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Thursday, November 15, 2012 by Will Horter

China treaty uproar signals growing rift between Ottawa, grassroots conservatives

Prime Minister Stephen Harper deserves credit for doing something extraordinarily difficult: keeping groups of people who share some values — but fundamentally disagree on others — focused on areas of common agreement, not on their differences, for the past six years.

The Prime Minister’s ability to keep his caucus and supporters focused on toning down differences to maintain unity has been impressive. However, now that the Prime Minister has a majority government, cracks are appearing within his party. The growing backlash over potential Chinese control of Canadian resources is just the latest example of a growing trend.

After years of strong party discipline, conservative-leaning voters are starting to speak out against the party position. The controversy about the proposed Chinese takeover of Nexxen and the Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Act (FIPPA) are the latest in a string of controversies that seem to have taken Harper by surprise.

This growing backlash from conservative voices is worth exploring more deeply. To investigate this, in late October, Dogwood Initiative reached out to almost 7,000 donors to the Conservative Party of Canada from across Canada to see what they thought about the proposed trade treaty with China. The results were revealing.

Those that answered got a recorded message about the proposal and two polling questions asking how the donors felt about the treaty the Prime Minister was on the brink of signing with the Chinese government. Eight per cent of those reached answered the first question (including almost 15 per cent in Alberta).

We were surprised by the Conservative opposition to the investor treaty.

The first question was: How do you want Prime Minister Harper to handle the trade treaty with China?

Three-quarters (74 per cent) said the deal should be delayed (46 per cent) or rejected (28 per cent). Only 13 per cent supported signing the deal now. The depth of opposition varied across the country. Opposition was highest in PEI and Nova Scotia at 89 per cent, followed by Saskatchewan at 83 per cent, and central/northwest Ontario at 82 per cent. Out west, opposition amongst donors was high in British Columbia (82 percent), and surprisingly high in the Prime Minister’s home turf of Calgary (76 percent).

We asked a follow-up question to those who indicated they wanted to delay or reject the treaty: Would you consider withdrawing your financial support for the Conservative Party of Canada if they sign this treaty?

We were shocked that 72 per cent of people who give the Conservative Party money said they would consider withdrawing their financial support if the treaty was signed. Harper should pay attention, as the threat of withdrawing financial support was highest in Alberta at 87 per cent.

To find out more about what Conservative donors thought, and to encourage them to contact the party about their dissatisfaction, we personally followed up with the donors in British Columbia who responded to the poll and were surprised by how angry they were. “Secretive” was the word we heard most often.

As with the oil tanker and pipeline issue, the Conservatives are clearly at odds with their own supporters on Chinese trade issues. Unwittingly, the Prime Minister has triggered deeply held values about Canada’s control over its own natural resources. And from what we heard from the folks who give the party money, it is clear this is not just a minor annoyance that can be glossed over with a targeted tax credit before the next election.

For now, the China trade treaty is still on the table. Two weeks have passed since it was first eligible to be ratified. We watch, wait and wonder: has Harper realized such a move could be toxic to his own base?

There’s no doubt the backlash could have electoral consequences. Numerous polls show that since the last election, the Conservatives have lost around 30 per cent of their support in British Columbia. Polls also show dropping Conservative support in other parts of the country. If an election were held today, it is unlikely the Conservatives would get a majority.

The election is almost three years away and a lot can happen before then. Until recently, the major threat to the Conservatives was the potential for unity between progressives, but now it appears that the biggest threat may be people abandoning the Conservatives.

Gerry V says:
Nov 15, 2012 04:27 PM

No to China

Kenneth McCrank says:
Nov 15, 2012 07:46 PM

Stephan Harper told us one truth, we would not recognize this country when he was through, he should have added as long as Canadians were kinda in a sleep mode, he did not want our eyes open to the warnings of a corrupt government led by a megalomaniac.Too bad for Steve Canadian s woke up and are as angry bears feeling our cubs are threatened. Harper is toast just sayin...

