Why the BC Media Missed the BIG Story of the Leadup to the Election

I told you so! Yes, let me gloat … and hopefully then educate both my readers and the “working” media and the “professional” pundits in the province.

It was way back June 1 that I blogged ” http://harveyoberfeld.ca/blog/watch-for-trudeau-and-horgan-to-call-early-elections/

The media and their professional analysts/pundits … many of whom read my Blog … ignored or pooh-poohed the idea.

After all, there is a pandemic in progress; the NDP has a signed working agreement with the Greens; there will likely be a second Covid wave in the Fall … making campaigning difficult; the NDP still have a comfortable year and half to go in their mandate; and, they had promised No Snap Election in their pact with the Greens … so Horgan would not risk it all now.

So the experts thought.

I reasoned differently: governments love to go to the polls after handing out billions of dollars in giveaways .. in the BC case to almost every group you could imagine (except seniors); Horgan and Trudeau knew full well it’s better to seek a vote BEFORE all the bills come in and the governments have to start raising taxes/fees etc to start paying down the debt; the polls were terrific … virtually unprecedented public approval for Horgan and BC NDP; and a good chance to get a MAJORITY, squeezing out dependence on the Greens. Not to mention how weak the Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson was coming across and how the Greens were in leadership disarray.

Didn’t anyone get suspicious with all the spending announcements, all the cheques being handed out, the increasing frequency of Premier and Ministerial press briefings, all their appearances on radio talk shows or even those self-congratulatory Reports to Constituents suddenly mailed out by NDP MLAs?????

The signs were all there … at least enough to raise/explore/report the possibilities … as I did. Yet, even after I posted my Blog piece, pointing to all the evidence, I saw no follow ups, no questions, no speculation about what was happening all around.

After all, what would a Blogger know? Especially a reporter who had retired more than a decade ago?

There were none so blind as those who would not see!

How did this happen? How did the BC media and their pundits and all their talk show hosts miss the obvious …. Horgan/NDP were maneuvering BIG TIME for several months towards an early election? Or worse, if they had noticed it, why did they stay silent and not report it?

Because too many of them are too close to those they cover: preferring to drink the Koolaid (announcements, press releases, press conferences) dished out to them by their “close contacts”, who weren’t ready yet to tip their hand.

And I believe many, who should know better, actually expected the NDP would keep their word in that written agreement with the Greens, to NOT call a snap election.

Geez!!!

You’re dealing with POLITICIANS!!! How could ANY professional reporter or columnist or talk show host believe an agreement signed more than three years ago would still be honoured by any politician in 2020!

I was heartened, however, that most of my regular Blog readers understood and … although sometimes reluctantly or grudgingly … saw/agreed with my reasoning. Horgan ” was wise and fortunate enough to have the right people in the right spots,” one commenter observed; Horgan was “on a roll” another noted.

As for those who wrote in, predicting I simply got it wrong, or were more direct: “you and your followers have lost your mind” or “Your posts have gotten regressively nuttier” … please allow me to enjoy this moment.

There, that feels good!

Personally, I expect their gamble will pay off and the NDP will win the election … and even get their desired majority. I don’t think Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson (or most of his MLAs/candidates) are well enough known or trusted enough to form government.

But, still staying ahead of the pack, I revealed two weeks ago, how … despite the NDP’s terrific lead in the polls … there IS still a way the Liberals could defeat the governing party: http://harveyoberfeld.ca/blog/how-bc-liberals-could-still-defeat-the-ndp/ .

It would take some bold moves and controversial positions to tap the growing popular dissent, among those who actually vote, with all the giveaways/pandering the NDP have handed out to the “gimme, gimme, gimme” crowd of activists/anarchists over the past three years.

Remember, the outcome in the last election was very, very close …both in terms of seats and popular vote.

So don’t rule the Liberals out yet…. IF they learn how to exploit these NDP’s weaknesses.

Now, let’s see how long it takes the “working” media to recognize/explore that possibility!

Harv Oberfeld

(Reminder: You can get FREE First Alerts to all new postings on this BC-based Blog by following @harveyoberfeld.ca. No spam … just alerts to new topics up for discussion.)

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Trump/Republicans Better for Canada’s Economy than Biden/Democrats

If I were an American, I would NOT vote for Donald Trump.

I find him personally quite despicable … as not only the President of the United States … but also as a human being.

He’s a lying hypocrite who disgraces democracy, integrity, ethics and the dignity of his office … daily!

Trump has made the US a more dangerous, violent place to live and visit; he has aided and abetted the abuse of the US Constitution; he has helped pollute America’s waters, air and land; and, his delays/mishandling of the Covid pandemic contributed to the deaths of almost 200,000 Americans.

