Open thread: 2015 federal election


in Canada, Economics, Geek stuff, Law, Politics

Stephen Harper’s Conservatives won their first minority in Canada’s 39th general election in 2006, defeating the Liberals under Paul Martin with 124 seats to 103.

In 2008, the Conservatives did better against the Liberals under Stéphane Dion, ending up with 143 and 77 seats respectively.

In 2011, the Conservatives won a majority government with 166 seats. The Liberals under Michael Ignatieff fell to 34 seats and the NDP became the official opposition under Jack Layton.

On October 19th, we will have our 42nd general election. Polls suggest the NDP is most likely to win, but a lot can still change and may outcomes seem possible.

In the long run, I think Canada would be best off if the Liberals and NDP merged into a Liberal-Democratic Party that will be consistently capable of competing with a united right-wing. I respect the fear some people have that a system dominated by two parties will lead to US-style politics. At the same time, Canada’s parliamentary system with executive-legislative fusion has quite distinct characteristics from the US presidential/congressional split.

When it comes to climate politics, we can’t have policies that get reversed with every change of government. Libertarians and conservatives need to acknowledge what we are doing to the planet and endorse effective policies for responding to it. Continued delay will only increase the eventual need for government intervention.

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{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

. September 3, 2015 at 2:54 pm

Andrew Coyne: It isn’t just the election results that are impossible to predict — it’s what happens after

Among the imponderables: who does the governor general call upon to form a government? The answer is not, as popularly believed, the party with the most seats. Rather, by convention it is supposed to be the incumbent who gets first crack. Probably that is what would happen, and probably Stephen Harper would accept. But what if the gap in seats between the NDP and the Conservatives were larger? Would he try to form a government with, say, 110 seats? 105?

Suppose he does (out of power, he would almost certainly be out of a job). The supposition is that the other parties would combine to defeat him at the first opportunity. So the next question becomes: when does that first opportunity arise? In countries with properly functioning parliamentary systems, convention dictates that the prime minister recall Parliament within days, weeks at most. The prime minister must command the confidence of the house at all times. Without that having been tested, his mandate to govern is uncertain.

So let’s close on one last imponderable. Is it inconceivable that one or the other of the opposition parties might instead strike a deal to prop up the Conservatives in power? Maybe on condition that they dump Harper as leader?

anon September 3, 2015 at 6:16 pm

“Canada would be best off if the Liberals and NDP merged into a Liberal-Democratic Party”

Arguably the more natural merger is the Liberals and the Conservatives. They are both focused on serving corporate Canada.

. September 4, 2015 at 6:14 pm

Adam: Just how different would an NDP government be?

He points out that the NDP has done a good job as the official Opposition, and several members of the shadow cabinet have the talent and communication skills to be good ministers. They may not be household names now, but NDP frontbenchers such as Nathan Cullen, Peter Julian, Pat Martin, Paul Dewar, Charlie Angus, Peggy Nash and others, are cabinet ministers in waiting. Canadians could well wake up the morning after Oct. 19 to find a Nathan Cullen as Minister of Finance, perhaps Paul Dewar as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Peggy Nash or Megan Leslie running Industry or Environment and why not Gatineau’s Nycole Turmel as Health Minister or something similar. Charlie Angus, Jack Harris or Peter Julian could be handed top ministries, and who knows, one-time Communist party-affiliated candidate Mathieu Ravignat could well be Treasury Board president.

But Wiseman says the more fundamental thing about Canadian politics today, a fact underlined by Harper over the last nine years, is that the Prime Minister’s Office has become so powerful and omnipresent, ministers have become something of an adornment. Except for an exceptional few who enjoyed enough of Harper’s confidence to drive policy, most ministers did what they were told by the PMO, says Wiseman. And things would be no different whoever becomes the next prime minister, he says. In essence, we could potentially switch from an omnipotent Harper PMO to an omnipotent Mulcair PMO.

If that is a depressing thought in view of what we now about the suffocating power of Harper’s office, Wiseman offers no comfort. “I don’t think things are going to change much under the NDP or Liberals in terms of the power of the PMO,” he says. “The point is, it doesn’t matter who is minister, the PMO will still look over their shoulders. Ministers are now like false fronts on a building.”

