Saturday, October 4, 2008

Second projection

For today's update, we are using the following polls:

Angus Reid - Sep 24-25 (0.07 weight)
EKOS - Sep 30-Oct 2 (1.00 weight)
Ipsos-Reid - Sep 30-Oct 2 (1.00 weight)
Nanos Research - Sep 30-Oct 2 [ON, QC, Atl only] (1.00 weight)
Strategic Counsel - Sep 28-29 [ON, QC only] (0.64 weight)
Harris-Decima -Sep 29-Oct 2 [ON, QC, Atl, BC only] (0.93 weight)

National results (change vs. 2006, change vs. last projection)
CPC 152 (+28, +10), Lib 67 (-36, -5), BQ 49 (-2, n/c), NDP 36 (+7, -6), Grn 1 (+1, +1), Ind 3 (+2, n/c)

Atlantic (change vs. 2006, change vs. last projection)
Lib 17 (-3, -5), CPC 9 (n/c, +6), NDP 4 (+1, -2), Grn 1 (+1, +1), Ind 1 (+1, n/c)

Quebec (change vs. 2006, change vs. last projection)
BQ 49 (-2, n/c), Lib 13 (+2, +1), CPC 11 (+1, n/c), Ind 2 (+1, n/c), NDP 0 (n/c, -1)

Ontario (change vs. 2006, change vs. last projection)
CPC 58 (+18, n/c), Lib 31 (-23, n/c), NDP 17 (+5, n/c)

Saskatchewan and Manitoba (change vs. 2006, change vs. last projection)
CPC 22 (+2, n/c), Lib 3 (-2, n/c), NDP 3 (n/c, n/c)

Alberta (change vs. 2006, change vs. last projection)
CPC 28 (n/c, +1), NDP 0 (n/c, -1)

British Columbia (change vs. 2006, change vs. last projection)
CPC 23 (+6, +3), NDP 11 (+1, -2), Lib 2 (-7, -1)

North (change vs. 2006, change vs. last projection)
CPC 1 (+1, n/c), Lib 1 (-1, n/c), NDP 1 (n/c, n/c)

A few remarks...

In Alberta, the Tories re-solidify their stranglehold, robbing the NDP of the seat that was projected there last time.

In the Atlantic, the Conservatives make up the ground they had lost in the last projection but Elizabeth May pulls ahead in Central Nova winning by just under 3 points over MacKay with the NDP placing a close third.

In Quebec, this projection shows the NDP losing their toe-hold, with Mulcair losing Outremont by only 0.72%.

I'll continue to update daily until October 14. I welcome your suggestions if you think any aspect of the formula needs to be adjusted.

NOTE: These projections do not reflect the wishes, nor predictions, of the author. They are based on simple math using the criteria outlined here and here.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Image politics strikes again. And it ain't pretty folks.

Many history buffs may remember the '74 photo of Bob Stanfield fumbling the football on an airport tarmac during a campaign stopover which, to the Tory leader's dismay, served to depict him as clumsy and inept. Well, the wrath of embarrassing image politics strikes again my friends as this photo of Liberal leader Stéphane Dion trying (I think?) to shoot the puck or ball into the net is disastrous to say the least. Is it as bad as the Stanfield photo? Probably not, but in the case of Stanfield, we must all remember that he caught all the passes thrown to him on that particular day before dropping the big one on camera (leading him to be punked by the media). Judging from the photo below, not sure one can say the same about Steph's athletic prowess away from the camera lens? H/T Dan Cook.

Although, in his defense, he probably sealed up the political geek vote with his suspect shooting technique. A technique I haven't witnessed since my mom joined me and my friends out in the driveway for a few quick wristers eons ago. Can you say train wreck?

Update: Toronto Star Quiz "Which party best represents your views in this election?"

Apparently, besides the Tories, the Dippers are the best party to represent my political views in this election, go figure. Take the "party quiz" and let me know how it goes?

Update II: It doesn't get any better in video, folks. H/T Le Politico.

Big debate bump coming for NDP?

