Thursday, August 25, 2005

The Mind of David Herle

Given all the right wingers descending on this site to support their hero Joe Clark, I thought I'd engage in an activity they will no doubt enjoy - David Herle bashing! By now, I'm sure everyone has read this article. Apparently, Herle has his sights set on a majority government and while he doesn't have any polling number to back this up, he's still quite bold in his predictions:

He predicted the Liberals could win between eight and 10 seats in the Prairies and make "real gains" in Ontario, said the sources.

The Liberals now occupy three of 14 seats in Manitoba, one of 14 seats in Saskatchewan and one of 28 seats in Alberta.

Either David Herle is full of it, or he's been dipping into Sheila Martin's magic brownies. Here are the ridings in Manitoba where the Liberals lost, but were within 5,000 votes:

Charleswood—St. James: Star Candidate Glen Murray loses by 750 votes to Stephen Fletcher
Churchill: Bev Desjardins wins by 1,000 votes
Kildonan—St. Paul: Liberals lose by 280 votes
Winnipeg Centre: Pat Martin wins by 3,000 votes
Winnipeg North: Judy Wasylicia-Weis wins by 3,000 votes

And in nearly every other riding the Liberals lost by over 10,000 votes and were often in third place. With NDP numbers up, I really have a hard time seeing the three NDP incumbents losing. I think Fletcher is probably safe but let's give it to Herle - I can optimistically see two seats for the taking here.

Now, let's take a look at Saskatchewan:

Blackstrap: Tories by 4,000
Churchill River: Tories by 1,500
Palliser: Liberals were only 3,700 down third place.
Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre: Libs lose 100, with the NDP right behind them
Regina—Qu'Appelle: Andrew Scheer beats Lorne Nystrom in a squeaker, with the Liberals well over 2,000 back.
Saskatoon—Humboldt: Liberals in third, 440 back
Saskatoon—Wanuskewin: Chris Axworthy 4,600 back

I just can't see NDP voters getting scared into voting Liberal in Saskatchewan after Dick Proctor and Lorne Nystrom fell to Conservatives last time due to the stupidest strategic voting in the history of politics. If a few three way races break right, I guess it's not impossible to pick up 3 or 4 seats.

Yet this still leaves us short of David Herle's bold 8 to 10 Prairie pick-ups for the Liberals. Which means...David Herle's election strategy is based on Liberal gains in Alberta! Oh boy.

And if there was any doubt as to what makes this guy tick, here's the money quote:

Senior insiders said David Herle, the national Liberal campaign co-chair and the party's pollster, characterized it as a "daunting task" but said "if I pull it off they won't talk about David Smith any more, they'll talk about me."

Mr. Herle, the architect of the 2004 campaign for the Liberals that resulted in a minority government, was referring to Jean Chrétien's campaign strategist, Ontario Senator David Smith, who helped the former prime minister win three consecutive majority governments.


  • Strategic voting didn't work out that well did it? I guess the Tories do serve as enough of a bogeyman that people will do some pretty silly things to try to keep them out of office.

    -Socialist Swine

    By Blogger Unknown, at 2:27 a.m.  

  • Good analysis. Sometimes it's hard to imagine the spinning that goes on in some of these backroom boys' minds.
    Hopefully Harper's housecleaning will clear up some of the mess there too.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:31 a.m.  

  • QuebecHarpermaniac:

    David Herle makes me, well, hurl.

    However, with enemies like him, who needs friends?

    Good luck breaking into Calgary southwest, Mr. Martin. Maybe Calgary Grit can get you talking NEP, part II.

    I'd say the only story in this is they have given up on Quebec. This is smart because they have maybe $30 to spend and it will be wasted in Quebec.

    For the record: I voted Trudeau. Joe Clark ain't no hero of mine!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:05 a.m.  

  • For Godssake, it's not about what Herle expects to happen. It's about what his best case scenario is. What would you be saying if Herle's plan was to regain a majority by defeating the Bloc? Would you be less critical?

    By Blogger Jason Cherniak, at 9:32 a.m.  

  • QuebecHarpermaniac says:

    The best case scenario is 308 seats.

    Why not promise the backbenchers that?

    Here's a promise that Liberal backbenchers would like to hear:

    I promise the next Cabinet Minister will actually be a Liberal MP.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:29 a.m.  

  • Herle got on his soapbox, and told people to just trust him, in spite of the fact that Ipsos-Reid just came out with numbers indicating that the Tories are within a slim 8 percentage points, and that 19 per cent of the population is undecided.

    Sounds a lot like his colleague Scott Reid from the PMO:

    "People are just going to have to take that to the bank. We are not going to disgrace either of these people or their office by asking them to turn out their underwear drawer and justify their allegiance to Queen and country."

