Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Fall update

Well, Anton has adjusted to his new school and has begun assimilating French- his English is precocious. I'm back into my MA in Art History, currently doing research into industrial architecture in Montreal and the confluence of video games and architecture. Sadly, my wife has decided that a divorce is in order and I agreed. Her feelings for me have faded, so she says. What could I say- "yes, you really love me!" We'll find a mediator and resolve this as amicably as possible.

I may be posting less...and working more.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Winners and Losers; the only poll that matters

Well here is a comment from Inside the Queensway, Kady O'Malley's blog. It comes from Scott Reid;

"The country is and always will be decidedly centrist. The seat totals you cite should be of at least equal concern to Conservatives as Liberals. They had the sponsorship crisis and an extraordinary RCMP intervention in 2006 -- still weren't able to consolidate. They had an opponent with constrained skills carrying an unpopular policy proposal in 2008 -- still weren't able to consolidate. If Harper was the genius he claims, or the country were listing so far to the right, they'd be winning by a mile."
-Scott Reid
The numbers- and if you can't express something in numbers it's only opinion- say that most Canadians didn't vote for the Conservatives, and that the increase in votes for the Green party and the New Democrats indicate that the country is less conservative than before. If we had a 'rep- by- pop' system, the Conservatives would have earned about 114 seats, the Liberals about 81, the NDP about 56 seats and the Greens about 20 seats. The Bloc should really have 30 seats.

So the Tories still only have a plurality, and given the low turn-out, 4o% of the electorate didn't really care. So the Conservatives only directly represent about 20% of the electorate. If the Grits fall apart, then many ridings will go to either the Greens or the NDP- or the Grits will rebound and scoop up the pragmatic majority of the Greens and 'dippers. Either way, the Conservatives should feel insecure. They may have pushed the NDP another step on the way to becoming the Natural Governing Party of Canada because progressives will see the 'Dippers as the reasonable party for a fundamentally liberal centrist society, if the Liberals do truly implode.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Adam's Magnan Marathon; back to the gym

So yesterday I actually returned to the fitness center at Centre Gadbois.
20 minutes on the treadmill at a 8:30min/mile with elevation from 1.5 to 6.5 % grade. A kilometer run each way back and forth and that was my first "hill workout" in a longtime.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Contradiction; The Stephen Harper Story chapter 2008

After swearing that he wouldn't run a deficit( and Stephane Dion said he would if necessary) guess what?

Harper now refuses to rule out a deficit

Mr. Harper will say or do anything to get elected. The fact that he is Prime minister and Maxim Bernier won the biggest proportion of votes explains why Stepane Dion, an honourable and thoughtful man who lacks glibness isn't the primeminister. Canadians like glib, cynical, superficial liars to boss them.

OOPS it was 37% of canadians who voted for these chuckleheads. They don't represent a majority, but a plurality of citizens who want to be told simple, pretty lies.

Tory times are hard times and anyone who wasn't making donations to Brian Mulroney remembers that. They will be reminded again and again under Stephen Harper's governance.

CBC: say again?

This morning's dumb errors from CBC one's DayBreak (Montreal).

"Is someone purposely blowing up gas pipelines in BC?"- Mike Finnerty
Say again? No, woodland elves are accidently planting 'party charges".

"France's flamboyant French president"- anonymous news reader
Say again? As opposed to France's flamboyant Finnish president?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Well, my prediction was low. Still, if voter turn out wasn't so low I suspect the overall number would have been about 34%. This view was shared by most pollsters, at the end.

The Conservatives have 46% of the seats with only 37.7 percent of the vote. The Bloq Quebecois have 16 % of the seats with only 10 percent of the vote.