The Ipsos-Reid poll out today says the following:
Overall, the effect of this debate on voters’ intentions is mild. Nearly two in ten (15%) English-speaking Canadians who watched the debate say that they have changed their mind about who to vote for on October 14th as a result of viewing the debate.

Among those who changed their vote, 37% say they would now vote NDP, 26% say they would now Liberal, 25% say they would now vote Green, and 9% say they would now vote Conservative.
That means the NDP could get a bounce of up to 5.6%, the Liberals up to 3.9%, the Greens up to 3.8% and the Conservatives up to 1.4%. I say "up to" because each parties gains would be coming at the expense of others.

Ipsos polls tend to be more favourable to the Conservatives than most, so this looks to be quite good for the opposition parties. One presumes though that the NDP and Green votes are coming mostly at the expense of the Liberals so it remains to be seen how much of a net bounce they would get out of this.

As a result, depending on how this breaks out, it is conceivable, and even likely, we will see the NDP and Greens gain votes at the expense of the Liberals and, to a lesser extent, the Conservatives. Worth paying close attention to the first polls that have begin dates of Oct 4, likely out by Monday.

First projection

Ok friends, Romans and countrymen, the long awaited projection is here.

I explained the methodology for obtaining base numbers yesterday.

Before getting into the projection, I'll explain the methodology for including polls:
  • Only one poll per polling company will be used at any time;
  • A poll must break down into at least one of following regions to be used: Ontario, Quebec, Atlantic (NB, NS, PE, NL), SK/MB, AB, BC - these are the regions I project off of;
  • Polls will only be used for those regions from the bullet above into which they break, national numbers are used to project the three northern seats;
  • For our purposes, the date of the poll is the average of all days in a sample (i.e. a poll conducted from Sep 29-Oct 1 has a date of Sep 30, a poll conducted from Sep 28-Oct 1 has a date of Sep 29.5)
  • The newest poll(s) is/are given full weight, all other polls are rated relatively with only polls taken within 6.5 days of the newest poll being considered (i.e. if the newest poll has an average date of Sep 30, it is given full weight; a poll with a date of Sep 23 would be given no weight and a poll with a date of Sep 23.5 would be given a weight of 0.5/7)
So for today's projection, we are using the following polls:

Angus Reid - Sep 24-25 (0.21 weight)
EKOS - Sep 29-Oct 1 (1.00 weight)
Ipsos-Reid - Sep 23-25 (0.14 weight)
Nanos Research - Sep 29-Oct 1 [ON, QC, Atl only] (1.00 weight)
Strategic Counsel - Sep 28-29 [ON, QC only] (0.79 weight)
Harris-Decima -Sep 28-Oct1 [ON, QC, Atl, BC only] (0.93 weight)

National results (change vs. 2006)
CPC 142 (+18), Lib 72 (-31), BQ 49 (-2), NDP 42 (+13), Ind 3 (+2)

Atlantic (change vs. 2006)
Lib 22 (+2), NDP 6 (+3), CPC 3 (-6), Ind 1 (+1)

Quebec (change vs. 2006)
BQ 49 (-2), Lib 12 (-1), CPC 11 (+1), Ind 2 (+1), NDP 1 (+1)

Ontario (change vs. 2006)
CPC 58 (+18), Lib 31 (-23), NDP 17 (+5)

Saskatchewan and Manitoba (change vs. 2006)
CPC 22 (+2), Lib 3 (-2), NDP 3 (n/c)

Alberta (change vs. 2006)
CPC 27 (-1), NDP 1 (+1)

British Columbia (change vs. 2006)
CPC 20 (+3), NDP 13 (+3), Lib 3 (-6)

North (change vs. 2006)
CPC 1 (+1), Lib 1 (-1), NDP 1 (n/c)

A few remarks...

The Alberta results stand out, however, the polling average shows the Conservatives down 10% in Alberta with the Greens and NDP each up about 5. If that were to actually happen on election day, it would be conceivable for at least one urban seat to flip. In this projection, it shows the NDP picking up Edmonton--Strathcona by a margin of 38 to 32.

