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Tim Hudak’s polarizing campaign

If you’ve been watching this campaign even casually, you can probably guess that Tim Hudak – who’s running on a stridently conservative platform that includes a promise of 100,000 public-sector job cuts – is a polarizing force in it.

Still, it’s striking just how much our Listening Post project with Innovative Research Group (which you can read more about here) shows the Progressive Conservative Leader pleasing his own party’s supporters, and upsetting everyone else.

Here, for starters, is what different voter groups said when asked whether that 100,000 job cuts proposal made them more or less likely to vote for the PCs:

Likely to vote PC

After hearing 100,000 job cuts proposal

SOURCE: Innovative Research Group

A broader question about Mr. Hudak’s platform, using his preferred name for it, didn’t get a much different response. Here’s what people who indicated they had “read, seen or heard” something about his “Million Jobs plan” (a strong majority in all voter groups) said when asked if it made them more or less likely to cast a PC ballot:

Likely to vote PC

After hearing about the “Million Jobs plan”

SOURCE: Innovative Research Group

Some good news, for Mr. Hudak, is that those who self-identify with his party are really fired up by the prospect of booting the Liberals out of office. 71 per said they “strongly agreed” that it’s “time for a change in government.” And here’s how overall agreement/disagreement with that statement compared to other groups:

Is it time for a change in government?

SOURCE: Innovative Research Group

SOURCE: Innovative Research Group

While another thing that might be encouraging for Mr. Hudak in those “time for a change” numbers is the agreement among unaligned voters, there’s a bit of a problem in how most of those voters – and, again, everyone else who doesn’t self-identify as a PC – responded to the question of whether they’re “afraid of what Tim Hudak and the PCs might do if they form government”:

SOURCE: Innovative Research Group

And then there’s the reminder of Mike Harris, the former premier Mr. Hudak counts as a mentor, and whose Common Sense Revolution he has somewhat imitated in spirit. When asked whether they agree or disagree that “The PCs under Mike Harris did such a bad job running the Ontario government in the 1990s that I don’t think we can take a chance on letting them run the government again,” unaligned voters didn’t display especially strong views. But everyone else did:

SOURCE: Innovative Research Group

As he been noted in this space and elsewhere a whole bunch of times already this campaign, Mr. Hudak’s strategy revolves far less around persuading swing voters than in having a more mobilized support base than the other parties. Still, he may have alienated potential vote-switchers and undecided voters a little more than he intended. And the big question, as these numbers suggest, is whether in addition to motivating his supporters to come out and vote, he has also motivated supporters of his opponents to do likewise.

(As parties get more sophisticated in targeting messages to individual voters, we want to get as many people as possible involved in helping us keep track of those messages and how they’re delivering them. If you’d be willing to help us tell the story of this campaign by keeping a campaign diary to let us know who contacted you and uploading campaign material, or maybe giving your reaction to ads, issues and events, you can sign up for the Listening Post Network here.)

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Filed under: Ontario Election

Everything you need to know to vote in the Toronto election

Voting day is Monday, Oct. 27. Still making up your mind? Allow us to help:

  • This campaign has largely been about transit. Compare the candidates’ plans with this handy tool.
  • Who has the best plan to manage Toronto’s growth? Chow, Ford and Tory make their arguments. (73% of Globe readers said Olivia Chow makes the best case – read the debate and vote yourself.)
  • The Globe editorial board says John Tory is Toronto’s best bet. Read why.

Polls close at 8 p.m. For more information on where to vote and who is running in your ward, click here. 

Filed under: Toronto

Teachers get back to work in B.C. classrooms

Grade Six teacher David Murphy welcomes students on the first day of school, 2012, at Simon Fraser Elementary School in Vancouver. Similar scenes will play out across B.C. on Monday and Tuesday. (John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail)

Grade Six teacher David Murphy welcomes students on the first day of school, 2012, at Simon Fraser Elementary School in Vancouver. Similar scenes will play out across B.C. on Monday and Tuesday. (John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail)

On a day when teachers returned to classrooms around the province with varying levels of enthusiasm (see pictures below from Twitter and Instagram), we say it’s a good time to end the B.C. teachers’ strike liveblog and leave Politics Live to upcoming municipal election campaigns. Thanks for reading and sharing.

Remember to pick up a copy of Saturday’s Globe and Mail newspaper for extended coverage of the end of the labour dispute.