. September 4, 2015 at 6:15 pm

Poll Tracker: NDP’s front-runner status at risk

Support for NDP appears to be softening in B.C. and Ontario

. September 7, 2015 at 4:14 pm
. September 28, 2015 at 3:01 pm

New poll suggests significant slip in NDP support in Quebec

An Abacus poll published Monday says the party’s support in Quebec has dropped 17 points since the firm’s last poll publish ago while support for the other parties — including the moribund Bloc Québécois — is growing.

Abacus pegs support for the NDP in Quebec at 30 per cent. The Liberals are second with 24 per cent, the Conservatives third with 21 per cent and the Bloc last with 20 per cent.

When the election started, Abacus said a 37 point gap separated the NDP from the other parties. The gap is now 6 points.

Nationally Abacus has the Conservatives still ahead with 32 per cent of the vote. The Liberals are at 29 per cent while the NDP slid into third place with 27 per cent.

. October 5, 2015 at 10:20 am

Race to the middle: Rhetoric aside, the major parties have near unanimity on key policies

After a disappointing result in 2008, as the NDP’s Lavigne recounts in his 2013 book, Building the Orange Wave, the party also embarked on micro-segmented analysis of target voters, resulting in its first concerted move to the centre under Jack Layton and laying the foundation for its breakout in 2011.

The humiliation of that experience for Michael Ignatieff’s Liberals, in turn, caused a fundamental re-assessment of that party’s policy-making, led primarily by Butts. The Liberals’ signature economic platform, which lowers the marginal tax rate for earnings of $44,701-$89,401 and boosts child benefits for middle-income families, is classic Muttartian thinking. It’s a wonder the Tories didn’t propose it themselves, or the NDP for that matter. Each seeks to capture the same voter, after all.

Some will lament this as the end of leadership; others will celebrate it as a great democratizing trend. Either way, it means Canadians will not only get the government they deserve, but also the policies they want — regardless of who wins, by and large. The Oct. 19 vote is not primarily about setting a direction for the nation. It’s about picking a leader. In 2015, that’s the only big decision left.

. October 6, 2015 at 8:30 pm
. October 8, 2015 at 3:47 pm

Ali Kashani, a data-scientist, has run the numbers on Canada’s electoral constituencies (called “ridings”) and concluded that if the candidates from the NDP and Liberal parties in sixteen of those ridings agreed to one or the other withdrawing, the Conservative Party could not form the next government.

The NDP — a social democratic party — formed the official opposition in the last national election, and went on to take the Alberta provincial election, a surprise upset as Alberta is the Conservative stronghold and had been Tory for more than half a century. Just a month ago, they were leading in the national polls. Despite this, the press continues to treat them as the “third party” and covers the Liberal party and its MPs as though they were the opposition and the NDP were just an anomaly (this may be a self-fulfilling prophecy, of course).

But the Tories have crept up in the polls since, taking the lead, despite the party’s disastrous reign, which culminated this week in the finalisation of the Trans Pacific Partnership, whose major selling point from the Tory minister who negotiated it is that it may increase the national GDP by 0.5% over a decade — while costing Canada legal sovereignty, requiring it to extend copyright terms, legally binding it to protect DRM, and weakening its ability to uphold its obligations to First Nations people.

. October 8, 2015 at 3:51 pm

There is actually a way to guarantee Harper’s defeat. Here’s how

This approach only requires the cooperation of 1/5 of one percent of voters (0.18%), and every strategic vote for one party is offset by a vote for the other, thus not changing the overall popular vote outcome. With limited resources for grassroots organization, focusing on a small set of ridings where voters face the least amount of emotional resistance is the most effective way to make strategic voting work in Canada.

Milan October 8, 2015 at 3:52 pm

The strategy described in the two comments above seems like a reasonably plausible way of avoiding an outcome where the national vote share is essentially evenly split between the Conservatives, Liberals, and NDP allowing for another Conservative government.

. October 8, 2015 at 5:47 pm

Why the Conservatives Love the “Strategic” Voting Sites

1. The sites’ entire raison d’être validates the concept that people who voted for the Conservative Party in 2008 can’t be appealed to further to change their vote now, and thus discourages people from even trying. This is a fundamentally defeatist proposition for the sites’ founders to take, one that also underlies the decision by the Liberal Party not to bother making appeals in that marketplace, but to turn its attention towards other competitors instead. It also implicitly discourages people from voting at all where things seem “hopeless” based on previous election results, which feeds precisely into a vote suppression strategy for the Conservatives, and in fact does at least part of that suppression for them.

