Welcome to the second, less frequently-posted decade of RevMod.

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Monday, October 20, 2008

And the winner is...

Kevin Brennan, once of Tilting at Windmills, more recently of POGGe, came just eleven points away from correctly predicting the gaffe totals, with a prediction of 15/12/2/5. Congratulations, Kevin - identify a local candidate before the next election rolls around, some time after the Liberals get their act together, and they'll see $20 in your name.

See you all right back here whenever Stephen Harper decides again to defeat his own government, in clear contravention of his own fixed date rules. Either that, or four years from now, again in the middle of a Presidential race, again over a Thanksgiving weekend. Remind me to post why fixed dates are stupid.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Gaffe cleanup: the addendum

The election day cleanup I did ignored completely the Andrew McKeever uncontextualized "war deserters" facebook post mentioned back here. No-chance candidate, possibly just a name on the ballot to put up against Bev Ota (if he has time to keep up with his facebook and get into flame wars during the writ, he's not a serious candidate): prom=one, comments that I don't even know if they were written during the writ means sig=1 for lack of better information. One more point for the NDP.

I'll try to calculate the winner by the end of the day.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Linda Duncan is showing a ONE VOTE lead over Rahim Jaffer in Edmonton Strathcona at this moment on the CBC website. It's particularly entertaining to see the word "elected" still sitting beside Jaffer's name.

Edited to add: now it's 150-odd for Duncan, but the "elected" is still there for Jaffer.
The next several months

I'm concerned that Harper has won a functional majority for the next year or so, on the back of a Liberal party that's going to be in disarray again while they figure out who they want as leader. Watch them step out of the house every time the bells ring again, abstain from votes again.

What would happen in a perfect world is that a chunk of the Liberal party would recognize that Dion managed to undo 18 months of negative campaigning in about a week, and if the party got together behind him, he could have a do-over by next summer with a much better result. But there are way too many Liberals too attached to the very old Trudeau-Turner split now represented by Iggy and Rae to ever let that happen. So congratulations to the Conservatives for their functional majority for the next long while.
Close races

The number of seats that could flip over the next couple of hours, or under judicial recount, seem higher than normal to me. I;m going hunting for a list, and might edit this post when I find one. Offhand: Edmonton Sherwood Park, Vancouver South, Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar, Oak Ridges-Markham, and Outremont to name several.
Local results

Turns out Edmonton-Sherwood Park is the riding to watch tonight in Alberta. Sadly, it seems to be the officially-named but brown Tory neck-and-neck with the independent but white Tory. Thanks again, Alberta, for disappointing me.

The ridings that were theoretically competitive - Edmonton-Strathcona and Edmonton East for the NDP, and Edmonton Centre for the Liberals, were, in practice, part of the provincial blowout.
Late start

So, why won't the CBC say "minority"? Anyone who can count can see that the elected and leading for the other parties add up to 161. Things could flip, but not that far.
Go vote

Out of respect for the law of the land, liveblogging the results won't start until 7:30 Mountain. To resist temptation even to seek the early east coast returns out for myself, I'll be taking the earlier-mentioned big change in my personal life out for a birthday meal, so if I'm late, well, guess the check didn't come quickly enough. See you as the numbers roll in.
Election day catchup

This year's gaffe-o-meter has been complicated by a few factors: a lot of discussion early on of the pre-writ (sometimes by several years) activities and statements of candidates, a real issue jumping up mid-writ to overrun reporting of our 308 elections (while dominating the 51 Electoral college elections in the States), and the media's disinterest in the Canadian battle in favour of Sarah Palin and her three-ring gaffe machine. I'll add a personal fourth reason: a heavy work schedule married to significant changes in my personal life have left me distracted, too.

I'll soldier on, working backwards.

