Monday, April 18, 2011

Week 3 in Review: Hash-Tag FAIL

Week 3 was all about the leaders debates - Tuesday in English and Wednesday en francais. We were treated to a round of hockey metaphors by the participants and boxing metaphors by the pundits. In the end, there was no knock-out punch, no consensus winner and no defining moment.

Which is fitting, since the entire election is still searching for a storyline - three weeks in, and it's still difficult to sum up what this election is all about.

Poll Soup: I'll post updated projections tomorrow. For now, Nanos has the Tories up 39-28 and Ekos has it 35-28. Both show the NDP making modest post-debate gains. Oh, and Ipsos has concluded the "Outcome of election rests with fence-sitters".

Election Prediction Project: CPC 112, Lib 61, NDP 26, Bloc 35, Too close 74

Gaffe Pool: Harper picks up a few points for the "very ethnic" slip, while the Greens avoid points due to their exclusion from the Gaffe-o-mater: Harper 14, Ignatieff 2, Layton 0, Duceppe 3.

Ad watch: The Liberals attack Harper for killing our Health Care system, the Tories attack Ignatieff for raising taxes, and the NDP attack Michael Ignatieff for missing a few votes in Ottawa.

Quote of the Week: For the third straight week, we have to give it to Gilles Duceppe for the opening line of the English debate: “I would like to congratulate Mr. Harper for answering a question from a citizen for the first time in this campaign.”

Tweet of the Week: From @InklessPW: At 1911 Laurier-Borden debate in Flin Flon, Laurier didn't understand when Borden said "hashtag fail." Ended a great career.

In Case you Missed it:
Ad Watch: you can still rate the latest NDP, Liberal, and CPC commercials
French debate post-game thoughts
English debate BINGO card, pre-game analysis, live blog, and post-game thoughts
Seat Projections
October Surprise

Liberal Week in Review

Battle Cry: "Rise up...below 30% in the polls!"

The week that was: It remains unclear whether or not Ignatieff exceeded the public's expectations in the debates, but it's safe to say he did not exceed the media's. Which shouldn't be a huge surprise - he was up against three men who have debates each other 7 times and have been playing the political game their whole lives. So it's understandable Ignatieff wouldn't match up in terms of style. Where he disappointed though, was on substance - his fixation on scandals and democracy simply ate up air time that should have been devoted to a very populist Liberal platform.

After the debates, the Liberals shifted their focus to Health Care, launching a hard (and, in my opinion, effective) attack ad and promising a First Ministers meeting within 60 days of the election.

Battle Cry: "Give me my majority to prevent economic collapse, separatists, earthquakes, and an early round playoff exit!"

The week that was: Harper continues to be dogged by trivial scandals and, as I said last week, I'm sure that suits him just fine. After all, a day spent covering Helena Guergis is a day where Harper doesn't need to answer questions on Health Care, the $11 billion hole in his platform, or his record.

Trivialities like this also turn most voters off...and likely feed the feeling we should just shrug our shoulders and give Harper his majority, if only to give us all a 4-year reprieve from this "bickering". That was Harper's pitch in the debates and on the campaign trail last week.

This weekend, he added "separatists" to the ever-growing list of problems a Tory majority would solve - since, after all, Quebecers would respond well to having the rest of Canada ram a hugely unpopular Conservative government down their throats. Uh-huh.

NDP Week in Review

Battle Cry: "To all my NDP homies, let's bust a cap in this government's ass - semi-colon, dash, close brackets! "

The week that was: I'll be honest. I don't like the NDP, Layton's self-righteous tone, or his hypocritical stands on a range of issues. To put it into "hip" terms Layton would pretend to understand, I won't be clicking "like" on his Facebook page anytime soon.

But despite all this, I've got to admit Jack has impressed me this campaign. This is a man who has been battling cancer for a year, cannot walk without a cane, and couldn't get through a 3 minute scrum without sweating buckets a month ago. Yet this campaign he has been a force. He has shown more energy and vigour than the other leaders combined. On Tuesday, he stood for two hours, smiling, delivering witty jabs, and pivoting to sell NDP policies in his most sincere voice. Then he did it all again the next night.

As frustrating as it is to run into a hot goalie, or to see the opposing pitcher tossing a no-hitter, there comes a time when you just have to sit back and tip your hat to him. In what might very well be his final election, Layton has delivered one heck of a performance.


  • If you think Quebec wouldn't respond well to a Conservative government in Ottawa that THEY HAD A CHOICE whether or not so support....wait until you get a Coalition government in which Bloc holds veto power and a PQ government in Quebec, a scenario in which the rest of the country HAD NO CHOICE in creating. Not THAT, my friends, is the larger risk here. Quebec has been howling about separation forever and will never leave because they can't afford it. Try that scenario with Albert and tell me what the country looks like in 5 years.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:00 a.m.  

