Saturday, September 30, 2006

Current Results

The results so far are kind of hard to judge. I'm trying to figure out exactly which clubs and ridings are reporting. This is particularly important in places like Ontario where it should be a riding by riding slug fest. Kennedy's results out east are disappointing. We'll see if PEI comes in for him today or not. He looks really good in Ontario, Alberta and BC. I only predicted 50 riding delegates for him in Quebec so I'm not too shocked by his poor showing there.

Dion's strength out east is impressive. He's not running worse than third in the four big provinces so he may be stronger than I anticipated. Rae has to be disappointed with early returns in Ontario. Iggy is where he was expected to be. Note to media: this is a four way race, not a two way race.

I've compiled results to date including declared ex-officio's

Iggy: 385
Dion: 232
Rae: 217
GK: 195
Dryden: 83
Brison: 83
MHF: 21


If you have any riding by riding information please leave it in the comments. I'm trying to get the exact picture. I got the results from Memorial (first poll in; only one in NL with 4 delegates) and UWO

Friday, September 29, 2006


Do they or don't they have an accredited club?

I'm confused.

The pull of Ex-Officio delegates

I received an e-mail today from Deborah Coyne (2006 candidate for Toronto-Danforth) urging me to vote for Iggy. Also an e-mail from the provincial Liberal association detailing which exec members are running for which candidate. A strong majority were running for Iggy. I called the Liberal Pary list in Toronto-Danforth for Gerard Kennedy in July and what I heard over and over again was "I'm not sure but definitely not Michael Ignatieff." Now, we will see what transpires this weekend, but I wonder if all this executive support for Iggy will translate into delegates. I also wonder how much ex-officio endorsements will help all candidates in all ridings. If their endorsements are like Toronto-Danforth, I wonder.


With less than 12 hours before the polls open in Newfoundland and Labrador, it's time to post my final estimate. The link with the details is located on the sidebar. However, here are my national projections:

Iggy: 23.64%
Rae: 19.14%
GK: 18.59%
Dion: 14.79%
Volpe: 9.63%
Dryden: 7.15%
Brison: 6.37%
MHF: 0.70%

The link on the side will also serve as my way of posting results from across the country. I have the spreadsheets itemized by riding association and club. I will try to glean results from all possible sources.

As for one final appeal. I will only provide a link to GK's website and say think about the Canada we can have not just the unpredictability of elections.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Some Clarifications

Having read the commentary on recent posts I wish to clarify a few things:

1. I am supporting Gerard Kennedy. I have made that clear in the past. One of the principle reasons I am supporting Kennedy is that he has virtually no baggage. What? He was too generous in contract negotiations with the teachers' unions which had been robbed by Harris? That's a great attack ad! Rae, Ignatieff and Dion have a huge amount of baggage and would make the campaign about their past instead of Canada's future. That's a campaign we don't win. Our opponents are probably hoping for the following things: the Tories are hoping for Rae so that they clean up in the 905; the NDP are hoping for Ignatieff so they can clean up in Toronto and Vancouver; and the Bloc are hoping for Dion so that they can take the few francophone seats the Liberals still hold. Kennedy's positive view on Canada would expose Harper's paucity of ideas; his actual work helping the poor would put Layton to shame and finally Harper has proven that perfect French is not a prerequisite for winning in Quebec (remember that he had trouble answering questions in the French debate), so Kennedy's only glaring weakness should be manageable.

2. I respect the views of Michael Ignatieff on defence. I just wholeheartedly disagree with them. I had to read Empire Lite for my second year IR course and I just don't agree with his theories of rebuilding failed states. I do not share his faith in the ability of overwhelming hegemonic force to guarantee stability. I think the Afghan and Iraqi conflict are excellent examples of where his theory has failed. I don't know how well we do among voters from former colonial states (particularly Canadian Muslims: the Canadian Islamic Congress has already said they don't like Iggy) if we have a candidate who openly favours imperialism. His comments on torture, although I have not read all the context, are troubling and would be troubling to the electorate in a NDP attack ad. I know I couldn't explain it to my neighbours in Toronto-Danforth when I'm canvassing in the next election.