There are two indpendents showing up in Quebec, one is obviously Andre Arthur. The other is incumbent MP Louise Thibault, formerly of the Bloc, in Rimouski-Neigette--Témiscouata--Les Basques. This riding shows the best (or worst) vote split ever... Ind 23%, CPC 22%, BQ 18%, NDP 18%, Lib 16%, Grn 4%.

A very interesting race in Central Nova where the projection shows the NDP winning and Peter Mackay placing third. Is this realistic? I'm not sure. This may be a good argument for tweaking the formula. What do you folks think? Current results project NDP 36%, Grn 35%, CPC 29%.

I'll continue to update daily until October 14. I welcome your suggestions if you think any aspect of the formula needs to be adjusted.

NOTE: These projections do not reflect the wishes, nor predictions, of the author. They are based on simple math using the criteria outlined here and here.

Layton to Dion: You're not ready for prime time

I mentioned to a few people that last night's English debate reminded me a lot of the one in 2000. Anyway, without boring you with detailed minutia, here are my three quick reasons why: 1.) the second place party leader, Stock Day in 2000 and Dion in 2008, did not perform well enough to convince voters that they were ready for prime time b) the last place leader in the HoC upon dissolution, Joe Clark in 2000 and Layton in 2008, performed well enough to take votes away from their counterparts on their side of the political spectrum, thus ensuring vote splitting and c) The incumbents, Jean Chretien in 2000 and Harper in 2008, both knew they would be under attack all night, so they did their best to ward off all comers by playing defense, thus preventing the Opposition from scoring huge points. H/T WK

Oh, and one other thing, both debates had "a moment" as they say in spinner circles. In 2000, it was the moment when Stockwell Day held up a magic-markered placard saying "No 2-tier health care" and in 2008 the moment was this:

For a debate analogy much better then mine [see CTV Video Player "Political blogger Kinsella on the debate"]. I like the way Warren compares Harper to a hockey goalie. Brilliant.

Best post-debate line: Conservative pundit Gerry Nicholls: "Everybody at the table kept trying to convince Harper he was a conservative; he kept reassuring them that he wasn't.

Debate live blog

10:02 - Stephen Harper and Elizabeth May look quite unfortunate in HD. Layton has many short white hairs on the top of his head that you don't see in standard definition. Dion and Duceppe look about the same.

10:04 - Dion answered the first question relatively clearly, points to him. Harper takes a rough shot at Dion saying he "panicked" by launching a policy on a debate, doesn't answer the question for himself.

10:07 - Dion is given a chance to respond to Harper, starts of strong but then repeats verbatim, with the same tone, his lines from before. Clearly they had been memorized, not sure if the average viewer would pick up on that and view it negatively or not.

10:09 - "Either you don't care, or you're incompotent," Layton to Harper. Harper says it is true that $50b went to big business in tax cuts, but it was a $200b tax cut package with three-quarters going to "families, small businesses", etc.

10:12 - Dion rails agains Flaherty's criticism of Ontario, gets excited and the quality of his English suffers.

10:13 - May gets in a Central Nova riding shout out (Trenton).

10:19 - Cool camera angle. Harper centered with back to camera looking on to Layton and Duceppe both offset. Good for Harper I think, he looks commanding with two apprentices looking on.

10:21 - Dion mocks Layton for saying he opposes a carbon tax when he looks to Sweden as a model which has a carbon tax. Layton rebuts saying they are meeting Kyoto because of a cap-and-trade system like the one the NDP proposes. Dion dismisses him condecendingly.

10:23 - Harper/Duceppe big time showdown on the ultra sexy topic of reimbursable tax credits.

10:28 - Quick switch over to U.S. veep debate...

10:30 - Palin seems to be doing fairly strong. Back to Canada.... whoa, climate change quesion. "We know that it's real," says Palin. "Somthing to be said about man's activities, but also the cyclical changes of our planet..." Now back to Canada for real.

10:31 - ... and right into the deficit question.