But I have to admit I do like his mid-East policies; I support his calling out of China on Covid-19 and unfair trade practices; and I am sympathetic to his calls for US allies to pay more of a fair share for their own defence.

Yet, I suspect most Canadians agree with my overall negative assessment … and hope to see Trump/Republicans lose the Presidency, the House and the Senate Nov. 3.

However, that might not be best for Canada!

WE are not Americans: WE are Canadians, and should care more … much more … about what happens in and to our country than the United States.

And when it comes to protecting, preserving and advancing Canada’s economy, the Republicans are easier and better for Canada to deal with …. even under Trump … than the Democrats would be under Joe Biden.

History has shown the Democrats have been much more protectionist than the Republicans.

NAFTA, which substantially increased Canadian export access to the US market, was initiated and substantially negotiated under Republican President George H.W. Bush, although officially signed by Democrat Bill Clinton.

Trump huffed and puffed ands hurled insults as NAFTA Two (the US/Mexico/Canada Agreement) was negotiated … but Canada still came out of it all fairly well.

The American CATO Institute, in evaluating the pact, noted: “The economic impact assessment released by Global Affairs Canada (GAC) estimates that implementing USMCA “would secure GDP gains of $6.8 billion (US$5.1 billion), or 0.249%” over a 5 year period. However, the report also notes that motor vehicle exports to the United States would decline by US$1.5 billion relative to the existing NAFTA.

” The U.S. International Trade Commission’s (USITC) report, which estimated gains for the U.S. economy at $68.2 billion, or a 0.35% increase in real GDP, over six years.” 

But look at the bottom line: 76.7% of our exports still flow south; while 18% of US exports come to Canada. Not too shabby … despite all Trump’s Big Mouth bluster, threats and antics.

TWICE since USMCA was signed, Trump has imposed arbitrary tariffs on Canadian aluminum and steel and TWICE Trump has backed down … after Canada moved to impose dollar-for-dollar retaliatory tariffs.

We beat him! (Talk about the little mouse tweaking the nose of the elephant!)

Trump talks the talk to satisfy his base … but notably has largely kept America’s doors wide open to Canadian goods, services and businesses …. including, by the way, the Keystone pipeline, hugely important to Alberta.

The stock markets … American and Canadian … did very, very well under Trump and his administration’s policies … pre-Covid. And are already coming back, despite rising Covid numbers.

And the polls show Americans still score the Republican President higher than Biden when it comes to running the economy. And quite often, in elections, it’s the ECONOMY that trumps other concerns when people vote.

The reality is Republicans are much more motivated by economic rather than social concerns/policies: increasing corporate profits, lowering taxes and boosting stock market performance while Democrats push policies of higher wages, higher taxes on the wealthy, improving the environment … and protectionism.

I suspect most Canadians would support the policies of the Democrats … if WE were voting in the US. … but we are not.

And Biden’s proposed economic priorities should raise concerns north of the border.

This is from, Joe Biden’s Website: https://joebiden.com/made-in-america/

BUY AMERICAN. Make “Buy American” Real and Make a $400 billion Procurement Investment that together with the Biden clean energy and infrastructure plan will power new demand for American products, materials, and services and ensure that they are shipped on U.S.-flagged cargo carriers.

MAKE IT IN AMERICA. Retool and Revitalize American Manufacturers, with a particular focus on smaller manufacturers and those owned by women and people of color, through specific incentives, additional resources, and new financing tools, and,

STAND UP FOR AMERICA. Pursue a Pro-American Worker Tax and Trade Strategy to fix the harmful policies of the Trump Administration and give our manufacturers and workers the fair shot they need to compete for jobs and market share.”

Last week, the New York Times also reported Biden promised to hit companies that “move jobs” to foreign countries and then sell products back into the US.:

“Mr. Biden, who has already proposed raising the corporate tax rate to 28 percent from 21 percent, would create a tax penalty aimed at American companies that move jobs to other countries, known as offshoring. The penalty would apply to “profits of any production by a United States company overseas for sales back to the United States,” bumping up the tax rate to nearly 31 percent on those profits.

“That penalty would effectively serve as a new tax on American companies that make products abroad and sell them back to customers in the United States …”

Just think of the implications that could have for not just our US-owned suppliers and manufacturers but also Canada’s movie industry AND Canada’s high tech software/game developers … working directly for or employed by subsidiaries of American corporations that operate in Canada.

Canadians no doubt share many of the Democrats’ social values and environmental objectives … and, as I said earlier, I believe most would celebrate a Trump defeat.

But when it comes to the Canadian economy, jobs and exports … we should be careful what we wish for: because we just might get it!

Harv Oberfeld

(Reminder: Follow @harveyoberfeld on Twitter to get First Alerts of new postings on this Blog. No spam … just Alerts to new topics up for discussion.)

Posted in British Columbia, International, National | 9 Comments