3. The majority of youth don't vote in a general election, thus, they are ignored in most polls. However, the youth which join political parties tend to be the kind that like to vote and chances are will vote in the delegate selection meetings this weekend at least once if not twice (riding association and student club). That's why I think they are important factor when predicting the results of the vote this weekend. Partisans are a very rare breed in Canada; different rules apply to predicting their behaviour.

4. Lastly, this is not in response to any comment, but, my inbox has been flooded with e-mails from the various Bob Rae delegates from Toronto-Danforth. I don't know if this is a Rae campaign strategy or whether there are more than 14 delegates for Rae in my riding and they are jockeying for position but they are the only delegates who are sending e-mails. If it is a tactic of the Rae camp, I say well done. It kind of functions as an electronic lawn sign, if I was undecided it may have moved my decision.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

You Tube Attacks

There are some over-the-top videos on You Tube attacking Iggy and Rae. I don't care for either of them, but they raise a valid point. If a couple of kids can produce these stinging attacks, imagine the attack ads the Tories and Dippers are going to put out in the next election. Rae and Ignatieff have a lot of baggage. We shouldn't forget that when we vote this weekend. There are two things that are crucial in a leader: good ideas and a good track record. Ignatieff's defense positions are not good ideas and Rae has about as bad a track record as a politician in Ontario could have.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Fry is Fried

Hedy Fry has dropped out and is endorsing Bob Rae. Hey, is that tumbleweed?! I have dutifully moved the 15 delegates I had assigned in my projections to Fry (yeah, I know I was generous) into the Rae column. Only one question, what happens to all the ballots that have Hedy Fry delegates on them? And tangentially, what if the people of her riding decide to do what the Democrats of Vermont did for Howard Dean, and elect Fry in spite of the fact that she has dropped out? Oh think of the possibilities... man, can you tell that I'm bored with this race, can we vote already?

As for the other controversies. I really am not all that shocked. Nor am I that appalled. First, the dead. The point of signing up dead people is beyond me. They can't vote! I'm pretty sure about this. They really can't vote. Were they going to send staffers in to vote with fake ID's? So what exactly does it accomplish for Messrs. Ignatieff and Volpe? Boost their sales totals which were never released except via rumours? Are they taking politics lessons from Sideshow Bob? I'm confused. I guess the LPC should add those donations to the candidates' donations to the party for the year.

The living. This is a little nauseating, but I'm not really surprised. Anything to get them in the door, right? The microscope has been on the ants far too long and some of them are starting to burn. This is why you don't have 9 month leadership races: all the dirty little tricks get exposed and the party looks bad for it. The next time we do this, please for the love of God, make it shorter.

86% of all Statistics are Made Up

The Toronto Star has joined the Globe and Mail in commissioning a poll of Liberal members. The star is not disclosing how they got their hands on the membership lists. All I can say is the Liberal lists seem to be easier to get than the common cold. I have a couple of questions about the accuracy of the polls:

1. The Star notes that a majority of riding delegates will come from Ontario and Quebec. This is true. It is also true that 20% of delegates will come from Alberta and BC where the membership rolls are considerably smaller. I wonder if Alberta and BC liberals were properly represented in this poll. If not, numbers for candidates with strength out West (like Kennedy) will be significantly lower than their delegate count will be next weekend.

2. There are going to be a lot of youth going to the convention. Nearly a third of all delegates by reckoning will be youth. Now, I know that youth do not decide which youth delegates go to the convention but I guarantee you that youth will go out and vote this weekend. Furthermore, there will be about 200 delegates from student clubs which will be chosen only by youth. Pollsters have a tendency to ignore young people when they do polls. This makes sense in a normal election because young people don't have that much of a say in who wins (their voter turnout is abysmal), but in this case the youth have real power and will shape this race. If the pollsters discounted youth members because they're hard to find or because they don't think that they matter, strength for certain candidates with strong youth support, (like Kennedy) would be underestimated.

