Decision Canada 2006

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Well, it's almost the end of this blog.

As you know, I created this blog strictly to cover the 2006 election. With the election now and over, this blog as fufiled it's purpose.

My "new" blog is over at blog.canadianpolicywiki.ca
- it will be a site news / political news / rants blog all in one.

I will also be posting over at http://centrerion.blogspot.com/ a fair bit during the inter-election years and be sure to look out for Decision Canada 200x when we have our next election.

In the meantime, why not help give our government some direction by adding your two cents to the Canadian Policy Wiki? The site has slowly gained some strength and it will only be getting better.

Again, it's been a great ride, thanks for reading (all 15,000 of you!)

How ironic: I just tested the site in internet explorer and it looks a little funny. I'm a FireFox user (if you want it, there's a link on the right of the page) and I didn't really pay attention to how it looked in IE. If you have a chance, download Firefox, it's a really good browser and it makes this (and a lot of other) blogs look proper!

Monday, January 23, 2006

Quebec's Pro-CPC Surprises: Commentary/Analysis

10 probable seats for the CPC, with 8 confirmed. That's the least of the surprises. There's much more, and the portrait painted by the election's results in Quebec is positively shocking. My numbers are from the CBC. Though I don't trust them for insight, commentary, or even news reporting, because of their shabby style and frequent slants, the numbers can't be played with (that I know of).
  • From a very French-Canadian riding (as the mention of the 1800 Quebecois rebels, les Patriotes) indicates, comes this exceptionnally strong showing for the CPC:
  • DISTRICT: Verchères-Les Patriotes
    Candidate Party Vote Count Vote Share Elected
    Luc Malo BQ 30085 57.37% X
    Jean-Félix Racicot CON 11438 21.81%
    Alanna Woods LIB 4590 8.75%
    Simon Vallée NDP 4278 8.16%
    Carl Danis GRN 2045 3.9%
    January 24, 1:24:13 AM EST 197 of 198 polls reporting
  • Many rural, very French-Canadian ridings indicated similar results.

  • The city of Quebec itself had another impressive showing by the CPC, polling ahead of the Liberals!
  • DISTRICT: Québec
    Candidate Party Vote Count Vote Share Elected
    Christiane Gagnon BQ 20805 41.57% X
    Frédérik Boisvert CON 14842 29.66%
    Caroline Drolet LIB 5743 11.48%
    Michaël Lessard NDP 4634 9.26%
    Yonnel Bonaventure GRN 2372 4.74%
    Dan Aubut IND 812 1.62%
    Alexandre Raymond-Labrie PCP 512 1.02%
    Francis Bedard LTN 325 0.65%
    January 24, 1:57:23 AM EST 237 of 237 polls reporting

  • Less surprising to me was Meili Faille of the Bloc beating Mr. Marc "My-feet-taste-great" Garneau, the Liberal astronaut. Responding to Garneau's comments, Gilles Duceppe aptly and wittily characterized the man as being "dans la lune", which translates approximately to "off in a dreamworld". As I posted earlier in my debate commentary, Duceppe either has someone writing him great one-liners, or else he's a very witty person when it comes to off the cuff comments.
The Bloq topped off at 51 seats, 3 less than last time, and 41%; nowhere near foolish analyses placing him as a potential leader of the official opposition, and certainly not even close to his own ridiculous comment of aiming for 50% support.

Overall though, the greatest surprise is that overall, the Conservatives came in with 24% and change of the Quebec vote (906 K); the Liberals polled ~20% (761K). However, because the Liberal support is more consolidated and the rural Bloquiste vote didn't swing sufficiently to Harper et al., the CPC came out with a rather small number of seats (10), as mentioned above. The CPC are Quebeckers' #2, when early in the campaign, a La Presse humourist caricatured Harper's 5% as the level of his support in Quebec, (it's the level to which he wants to cut the GSTax, from 7%).