2. Their dubious methodology is based on assumptions dressed up as hard data, using the results of seat projections down to the riding level, a technique that pollster Nik Nanos has recently likened to “a photocopy of a photocopy of a photocopy”. I will explain below what the methodology is, and why it’s so unreliable, but suffice it to say: the impression is being left that it’s local polling when it is no such thing, and the sites’ sponsors are either lying about that or at the very least omitting to tell the truth, because the opposite answer makes them feel important.

3. The Conservatives can’t believe their luck that these dubious recommendations from the academic salons of Yorkville (the same ones whose brilliant strategies inadvertantly helped elect Rob Ford Mayor of Toronto) have convinced trade unions like the Canadian Auto Workers to endorse candidates so right-wing they would easily fit into a Conservative government. If you want proof, look no further than two of the very last recruits to the Conservative Party’s slate of candidates: former Liberal Joyce Bateman in Winnipeg South Centre, and former Liberal Sandy Lee in Western Arctic. Had either of those two been nominated under the party banner they sported mere weeks ago, they would have been hailed as a “progressive choice to stop Stephen Harper” by the strategic voting site sponsors. Certainly David Emerson was so endorsed in 2006, less than six weeks before he crossed the floor to take a cabinet job in the new Conservative government. In fact, if the Conservative Party falls a few seats short of a majority on May 2, Stephen Harper’s first few calls will almost certainly be to certain opposition party members who could be enticed to cross the floor for a seat in cabinet. All of them with the Catch22 and/or Project “Democracy” seal of approval.

4. The sites’ obsession with who can win has virtually eliminated issue-based politics from either election coverage or debate at the riding level. This is a perfect state of affairs for a party such as the Conservatives which is consciously trying to move the ideological centre of the country a few inches to the right. Of course, if you weren’t sure which party best reflected your point of view on the issues, you could always consult the CBC Vote Compass. Oh wait.

5. They also promote confusion in cases where the party likely strong enough to win on its own is not the party that placed second in the last election. In fact, since the birth of “strategic voting” campaigns, the number of candidates who came up from third to win has dropped dramatically, but used to be rather large and changes according to the electoral cycle. I’ll show the figures below. It is also borne of the belief by these sites that they need to appear “fair” to all the opposition parties, so they have to endorse at least some from each one, implying that the endorsements in fact are not those who can win, but merely a politically acceptable range of candidates from every party they didn’t want to piss off. The best example of this error in 2008 was South Shore-St. Margaret’s in Nova Scotia where a number of strategic voting guides recommended the Liberal candidate, who wound up placing third, and leaving the NDP candidate just shy of the required votes to achieve their stated objective of defeating Conservative M.P. Gerald Keddy. Keddy should put a link to these websites on his homepage.

. October 8, 2015 at 5:50 pm

“If you didn’t read my plea not to vote strategically in the last election, I urge you to take another look now. A vote “against” someone or something is a vote in favour of nothing. It gives no mandate to elected officials, creates all the wrong incentives for the politicians who are elected that way, and guarantees that Parliament will descend even further into the partisan barking we see there now. Indeed the perverse problems with the methodology itself have led respected website Democratic Space author Greg Morrow to stop publishing his “strategic voting guide” from previous elections.”

. October 8, 2015 at 5:50 pm
. October 8, 2015 at 6:47 pm

It is possible, if unlikely, that Trudeau will win the most seats and form a government on Oct. 19. But even if he doesn’t, he has won the campaign.

Of the three leaders, he is the only one who wins if he loses. Silver is gold to him. It’s why, given the post-election fluidity, Trudeau may be the only one standing.

In a three-way horserace, you win, place or show. Winning for Trudeau would mean a minority or majority government. Placing would mean coming in second, which, given the fragility of a centre-right minority government in a Parliament dominated by the centre-left, could mean first.

. October 8, 2015 at 6:59 pm

“If the Conservatives come in first and the Liberals second, there will be intense pressure on the left for a coalition with the New Democrats. Disdainful of Trudeau, expect Tom Mulcair to resign as leader, succeeded by Nathan Cullen, who will lead the NDP into such a coalition, as the junior partner.

When the government is defeated, expect Stephen Harper to resign, too. And Justin Trudeau, the unlikely heir, will become prime minister of Canada.”