Oh-Canada, Banff, Alberta says:
Nov 16, 2012 11:18 AM

With this Government in charge and the way they go above the citizens of this beautiful country and its environment, our bear cups (our children) future is bleak. They will one day realize that they can't eat money. Lets all wake up mobilize our friends
and families to get off the TV screens and get involved!!!

Nadine Lumley says:
Nov 16, 2012 01:57 PM

Repost from Chris Hedges (Pulitzer Prize winner and former war correspondent for the New York Times):

Harper is a poster child for corporate malfeasance and corporate power, just sort of dismantling everything that’s good about Canada. So he’s the kind of species that rises to political power and is utterly subservient to corporate interests at the expense of the citizenry.

Yeah, he’s a pretty venal figure.

http://www.straight.com/article-732826/vancouver/chris-hedges-harper-venal-us-politics-totally-rigged

Margaret Kent says:
Nov 28, 2012 11:28 AM

I do feel, (as a Conservative Party member; and my husband is too); that the Conservative Government should tread very cautiously regarding the proposed business treaty with China and Canada. Canada MUST maintain her own laws and rights regarding doing business with a communist regime (even though China is more open now to trade with the west, CAUTION and more public debate should be initiated (if not much of this has already been performed). Thank-you!
Mrs. Margaret Kent & Mr. Thomas Kent

Holly Arntzen says:
Nov 15, 2012 04:30 PM

Great poll, good report. I fervently hope the tide is turning and that we in Canada can hold on to some core of common sense values, no matter what our political stripe or social inclinations. We're in for a rough ride globally, and we're going to need every ounce of good will and holding together to ride it out. Thanks for doing this.

Jorge De Cecco says:
Nov 15, 2012 04:40 PM

Polling the Conservative donors was a great idea. I had never heard of this sort of thing being done before. Following up with the next question was also a great idea. On the other hand, one cannot assume anything about the overwhelming majority who did not respond. They may well be happy with Harper.

Geoff McDade says:
Nov 15, 2012 07:49 PM

Yes you can assume the non-responders hold similar views - that is the statistical basis for the reliability of polling using only a small percentage of the target population. If this were not so opinion ion polling would be worthless and never used. You c
Early have zero understanding of statistical analysis.

Will Horter says:
Nov 19, 2012 04:09 PM

The typical BC opinion poll samples under 600 BC residents to project British Columbians views 19 times out of 20 with small margin of error (+\-3 to 5%). Since BC's population is just over 4.4 million this amounts to 0.00013% of the BC population sampled. As a point of comparison, our 8.9% sample of Tory donors represents 61,538% higher sample size then typical BC omnibus poll. An omnibus poll would have to contact 393,291 respondents (as opposed to the typical 580ish they do) to get an equivalent sample to what we got.

Granted we didn't weight our poll by region, gender etc. However, given the relatively large sample of a relatively small pool we believe that our sample was sufficiently large to indicate the Tories have a real problem.

Of note, we didn't contact media about this poll because although the numbers are interesting, the real point was to identify people that give money to the Conservatives, and help them flex some muscle.
Will

Will Horter says:
Nov 19, 2012 04:08 PM

The typical BC opinion poll samples under 600 BC residents to project British Columbians views 19 times out of 20 with small margin of error (+\-3 to 5%). Since BC's population is just over 4.4 million this amounts to 0.00013% of the BC population sampled. As a point of comparison, our 8.9% sample of Tory donors represents 61,538% higher sample size then typical BC omnibus poll. An omnibus poll would have to contact 393,291 respondents (as opposed to the typical 580ish they do) to get an equivalent sample to what we got.

Granted we didn't weight our poll by region, gender etc. However, given the relatively large sample of a relatively small pool we believe that our sample was sufficiently large to indicate the Tories have a real problem.