Now it's possible that both of these things were considered by the pollsters. In which case their numbers should be accurate. I guess we'll find out this weekend.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Envelope Please

In the interest of posting something I present my projection of the liberal leadership delegate count. Student and Women's clubs are reflected based on the lists available online. I've used delegate count's projections for ex-officio delegates. I can't determine the number of Aboriginal or Senior clubs so their numbers are not reflected. I don't know if anyone else noticed but of the 82 accredited women's clubs, 21 are in New Brunswick and 1 is in British Columbia. Now, there's something for the West to be alienated about! Anyway here are my first ballot projections based on my knowledge of regional support and membership sales for each candidate:

Iggy: 23.77% (1241/5220)
Rae: 18.85% (984/5220)
GK: 18.79% (981/5220)
Dion: 13.22% (690/5220) (I admit this looks low but I can't figure out where in the country his support comes from outside of Quebec)
Volpe: 10.71% (559/5220) (I really hope this is a high projection but Volpe knows how to get the vote out and should do well in Ontario and Quebec)
Dryden: 7.13% (372/5220)
Brison: 6.57% (343/5220)
MHF: 0.67% (35/5220)
Fry: 0.29% (15/5220)

Here it is by Province:
Newfoundland & Labrador: Iggy 22.22 %; Rae 17.46%; GK 21.43%; Dion 3.97%; Volpe 3.97%; Dryden 5.56%; Brison 25.40%; MHF 0%; Fry 0%

Nova Scotia: Iggy 23.83%; Rae 8.41%; GK 7.94%; Dion 6.07%; Volpe 4.67%; Dryden 2.80%; Brison 46.26%; MHF 0%; Fry 0%

New Brunswick: Iggy 32.13%; Rae 19.28; GK 23.69%; Dion 5.62%; Volpe 4.02%; Dryden 4.02%; Brison 11.24%; MHF 0%; Fry 0%

PEI: Iggy 29.41%; Rae 19.12%; GK 32.35%; Dion 1.47%; Volpe 2.94%; Dryden 5.88%; Brison 8.82%; MHF 0%; Fry0%

Quebec: Iggy 17.84%; Rae 23.16%; GK 4.91%; Dion 28.40%; Volpe 21.11%; Dryden 3.76%; Brison 0.82%; MHF 0%; Fry 0%

Ontario: Iggy 24.76%; Rae 17.12%; GK 18.12%; Dion 10.97%; Volpe 9.42%; Dryden 11.41%; Brison 6.15%; MHF 1.83%; Fry 0.22%

Iggy 36.84%; Rae 17.81%; GK 15.38%; Dion 6.48%; Volpe 6.07%; Dryden 14.98%; Brison 2.43%; MHF 0%; Fry 0%

Saskatchewan: Iggy 29.09%; Rae 24.55%; GK 25.91%; Dion 5.45%; Volpe 4.55%; Dryden 5.45%; Brison 5.00%; MHF 0%; Fry 0%

Alberta: Iggy 24.49%; Rae 10.34%; GK 38.65%; Dion 8.54%; Volpe 5.84%; Dryden 5.84%; Brison 6.07%; MHF 0.22%; Fry 0%

British Columbia: Iggy 20.73%; Rae 23.32%; GK 32.47%; Dion 7.43%; Volpe 8.64%; Dryden 3.11%; Brison 2.25%; MHF 0.17%; Fry 1.90%

The North (a complete guess): Iggy 28.89%; Rae 26.67; GK 31.11%; Dion 13.33%; Volpe 0%; Dryden 0%; Brison 0%; MHF 0%; Fry 0%

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Bennett's On The Move

And then there were 9. Not much else to say. I guess Rae has a bit of Joementum going into the delegate selection. Carolyn Bennett could not have decided the leadership at the convention and she certainly won't decide it at this stage of the game. Add St. Paul's to ridings where Rae should do well and all calculations should remain the same.

