Tuesday, July 17, 2007

And then we're going to Red Deer, and Prince George, and Moose Jaw...yeaaaaaaa!

I got the chance to listen to a good discussion on a potential "308 riding" strategy for the Liberals over the weekend at Western Caucus in Saskatchewan. This isn't a Liberal party policy - just a proposal from a member, but it's certainly worth taking a look at and discussing.

In Other News...

While his move to Europe has allowed me to learn a lot more about southwestern French municipal school board elections, it has meant less Canadian political blogging from Paul Wells. But, never fear, Hansard is still accessible from Blackberries around the globe and Paul digs up some old gems from the Alliance of days gone by in this post.

Also, I'm thinking of making up a list of reasons Ed Stelmach is my favourite Premier ever. When it's done, I'll be sure to include "muses about whatever is on his mind" to that. Back when he was Transport Minister, Ed thought it would be fun to float the idea of changing the fast lane on Alberta highways to the right lane. As you might imagine, he got a bit of flack for it. In Sunday's Rick Bell column, Ed starts musing about next year's budget (wow - even Paul Martin never leaked budget info this far in advance). While there is sometimes value to floating a trial balloon, when you do it with every thought that pops into your head, eventually you start to look like you're flip-flopping, eventually you start to look indecisive, and eventually you start to get criticized for trial balloons you rightfully realize are dumb ideas (see: highway fast lane example above).

Finally, the news is from last week, but probably worth reposting: Gary Merasty is quitting his northern Saskatchewan seat. Unlike a lot of the veteran Liberals who have announced they won't be running again, this one actually is a big loss since Merasty was more than simply the trivia answer to "who is Saskatchewan's other Liberal MP"; He was a young up-and-commer with deep connections in his riding. Expect the by election for his seat to be very hotly contested.

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  • I like how in the riding strategy document, slide 13 introduces "electoral boundary re-distribution" as a recommended tactic for Liberals to win elections and then slides 14 and 15 imply just what needs to be done to emphasize the desired vote and limit the rest of the popular vote.

    Gerrymandering certainly does make elections easier... one just has to see your entry from June 18 to see how it works!

    June 18, 2007

    Monday Morning Briefing

    1. For a fun time, be sure to check out the Gerrymandering game.

    I guess some people saw this as training rather than just a game!

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

  • Actually the point of those slides, and the discussion that took place on the weekend around that proposal specifically, was to prevent what happened during the redistricting of 2001 where Conservatives and NDPers put pressure on the electoral boundary commissions to keep the bizarre split rural/urban ridings which work in their favour and disenfranchise urban prairie voters.

    The reality is that across the prairies Liberals tend to receive 20-30% of the vote but get nothing close to that number of seats due to some of the riding boundary games that have been played over the years. The argument is to even the playing field.

    By Blogger Prairie Fire, at 1:11 p.m.  

  • Your link to Paul Well's comment doesn't work (due to some problems with escaped HTML entities).

    This should work: Kids say the darnedest things.

    By Blogger saphorr, at 2:01 p.m.  

  • Thanks saphorr

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 2:32 p.m.  

  • As Merasty won a close victory under suspicious circumstances -over 100% voter turn-out on a reserve-this one will be as closely watched as it is hotly contested. Any illegal gimmicks, like a chance to win a TV, if you vote in this by-election?
    It's interesting what Iggy supporters are willing to do to make Dion look bad. I wonder who the Iggy supporters will be voting for in Toronto Centre. Embarass Dion and eliminate Rae at the same time.

    By Blogger nuna d. above, at 8:54 p.m.  

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