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Harper’s endorsement of Poilievre changes the race, pollster says




Former prime minister Stephen Harper’s declaration of support for Pierre Poilievre as leader of the Conservative Party is being described as a game-changing event in the race.

Pollster Nik Nanos said Tuesday that Mr. Harper’s endorsement in a video message you can watch here sets the stage for the political showdown between the Liberals and Conservatives in the next federal election.

“The Harper endorsement is an acknowledgment that Poilievre is the likely leadership winner and Harper legacy inheritor,” the chief data scientist at Nanos Research said in a statement.

“An endorsement by Harper is a powerful signal within the Conservative movement. The same endorsement could very well fire up and mobilize progressives during the next election.”

In his posting Monday night, Mr. Harper, who has previously avoided comment about Conservative leadership races, said the five candidates in the race constitute a “strong field” but that Mr. Poilievre, whom he described as a “strong minister” in his government, is the best prospect for leadership.

“I know, of course, that others, including some of my friends, may disagree with me, and I respect their views, but I thought you would like to know what my opinion actually is,” Mr. Harper said.

Mr. Harper was the first leader of the current Conservative Party of Canada, formed in 2003 with the merger of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada and the Canadian Alliance. He was prime minister from 2006 until Justin Trudeau led the Liberals to victory in 2015. Mr. Harper has been the only member of the new party to serve as prime minister.

Conservative commentator Tim Powers, the chairman of public affairs consulting firm Summa Strategies, said he was hard-pressed to remember an occasion when a past prime minister has publicly endorsed a candidate in a leadership race.

“That’s probably not just a statement on Mr. Harper’s comfort with Pierre Poilievre but also a statement about what he may perceive as uncertainty about the future of the Conservative Party,” said Mr. Powers.

He said Mr. Harper may be trying to tell people who voted for him that they can be comfortable with Mr. Poilievre despite controversies over the Ottawa MP “cuddling with convoys and promoting crypto and booting bank governors,” referring to some of the candidate’s pronouncements.

There are five candidates in the race for the leadership: a winner will be announced on Sept. 10. The candidates are Mr. Poilievre and fellow Ontario MPs Scott Aitchison and Leslyn Lewis, as well as one-time Quebec premier Jean Charest and Roman Baber, a former Progressive Conservative member of the Ontario legislature.

In a statement, Mr. Charest called Mr. Harper’s endorsement of Mr. Poilievre a “personal choice,” and noted that Conservatives win when united and Mr. Harper was successful in uniting the Conservative Party. “As the leader of the CPC, I commit to doing the same.”

Other campaigns had not responded by Tuesday afternoon to requests for comment.

This is the daily Politics Briefing newsletter, written by Ian Bailey.


New cohort of young leaders emerging in Canadian politics – Hindustan Times



Published on Sep 25, 2022 02:14 PM IST

Among the newcomers is first-time candidate Ayushe Sharman, who turned 30 just this year, and is seeking a place in the council from the Greater Toronto Area city of Mississauga

City council candidate Ayushe Sharman (right) campaigning in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. (Supplied photo)

TORONTO: While the Indo-Canadian community has already made its presence felt in Canadian politics, a new cohort of young leaders, aged below 35, is emerging for the future.

As municipal elections are scheduled in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) next month, this group could prove a pivotal role in the years ahead, as the region often dictates the balance of power at the national level.

Among the newcomers is first-time candidate Ayushe Sharman, who turned 30 just this year, and is seeking a place in the council from the GTA city of Mississauga.

Sharman, born in Meerut in Uttar Pradesh, is contesting the elections for Ward 2, and has a background in corporate and political digital advertising with her own production house.

Part of the reason, she said, for her entering the field for the October 24 election is that there is a “void of age diversity” in the city council, which does not represent youth like her.

And being young is among the characteristics that will enable her to work better for constituents, she explained. “I want to enter municipal governance at a time when I have maximum amount of vigour to run around and put myself at work for people,” she said.

Campaigning from early morning into the evening, she is bringing a national style of door knocking and canvassing to a poll where voters often have little knowledge of the candidates.