Check out Fair Vote Canada; I'm tired, like about 6 million other Canadian citizens, of being an orphan voter.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Strategic Voting: Ontario

Here are some prime ridings to vote strategically in, in Ontario. This means you vote for the progressive party most likely to win in each riding. I obtained the data from Vote For the Environment and Democratic Space(pdf). In fact, most Tories are vulnerable if the progressive parties vote strategically. In the following ridings the respective Liberal, NDP or Green candidates have the best chance of defeating the Tory incumbent.

To avoid splitting the vote and letting a Conservative win vote Liberal in;
Ancaster--Dundas--Flamborough--Westdale; Barrie;Brampton West; Brant; Burlington; Essex;
Haldimand-Norfolk; Halton; Kitchener-Conestoga; Kenora; London West; Ottawa South; Ottawa Vanier; Mississauga-Erindale; Mississauga South; Mississauga-Streetsville; Parry Sound-Muskoka; Peterborough; Newmarket-Aurora; Niagara Falls;Northumberland-Quinte West; Oak Ridges-Markham; Oakville; Simcoe North; St. Catharines; Cambridge; Huron-Bruce; Sarnia-Lambton; Welland

Vote for the NDP in;
Hamilton East-Stoney Creek; Nickel Belt;Parkdale-High Park; Ottawa- Orleans; Ottawa West- Nepean; Oshawa; Sault Ste.Marie; Thunder bay- Rainy River; Whitby-Oshawa

And vote Green in;
Bruce--Grey--Owen Sound;

ABC(Anybody but the Conservatives).

Stephen Harper; Why wasn't he told about this economy thing?

Harper- trained economist- I guess he was home sick on the day they covered that recession stuff.

WITNESS: Oh no! A global crisis just ate Canada's election
by David Ljunggren

OTTAWA (Reuters) - It's not every day you get slapped down on live television by the leader of a major industrialized nation, but these are unusual times.

A month ago, at a news conference to mark the start of Canada's election campaign, I asked Prime Minister Stephen Harper why he was so sure he could keep the budget in surplus.

The ailing U.S. economy was headed for much bigger trouble, I said. And given that the United States swallows 75 percent of all Canadian exports, this was surely bad news for Ottawa.

Harper, an economist by trade, looked at me sternly.

"First of all I would just call on everybody to engage in analysis more sober than that," he said to snickers from the audience.

It was unlikely there would be a U.S. crash or recession so everyone should remain calm, he added.(more)

Monday before Election 2008; The statistics

The final polls going into election day, as reported in the Globe and Mail:

Strategic Counsel, in a national poll conducted for The Globe and Mail and CTV, had Stephen Harper's Conservatives at 33 per cent (down three points from their 2006 popular vote) and the Liberals at 28 per cent (down two points).

The New Democrats were at 18 per cent, the same as their vote in 2006, and the Greens were at 11 per cent, up six points. The Bloc Québécois were at 10 (42 per cent in Quebec, unchanged from 2006).

The Strategic Counsel poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.2 percentage points.

A Harris/Decima poll done for The Canadian Press had the Conservatives at 35 per cent followed by the Liberals at 26 per cent and the New Democrats at 18. An Ekos Research poll put the Conservatives at 34, the Liberals at 27 and the NDP at 18.

Nanos Research(PDF) reports the Conservatives at 33 per cent followed by the Liberals at 27 per cent and the New Democrats at 22. The Greens are at 9 per cent and the Bloc Québécois at 10 per cent.

This seems to confirm my longstanding prediction that the Tories can't grow their base above 34%. The issue tomorrow will be turnout. People aren't that enthusiastic about this election. Will this help them, their supporters being slightly less apathetic than others, or will the ABC vote show up to make sure the Conservatives don't gain seats?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Speaking of Muzzles; The conservatives and Le conseil

Le Conseil de Patronat is one of the biggest business organizations in Quebec. So they send out a questionaire about policy to the five major parties. Only the Conservatives don't respond.