Why?
La Presse came out and supported the CPC officially, and had some unofficially pro-Harper material prior to that. I must credit them for pointing out that Harper was leading on policy around Christmastime, which led to my own analysis calling Harper as leading, period. Harper earlier promised to deal with the fiscal imbalance, which was HUGE to my fellow Quebeckers and I who see Ottawa surpluses as being accumulated on our ( and other Canadians') backs. This ultimately meant more than his stance on social issues to many people. Another key factor was that Canadian Quebeckers have realized most political power in Canada rests in government, not the opposition: the Bloc is a relatively inferior vote because it can't be in power.

Well, no shockers here

A Conservative minority it is going to be. Liberal leader Paul Martin is going to step down. We have no chance of a coalition government with the present numbers so that puts an end to that.

All I can say is what we expected to happen happened. I am still following a few ridings that are in doubt including my own West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky country which has Liberal Blair Wilson leading by 900 votes with about 27 polls to go. I'm on the verge of declaring him elected but still not quite there.

I will post some more as we go along, it's been almost 6 straight hours of blogging now, things are not going to change that much more now. I'm due for a break :)

Update: Global TV just declared Blair Wilson elected.

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It's early but.......

This might be the election where the Green Party takes a seat.

1 Green
1 Independent

I will try to pull the ridings those two candidates are in ASAP.

The Popular Vote

Is being led by the Liberals 35.8 to 35.6 (a 0.2% margin.) I'm thinking this is a trend that this will be a one time Conservative government.

2 Independents leading right now, that is a bit interesting to see.

268 seats have results, I think the only thing to see is how strong of a government is it going to be.

Decision Canada predicts a Conservative minority government

Yes, we are now predicting a Conservative Minority government. More to come.

Results so far

Well, the official numbers come out in 12 min, but I'm not going to rush.

The Liberals have a fairly nice lead in the Atlantic so far, this is rather interesting, I expected the Conservatives to gain a fair lead there.

This is going to be a nailbiter, well, at least so far.

Less than 40 ridings

With a slight Liberal lead. The Atlantic has traditionally voted Liberal, but the Conservatives have a huge gain in comparision to last time.

Quebec is up in a few min, that should be very very interesting.

Early Trends

It's fairly tight. The Conservative gains in the Atlantic haven't been very big but it's really early right now.

Government declared

Well, the Decision Canada team is now predicting a Conservative government. We are not sure on if it will be a majority or minority but it will be a Conservative government.

Harper will be the next PM.

The Globe and Mail has live results @ http://www.theglobeandmail.com/elections/fed2005/fragments/results/federalResults.html

I will keep posting commentary as we go along.

First legal results

Well, here we go. I just got "legal" feeds so I'm postning normally here

Conservative 82
Liberal 69
Bloc 27
NDP 23
OTH 1

Well, lets go for a breakdown in a second.

Thats the hot result.

Quebec closes in 3 min

Well, 30 min until the results start to flow. More to come.

Google for results, I'm not officially posting them here - just commentary.

My prediction at the moment is to close to call:

The first info

It's still very tight, we don't have enough polls reporting to call anything yet, we shall see what happens.

The results are really in flux right now.

Live Results

http://www.rcinet.ca/rci/en/

How nice of the CBC to give us a feed.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Less than 8 hours until the polls open

Well, it's been a crazy two months or so. Over 125 blog postings, over 10,000 people have read this blog from every corner of Canada and abroad.

Now, the ads have almost stopped running (thank goodness) - the signs will (start to) come down Tuesday (thank goodness.) We will have to wait until midnight or so Pacific until we know what is really going to happen, it might be so close we have recounts.

Let's hope we don't have any scandals, any "chad problems" that have caused so much turmoil in other elections.

Regardless of what party or candidate you will be voting for, please go out tomorrow and VOTE. A democracy is not a democracy without you, the citizen voting. Please help respect all who died to keep our world free and exercise your democratic right.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

The "gag law"

In short, I agree that it is in violation of the Charter and should be abolished as soon as possible by parliament.

Non withstanding, it is presently law. As such, I won't be posting election "results" here. I will be posting a last second poll and the trends contained within.

At 10 EST, 7 PST I will be posting the full show including all of the results we have so far and I will start naming results.

I think this ban is disgusting and I the Supreme court should be ashamed of it's total misinterpretation of the Charter.

theProject's Predictions

Here are twenty riding predictions for January 23rd.