10:32 - Shockingly, all leaders say they wouldn't not run a deficit. I can't believe it. This will be the headline tomorrow, who could have predicted it!?!? Layton makes a cute jab about how Tommy Douglas never ran a deficit and, as for Bob Rae, "I guess he's with [the Liberals] now."

10:42 - Layton gets same angle as 10:19 vs. Harper and May, not quite as cool looking though as it is not perfectly centered.

10:43 - Harper explains his climate change plan that sounds pretty strong, although I assume it is not. May rebuts him relatively effectively.

10:45 - Then Duceppe does and Layton. Dion takes a pass on rebuttng Harper to further explain Green Shift, does so quite effectively.

10:47 - Healthcare, availability of doctors, as the feds have no real ability to change this, back over to U.S. Palin mocking Obama on foreign policy, sounds silly but does so effectively.

10:53 - Back to Canada. Things are pretty rowdy. Looks like Layton must have accused Harper of being against medicare.

10:55 - May aledges that NAFTA could allow Americans to bring private medicine to Canada, saying Harper's job as head of CTF was to destroy medicare. For the former point, wouldn't that have happened by now? The latter, somewhat fair but a bit of a stretch.

11:03 - Paikin: "Are Conservatives barbarians?" Oooo-kaaaayy.....

11:04 - "It's not the choice of politicians who will be helped by the government," says Dion. Ummm... so we have politicians why?

11:08 - Paikin: "I'm trying to make sure that Biden and Palin don't take our audience here..." that reminds me... *push recall* "... most important election ... since 1932," says Biden. Good to know.

11:12 - Palin still seems to be holding her own. Switching back to Canada.

11:17 - Layton takes an effective shot on Harper, pointing out his crime legislation would have passed a year ago if he hadn't prorogued parliament.

11:23 - Dion accuses Layton of destroying Kelowna Accord by "joining a coalition" with Harper to bring down the government. Layton very strongly puts Dion down by indicating how many times Dion has voted with the Harper government and says "if you can't even be leader of the opposition, what are you doing running for prime minister?" Ouch.

11:26 - Duceppe takes a shot at Layton, compliments the Liberals (backhandedly). Has he taken a shot at Dion? It is clear that Duceppe sees Harper as his principal opponent, but it is almost as though Layton is his secondary one?

11:28 - Checking in with the Americans, I believe they wrap up at 11:30.

11:29 - Palin's closing includes a shot at the mainstream media, says she likes taking the tough questions without the media filter.

11:32 - Biden's closing talks about his roots "like most of you".

11:33 - Back to Canada. CIDA is politicized? Interesting, I am not sure if what May says is true or not. Anyone in a position to speak without spin?

11:37 - Duceppe says "I know I won't be prime minister, and I know three of you won't be prime minister." I.e. a Harper win is a foregone conclusion.

11:38 - May says the first thing she would do would be change the electoral system to proportional representation. Okay, so worst case scenario, there would be an election in what? Six months? So the first thing you do is change the electoral system? Couldn't that wait until, I don't know, you'd accomplished something worth going to the polls on?

11:42 - Dion says he is courageous.

11:43 - May says a lack of income splitting robs $5 billion from married couples, says for someone who is a defender of marriage it doesn't make sense.

11:49 - May makes a good call out for populism.

11:53 - Layton does a good job listing just about every Liberal election promise that was broken right back to the Clear Grits platform in 1856.

11:58 - Paikin makes another Biden-Palin joke as we close, he is lucky it is over.


Not a bad debate, everyone had their good moments. In terms of the expectations game, I think Dion won. In terms of deliverable results, I think May won as she was articulate and didn't come off as a "crazy enviro-nut" and will be able to actually get the votes (high single digits) that polls suggest she will. In terms of an actual winner from a debate-in-a-vacuum view? Probably a draw.

Note: Due to technical difficulties, though this was written live, it was posted at the conclusion of the debate.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Projections coming tomorrow

Revision 1 - Oct. 8, 2008

I have completed the projection model and tested it - it's working!