Of note, we didn't contact media about this poll because although the numbers are interesting, the real point was to identify people that give money to the Conservatives, and help them flex some muscle.
Will

A.Barbara Washington says:
Nov 15, 2012 04:42 PM

The idea of giving China control of OUR resources is ludicrous!!!...I can only think that we are in debt to China in some way, and they are making DEMAND for payment of the debt by having control of OUR resources..There has to be a "no choice" explanation that would cause Prime Minister Harper to even consider such a "selling out Canada to China" position...!!!

JEANNE says:
Nov 15, 2012 05:29 PM

ofcourse…this is all illuminati plans…stemming from the queen , Rothchild and his federal reserve, and making so much debt that China has Bought our debt…which really is a form of slavery…it should be illegal and allowed to be changed..our lawyers in Canada can free us from that unconscionable error the gov made by selling our interest ( debt) to China who is a communist country and not social ist…they are reptilian.Its why the chinese like canada..we are NOT COMMUNIST. Why does the Queen and Rothchild hate us so much to do to this to us all here , us little guys?

Kim Ontario says:
Nov 15, 2012 06:48 PM

its absolute ludacist ! I can't imagine China controlling all our resources ? Their pop, alone ....this Will realy screw us ,one way or another , if the U.N can't help us ? You know it's time to reconsider everything. I think it is important to reconnect with all of our hearts and, spiritually ...".these are the times" and realy god bless us all PEACE with all respect and sencerity

richard Moore says:
Nov 15, 2012 06:58 PM

The proposed FIPPA agreement could be best opposed by supporting the positions outlined by the Grand Chief Stewart Phillips , Chief Robert Chamberlain , Chief Marilyn Baptiste , who's joint communique can be read in the "Whistler Question" dated Nov 8 2012 in the letters to the Editor section <news@whistlerquestion.com> It would seem that this ace in the hole is a major hurdle to the proponents both foreign & demostic and should pave the way to a stronger opposition , suppoerted by recognition of aboriginal rights and title ,the Canadian Constitution and the United Nations and can only strengthen the relationships of those that dwell within the aboriginal territories !

Brett says:
Nov 15, 2012 11:23 PM

I agree it's just plain irresponsible. Why give it all away.... and what do they hold over Harpers head?

jeanne says:
Nov 15, 2012 05:25 PM

I am concerned as did China buy our debt? I know they did in the USA….the Fed Reserve PRIVATE cowboy bankers have bankrupted the USA…and almost too too late, they realize to what extent. WE need a new monetary system. To that end ( the old system) I believe China bought our unrepayable debt in Canada and the USA--I think we have the same private banking interest problems--the private bank has bankrupted us..I am not sure how it works but I am sure many canadians do. So if China bought the canadian debt like they did the usa debt, its why the sneaky double talking nafta agreement. So china buys our debt and who are the bebtors? Us the tax payers ofcourse..so China wants now more…they want simething for sinking their money in the nedless debt hole of the banking system. They want to buy our utilities..the y want to control us. So Canadians..here we are at the crossroads of remaining canadians or letting corporate canada sell us out…by allowing communist China to control our utilities..they are COMMUNIST..THEY PUT PEOPLE IN JAIL FOR NOTHING..THEY WANT TO KILL THE DALAI LAMA…THERE IS SOMETHING HUMANELY WRONG WITH THEM. OUR CORPORATE POLITICS HAVE SOLD US. IS IT TOO LATE NOW…CAN WE STOP HARPER FROM SIGNING THIS AWFUL STIUATION THAT THE FED RESERVE AND OTHERS HAVE GOTTEN US INTO "THEIR NEW WORLD ORDER"?

Arlene says:
Nov 16, 2012 01:16 PM

Hey, all we have to do is renege on the debt. It is fraudulent in the first place and we just say to the Chinese, "this is what you did uner Chairman Mao. You refused to pay your debts in the 40s and 50s, so now we do too." That's how the game is played. And it is a game to the elite banking cartels. Only, they really don't care if lives are lost.