Gains:
Vancouver Centre, BC -- Svend Robinson (NDP from LIB)
Edmonton Centre, AB -- Laurie Hawn (CPC from LIB)
Surrey North, BC -- Penny Priddy (NDP from IND)
Newmarket-Aurora, ON -- Lois Brown (CPC from LIB)
Pontiac, QC -- Lawrence Cannon (CPC from BQ)
New Westminster-Coquitlam, BC -- Dawn Black (NDP from CPC)
St. Paul's, ON -- Peter Kent (CPC from LIB)
Outremont, QC -- Jacques Léonard (BQ from LIB)
Northwest Territories -- Dennis Bevington (NDP from LIB)
Trinity-Spadina, ON -- Olivia Chow (NDP from LIB)
Vancouver Kingsway, BC -- Ian Waddell (NDP from LIB)
Beauce, QC -- Maxime Bernier (CPC from LIB)
Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC -- Josée Verner (CPC from BQ)
Brossard-La Prairie, QC -- Marcel Lussier (BQ from LIB)

Keeps:
Churchill, MB -- Bev Desjarlais (IND)
Richmond, BC -- Raymond Chan (LIB)
Etobicoke-Lakeshore, ON -- Michael Ignatieff (LIB)
Simcoe-Grey, ON -- Helena Guergis (CPC)
LaSalle-Émard, QC -- Paul Martin (LIB)
Kings-Hants, NS -- Scott Brison (LIB)

Edmonton Center voters list mixup - I know that some people "live" at their offices but to use it as their voting address?

Currently bars, truck stops, offices, stores, mini-storages are being listed as addresses in which people reside for purposes of voting. The issue is being raised by the mainstream media in Edmonton Center but I think this might be a nation-wide issue.

According to the Edmonton Sun Liberal candidate Anne McLellan who has always won by a very slim margin. Conservative supporters are claiming that McLellan's friends who have office space in the riding are using it to vote multiple times for her regardless of the fact that they do not live in the riding.

Of course, many others with no connection to McLellan have received voter registration cards to their places of business. Currently most people receive a card based on one thing, the little box you check on your tax return. If you have your tax return sent to your office, the CRA tells Elections Canada that you reside at your office and they register you to vote there. Doesn't make a lot of sense does it.

In addition, I have seen people who (should under C-261) do not meet our present age of majority required to vote receive voter registration cards. As one does not always have to show ID on voting day this loophole allows additional voters to cast a a ballot. I have nothing against this pratice because it is only permitting additional Canadians to vote - a right guaranteed to "every citizen of Canada" by the Charter. It just goes to show, if you file a tax return and check the "I agree to share my registration information with Elections Canada" - you will get a vote regardless of age.

This system is broken, we need to fix it fast. Requiring ID that shows your address to vote would be the least we could do.

So, students "voted" on official Elections Canada ballots - what is the big deal?

According to a lot of blogs - sparked by this Canada Free Press story we are hearing about how high school students made "random" marks on official Elections Canada ballots. The article is being a little paranoid, why not let those votes count? The students in grade 11 and 12 can already get an official ballot by filing a tax return and their votes are as educated as ours (well, the majority of Canadians). Why not let them count?

When I was just under the legal voting age, I found it as fustrating as all that although I pay the same taxes as any voting Canadian and although my passport said I was a Canadian citizen, I could not vote. I see no difference. Let the kids vote!

Friday, January 20, 2006

Decision Canada's election night coverage

We will be hitting the blog scene at 4 pm Pacific, 7 pm Eastern on the 23rd and will be posting until everything is in. We will give our take as the results come in and what we can see out of the future government.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

What is wrong with more English in Quebec?

Most of the country speaks English and a little French. Quebec will still speak mostly French regardless of Bill 101.

Harper wants to soften 101 to allow more use of Canada's other official language in Quebec. Duceppe of course doesn't want any more English because he sees it as an infringement on Quebec's culture.

I think Duceppe is out to lunch. If Quebec wants to stay competitive in the mostly English North America, it needs to loosen up a bit. I'm not calling for French to lose official language status, I think we need to preserve the culture but restricting English is just plain stupid.