I hope you'll enjoy the results (which I'll update through the election).

Here is the formula, this can be tweaked if it proves way out in left field but so far it seems to work in the testing.

First, I take the 2006 results and apply the following filters as necessary:
  • For first time incumbents:
    • if they held the seat for their own party: no adjustment
    • if they picked up an open seat from another party: +2% from the former party
    • if they defeated an incumbent and are having a rematch: +2.5% from the former incumbent
    • if they defeated an incumbent and are running against a new opponent: +5% from the former party
  • For non-incumbent races:
    • if there was one principal opponent: -2.5% from incumbent's party to opponent
    • if there were two principal opponents: -4% from incumbent's party with +2% to each opponent
  • The Danny Williams factor:
    • In Newfoundland and Labrador: -10% from CPC to principal opponent
    • In Nova Scotia, in CPC held ridings: -5% from CPC to principal opponent
  • Floor crossers:
    • If running for another party: 15% of their former party's share moves with them to their new party
    • If running as an independent: 50% of their former party's share goes with them
  • By-elections*:
    • if all of the principal candidates run again: weighted at 75%
    • if the incumbent runs again: weighted at 50%
    • if the incumbent doesn't reoffer: weighted at 25%
    • *I weighted vote totals, which tend to be lower in by-elections, not the percentages of votes
  • Other factors:
    • Party doesn't offer, endorses other candidate**: 60% to endorsee, balance distributed proportionately to other candidates; REV1 same formula applied to poll adjustments
    • Leader factor: 10% adjustment in favour of leader / against party whose leader ran in riding in 2006
    • **Liberals endorse May; Conservatives endorse Arthur; Greens endorse Dion, Wilfert
Without adding in polls (i.e. we re-ran the 2006 with different candidates), these adjustments would have made the 2006 results come out as follows:

Conservative: 123 (-1)
Liberal: 100 (-3)
Bloc Québécois: 51 (n/c)
New Democratic: 32 (+3)
Green: 0 (n/c)
Independents: 2 (+1)

The first projection will come tomorrow.

Le débat

Before delving into my thoughts, I have to admit that I fell asleep for part of the debate so I may have missed something of substance (staying up 'til midnight is hard for old foggies).

One of the biggest take-aways I had from this was one of being impressed with Jack Layton. His French, which in previous debates seemed "okay", I would now rate as "pretty good". He also looked somewhat "prime-ministerial" which is huge for Layton who had previously always came off as more of a game show host.

The next biggest thing I noticed was that Stéphane Dion missed the boat on countering the "not a leader" meme. Dion knew his files and was articulate but he was the only one that was repeatedly singled out by the moderator for talking out of turn and his submission to this made him look weak. There was also a moment (only partially in the shot) where he made his infamous shrug. I imagine the Tories are currently offering a series of first-borns in exchange for the footage from the camera that might have captured this in full.

Elizabeth May's French was not strong but her performance was steady. An important thing for her was when she made reference to that fact that the Green Party wants to lower income taxes. For me and probably most of the readers of this blog, that isn't a surprise. For many Canadians it would be. The Greens are viewed as left-wing, and left-wing is supposed to mean "tax raiser". I suspect a lot of people who are just tuning in have a new found curiosity about the Greens and that is why allowing the Greens into the debate could be a game changer.

Harper and Duceppe didn't really do anything that I found noteworthy, which would mean they performed as I expected.

What did you think?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Bloc Quebecois: A terrible return on investment

With the French debate on my mind this morning, I found these scribblings regarding the Bloc by Tim Power, a proud Newfoundlander, quite interesting to say the least:
It was only a few months ago that Gilles Duceppe had announced he was leaving the BQ to try to lead the PQ. That journey lasted no more than a day. Also, the BQ - like the PQ - have for all intents and purposes put sovereignty on the back burner. With 18 years in Ottawa, and many healthy federal pensions built up for their MPs, the Bloc have only managed to pass four pieces of legislation. It is not for me or Rob to tell Quebeckers what to do, but if I were a Quebecker I'd have to give some long hard thought about what my voting investment in the Bloc is doing for my province.