Mo says:
Nov 15, 2012 05:36 PM

There's no breaking through that glossy facade on what we call our PM. The best way to hit him is in the pocket book. His one-man crusade to Chinify Canada needs to be stopped before he relinquishes control of our amazing country. If he won't listen to the people he's paid to listen to (us), maybe he'll listen to the pitter patter of his supporters' feet running away from him.

Arlene says:
Nov 16, 2012 01:17 PM

Maybe we need to look up the law on treason, because I'm sure this is it. And then charge him with it.

LAnce says:
Nov 18, 2012 07:18 PM

Yes, yes, yes, our great economic wonderchild charged with treason

Jim says:
Nov 15, 2012 06:00 PM

I do not for a minute believe that having a trade agreement with a country with such little regard for human rights would be of benefit to Canadians. If this agreement gets signed, you might as well change the name of our country to "Chinada"! :-(

Ann MacLeod says:
Nov 15, 2012 06:09 PM

I would feel very encouraged by the stated results of your poll except that I'm not sure how meaningful the #'s actually are. 8% response out of 2832 people (out of 6000) who were actually reached with a recorded questionaire is less than 280 people. Those responded strongly against the treaty proposal. All well and good, but what do we make of the remaining 3000+ people who did not respond to the poll at all? Does their vote of silence mean anything? Can we really extrapolate the posted conclusions without considering that silence? I am against the treaty, but I want to know that the conclusion really represents reality before I take it seriously. Either way, we will press on.

Will Horter says:
Nov 19, 2012 04:09 PM

The typical BC opinion poll samples under 600 BC residents to project British Columbians views 19 times out of 20 with small margin of error (+\-3 to 5%). Since BC's population is just over 4.4 million this amounts to 0.00013% of the BC population sampled. As a point of comparison, our 8.9% sample of Tory donors represents 61,538% higher sample size then typical BC omnibus poll. An omnibus poll would have to contact 393,291 respondents (as opposed to the typical 580ish they do) to get an equivalent sample to what we got.

Granted we didn't weight our poll by region, gender etc. However, given the relatively large sample of a relatively small pool we believe that our sample was sufficiently large to indicate the Tories have a real problem.

Of note, we didn't contact media about this poll because although the numbers are interesting, the real point was to identify people that give money to the Conservatives, and help them flex some muscle.
Will

Judy vanRees says:
Nov 15, 2012 06:12 PM

Why give any other country control of our resources?? Why don't WE own it and sell it to THEM at a good price and pay down our debts??

Don Chesney says:
Nov 15, 2012 06:18 PM

You can bet that if a disaster were to befall a chinese tanker in Canadian waters the chinese people wouldn´t hear a word about it.

rd wraggett says:
Nov 15, 2012 06:47 PM

Unfortunately we have a de facto dictatorship and a globalist PM who doesn't care one fig about what the Canadian public or for that matter voters think.

Trout says:
Nov 15, 2012 07:12 PM

The biggest threat to the Conservatives is still the possibility of justice re: Election Fraud.

David says:
Nov 16, 2012 12:14 PM

Whether they are proven responsible or not, the election fraud occurred and a new election should have been had long ago. After the report, do you think we will have a new election? Will there be an option of having all this BS legislation nullified?

liz puttergill says:
Nov 15, 2012 07:51 PM

It is absolutely crazy what Harper is doing to Canada!!!! I wonder whether his family probs have taken him over the edge.

It is absolutely crazy what Mr.Harper is doing to Canada. If he signs this treaty with China they will take everything they can take and God forbid we try to keep our environment safe!!! Save us from this despot!!

Shirley Morrison says:
Nov 15, 2012 07:54 PM

The end of our Beautiful Canada if this goes through.

Gary says:
Nov 15, 2012 08:23 PM

Government policy is directed by the oil companies, it will be their decision.

Anonymous says:
Nov 15, 2012 08:41 PM

I am sickened and deeply shaken about the Harper administration. He has sold us into contract that will spell our doom as a viable economic entity. Harper's name will be synonymous with the name "judas" through
out eternity.