Dion is confused by a question posed by a local newsman, and the tape is met by hoots of derision. I'm frustrated by this one, because Dion could have easily, and happily as part of the broadcast, said what I think he was getting at: we'd all seen the pop of the bubble coming from some distance back. Was he being asked about preventative steps he might have taken leading up to now, or was he being asked about steps the Canadian government should take going forward? Alternatively, he could have snapped into his 30-days-big-meetings talking points, which he should have been able to perform in his sleep. Dion's the leader, so this is automatically a prom=3, and I think it stopped the momentum I discussed just one post ago right in its tracks, so despite it being more mumbly-joeism rather than any indication of Dion's unfitness to lead (IMHO, YMMV), I think a sig=2 is correct, for a six point gain for the Grits.

This has been a bad campaign strategically for the Tories, I think. They spent a lot of time and treasure painting Dion as hapless over the last several months, only to have to change him to "scary" after the markets cratered and Harper looked uncaring. The debates contributed to the uncaring image, but I think telling Canadians through Peter Mansbridge that the collapsing market presented great buying opportunities became the stick that Layton and Dion beat Harper with for the rest of the campaign. Again, party leader means prom=3, and the issue stopped any majority hope the Tories had, but I don't think it was as game-changing as the Dion error. There is perhaps not enough subtlety in my scoring system. Sig=1, total three more for the CPC.

Another mumbly-joeism, much older but much debated since, between Jerad Gallinger and I at least. Liberal Andrew Telegdi, Member of Parliament for Kitchener-Waterloo, at an election forum, declared that the first task of this election is to elect Stephen Harper Prime Minister. He claimed later that he meant to say "eject", which was probably the stupidest excuse possible, but better than what he was really thinking, which I suspect was "let's hurry up and elect Harper again, which we all believe is going to happen, and then move on with the business of the nation. In the meantime, who do you want as your local representative?" which is why he referenced May. Sitting MP = prom=2. However, I can't imagine anyone believing that this slip was in any way indicative of Telegdi's voting preferences: sig=1. Total, two more for the Liberals.

Just to clean up the last suggestion hanging about, Dion playing street hockey was fine (no one expected him to look like Lemieux). And, seriously, nothing out of the Bloc? That just seems so unlikely. Oh well - perhaps money or ethnics will come up tonight and Duceppe will run up a score.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

An aside

I've got some catching up to do (not a lot, mind) on the scores. But I've just arrived home after some extended road tripping, and is it just me, or are the wheels coming off the Tory campaign a little? I'm not talking gaffes, I'm just talking about the campaign itself. To wit:

- Harper seems caught off-guard by the American financial crisis, and doesn't seem to really want to acknowledge it. Claiming that we're isolated from it looks dumber every day, as the Loonie shrinks against the US dollar and Canadian banks claim they can only offer half the rate cut on loans that they themselves will receive from the Bank of Canada. Dion's "no plan" criticism from the debate seems increasingly spot-on. I'll save Harper's "great time to invest" bits for the gaffe count.

- The late platform release doesn't seem to have worked very well. The lack of substantive policy directions within it likewise isn't setting the world on fire.

- Speaking of fire, Dion seems to have finally found something of fire in his belly. The no-luck schmuck image the Tories so painstakingly designed for him held up really well, until possibly the last week or so.

- Layton may find himself hoist upon his own strategic voting petard, after arguing last weekend that Liberals might want to move their votes the NDP's way so as to make sure that Dion's cratering doesn't leave Harper with a majority. Does a Liberal recovery turn the argument on its head?

I'm not sure what the polls are telling us, but I'd be astounded by a Tory majority now. I think the Conservatives ought to be very thankful indeed this weekend, that most of the country is done paying attention as of tomorrow, and will be focused on turkey and what-not until Tuesday.

Full disclosure - I'd love to give Dion a vote of support this election, but despite what voteforenvironment.ca tells me, the real race in Edmonton East is between the Tory incumbent (Peter Goldring) and one of my favourite New Democrats from way back, former provincial leader Ray Martin - the Liberal candidate is going to be left well behind. I have no problem casting a strategic vote when it's also for the best local candidate.