Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading...

- No, we shouldn't read too much into the first wave of polling following Thomas Mulcair's election as NDP leader. But there are a couple of points where the early returns are far enough out of line with expectations to be worth pointing out. First, there's the comparison between a leader just elected and one who's been given the profile normally reserved for the leader of the Official Opposition for the better part of a year:
Mr. Harper had a moderate lead nationally when voters were asked which of the three leaders they thought would make the best prime minister. Thirty three per cent of respondents nationally favoured Mr. Harper as best choice for prime minister, with Mr. Mulcair at 27 per cent and Mr. Rae at 22 per cent. Seventeen per cent of the respondents said they did not know who they preferred.
And even more interestingly, there's this data point on the question of whether Mulcair can be successful in Western Canada:
The survey found Mr. Mulcair more popular than the other two leaders among young voters and middle income voters. His support was also stronger in the Prairie provinces and the Atlantic, but he placed behind Mr. Rae and Mr. Harper in Ontario as preference for best prime minister.
- Saskatchewan's electoral redistribution commission is up and running, and interested in public input until April 15 on its first proposal. And Gregory Beatty reminds us why it's well worth taking the time to participate.

- Susan Delacourt quotes Peter Aucoin on the use of the levers of government to entrench partisan gain and control over the public service - which the Cons look to be using to maximum effect in today's federal budget.

- Meanwhile, Andrea Horwath is nicely carrying on the NDP's tradition of working with other parties toward better budgets than they'd ever consider on their own.

- Finally, CTV points out another example of distinctive Saskatchewan culture that's withering away under the Wall government, as the Western Development Museum is being forced to start cutting hours for lack of funding.

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