Linda Wayne says:
Nov 15, 2012 08:42 PM

Is it possible that PM Harper can hand Canada's resources over to China without a peep from England? This whole deal is so strange and anti-Canadian.

Joanna DR says:
Nov 15, 2012 09:20 PM

Interesting that the PM flocked off to India, Manila, HongKong and Wherever else? as soon as he spotted the fallout flak & felt some heat when Canada finally woke up to the China "Investment" Travesty & the sheet hit the fan. Then he didn't even return to honour our Veterans on Remembrance Day. This is a man severely out of touch with the People, the Nation, and likely himself. He needs to be removed from office; the damage Harper is doing to Canada & our sovereignty is mind-boggling (mind-blogging?)

Samantha Braun says:
Nov 15, 2012 10:01 PM

Dear God, Please let there be a crack in the dam! Amen.

(I'm just calling on the big guns... because Harper's government's beyond dangerous at this point. With any luck, and a little higher power (whoever, or whatever that may be...)intervention from the universe, this rediculous policy monster will be put down!

David says:
Nov 15, 2012 10:05 PM

Although I think these are important questions to ask, and especially to the Conservative base, I am skeptical of the actual results. I'm not a pollster, but 8% of 2832 is hardly an good representation of a focus group. 167 Conservatives opposing the deal is hardly noteworthy.

Bonnie says:
Nov 15, 2012 11:06 PM

Tell me if my spelling is correct-traitor

Len Penner says:
Nov 15, 2012 11:14 PM

I have been railing against the party i voted for for 2 years now...and this latest secretive manouver is just too much...

Wendy W. says:
Nov 16, 2012 12:00 AM

Thank goodness Conservatives are seeing the FIPA deal for what it is... a bad decision for environmental AND economic reasons. Let's put it this way, even my Dad who has voted Conservative for over 40 years has seen the light. He says "Harper can't be trusted. Harper's deceit to the electorate is criminal." Way to go, Dad!!!

Anonymous says:
Nov 16, 2012 12:08 AM

Thank goodness Conservatives are seeing the FIPA deal for what it is... a bad decision for environmental AND economic reasons. Let's put it this way, even my Dad who has voted Conservative for over 40 years has seen the light. He says "Harper can't be trusted. Harper's deceit to the electorate is criminal." Way to go, Dad!!!

Janice Plante says:
Nov 16, 2012 03:09 AM

Yippeeee yahoo!! He is maybe taking notice. This is great! I was wondering if it was only us lefty's that were getting it, but hey hey, his own Conservatives have a problem with him too. Nothing speaks louder to Harper than money. Hope he sees all his donations dry up!!

Stace says:
Dec 05, 2012 12:43 PM

Our local paper is full of letters pleading with the poor excuse of a Premier to stop what is going on. These letters are from thier own Conservitive party supporters.

Daniel says:
Nov 16, 2012 08:41 AM

If the majority of Canadians, which last time I checked ~75% was well into a majority, believe that this deal is toxic to our nation, and Harper goes through with the signing anyway, we can no longer claim to be a part of a democracy. If our leaders don't represent us, we should find new ones. Lest we become the USA, voting for the lesser of two evils.

Rick says:
Dec 13, 2012 11:39 AM

Maybe a Federal Election right now might restore confidence in the democratic process of our country?

Kim H says:
Nov 16, 2012 08:56 AM

It's disturbing to me that this glorious, beautiful country of ours could end up in the hands of a nation that cares nothing for the environment, only yo exploit it. It keeps me up at night.

Chris Armstrong says:
Nov 16, 2012 09:40 AM

As a Conservative, until Dictator Stephen Harper lied his way to a majority (consider his pledge for government "transparency", for example), I believe that he is the most unethical and dangerous PM Canada has ever had. He is a totally spoiled brat liar, in the pocket of sometimes equally unethical Corporate Canada, like Big Pharma (who kill way more people than they cure), and Big Oil who just lie like rugs (Enbridge for example). The China deal (FIPA) indicates TOTAL INCOMPETENCE ON THE PART OF DICTATOR STEPHEN HARPER'S CONSERVATIVES.

