- News CBC
With voting day just a weekend away, there are questions about the effectiveness of the Liberal Party's dominant campaign strategy in Ontario: invoking Premier Doug Ford to try to drag down Andrew Scheer's Conservatives. CBC's Poll Tracker data for Ontario suggests the tactics of Justin Trudeau's party are working to some extent: the Conservatives have not come within three percentage points of the Liberals in the province at any time in the campaign, and are currently trailing by more than six points.The Poll Tracker, which aggregates all publicly available polling data, currently projects the Liberals to win 66 seats in Ontario, while the Conservatives are projected to take 39, and the NDP 16. While that seat count might sound like success for the Liberals if it happens on Monday, it would still be a drop from the 80 seats the party took in Ontario in 2015, helping propel Trudeau to his majority."I think they put too many chips on that strategy," says Nick Kouvalis, a pollster and political strategist who has worked for a range of right-of-centre candidates at all levels of government. "The Liberals have desperately tried, time after time, to make this election a fight between them and Ford," said Kouvalis, principal of the firm Campaign Research, in an interview Thursday. "Ford's eluded them by not engaging."Since before the campaign officially began, Trudeau has attempted to capitalize on Ford's current unpopularity in Ontario, sometimes subtly, more often blatantly.The party's first campaign TV ad was on the subtle side. "Conservatives like to say they're 'For the People,' but then they cut taxes for the wealthy and cut services for everybody else," said Trudeau in the ad, alluding to Ford's successful campaign slogan from last year's provincial election.On the blatant end of the spectrum: Trudeau mentioned Ford 14 times in just one news conference in Hamilton. Kouvalis credits Scheer for "not taking the bait" from Trudeau. This points to the Conservative Party's own strategy about Ford: avoidance at virtually all costs. Ford has not campaigned for Scheer, let alone with him. Scheer has uttered Ford's name in public just three times all campaign, which would be 11 fewer times than Trudeau did in that one news conference. According to Ford's press secretary, the two most prominent conservative politicians in Canada have not met face-to-face in nearly a year.It wasn't always this way. In August of last year, Ford was greeted as a conquering hero at the federal Conservative party convention in Halifax, where he gave a keynote speech to thunderous applause. Scheer returned the favour at the Ontario PC party convention in Toronto last November.But then came the Ford government's controversies: the appointment of a Ford friend as Ontario Provincial Police commissioner, changes to services for children with autism, and a budget filled with cuts, including a significant rise in class sizes in Ontario high schools. Scheer's avoidance of Ford during the campaign is evidence confirming that the Liberals' strategy was smart, said David Herle, a political consultant who has run Liberal Party campaigns at the federal and provincial level. The Conservatives "obviously knew" that having Scheer tightly linked to Ford would hurt their party, so they went to great lengths to avoid it, said Herle, owner of the Gandalf Group communications consulting firm, in an interview Thursday. That strategy in large part involved Ford nearly disappearing from public view as the election approached. In early June, Ford adjourned the provincial legislature until Oct. 28, taking him out of the question period spotlight until a week after election day.During the campaign, Ford held just two news conferences: one on Sept. 17 in Verner, 400 kilometres north of Toronto, the other on Wednesday in Kenora, 1,500 kilometres northwest of Verner. In the nearly four months since he shuffled his cabinet, Ford has held just one news conference in the provincial capital. In his news conferences, Ford has said he's "too busy governing" to be involved in the campaign, although many of his cabinet ministers and MPPs have publicized their own campaigning efforts on behalf of federal Conservative candidates. Herle credits Ford for being "surprisingly disciplined in staying out of the fray despite the attacks he was taking on an ongoing basis from the Liberals." Still, Herle believes the Liberals will win the most seats in the province come election day, and believes the attacks on Ford have helped. "You have to conclude, but for the existence of Mr. Ford, Scheer would likely do better in Ontario on Monday," said Herle. On this week's episode of Herle's election podcast, called The Herle Burly, another longtime Liberal strategist Scott Reid, urged the party to pull out all the stops to link Scheer to Ford in an attempt to make voters fear the effects of a Conservative government. "You have to convince [voters] that if [Scheer] does win he would do horrible and terrifying things, which is why I'd associate him with Ford," said Reid.