. October 12, 2015 at 2:42 pm

Elizabeth May makes limiting PMO powers the key to securing her future support

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May could hold the balance of power if a minority government results from the Oct. 19 election, and limiting the powers of the Prime Minister’s Office would be her key requirement to any agreement to keep another party in power.

. October 12, 2015 at 9:29 pm
. October 12, 2015 at 9:37 pm

One day back in April I decided to do something crazy; I booked a cab for 4am to the airport to fly to Calgary to knock on doors for the NDP.

I wasn’t the only one. On May 5, campaigning in Calgary, we had so many volunteers that we ran out of doors to knock on. I was kindly chauffeured around by an oil sands worker, who couldn’t find work this year because of the downturn. So instead of going to Fort Mac to pay for his tuition, he was working for the NDP.

. October 13, 2015 at 3:40 pm

Governor-General could play key role if election ends with hung Parliament

For example, both Conservative Leader Stephen Harper in this election and Liberal leader Paul Martin when he was prime minister said that whichever party wins the most seats on election night gets to govern.

Not so. “That’s a political decision, not a constitutional one,” says Adam Dodek, a constitutional scholar who teaches at the University of Ottawa faculty of law. Only the prime minister may advise the governor-general, Prof. Dodek points out, and Mr. Harper will still be Prime Minister the day after the election. Whether the Conservative Party comes in first, second or third, Mr. Harper has the right to advise Mr. Johnston whether he wishes to form a government and test the confidence of the House of Commons.

“In 1993, Kim Campbell, as prime minister, had the right if she so desired to meet the House and suffer her fate,” he adds.

Prof. Dodek concurs. “If a question of confidence is unclear, then it would be within the powers of the Governor-General to encourage the Prime Minister to call the House back earlier,” he says. “And obviously, there would be a lot of things going on in the background.”

. October 13, 2015 at 3:41 pm

Matt Gurney: Can the Tories hold together if they don’t win a majority?

Fundamentally, the Tories have too often offered voters the worst of both worlds. On the issues that matter most to most conservative voters — national security, fiscal responsibility, smaller government — their record is terrible. And for millions of other Canadians, swing voters who might be persuaded to vote Conservative but aren’t committed Tories, the party has played to its worst impulses. It’s been petty, arrogant, aloof, and has allowed its desire to win over small voting blocs to blind itself to how it all comes across to the public at large.

. October 13, 2015 at 3:48 pm
. October 13, 2015 at 10:26 pm
. October 13, 2015 at 10:26 pm

Why do the New Democrats seem doomed to lose?

Trudeau Jr. could be 21 and a high school dropout for all the mainstream media cares. He’s a Liberal and that makes him a safe, reliable ‘alternative’ to Darth Harper. The MSM also knows that Trudeau isn’t going to repeal Bill C-51, tinker with the TPP or appoint a finance minister who will do anything at all to trouble Bay Street.

In other words, he can be trusted not to do a damn thing about the very issues — child poverty, income inequality, unemployment and climate change — that the horserace-obsessed media doesn’t really give a damn about either. Essentially, Trudeau Jr. is Stephen Harper without all the really nasty elements, and that makes him not only palatable, but much more electable than Tepid Tom.

. October 16, 2015 at 2:27 pm

Shared from Twitter: Environmentalists turn away from Greens to support ‘anybody but Harper’ campaign – The Globe and Mail

The Greens believe they are competitive in 16 ridings across the country in this election, especially on southern Vancouver Island, where Ms. May and B.C. Green Party MLA Andrew Weaver had made breakthroughs.

David Ellis is an activist who has dogged Kinder Morgan over its existing oil pipeline, and on the e-mail discussion group Landwatch, he urged his eco-allies to vote Green: “It is all about creating and supporting powerful worldly ideas and policies that other parties will follow.”

The posting sparked a strong response on both sides of the debate. Guujaaw, the former leader of the Haida Nation who has led multiple campaigns to stop logging, was succinct in his advice: “Get rid of Harper. Voting Green won’t help that.”

Tzeporah Berman and Valerie Langer, well-regarded eco-warriors in B.C.’s long-running battles to save old-growth forests, are urging voters to support the Greens in just one riding – where Ms. May seems assured of re-election. In five other Vancouver Island ridings, they are urging an NDP vote as part of the “ABC” effort – Anyone But Conservative.

Ms. Berman says it is not a pro-NDP stance. “I have endorsed Mira Oreck [NDP] in Vancouver Granville and Joyce Murray [Liberal] in my riding, Vancouver Quadra,” she noted.