Richard Tilley says:
Nov 16, 2012 10:30 AM

I have no qualms with Chinese investment in Canada, but the terms of this latest round with Nexxon and FIPPA are far to vague and give away far too much control. Why is Harper not being transparent and what are the Chinese really after?

Michael Gilfillan says:
Nov 16, 2012 11:09 AM

A creative and valuable idea, to pole the Tory supporters. The results are encouraging and yes, may well explain The Harper's reluctance to sign off.

Kim says:
Nov 16, 2012 11:34 AM

What was the appeal to the people who voted for Harper in the first place? The majority of Canadians who voted, gave him power. Was it the way they managed the economic downfall, you probably should have taken into consideration that they didn't do that. It was the Liberal government who had office for the many years before them, that secured our economic future. Did you seriously think this was managed by one term of Cons. I blame you conservative voters for the path this country is on. You chose him. And I am not a Liberal, if any of you actually thought long and hard about the best future for CANADA, you would have voted GREEN.

Chris says:
Nov 16, 2012 10:54 PM

"The majority of Canadians who voted, gave him power". If I remember correctly the Conservatives won a majority with only 38% of the popular vote. If we want to avoid such 4-year dictatorships in the future, we have to overhaul our antiquated First-past-the-post electoral system. We need to either go with proportional representation, or we make the party whip illegal so that MP's don't have to follow orders from a wanna-be despot dictator like Harper. For a PM or a party leader to force MP's to vote a certain way on legislation should be a criminal offence! We are supposed to be electing MP's to represent their constituency in Ottawa. Maybe people should consider not voting for a major party any more, just vote for the candidate that is most likely to do the best job of representing his/her constituents. IMO, Elizabeth May is one of the best MP's in recent times. Why? Apart from the fact that she is brilliant, hard-working, honest, and cares about her constituent's concerns, she doesn't have to take direction from anyone but us the voters.

Ann Stewart says:
Nov 20, 2012 09:56 PM

First of all, like many others I know, my main motivation for electing Harper was to ensure that our next PM was from another province and not Quebec. Based on what I was hearing and reading on Harper and how he viewed Canada, when he was elected I felt somewhat relieved that finally the pendulum could start to swing the other way and that some of the damage that had been done by successive Liberal governments could slowly be reversed. Even though this treaty with China began prior to Harper becoming PM, I am now astounded at how fast he is willing to bring it to fruition and, therefore, putting his place in history at the mercy of historical pundits. I am also concerned as to his motivations and how this treaty could change forever, the future of this great nation. Canada is on a slippery slope with this treaty and once we lose ownership of our natural resources we lose control over what happens to them. If Harper is steadfast in signing away Canada's rights to its own natural resources, esp to a Communist country, and further putting our environment and health in jeopardy, I will not be voting Conservative in the next election.

peter currie says:
Nov 21, 2012 11:44 AM

You did not do enough research. Harper was angry with martin for not allowing the finacial sectror allow toxic financial documents into this country. If Harper had his way we would have had the same bank disaster as the states. He then took credit for Paul Martin's achievement. taking credit for anothers achievement is textbook psychopathic behaviour. Not voting for someone because of where they are from is not a position of substance.

The fact Harpers was a liar and a psychopath was there for all to seeBEFORE the election. try focusing on substyantive issues when making a decision rather than "not from Quebec".

Hans Lussenburg says:
Nov 16, 2012 02:10 PM

FIPPA is plainly a sell out of Canadian Resources and Canadian Values. In my eyes PM Harper has failed to act in good faith and he has failed to act in the best interests of Canadians. To me this is tantamount to treason.