Sharman is part of a trend that will see young lawyer and business-owner Nikki Kaur to vie for the post of mayor in the neighbouring town of Brampton.

Kaur’s campaign launched on Saturday with the theme, The Change Brampton Needs.

Indo-Canadians in their age bracket, including two more running for the Mississauga council – Kushagr Sharma and Rahul Mehta.

They are part of a phenomenon that has become increasingly evident in recent years. In the provincial elections in Ontario this year, young Hardeep Grewal caused a major upset defeating Gurratan Singh, brother of Federal New Democratic Party (NDP) leader Jagmeet Singh.

Of course, the youngest member of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Cabinet is from the Indo-Canadian community: New Delhi-born Kamal Khera, who is just 33, and ironically holds the portfolio of Minister of Seniors.


    Anirudh Bhattacharya is a Toronto-based commentator on North American issues, and an author. He has also worked as a journalist in New Delhi and New York spanning print, television and digital media. He tweets as @anirudhb.

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I Don't Like Your Politics – Forbes



Even if they love the product, 45% of Millennials will stop using a brand or company that does not align with their political beliefs. That’s according to an InSites Consulting consumer research study on how customers want brands to respond during turbulent times relating to politics, inflation, the pandemic and more.

More than ever, the U.S. is divided on politics, religion, human rights, environmental issues and many other topics that have people disagreeing and arguing, sometimes to a level of violence. In business, while some vocal customers may try to get a company’s or brand’s attention, most consumers will vote for approval or disapproval with their wallets.

Not all generations feel the same about politics and other issues that have become politicized. While 40% of Gen Z and 43% of Millennials take a strong stance on political matters, 46% of Gen X and 44% of Boomers feel it’s best to stay out of the debate.

But there is a difference between a political or social cause that is important to people and one that causes an angry response. As the old saying goes, the squeaky wheel gets the oil. The contested issues that tie to politics, human rights and religion seem to be motivating consumers to choose to do business—or not—with certain brands that have chosen to be open about their stance on these issues.

Sometimes, believing in something important can be attractive instead of controversial. Environmental issues have become politicized. While companies like Patagonia are known for their stance on sustainability, you don’t read or hear about protestors outside of their headquarters disagreeing with the use of recycled materials in their products. To that point, a good cause can help create sales and even customer loyalty. According to the 2022 Achieving Customer Amazement Study (sponsored by Amazon Web Services), 45% of consumers believe it’s important that a company supports a social cause that’s important to them. And the findings in the InSites Consulting report, especially as it applies to the younger generations (Gen Z and Millennials), have similarities.

Here are some other significant findings that help define the differences between younger and older generations of consumers:

· Gen Z and Millennials believe companies that respond to current events (for example, brands that pulled out of Russia or companies providing new employee benefits amid the overturn of Roe vs. Wade) are doing so because they authentically care about their employees and customers. On the other hand, Gen X and Boomers slightly favor the belief that companies are only doing so to avoid criticism or to follow the pack.

· Gen Z and Millennials want open and frequent communication during turbulent times. They want to be kept informed and appreciate consistent messaging. Gen X and Boomers prefer incentives and discounts to get their business.

· Fifty percent of Gen Z and 54% of Millennials want their values to align with a company’s purpose, whereas many Gen X (36%) and Boomers (40%) feel neutral toward this statement.

· In times of turbulence, Gen Z and Millennials agree companies should “support their employees above all else.” Gen X and Boomers feel slightly stronger that companies should “support their customers above all else.”

So, what do we do with this information?

You could write an entire book with the answers to these questions, but first and foremost, you must understand who your customers are. If you sell to Boomers, many of whom are retired or close to retirement, how you market and sell to them will be different than how you market and sell to the younger generations of customers. Those differences are important to note, especially

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‘We saw what happened in Ontario’: Quebecers urged to vote in provincial election



MONTREAL — An incumbent premier and his party sail through an election campaign as a fragmented opposition vies to capture the attention of voters in the absence of a central rallying issue or tide-turning missteps.