I come from a place where nationalism is alive and well. We have a premier who has marshaled its forces to great effect. But even with Newfoundland and Labrador's growing wealth and sense of self-confidence, will you find anyone serious who seriously advocates a break from the federation or would be prepared to support a federal party that apparently lives for the federation's death? While the Premier may have taken the controversial view that Newfoundlanders and Labradorians should not vote for one federal party, he has made it abundantly clear he wants the Canada-Newfoundland relationship to work.

At heart I am both a Canadian and a Newfoundland nationalist - they are congruent. We have had similar struggles to the people of Quebec and with Quebec. I respect and admire Quebeckers, but I am still stuck to understand the longevity of the Bloc.
Wow, four pieces of legislation in eighteen years (and fully sponsored by taxpayers to boot). The only other politician I know that could possibly meet (or surpass) that rate of unproductive absenteeism is MRD Liberal candidate Brian Murphy. A guy who missed over 43 votes in the House of Commons in just a few short years. To be honest, a record like that is something that voters in Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe should give some serious thought to when considering what their own voting investment in Murphy is doing for their riding.

A few things on Ken Dryden's speech in Fredericton

Though I wasn't as lucky as Rob to catch Mr. Dryden's "Mr. Nice Guy" speech live in the Restigouche Room at the Beaverbrook, I did catch it on CBC Newsworld this morning. And even though it was a little wordy, I found it to be very eloquently delivered. However, I can't say the same for the content contained within the speech as there was a little too much fluff in there for my liking. In it, Dryden attempted to paint Harper as a "not so nice" leader and listed a host of wasteful, statist Liberal programs that were cut as the reasoning behind his theory. He even went on to conclude (warning not verbatim) that from my experience "'not so nice guy's win" but "nice guy's win as well." I can only take that to mean that Dion is the nice guy deserved of victory that he is referring in that line.

Anyway, from someone who knows a little bit about playing sports for losing teams with a "nice guy" at the helm and winning teams with a "not so nice guy" as coach, I have to admit, if anything, Dryden's "Nice Guy" speech put into perspective why Dion's undisciplined, nice guy approach to politics is losing and Harper's tough, disciplined approach is winning.

Let's just say, nobody ever accused Trudeau, Mulroney or Chretien of being nice guys. Actually the former was decribes by his peers as "always combative, sometimes absurdly so" and the latter, Chretien, can be remembered for reducing the tough and rigid Carolyn Bennett to tears when she dared to cross him in front of caucus members at a cabinet meeting. Did Chretien hate her? Absolutely not. But he realized, as did other successful Prime Ministers, that to manage the egos within your own party, you had to be tough. Let's face it, anybody that I talk to who knows anything about federal politics, knows this isn't a business for "nice fellows". I think even Warren Kinsella would conquer with that, since he was the one that said Bob Rae would have never lived to see his 61st birthday if he had of tried to pull a stunt like this on his former boss. As the saying goes, "nice guys finish last."

Hail Mary?

As an avid Joe Biden supporter, it is a bit awkward for me to wade in on a plagiarism issue but, here goes...

One of two things happened today:
1.) the Liberals fluked out and made the connection between the Howard speech and the Harper speech; or
2.) the Liberals released something that they had been sitting on for some time and had been waiting for a strategic moment to release.

I would be the first person to tell you that this is a non-issue, a non-story and really warrants no more than a casual side-bar reference in the newspaper.

Few politicians write their own speeches in whole, some but not many work on original drafts written by staff, most simply rehearse and read speeches written entirely by others. Any politician who would fault Stephen Harper for reading from a prepared text ought to reinforce the windows in their glass house first.

Leaving that aside, the media loves this sort of non-story (issues are hard too cover and too boring to sell papers) so suddenly, it is a story.

I think that, going back to my earlier two options, this is #2. The timing would seem otherwise way too coincidental. If the Liberals know what they are doing (this remains to be seen) then they have played this out really well.