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Back to school, back to dealing with school issues

With the drama of bargaining, picket lines and rallies finally in the past, teachers, parents and students can now turn their attention to returning to classes next week. That means all those back-to-school pointers and advice columns the rest of Canada read before Labour Day are suddenly relevant for readers in B.C. Here’s a sampling:

Resist the back-to-school overspending tyranny

A helpful personal finance column by Rob Carrick urges parents to mind their budgets by thinking twice before upgrading perfectly good technology, skipping a few extraneous items on school-supply lists and saying no to those buy-one-get-one-half-off-another sales.

Read the full article here.


 

How to help kids stay cool about back to school

Psychologist and author Sara Dimerman advises on preparing kids for expected anxieties at different school levels. For example:

Grade 1 is both exciting and anxiety-provoking. Your child is likely standing tall knowing that he has joined ranks of the older kids. However, he may also be apprehensive about taking on more responsibility and spending recess on a different playground. … Rest assured that these feelings and behaviours are normal and it’s a good idea to tell him so. Share that even teachers feel nervous before school begins again. Go for a walk around the exterior of the school and spend some time in the new playground.

Read the full article here.


 

The top three back-to-school stresses for teens

If you’re the parent of a teenager, here’s more advice to help you anticipate students’ stress, from columnist Anthony E. Wolf:

Talk to them. Let them know that you understand that the beginning of school can be stressful. It can seem a little strange, even overwhelming, getting back into a routine, but all kids feel this way. Reassure them that if they do feel apprehensive about it, they are not alone.

Read the full article here.


 

Kids’ snacks that make the grade

Growing kids need to refuel every two to three hours to keep their blood sugar (glucose) levels stable as sustained blood sugar means kids will have more energy to concentrate in class and participate in after school sports. The added calories from snacks provide an opportunity to boost your child’s intake of important nutrients like calcium, iron and zinc.

What kinds of snacks? Dietician and columnist Leslie Beck suggests things like edamame, trail mix and fresh fruit and yogurt.

Read the full article here.

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BCTF members ratify new six-year contract, ending B.C. teachers’ strike

BCTF President Jim Iker announcing ratification vote results on Thursday.

BCTF President Jim Iker announcing ratification vote results on Thursday.

The B.C. Teachers’ Federation membership has voted 86 per cent in favour of a new contract, ending the teachers’ strike that has kept more than half-a-million students out of the classroom.

Of 31,741 ballots cast, 27,275 were in favour of the new six-year contract, BCTF president Jim Iker announced Thursday night. There are roughly 41,000 members in all.

“With the ratification of the new collective agreement, the strike and lockout are now over,” Mr. Iker said. “Teachers and students will be back in school on Monday.”

Mr. Iker said there was a “strong vote of support for the collective agreement” despite the fact the union did not get everything it needs.

“We all know that this deal isn’t perfect, but it does provide gains for teachers, it protects our charter rights, it increases support for our students,” he said.

“There will be more classroom and specialist teachers in schools to help our students; our teachers on call will get fair pay for a day’s work and all our members will get a salary increase.”

However, several teachers have said they are not happy with the new deal. (Read our story on that here.)

Education Minister Peter Fassbender issued the following statement after the BCTF’s announcement:

“We have one of the best public education systems in the world, and that’s in large part because we have such great teachers.

“We can now focus on the path forward. This long-term agreement is an historic opportunity to work together for students – to enhance their education experience and to support their achievements.”

Mr. Iker said no lost time will be made up, though former education minister George Abbott has suggested otherwise:

Meanwhile, Thursday’s turnout was higher than the past few ratification votes:

Find more in the story on our main site here.

bargainingbc liberalsbctfchristy clarkeducationparentspeter cameronstudents

Scenes from teacher ratification votes across B.C.

From Andrea Woo:

Just spoke with five teachers outside the voting site in Vancouver and three of them voted against the tentative agreement. The two who voted for it did so grudgingly, saying they couldn’t afford to lose any more money on the picket lines — some have lost around $10,000 — and that they’re worried public perception will turn against them if they vote no. All of them are disappointed with the agreement, but feel it will pass. Several long-time teachers have told me that if they were just starting out today, they wouldn’t get into teaching.


 

Many local teachers’ associations set up information study sessions and voting meetings for teachers today, and tweets show throngs of teachers eager to participate in the process.

From Coquitlam:

From Saanich:

From Surrey:

From Vancouver:

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