    Blind faith, people...have we ever led you astray before?

    These goofs are just unbelievable.

    Jonathan Ross

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:00 a.m.  

  • Scott Reid and David Herle are idiots. They made a hash out of the last election and they did not time it well. Given their election stratgy, they should have timed the election in say late September. That way they could have piggybacked on what was coming out of the US.

    By Blogger Koby, at 4:27 p.m.  

  • There are a bunch of seats in the Prairies that will never go Liberal. (except for the time that the PC'S and Reform split the vote)
    There is too much history of real and perceived Liberal mishandling of Prairie issues that have been handed down from generation to generation. Herle is talking out of his butt if he thinks he can make a breakthrough in Saskatoba. He is really overdosing on crack if he thinks greasy slims like Brison translates well in Alberta.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:14 p.m.  

  • I'd like to see an analysis of BC as well, I think the liberals are in a position to make gains there as well.

    Also, I'm a redneck knuckledragging conservative from Alberta, and even I voted Trudeau.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:30 p.m.  

  • A choice between Joe Clark and Pierre Trudeau is alot like a choice between Satan and Lucifer...

    By Blogger Chris, at 1:01 a.m.  

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    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:16 a.m.  

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    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:28 a.m.  

  • Gains? GAINS? you'll be lucky not to get your ass beat down!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:29 a.m.  

  • I think gains in the Prairies are a little optimistic. There aren't a lot of seats the Liberals are really in danger of losing (appart from Anne's, of course) so, realistically, they'll be plus or minus two in that region.

    There could be some significant Liberal gains in BC but that will only make up for loses in Quebec.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 11:56 a.m.  

  • Sheila Copps magic brownies?



    By Blogger Unknown, at 12:24 p.m.  

  • You have to remember that David Herle, et. al., think they won the last election.

    Without them, they "know" that the Liberal Party would have been wiped out. Given their record of victory, it is "disloyal" to question their "analysis".

    Here goes the disloyalty.

    I'd like to believe that there is more than one seat in Manitoba to possibly pick up, but I doubt it. I'd really like to see one thug Cabinet Minister lose his seat. (A boy can dream...)

    Saskatchewan could be better for the Liberals and/or NDP than it was.

    But they both made a strategic mistake well before the last election. They agreed with the whinging Tories that the proposed riding boundaries were unacceptable.

    Of course they were, they created urban seats in Saskatoon and Regina--seats that Liberals or New Democrats could actually win. Shouldn't urban, or rural, voters have MPs who don't have divided interests to represent?

    It's too bad that stupidity cost Dick Proctor his seat. He was a good MP.

    That said, I'd watch Churchill River, if the First Nations vote comes out in a block, the Tories could lose that seat.

    I am less pessimistic about Alberta (read Edmonton). There are lots of Liberal voters, federally and provincially, in the City of Champions. With an adequate campaign, and a continued weak Tory effort, it is possible that the Liberal Party could pick up one or two seats there.

    I am realistic about Calgary. And I could not care less if the PM were to go there during the campaign. For all the good a Calgary visit would do, he may as well go to Red Deer.

    Still, I can't get to 8 or 10 Prairie seats. I must be a bad, disloyal Liberal. To hell with them. I hope they leave pieces to put back together when the reign of idiocy is over.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:27 p.m.  

  • I think you all mis-read his quote. I don't think he was saying that we would win 8-10 MORE seats, but 8-10 seats total in the prairies. Thus, keeping the 5 that we have now, and a gain of 3-5.

    Totally agree with your analysis of the prarie situation...think we are looking at 2 max in MB, 2 max in SK, and 1 wildcard between AB, SK, MB - so the best case senerio being 10 seats total.

    Anyway, re-read his quote. I think you will see you were making a bit of an asumption about what he meant.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:46 p.m.  

  • Re: BC

    The original topic was the praries, but just to move it to BC for a sec: I may not have this right, but haven't the Grits consistently been in the lead in the between-election polls in lotus land before '97, '00 and '04?

    I'm not saying they won't pick up a couple of seats here & there, but I wouldn't count on LPC gains in BC making up any ground lost elsewhere.

    Re: S Swine: It's o/t (so maybe you should comment on your own blog) but I'm curious what you & other NDers think can be done to get rid of the whole "strategic vote" nonsense (aside from pointing out that it never seems to work out ...)

    By Blogger Jason Hickman, at 12:25 p.m.  

  • Great Blog. I really enjoyed the visit. Im adding a blog to my own Search Engine Marketing website soon, so stop by bloggers!

    By Blogger ant, at 5:14 p.m.  

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