The Folly of Seat Projections

The recent surge of the NDP into Liberal and Bloc territory seems to continue without end. Despite the doomsdayers the lines will stabilize (if they haven't already.)

In the mean time we're being treated to a spate of seat projections showing such varying dizzying results. Some Tories, uncomprehendingly, have come out claiming that a Tory Majority is now out of reach. Some believe the Bloc is dead. Others that the Liberals are on life support.

All of this could turn out to be true. But much of it probably won't.

What puzzles me the most about this situation is the almost complete certainty of some with regards to just what these polling numbers actually mean.

How could anyone know what they mean? What are they gods of election prediction? Do they have some sort of crystal ball that allows them to see magically where these new NDP votes are going? Seat projections are based on certain theories on how votes distribute themselves. They have a history of working well when parties poll within a few percentage points of where they did the last time around.

With NDP support not doubling, not tripling, not quadrupling, but increasing by factors of ten or more in Quebec and lesser so elsewhere who is crazy enough to create seat projections at all?

The truth is that no one really knows (or should claim to know) what the NDP surge in support will mean. These new votes could be efficiently distributed for the NDP - or advantageously distributed for others.

Given this uncertainty, the insanity of all this news coverage is apparent. I expect (or maybe I hope) that many will be surprised come May 2nd.

If not it will stroke the already over-bloated egos of some, and turn others into blind pollster worshipers.

Harper Really Does Just Need To Survive

I was right then. And I'm still right.

Conservative optimists and pessimists alike need to take a deep breath.

The fight isn't over. It's only beginning.

The only difference is Comrade Layton, not Count Iggy is the Captain of the pirate ship Coalition.

All that means is that the Socialist/Separatist insurgency will be much more short lived.

Personal Attacks II

"... a senior Liberal strategist, speaking on background, said the Conservatives have forgotten the first rule of politics: that hope beats fear."(link)
It looks like the Liberals have had a change of opinion:

This ad is brilliant (strategically). I don't know why the Liberals haven't tried this yet. The Paul Martin and Jean Chretien Liberals toasted their Conservative opponents with the "hidden agenda" healthcare smear.

And, it worked.

My guess is that Count Iggy was finally convinced that if he wants to have a chance he needs to play rough.

What a massive hypocrite.

"These personal attacks are unprecedented in the history of Canadian democracy..."
And how personal is it to accuse someone of wanting "absolute power?" I'll let you answer that one for yourself.

I will give credit to the Liberals on one front - they didn't attack Harper for his faith, being not anti-American enough, or his patriotism. I guess they've learned something after feeling the heat themselves for once.

Personal Attacks I

Electoral Irony

MONTREAL - A tree fell on the former home of deceased Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau on Thursday, causing minor damage to the building.

The art deco-styled house, located on Pine Avenue West, is considered a heritage site. The reason for the tree falling is unknown.(link)

A sign of a looming Tory majority?... I kid of course.

G20 Costs VI

I honestly didn't think I would ever write another G20 post. Little did I know, Sheila Fraser had other plans.

However, it should be said that this couldn't have been that surprising to anyone. When a summit costs upwards of 150 times the value of similar summits held recently something was misspent.

The interesting part of this whole affair is that the report was leaked now. I find it hard to understand how this would inflict maximum damage. If I really wanted to hammer the Tories over this I would wait until the day of the debates, thereby ensuring that the Tories are caught off guard.

Yet at the same time, I don't think the opposition will get much play over this issue. The G20 summit happened a long time ago now. The public has well over forgotten.

Moreover, financial scandals have hard time sticking to governments. Just ask Jean Chretien. It has to get really really REALLY bad for people to take notice. One billion dollar boondoggle alone is not enough.

To make matters worse for the opposition, they are unlikely to convince many that they would do a better job. Fiscal responsibility is just not a core winnable issue for the left in general. It would be the equivalent of the Tories criticizing Liberal policy on healthcare. Would Canadians really believe the Tories are the defenders of public healthcare? Regardless if it's true or not - the prevailing bias is what it is.

I believe that the Tories will most likely emerge from this and survive. And (I hope) learning some hard lessons.

G20 Costs V
G20 Costs IV
G20 Costs III
G20 Costs II
G20 Costs I


Layton Speaks!
"If Mr. Harper is in charge of the future of health care in our country then Canadians should be very, very worried..."


"They don't believe it's a federal issue. They want to leave it to the provinces knowing that the provinces don't have the resources that are necessary and privatization will become the only option."(link)

That's cause it aint a federal issue. That's what tick's off most provinces - especially Quebec. Oh well - Layton will just zap those pesky national unity issues with laser beams from this manly moustache!

Also, Mr Moustache, you're wrong about the Tories. Not wrong in the sense that a lot of Tories would like privatization. Not in the sense that we do believe it isn't a federal issue either.

You're wrong in believing that the Tories will do anything that you wouldn't do on the healthcare front.

The Tories fear one word more than anything (even the "A" word) : healthcare. It's been the beating stick used by their opposition over and over and over... To the Tories, whatever their personal opinions, no one will ever ever touch healthcare. Even worse - if you propose to do anything to healthcare I would be willing to bet that Harper would come out the very next day and say "us too!"

Be wary as we travel into a political parallel universe, with the same party leaders just ideologies switched!

SURREY, B.C. — NDP Leader Jack Layton is promising to get tough on crime, particularly gang violence.

The party's strategy would put an additional 2,500 police officers on streets across the country and double funding for programs that try to keep children from joining gangs.(link)

I bet there's some sort of pro-hippie fine print in that policy - but in the meantime the NDP get kuddos from me on joining the fight.