That is my 2 cents on the issue, I'll post more later when I have a chance.

The final lap

The cars are rushing to the finish line. Team Harper is in the lead but their car is losing air pressure in the tires slowly. Team Liberal has turbochargers on the engine and is slowly catching up to the lead. Team NDP is back there but is steady for a good 3rd place finish.

Now, the fans are being treated to the pit crews from both teams going at an insane battle. The ad crews are starting to run a few battles. Thankfully, this is family entertainment and the ads have calmed down a bit.

The Liberals are running Paul Martin on a message about his values, the Conservatives well, they haven't calmed down and the NDP is still not positive but the ads are not disgusting.

All of the parties have made their respective flopups, the Liberals have the "Buzz comment" that was a pretty damn stupid thing to hear, the Conservatives have the "we want Toronto first" line which will turn off some western voters and the NDP has the Jack Layton health care hypocrite issue.

The Liberals are picking up some steam, the Conservatives have the leak, it's going to be a photo finish. So, log in, read the blogs and prepare for a thriller of an ending!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Poll: Private Health Care

71% of Canadians in a poll told us that they have no problem. The poll was conducted by the private health care providers but the question seemed fairly neuteral.

Do you favour a mix of public and private care as a way to put an end to waitlists?

I have no problem with private health care. Jack Layton has a hard line on being 100% against it, maybe he should have polled a few more everyday working families first.

Of course, I have had a private MRI because it would have taken 6 months to get it in the public system, because it was covered by private insurance, I got to jump the que and get my MRI in a week. Maybe that is what the public system needs, a good kick in the pants.

Harper's Toronto Centric Government

Today Conservative leader made a mistake almost bigger than the Liberal's "Soldiers, with guns" ad. Harper said "We want Toronto to be part of the truly national government we are asking Canadians to give us," - Wait a second.

Harper is the leader of a party that traditionally derived it's support from the western provinces. To many western based Canadians, Harper's statement is a kick in the face.

How would a Conservative government that has put a strong emphasis on Toronto help end western alienation? Harper just turned a lot of western voters off the Conservative Party. Are we simply going to replace one eastern centric government with another?

Don't take your powerbase for granted, BC is a huge battleground this election. Telling BC that Toronto is #1 on your priority is telling us that you will suck up to Toronto and not give a rip about the rest of the country.

A government that focuses on Toronto isn't a government for me! At least the Liberals did not make a statement essentially calling Toronto the "center of the universe."

Sweet move Harper, great job! You haven't been in BC in ages. Mr Martin is spending a LOT more time in BC than you are. Why do you insult your core voters?

So Mr Harper, I ask you. What will you do to ensure that the west recieves it's fair share. Toronto is NOT the center of the universe, Canada is a big country, don't sell the rest of the country for one city!

Does Jack Layton speak for you?

I was wondering when this was going to happen. The Conservatives are scared that a well run Liberal sprint to the finish line might snatch their victory so to shore up support, they are going after the party that has no chance of forming government, the NDP.

The latest ad has a bunch of pictures with people with a cutout of Layton's mouth pasted over them with some of the promises that he has made. It end with "Does Jack Layton speak for you? - vote Conservative!" Well, they do have a point, Jack Layton has attempted to sound like he has been speaking for everyday Canadians when in fact, a solid majority when polled said he did not. There have been several articles in the blogosphere about that, even a letter from a newsgroup posted here on Decision Canada which give that message.

Does Jack Layton speak for you? That is the simple yes/no question of the day.

I've bumped this to the top of the blog - with the latest NDP ads, I want to see what your reaction is!

Voter turnout in advance polls is up

Does this mean

a) Canadians are off for holidays and needed to vote before the election
b) Canadians are busy on Mondays
c) Canadians are getting out and voting!

I know advance polls mean nothing, but our voter turnout rate has sucked as of late. Elections Canada is reporting a huge increase in advanced polling turnouts - is this the trend we're seeing to improve voter rates.

Or, is this simply a "let's vote 'em out" motion - or is it "let's make the pollsters look stupid and vote Liberal"

Either way, numbers are up, so be sure to get out and VOTE on the 23rd!