family Pack" of goodies. He debates, he barbecues, he fields every question and calls them all "excellent!" But the polls barely move.

Now, here he is with the vote looming. He's in Sudbury, fielding still more questions from an adoring crowd. He apologizes for answering one with a "partisan shot at the other guy." A woman calls out, "that's what we want, Michael!" Another shouts, "two weeks of that, Michael!"

Then Ignatieff wraps up the night with a different face on. He pauses and recalls a Bruce Springsteen song, "The Rising," and launches into a riff on how voters seem to shrug off Harper's crimes against democracy. Contempt of Parliament? "People say, well, so what?" Cutting off questions? "So what?" Smearing Helena Guergis? "So what?" Crooks in the PMO? "So what?" Trying to scrap students' votes in Guelph? "People say, well, so what?"

Ignatieff then scans the crowd and shouts.

"Rise up! Rise up, Canada! Rise up!"