- News Bloomberg
(Bloomberg) -- Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, gave closed-door testimony before House committees Thursday. A whistle-blower’s complaint said Sondland advised Ukrainian leaders on how to handle President Donald Trump’s demand for an investigation of a political rival.Here are the latest developments:Testimony Put Off for Defense Official (10:45 p.m.)Laura Cooper, a deputy assistant secretary of Defense, who had been scheduled to speak to House impeachment investigators on Friday, will not appear, a person familiar with the matter said late Thursday night.Cooper, the deputy assistant secretary for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia, instead will testify on Oct. 24, added the person, who was granted anonymity to discuss the postponement. Trump Says Survival of U.S. Democracy at Stake (9:02 p.m.)Trump said the future of U.S. Democracy hangs in the balance as House Democrats pursue their impeachment inquiry.“At stake in this fight is the survival of American democracy itself,” Trump said at a campaign rally in Dallas on Thursday night. “They are destroying this country but we will never let it happen.”He said Democrats have been trying to “overthrow” the results of the 2016 election that put him in office.Almost One in 10 Shifted to Back Inquiry, Study Finds (3 p.m.)The recent shift in public opinion on impeachment has come largely from 9% of Americans who changed their mind since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi endorsed an impeachment inquiry of Trump, according to a analysis by the Pew Research Center.The Pew study confirms several polls in recent weeks that have shown a majority of Americans now supporting the impeachment inquiry - if not removing Trump from office. Unlike other polls, the Pew study tracks opinions from the same group of respondents over time, allowing it to more closely track changes.Of the 9% who have changed their minds, 61% are Democrats or Democratic-leaning independents and 32% are Republicans or lean Republican. Republicans under 30 and and college-educated Republicans were slightly more likely to support impeachment.The Pew study also found that 58% of all Americans - and 20% of Republicans - say Trump has “probably” or “definitely” done things that are grounds for impeachment. -- Gregory KorteMulvaney Says Ukraine Aid Wasn’t Tied to Bidens (1:13 p.m.)Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said the delay in releasing U.S. aid money to Ukraine was tied to the Trump administration’s demands to help it investigate matters related to the 2016 election, not former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.“The money held up had absolutely nothing to do with Biden,” Mulvaney said Thursday during a briefing at the White House. Mulvaney said he was involved in the process of delaying the aid.Asked whether the U.S. told Ukraine it would withhold funding unless the country investigated unsubstantiated allegations surrounding a Democratic National Committee email server, Mulvaney said, “We do that all the time.”Trump has repeatedly suggested that Ukraine or Ukrainian actors and Democrats -- not Russian operatives -- were involved in the breach of a Democratic National Committee server in 2016 that resulted in the release of internal emails.Thomas Bossert, who served as Trump’s first homeland security adviser, said last month that he told the president there was no basis to his theory that Ukraine was involved with the server. -- Jennifer A. Dlouhy and Ben BrodyPelosi Says No Timeline Set for Impeachment (11:22 a.m.)House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that she has “no idea” whether the House impeachment inquiry and a Senate trial could be wrapped up by the end of the year.She was asked about reports that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told his GOP colleagues he expected the entire matter to be settled before Congress leaves Washington for its holiday break.“The timeline will depend on the truth,” Pelosi told reporters at the Capitol. She also said she had no concern about the impeachment process moving into the election year.Sondland Says Giuliani Had Re-Election Agenda (10:01 a.m.)Sondland said Trump told him to deal with Rudy Giuliani on Ukraine and that he realized later that the president’s personal lawyer had an agenda to get Ukrainian help with the 2020 re-election campaign.Sondland said he was “disappointed” when Trump directed him, Energy Secretary Rick Perry and then-special envoy Kurt Volker to work with Giuliani on Ukraine policy, according to his prepared remarks to the House panels leading the impeachment inquiry.“Our view was that the men and women of the State Department, not the president’s personal lawyer, should take responsibility for all aspects of U.S. foreign policy towards Ukraine,” Sondland said in his statement.Nonetheless, the three men concluded that it was a better course than abandoning their goal of setting up a White House meeting between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.“But I did not understand, until much later, that Mr. Giuliani’s agenda might have also included an effort to prompt the Ukrainians to investigate Vice President Biden or his son or to involve Ukrainians, directly or indirectly, in the president’s 2020 re-election campaign,” he said.Sondland Distances Himself From Trump (9:38 a.m.)Sondland plans to use his opening statement before House impeachment investigators to distance himself from Trump and the president’s actions regarding Ukraine, according to a copy of the statement obtained by Bloomberg News.The ambassador to the European Union, also a generous Trump donor, said withholding aid for Ukraine in exchange for an investigation of a political rival would be “wrong,” and he downplayed his involvement any such deal.“Inviting a foreign government to undertake investigations for the purpose of influencing an upcoming U.S. election would be wrong,” he said. “Withholding foreign aid in order to pressure a foreign government to take such steps would be wrong. I did not and would not ever participate in such undertakings.” He said he wasn’t aware until much later that Trump pressed Ukraine’s president in a July phone call to investigate the Bidens.Sondland said he won’t use his testimony to “push an agenda,” but rather “to tell the truth.”“Some may want me to say things to protect the President at all costs; some may want me to provide damning facts to support the other side,” Sondland said in his statement. “But none of that matters to me.”Sondland is also backing former Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, calling her “a delight to work with.” Trump disparaged Yovanovitch in his phone call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy and said she was “bad news.”Sondland’s testimony began as scheduled Thursday, despite the death of Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings.Key EventsMichael McKinley, a senior adviser to Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, told the committees he resigned last week partly because the State Department didn’t “offer support to foreign service employees caught up in the impeachment inquiry on Ukraine,” according to excerpts released by a former colleague.Republican senators discussed the possibility of finishing an impeachment trial before the holidays if the House impeaches Trump before Thanksgiving, GOP Senator Kevin Cramer told reporters.Trump defended his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, who is being scrutinized by federal investigators for his financial dealings after two associates were charged with violating campaign finance laws. Trump said “Rudy was a great prosecutor” and the best mayor in the history of New York.\--With assistance from Billy House, Ben Brody, Jennifer A. Dlouhy and Gregory Korte.To contact the reporter on this story: Justin Sink in Washington at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Sobczyk at firstname.lastname@example.org, Justin Blum, John HarneyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
- entertainment Yahoo TV
Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, held her first TV interview since marrying Prince William and becoming a royal.