It looks this way to me:
- they have found a story that puts Stephen Harper's previous support of the Iraq War in the news;
- they have released it the day before the first leaders' debate, knowing that certainly Gilles Duceppe and likely Elizabeth May and Jack Layton will not be able to resist pouncing on it;
- they had it released not by the leader, but by a high-profile surrogate-candidate.

If they are smart and this is actually part of a plan, Dion will stay way above the fold on this. In the debate, three leaders will look petty droning on about childish plagiarism allegations, the prime minister will be forced to defend his previous support of the Iraq invasion and Dion will be able to remain above the fray. For the first time in this campaign, he might even look like a leader.

This could have been a brilliant Hail Mary pass. I will watch the execution with considerable curiosity.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Day 24: The end of two full days of pre-debate carpet bombing

: This just in: a couple of Toronto area Liberal MPs have joined the Council of Canadians in warning our nation of the dangers of a re-mandated Harper government.

I'm kidding, of course. But after the recent display, yesterday and today, from Iggy and Rae, I wouldn't blame anyone for wondering what in the world is the Liberal party coming to. What with Rae arguing about a war we never participated in, and a plagiarized speech, as a key foreign policy plank (or at least that's what we were led to believe he was delivering) and Iggy, sounding like the president of the Toronto Stock Exchange, boring us into submission over the fact he's always right whenever he's not wrong, is frankly enough to even make Buzz Hardgrove twinge. And where's Stephane Dion when all this policy is being made on the fly? I know, I know!! Somewhere locked up in a basement in Gatineau anxiously awaiting another chance to sell the Green Shift. Yes, my friends, this is definitely not your father's Liberal party of Canada.

Loser: Canadian English debate watchers. I'm pretty sure yours truly isn't the only one torn between watching the English debate on Thursday and this doozy.

Loser: A lazy, understaffed (and underpaid) Opposition speech writers writer who copy and pasted. Glad to see the culprit did the right thing and owned up to his obvious mistake.

Policy flop: Atlantic Liberals for feeding us more of those old, statist regional development policies. Two that really made me quiver: "...more weeks of employment insurance for the seasonally unemployed" and "renewed funding to the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency."

Winner: Tina Fey. I think it's safe to say that because of her bang-on performance on Saturday Night Live this past weekend, we will likely be witness to one of the largest non-political viewing audiences ever for a Vice-Presidential debate. Strike that, I'll go out on a limb here and say the largest.

Local losers: People looking for an honest debate in Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe. You would think it should be possible to have a picnic of honest discussion around the issues before a single ant arrives, or cloud to dim the day. Unfortunately, for voters in MRD, those ants arrived earlier than anticipated (and they're looking to ruin it for everyone else with lies and ad hominems). Word of advice, don't be fooled by the title of the Youtube video, it should read "divide and conquer [politics] along ethnic and linguistic lines" [H/T spinks]. Go watch:

That pesky Beausejour ant!! lol Anyway, is it me, or are the New Brunswick Liberal candidates, particularly Brian Murphy, getting worried about their election chances on the 14th of October? I mean honestly, what other explanation is there for such a barrage of unfounded brutal attacks right after the unfavourable poll numbers were released nationally last week and over the weekend? Oh well, the next time they get worried, Brian and Dominic can always call Mr. Zed to get reassurance that the national scene doesn't really matter in our neck of the woods, especially when they're the ones not doing well on it. lol

Monday, September 29, 2008

A few quick observations...

That's what I said. (Sorry to gloat, but I am so often wrong)

That's what they said in 1988... how'd it work out? (I don't mean to suggest the Liberals are heading for a landslide in 2012, but let's not bury Mark Twain too early)

Ouch. (PS - I give up on predicting when my predictions will be ready)

NBers Paint the Political Picture Caption Contest Semaine Trois&trade

I just couldn't resist the urge to use these classic photos of Dion for this weeks NBPPP Caption Contest. He's so good, he gets two pics. Anywho, you know the drill, and be nice.

