The real election results:
|The Majority Mandate enjoyed by our new Government|
Locally, I am happy Fin won, as he is a great representative, for reasons I pointed out earlier. I also would like to thank Diana Dilworth, Ken Beck Lee, and Rebecca Helps for running positive campaigns. I think Diana especially proved herself capable and worthy as a Candidate, and deserves the reward of more votes vs. the previous by-election when she was famous mostly for not being accessible. This campaign, she was aware of the issues, meeting the public personally and at events, and was very personable when I met her. It was only the Shadow of Darth Harper holding her back in my estimation.
Her campaign also contrasted with Paul Forseth, who relied heavily on the politics of fear: this ad in the local paper is an example of the shitty politics that no-one should be rewarded for:
Classless, baseless, and insulting to the reader. I met Paul this election, and had a chance to chat with him, we agreed to disagree on some issues, but he kept bringing up the “Free Enterprise vs. Socialists” false dichotomy, as if there is no grey area between completely free unfettered markets and regulated social systems… so 19th Century as to be quaint. So although I was not able to vote for Peter Julian, I was happy to see him win.
Federally, it is obvious we are entering a new phase in Canada’s history. Part of me is hoping that Harper will follow the lead of Joe Clarke and Brian Mulroney: campaign right and govern middle. Maybe that is his “hidden agenda”. Otherwise, there will be interesting days ahead, with Jack driven apoplectic in the house, and a new era of very divisive politics in Canada.
One thing seems clear: the shift of Canada from one of the most highly respected nations on earth to a global pariah will continue. This is not “hidden agenda” stuff: this is what the Harper Conservatives wear on their sleeve. We will become more militaristic in lieu of seeking diplomacy. Our days as honest broker in the middle are gone. We will continue to be one of the planet’s worst polluters. We will continue to value security at the cost of liberty, and through this, we will become less secure by making ourselves more of a target for terrorism. Sewing a maple leaf on your backpack may no longer be a “get out of trouble free card” for people like me who enjoy travelling to countries without all-inclusive resorts.
Where the shift of support from the Liberals to the NDP will take us is uncertain. Some are saying the NDP surge in Quebec may create the legend of Jack Layton as the saviour of Canada, but let’s not start counting chickens. If Harper comes out of the gate too aggressivly with social conservatism, we will see a surge in PQ support in the upcoming Provincial Election, with little federal interest to prevent it (make no mistake, these are Manning Conservatives in this majority – a majority with no mandate in Quebec is a Reform Party of Canada dream).. and we may see a referendum in this parliament.
I think that the loss of Gerard Kennedy is a much bigger blow to the Liberals than the loss of Ignatieff. Without Kennedy, the Grits will need to re-grow around someone else. Most are looking at a youth wing surrounding Justin Trudeau. The number of old big-C conservatives who hated P.E.Trudeau for being so urbane is dwindling with demographics, and as the legend replaces actual memory, Justin will be there to scoop it up. I think any centre + left coalition talk will depend on how the NDP are polling in 2014. They have no reason to entertain the Liberals until they need votes. Or unless they need the Trudeau name to replace and ailing Jack. I hope Jack realizes that Bob Rae is the reason he didn’t win seats in Ontario, and the reason we have a Harper Majority.
Nina Grewal is an excellent example of why representative democracy sometimes just doesn’t work.
I was skeptical of Elizabeth May’s all-for-one strategy, but knowing several people on the islands, it seems obvious now. The end of per-vote subsidies may be a problem for her, but with it seemingly inevitable now, the strategy of getting a seat instead of crossing the country to grub out every possible $5 vote probably makes sense. From what I experienced this year as a former member, The Green fundraising machine is has been substantially developed since the deficit situation they got into last election. If Harper brings back big-money corporate political donations (and why wouldn’t he?), then all the other parties are in trouble money-wise. (that said, election rules really don’t matter to the Tories, as they are happy to break them with complete immunity, so I guess that doesn’t matter).
The Greens best strategy going forward is to keep her in the news, and expand the all-for-one campaign next election to an all-for-5, by identifying 3 or 4 more ridings and putting superstar candidates in them. I think of some of those Quebec ridings where the BQ support so collapsed that absentee NDP kids were elected: the Greens should be able to hone in and pick up those protest votes when the college bartenders prove to be incapable of administering a constituency office.
So election night I was at the NWEP / Tenth to the Fraser poll party, and ran an informal poll pool. The results were interesting, proving the lottery nature of this election.
In the end, the NWEP’s answer to Nostradamus, Andrew Murray, came closest to predicting the unpredictable, and won the pool. Although he predicted a minority government, his guess of 138 Conservative seats, 110 NDP, 38 Liberal, 21 Bloc, and 1 Green/Independent was closer to the final results that anyone else, with an aggregate total seat difference of 58, well ahead of the 2nd place finisher, who had a 78 seat difference. Clearly, the difference was Andrew’s prescient evaluation of the Liberal collapse and the NDP rise.
At first look, it appears the Vote Party participants (there were only 15 who filled out ballots before the 7:00 deadline) were woefully unable to predict the results, and even in what seemed to be a typical New West NDP-friendly crowd (the announcement of the Conservative majority really took the buzz off the party), the group underestimated the the NDP rise (average guess 88 seats) and Liberal collapse (average guess: 67 seats). Although one person correctly predicted only 4 seats for the Bloc, the average guess was 26 seats. The most common miss was a significant underestimate of the Conservative wins (average guess 123 seats), as no-one predicted a majority.
To be fair to the participants, most were given about 5 minutes to fill out a “ballot” with very little guidance. The professionals and pundits also significantly missed the mark here. Just for fun, I showed the EKOS and Nanos polling firm predictions from the day before the election, and the predictions of two “interactive” polling ideas: the 308 Project and the Canadian Prediction Project. With aggregate differences between 92 and 116, none of them would have won our contest, and they had 4 weeks to perfect their picks. As I said going in, this election was like a lottery. Next time, the pollsters should save us all time and money, and just call Andrew.