The scenario playing out in Quebec in the lead-up to next month’s provincial election may seem like déjà vu for residents of Ontario, where the Progressive Conservatives won a second majority in June.

Doug Ford’s victory came as voter turnout in that province reached an all-time low — about 43 per cent, according to preliminary results — and some observers have blamed the drop in participation to the lack of a competitive race or galvanizing issue.

In Quebec, where the incumbent Coalition Avenir Québec has maintained a commanding lead in the polls throughout the campaign, some political parties have raised concerns the province could be headed toward a low voter turnout on Oct. 3.

Earlier this week, Quebec Liberal Party Leader Dominique Anglade pointed to Ontario in calling for voters to mobilize against the CAQ and its leader, François Legault.

“Go out and vote,” Anglade told reporters. “We saw what happened in Ontario.”

Meanwhile, the organization that oversees Quebec’s election has broadened its get-out-the-vote message to the social media platform TikTok in an effort to reverse a downward trend in voter turnout, particularly among younger people. In the 2018 provincial election, 66.45 per cent of voters cast a ballot, a drop of nearly five percentage points from 2014. The turnout for those 35 and under was 53.41 per cent, 16 percentage points lower than for voters older than 35.

Like many other incumbents, Ford and Legault have emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic with solid public support, and there doesn’t seem to be a broad appetite for change, according to political experts. Both leaders also saw formerly strong rivals — the provincial Liberal parties — perform poorly, and opposition parties fail to set the agenda or a viable ballot issue, they said.

An election that “looks like a foregone conclusion” may discourage some from voting because they feel it won’t make a difference, said Peter Graefe, a political science professor at McMaster University.

That might be the case this time for Quebecers who usually support the Liberals since the party won’t likely form government, he said. Since the last election, the Quebec Liberals have struggled to connect with francophones and have alienated part of their anglophone base in Montreal by being seen as weak on language issues.

Other voters, however, may be more motivated, particularly those who back the Conservative Party of Quebec and its opposition to the CAQ’s pandemic measures, Graefe said.

Even if the province doesn’t seem poised for a change of leadership, the race for second place may be a draw for some voters, especially as polls suggest the Liberals could lose their status as official Opposition, said Geneviève Tellier, a political science professor at the University of Ottawa.

A Leger poll released earlier this week suggests support for the CAQ was at 38 per cent, more than double that of its closest runners-up. Three parties — the Liberals, Québec solidaire and the Conservatives — were at 16 per cent, while the Parti Québécois was at 13 per cent support.

“It’s still uncertain and so it’s a three-way race with the Conservatives, the Liberals and (Québec solidaire) in popular support,” which could lead to some interesting battles in certain ridings, Tellier said.

“There could be some surprises” in ridings such as Sherbrooke, in the Eastern Townships, where popular Québec solidaire incumbent Christine Labrie is facing a challenge from a high-profile CAQ candidate: former Longueuil, Que., mayor Caroline St-Hilaire.

The fact that five major parties are competing for the first time is also “a big novelty” that may stir public interest, Tellier said.

And without the traditional question of sovereignty and federalism on the ballot, there’s an opportunity for people to vote based on other issues they care about, she added. “And so people will have interest in different topics and that may dictate their choice in a new way.”

Graefe, however, said having sovereignty off the ballot could instead lessen the incentive to vote if people feel the stakes aren’t as high. “In this instance that kind of existential question has been taken off the table, and so it becomes more like an election in any other province,” he said.

Just over a week before the election, Montreal resident Patricia Machabee still wasn’t sure who to vote for — or even if she would vote at all.

Though she believes voting is a civic duty, there isn’t much motivation when the CAQ appears poised to win, she said in a recent interview. “My vote isn’t even really going to count.”

What’s more, none of the other options are appealing this time, she said, adding that her husband is also on the fence about casting a ballot, for similar reasons.

“I’ve been voting Liberal for most of my life, since I’ve been allowed to vote … but nobody’s got me excited,” she said. “I’m going to have to try to figure out what I’m going to do.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 25, 2022.


Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Press


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