George Hoberg, a forestry professor at the University of British Columbia who specializes in green policies, said environmentalists feel “trapped into voting for a party that doesn’t have a strong environmental platform but has a realistic prospect of sending the Conservatives packing,”

“There are times, sadly, when a vote for the Greens makes it more likely that the Conservatives will win.”

. October 16, 2015 at 2:49 pm
. October 19, 2015 at 1:54 pm

Loewen: Campaigns matter, and the polling numbers show why

This reflects the standard Conservative strategy: enter a campaign with a solid third of voters, and then make every microtargeted effort to climb by five or six points. With sufficient confusion on the left and the presence of the Greens, this would have been enough for a majority. This effort is then backstopped by an all-out assault on either or both of the opposition leaders. There is not, truth to tell, a lot of downside to this approach, because it works to solidify the party’s base. One needs only to look at the share of Conservative voters who indicate no second choice, which is nearly 50 per cent.

The third case of this campaign is that of Mulcair. In retrospect, two factors have doomed him. First, he is temperamentally unsuited not only for his party but for its voters. Those inclined towards his party want strength and intelligence, to be sure, but not before empathy and trustworthiness. He simply lacks the characteristics of former NDP leaders. Second, his party has repeated the mistake of Andrea Horwath’s Ontario New Democrats. Convinced that balanced budgets are of the highest priority, Mulcair was left in the position of arguing for the slow implementation of traditional big ticket social programs. There was just something incoherent at the core of the campaign. It was neither convincing nor appealing, at least to a broad audience.

. October 19, 2015 at 2:19 pm

Canada election: how Stephen Harper’s fossil fuel gamble may have backfired

The Conservative prime minister pledged to make the country an ‘energy superpower’, but with the election ahead and many Alberta residents struggling to make ends meet, a promise has become a liability for Harper

Bruce Lisker October 19, 2015 at 9:35 pm

Heading into the election:

Stephen Harper’s Conservative party holds 159 seats
Thomas Mulcair’s NDP holds 95 seats
Justin Trudeau’s Liberals have 36 seats
Gilles Duceppe’s The Bloc Quebecois has 2 seats
And Elizabeth May’s Green party holds 1 seat

The leaders of the four main national parties made more than three-hundred campaign stops during the 78-day campaign, focusing their efforts most heavily in Southern Ontario, the Metro Vancouver and Southern Quebec.

. October 20, 2015 at 1:21 pm

“Clearly the NDP assumed that the Liberals would cease to be a factor early in the campaign; from then on all that remained was to present themselves as a responsible government-in-waiting. When the Liberals instead refused to go away — when, crucially, they stole the “change” mantle with their pledge to run deficits for three years — Tom Mulcair and his people seemed unable to adjust.”

. October 20, 2015 at 1:21 pm
. October 21, 2015 at 11:38 am

What a Liberal majority means to First Nations

Core issues prevalent in First Nations need to be addressed in first 100 days, says Pam Palmater

. October 21, 2015 at 11:39 am

Conservatives begin post-mortem as defeat to Liberals begins to sink in
Tories failed to communicate their fiscal record, Lisa Raitt says

NDP left looking for answers after crushing collapse in support
Tom Mulcair will find it harder to discipline and silence critics within the party’s ranks and grassroots

. October 25, 2015 at 1:19 pm

Canada votes 2015: why 24 riding gains didn’t go Liberal
The BQ, Conservatives and NDP did gain some ridings, despite the red tide

. October 25, 2015 at 1:23 pm

The Liberals not only won seats in every province (as did the Tories before them), they carried three of the four regions. If they failed to win the West, for the 21st straight election — the last time the Liberals took a majority of seats there was in 1949 — they recaptured Quebec for the first time since 1980 (albeit with only 36 per cent of the vote). And yet they won 29 seats west of Ontario, their best showing there since 1993.

In addition to winning 184 seats, moreover, they finished second in 118 more, giving them a “footprint” of 302 out of 338 seats where they are competitive. That’s significantly broader than the 256 seats in which the Conservatives finished first or second last time (or would have: for comparability, I will throughout this piece use Elections Canada’s reconstruction of the 2011 data using 2015 electoral boundaries).