I guess there's a possibility of more support going to the Hall-Findlay and Fry campaigns for those intent on seeing a woman in leadership. Wait, who am I kidding Bennett never had any support.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Another AG Bomb

The Auditor General is preparing to release a report slamming the management of the Ministry of the Environment under the David Anderson and Stephane Dion eras. Dion could be hurt by this depending on the severity of the report. Dion more than any other contender is basing his candidacy on his experience in office. His 'ten years at the cabinet table' are supposed to be the reason that he has the goods to lead the party. The part of that time he seems particularly proud of is his time at Environment. Hmmm... I wonder why he doesn't talk about his time at Intergovernmental Affairs crafting Chretien's response to the referendum including Quebec favourites like the Clarity Act and the sponsorship program, but I digress. If the environment candidate did a bad job of running the ministry of the environment his credibility may be on thin ice.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Citizens Assembly BS

Ian Urquhart has an excellent piece in the star talking about the citizens' assembly that is being set up in Ontario to possibly propose electoral reform. I called this blog 'All Politics is Local' because I firmly believe that. This is the primary reason why I oppose proportional representation. Our government should be a representation of the people from all parts of the province. This is of particular importance in Ontario where such divergent communities exist. But I'll save my defence of first past the post for another day.

What troubles me is the whole business of a citizens' assembly. I guess the point is that if the assembly pisses anyone off the government doesn't get the blame. However, the idea of 103 Ontarians with no special knowledge of electoral systems being asked to alter the course of Canadian electoral history is a little bit ridiculous. This is particularly true when the people running the assembly are not as neutral as advertised.

I had the pleasure of having Professor Jonathan Rose, who has now been named head of the secretariat responsible for the citizens' assembly as my first year political studies professor. I mean that with all sincerity. I have the utmost respect for Prof. Rose. However, he is not neutral on the issue of proportional representation. He is, like the vast majority of politics profs, pro-PR. Now, hopefully his personal opinions will not impact the course of the citizens' assembly but I am more and more concerned that Ontario is on the road to party dominated minority parliament land. I hope that someone grants this assembly the wisdom to advise the status quo.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Kennedy on Afghanistan

Still catching up on the leadership news. I read Linda Diebel's article on Kennedy's speech on Afghanistan. First impression: it's bold. I'm still kind of on the fence on this issue (a rarity for me) but I like that Kennedy is doing more than talking in platitudes. As we approach the fifth anniversary of September 11th and subsequently the invasion of Afghanistan, I think it is reasonable to re-evaluate our mission in the country. Here are some facts:

-27 Canadian soldiers are dead
- There has been some improvement in quality of life in Afghanistan
- There is still a very strong Taliban-led insurgency
- The occupation does serve to bolster anti-Western feeling in the Muslim world
- There is no end game
- Afghanistan deserves better than what it has had in the past 30 years

As I said I'm still kind of on the fence but the preponderence of evidence is increasingly on the side of withdrawl. One of the main reasons I think I agree with Kennedy that it is time to leave is that I can't accept the Bush/Ignatieff (not a slur, they're in the same boat on this one) justification for staying. Ignatieff argued in Empire Lite that the presence of overwhelming military force sets the groundwork for open communication and peace. This is true when dealing with rival warlords. This does not hold true when dealing with the Taliban. The crux of Iggy's argument is that an omnipotent neutral party can provide peace, but the Taliban do not view the coalition as neutral. They do not respect international mandates or their own national government, they cannot be brought to the table no matter how large the force. Thus we should remind ourselves of the history behind the phrase Pyrrhic victory. King Pyrrhus of Epirus tried to defeat the Roman military in Italy. He had an overwhelming military advantage (elephants) but in spite of many victories in battle he could not secure the Italian penninsula. He eventually was forced to retreat with his tail between his legs. The Romans won because they had homefield advantage. They knew the terrain and they were more dedicated to the mission. The Taliban has the advantages the Romans had, that the American revolutionaries had, that the Viet Cong had. History is not on our side. Still I'm not entirely convinced. But good on Kennedy for opening the debate.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Greetings from Sweden


Sitting comfortably in a mental hospital (dormitory) in Sweden. Been out of the loop will resume blogging soon.

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