What scares me the most is that all this indignation will for the most part be forgotten in 2 to 3 years when the next election comes around. PM Harper is doing his dirty work early and counting on collective amnesia; a tactic used by many incumbent governments regardless of political stripe. In this case, I sincerely hope that I am wrong, but alas history is on Harper's side; not mine.

After all, many have already forgotten about the Omnibus Bill of June 2012 that upset so many, so why do we expect that things will change?

I hope that Nanaimoites (the good people of Nanaimo, BC) will have the back bone to vote our Conservative MP Dr. James Lunney and his pals out of office come the next election!

Forever hopeful, but not naive enough to believe that I may not see a repeat of history.

Hans Lussenburg
Nanaimo, BC

Andrea says:
Nov 16, 2012 04:34 PM

Excellent poll. Thanks for doing that.

A Lawrence says:
Nov 16, 2012 11:32 PM

How much more clear can it possibly be? We, as Canadians, should file a class action lawsuit against this piece of $hit we call...*cough*..'prime minister' and get him removed as absolutely quickly as possible!!:
trea·son (trzn)
n.
1. Violation of allegiance toward one's country or sovereign, especially the betrayal of one's country by waging war against it or by consciously and purposely acting to aid its enemies.
2. A betrayal of trust or confidence

Susanne says:
Nov 20, 2012 10:59 PM

I agree with Lawrence...and many others here:)) Harper is a traitor.

Grace M says:
Nov 19, 2012 06:39 AM

I believe China has bought our debt, just like they did in USA. Occupy Wall Street has come up with Rolling Jubilee. A system where private citizens donate money and its used to buy debt that is sold between banks (it usually goes for 1 cent on the dollar). Can we start something like that here??? Lets buy our debt from China!!

Paul Forseth says:
Nov 22, 2012 11:10 AM

The experts and technocrats did the negotiating with China. The government only provides the “will to deal” and the general principles and “finally authority”. There is no subversive plot…just complicated negotiations to obtain mutual benefit. It is an effort to safeguard Canadian investors in China and provide improved rules for China's investments within Canada. The full complicated document was available to MPs and experts for many weeks. The Opposition in Parliament chose not to debate it, on one of their allotted Opposition Days. No deal is all comprehensive and perfect, but this one is an additional step towards normalization. The individuals polled were reacting to principles, and not to the technical points of the actual deal, as none had read it, not even the pollsters. The whole polling exercise was manufacturing opinions about something only known about, from a few newspaper reports, which are historically unreliable. The Government has to do a much better job in explaining complicated details and trade-offs. I have a greater confidence in average voters understanding complicated details, than the young technocrats in Ottawa have. Put the whole deal on the web for comment. Canada needs to be in the game with China, as eventually it is bound to dominate the whole world of trade, due to its population size and changing technology. We must fully engage China, rather than hunker-down with NDP small-minded protectionism.

Peter Stockdale says:
Nov 30, 2012 07:28 AM

Harper is a throw back to the 17th century. He believes he rules by Divine Right. Charles the First also believed that and had to be Axed. Harper appears to have no regard for his own children who will inherit the ecological disasters that his policies will lead to.He surrounds himself with incompetent yes men - MacKay,Baird,Toews and Oliver. Surely he must be the least competent and treasonous Prime Minister in Canadian history. I tremble for the future of my grandchildren who will inherit his mess!

Jon Bathmaker says:
Dec 10, 2012 08:49 PM

Hi Paul Forseth,
The idea that "if we really understood your point of view then we would agree with it" is a myth. We understand FIPPA ! It will remove our control over our own laws and in doing so set our recently emasculated environmental protection laws in stone. But I think you're a ConBot.

R. Davidson says:
Sep 28, 2014 05:17 AM

Hi there Paul Forseth and PM Harper:
Chine is a Communist country. Why are you signing over all our resources to them. What sort of DEAL have you got going with them? I think both of you are "in their pocket" so to speak. Come on Canada stand up for your country.

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