I suppose if I was a Tory I would feel uncomfortable (but what a lame excuse that is) about answering a questionaire from say Equiterre (environmentalists), the FTQ (unionists) or ELAN(artistists) but Le Conseil? That represents the Conservatives' natural constituency. If Stephen Harper feels he either can or should ignore one of the most powerful groups in Quebec, then no one should be surprised if he loses seats there, next Tuesday.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Stephen Harper; Economist or Momma's boy

Mr. Harper says that he gets word about the stockmarket from his mother before he gets it from the finance department. Either he has produced his mother at the eleventh hour to prove he has one, or he is not the trained economist he says he is.

First cuddly sweaters, now a fiscal hug from mum? This pandering to poll results both shames Mr. Harper and reveals no small hint of desperation. It seems that when Canadians get to know him and his Conservatives- no matter how he twists, wiggles and re-brands himself- the more Canadians do not trust or like him.

Monday, October 06, 2008

34% on October 14th

For some time now, Between Adam's Ears has been predicting the Conservatives will achieve at most about 34% voter support on election day. It seems others now share this opinion; The Globe and mail reports

A Harris/Decima poll for The Canadian Press shows the Conservatives gliding downhill from a high of 41-per-cent support on Sept. 11 to 34 per cent on Oct. 4.

The fundamental limitations of Stephen Harper and his Conservatives in a country where two thirds of the population oppose them will limit his electoral success. It's important to remember the last election was largely fought to punish the Liberals for the Sponsorship Scandal. Given the party has purged those involved, and others have gone to jail, people may remember the fiscal restraint and economic growth under recent Liberal governments. They should also think about the lack of progress on the environment, and the response of the Conservatives in Ontario to the last recession- Mr. Flaherty was finance minister there. Not to mention the national debt and deficit doubled under the previous conservative government of Brian Mulroney.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Over confidence & Hubris; Sarah Palin the anti-elitest

A Facebook friend posted this article about Sarah Palin; Her problems are best illustrated by this speculative little conversation:

"Governor Palin, are you ready at this moment to perform surgery on this child's brain?"

"Of course, Charlie. I have several boys of my own, and I'm an avid hunter."

"But governor, this is neurosurgery, and you have no training as a surgeon of any kind."

"That's just the point, Charlie. The American people want change in how we make medical decisions in this country. And when faced with a challenge, you cannot blink."

John Baird out: Vote for the Environment

John Baird has been a disaster for the environment. He is also a belligerent, stonewalling brute in the government- a minister of spin and disarray.

If every progressive voter- NDP, GREEN and yes, Liberal votes strategically, that blathering apparatchik can be sent packing. Check out Vote For The Environment and look into vote swapping/ vote pairing.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Harper's copy-cat speech; Polls slide for Tories

I had confidence that the Conservatives, led by Stephen Harper, would shoot themselves in the foot. They are only really competent at spin. As soon as one of their candidates speaks, the media are hustled off by Harper's praetorian guard of Mounted Police, lest the public hear the inane and often venomous opinions of the useless Conservative candidates. Let us not forget that even the Cabinet and the PMO is hardly flawless. Just think of Maxim Bernier, Rhona Ambrose and the various backroom operatives that keep having to resign.

Really, I didn't think Harper himself would be to blame for sabotaging his own campaign. He must think Canadians are so stupid and of short memory that they wouldn't notice his past performance; That the taxpayers(even Conservative ones) would not notice he's bribing them with their own money by creating spending proposals that reflect polls and the news cycle- take the tax break for arts classes;That he would say or do anything to get elected; that behind this year's sweater is the same Mr.Mean there's always been.

Not noticing he was reading John Howard's speech word-for-word? That speaks to incompetence, both his and that of his staff.

The polls- Ekos, Nanos and Strategic Council- all show the conservatives are sliding because eventually some Tory opens his mouth. This is especially true in swing ridings in Quebec and British Columbia where Conservatives often won with a tiny margin. It's time to shut down amateur hour.


Go to Harpocracy.ca to see which of his candidates he has muzzled most recently.

"If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country."
-E.M. Forster