And yet the Liberals cannot rest easy. The average Conservative winning margin in 2011 was 28 per cent; for the Liberals in 2015, just 20 per cent. One Liberal seat in six was won by less than five per cent; in only 44 per cent did their margin exceed 20 per cent. And the Conservatives, while beaten — only the sixth majority government to be defeated in the last 80 years — did not suffer the kind of debacle that their predecessors did.

. October 26, 2015 at 12:52 pm

Harper’s vote showed up — it was only 230,000 lower than last time. It was the opposition that was motivated, and more importantly, more than a million NDP voters strategically defected to the Liberals, giving them a last-minute majority with 39%.

. October 26, 2015 at 12:53 pm

If you look at the numbers, 99% of the Conservative vote (from 2011) showed up. We only lost 200,000 votes in this election, which is like a small city.

What really hurt us was our inability to attract new voters, and I think that is one of the keys to moving forward, finding a way to bridge into communities that we haven’t bridged into, women aged 18 to 49 for example. I don’t think it’s going to be simple, but we have to find a way.

. October 26, 2015 at 1:07 pm
. October 27, 2015 at 3:23 pm

Not the Niqab: How the Red Tide Rolled In

Among several common explanations of the NDP’s poor result is one particularly cynical one that is popular among party members: that the base in Quebec was racist and rejected the NDP over their position on the niqab. The problem with this explanation is that it does not explain, at all, the Liberal surge in Ontario, Quebec and BC that put them into majority territory. It does not account for the record turnout, either. And it does not explain the NDP’s inability to capture those voters. For this, many blame the polls. Again, too cynical.

For that explanation, we have to set the niqab – a wedge to be sure, but not all it’s made out to be – in the context of the overall campaign strategy.

The only reason the niqab was a problem for the NDP at all is because the strategy the party pursued was to focus on wooing over former Conservative voters in BC and Ontario with principled, thoughtful policy that appealed to a majority of Canadian voters. This became an error early on because it became clear to people on the ground that 1) Conservatives were willing to sit this one out, but unlikely to ever vote NDP and 2) There now existed a large pool of first-time voters who did not understand the history of any of Canada’s major political parties, or had not voted in a federal election in a decade, or even knew things like the different levels of government or what ridings were. They were simply “Anyone But Conservative” voters that wanted to Stop Harper.

. October 31, 2015 at 11:57 am

Strategic voting didn’t defeat Harper. Voter turnout did.

When the election finally arrived, turnout in B.C. surged from 60.4 to 70.4 per cent, outpacing Alberta, Ontario and Quebec. That’s what defeated the Conservative Party in B.C. — not “strategic voting”, but the appearance at polling stations of 471,397 citizens who were too young, not registered, or simply stayed home the last time. Together we elected the country’s most eclectic mix of MPs, including 17 Liberals, 14 New Democrats, 10 Conservatives and one Green.

Like in other parts of the country, thousands of British Columbians worked not just with parties, but with comedians, musical acts, trade unions, First Nations leaders, news outlets, community groups, campus associations, environmental, civil liberties and other issue-driven organizations — including Dogwood Initiative — to encourage people to register and cast a ballot.

. November 2, 2015 at 3:16 pm

Justin Trudeau piques curiosity in Amsterdam, Paris, Washington

Liberals’ winning election playbook analyzed and shared with left-leaning parties around the world

* Defending deficits. Browne said too many progressive parties shrink from fiscal debates, and wind up timidly adopting the austerity language of their opponents. But he said Trudeau took a chance on challenging the balanced-budget orthodoxy, and promoted the idea of good debt [for infrastructure] versus bad debt. He said it worked, and it could work in Europe too.

* Defending diversity. Amid tea party anger over illegal migrants in the U.S., and a heated European debate over Syrian refugees, Browne said attempts to tap into suspicion of foreigners failed in Canada. The Liberals rejected limits on niqabs, the barbaric-practices hotline, and the characterization of Syrian refugees as a threat: “Embracing diversity as a strength, versus identity politics. Pushing back against Islamophobia,” Browne said. “I think [people] felt that that was something to be admired.”

* Optimism. A willingness to wander into crowds, engage on social media, and generally remain cheerful: “A politics where people are competitors, not enemies… There were echoes of Obama in that — the desire to move beyond red state and blue state.”

. November 2, 2015 at 3:16 pm

Liberals won federal election despite ranking third in fundraising

Record-breaking fundraising for Conservatives and New Democrats didn’t carry the day at ballot box

. November 2, 2015 at 3:22 pm

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