* Week 1 winner: Le Politico
* Week 2 winner: henry j

Day 23: Party, policy and modus operandi

: Liberal strategists for employing a "reverse coattail" strategy late in the campaign. Just what do I mean by this? Well, normally political parties allocate scarce national campaign resources into ridings (and target their efforts) to where they lost or won by close margins the last time around, while at the same time, putting less of an effort into ridings where the margin of victory was big. A reverse coattail campaign would do the reverse, in that, they would place an even greater effort in ridings that won big -- not to raise the leader's already low poll numbers but in hopes the strong ridings pull the neighboring battleground ridings along for the ride. The bottom line, this type of panic strategy is usually a concession, by the party, that their leader has no chance of beating his/her opponent in the general campaign so they may as well salvage whatever they can at a micro level.

That said, you can understand my disagreements with this guy on the value of such a strategy, and in this case, speech. It's a losing strategy and you know it, Warren.

Reverse coattails update: Trust me folks, I do not make this stuff up. Greg Weston on the musings of another anonymous Liberal insider: "Another muses that perhaps Dion should be dispatched to campaign in Newfoundland for the rest of the election, leaving Bob Rae and Michael Ignatieff to lead the fight for seat-rich Ontario."

Loser: Liberal MP Bob Rae for suggesting that Canadians, specifically Quebecers, will miraculously come around to their leader's policies after hearing him debate. He, of all people, should know better then to think that Procrustean politics works in Canada. In other words, parties that attempt to shape the country to their message rather than shaping their message to the country always lose. I guess left-wing ideologues, like Rae, believe that what is good for Liberals is good for the rest of the country. Too bad Canadians don't agree.

Policy Loser: The NDP's platform. If these statist policies are the ideas of Her Majesty's next Loyal Opposition, then we are in big trouble folks. So big that this may end up being the first Parliament we've known to be without a legitimate conscience. However, on the bright side for Tories, if anything, what the NDP does represent in today's politics is the guarantor of consecutive conservative majorities (and even a possible forced merger on the left). Thanks Jack.

Off the subject of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition, I see one former Mulroney PMO advisor is claiming bias in the mainstream media. But wait folks, it's not your typical right-wing railing against the bias Liberal media as you would expect from a Tory? He's claiming that there is an anti-NDP agenda amongst the media! That's right folks, A Tory claiming right-wing media bias against a left-wing socialist party. And you thought you had seen it all.

Losers: Liberal candidates who speculate, mid-campaign, about who should be their next leader going forward; not to mention, those that have the knives out already for Dion. Isn't this the kind of internal feuding that got you guys here in the first place? Très uncool Libs.

Losing argument: New Brunswick Liberal Paul Zed: "...the national polls are not a reflection of the way voters decide in Atlantic Canada. In this region, there are 32 mini-elections with voters very focused on who their candidate is and what they're going to do for the riding."

Ummm, sure Paul, all us good Atlantic Canadians will do our darnedest to put up "a firewall" to what is happening in the rest of the country and ignore the disaster nationally that is known as your Liberal party of Canada. Although, that will be tough to do since other Liberal star candidates in Ontario are saying that people will warm up to the national campaign after they see Dion debate on Wednesday and Thursday. To your credit Mr. source Zed, you were correct in saying that Harper is "smart enough to realize he can pick up seats here." I'm sure people who put weight in recent national polls won't argue with that fact.

Headline of the day: Canadian Liberals, once dominant, now in big trouble. H/T Dan Cook.

Best line: Out of the mouth of a senior NDP strategist: "We want to be known by that one word -- prudent," [...] The narrative of the platform," he said, "is Layton will run a prudent, fiscally sound government." Ouch! How does it feel to have the dippers steal the fiscal pragmatism right away from your party, Liberals?

Funny: I don't know what he ate for breakfast, but Stormin Norman is on fire today: "Now that Jack Layton has called on Stephen Harper to convene a meeting of party leaders to discuss the economic situation, one awaits a press release from Liberal headquarters announcing that Mr. Dion is suspending his campaign and re-considering whether he will participate in the leaders' debates."