  • I agree with Anon 5:00 AM. If that scenario isn't scary enough for you, then maybe try this one on for size:
    If we end up with a Coalition government with ANY Bloc involvement, I worry about our Country's political stability. The Bloc would immediately "bloc"k any help to NL and NS for the Muskrat Falls project, they would hold the rest of Canada hostage to build the arena in Quebec City, they would demand billions of dollars in Quebec-centered industry, and they would demand killer environmental restraints on the oil sands. I'm not sure this is where we need our country to be headed. Remember too that a PQ government will likely be the next Provincial government to be elected in Quebec. Do you really want Iggy in charge of keeping seperatism in check with his plan to "de-dramatize" the issue? Throw in Duceppe with a veto vote, and as I said before: I would be worried about our political stability. And if you don't think either of those scenarios would kill our economic recovery, then you really don't understand the impression the rest of the world will have of our sordid political mess. Harper majority....or pay the price.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:24 a.m.  

  • I agree with Anon 5:00 AM.

    As far as we know, you could be Anon 5:00 am. :P

    And if you don't think either of those scenarios would kill our economic recovery, then you really don't understand the impression the rest of the world will have of our sordid political mess. Harper majority....or pay the price.

    How about a Liberal majority? Or an NDP majority. Or say a Liberal-NDP coalition? That's another way of avoiding a Bloc government coalition.

    And say there was a Liberal minority government. Would the Conservatives really side with the Bloc to destabilize it, especially when it comes to national unity?

    Just a few ideas from outside the box.

    By Blogger sharonapple88, at 8:46 a.m.  

  • Also, I don't think having a guy at the helm who thought having a Belgium-style federalism was a great idea.

    Hint, not all is well in

    By Blogger sharonapple88, at 8:51 a.m.  

  • I don't like the NDP either, however Jack Layton has really exploded into inspiration this campaign. He's been the best story of the election so far.

    By Blogger Jacques Beau Vert, at 9:43 a.m.  

  • I agree Sharon, there are alternatives to a Bloc-coalition.

    By Blogger Jacques Beau Vert, at 9:45 a.m.  

  • "Quebec has been howling about separation forever and will never leave because they can't afford it"

    I know Canadians have been conditioned to believe that economics trumps politics for the last twenty or thirty years, but it "ain't necessarily so".

    The need for self-determination and control of one's own future is why many individuals quit well-paying jobs to start up their own businesses. It's not always a rational economic decision, but it happens all the time.

    By Blogger Party of One, at 10:50 a.m.  

  • You missed the really interesting poll result from Angus-Reid, which had:
    CPC: 36
    LPC: 25
    NDP: 25

    It is amazing how different a story we get from different pollsters.
    Compas: 21 pt. Tory lead
    Ipsos: 15 pt. Tory lead
    Leger: 12 pt. Tory lead (NDP at 22)
    Angus-Reid: 11 pt. Tory lead (NDP at 25)
    Nanos: 11 pt. Tory lead (NDP at 17)
    Ekos: 7 pt. Tory lead

    Part of the story may be methodology, but I don't think it is an online-telephone issue. For instance, Nanos and Angus-Reid are reasonably close - except that one predicts the NDP will do about what it did in 2008, while the other predicts a history-defying breakthrough.

    Averaging polls makes sense in a world where pollsters are asking similar questions, and employing similar methodologies. Polls should differ, but generally within their margins of error. What we have here is a different story, of clearly different methodologies, and deviations that cannot be explained as random error.

    If you could figure out which methodology was the "best", and average only those polls with a similar approach, I think you would get a better answer than averaging all of this rabble.

    By Anonymous hosertohoosier, at 10:54 a.m.  

  • why many individuals quit well-paying jobs to start up their own businesses


    I'm amazed how deluded so many anglophones are in the "comfortable assurance" that it's 'impossible' for Quebec to separate.

    In fact, one passion many separatists hold is that residents of Quebec would become more self-sufficient and driven and create a stronger, more thriving economy.

    By Blogger Jason Holborn, at 11:41 a.m.  

  • Harper majority....or pay the price

    Harper majority ... and pay the price.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:30 p.m.  

  • H2H - yes, the polls are all over the place, especially when it comes to the NDP.

    In my seat projections, I give a pollster accuracy rating based on how close they've been (regional numbers) on provincial and federal elections over 5 years, but even their track records is difficult. After all, pollsters often use different methodologies for their "final" poll, and just because they're accurate at the end, doesn't mean they've been accurate throughout.

    The hap-hazardness of the polls is why I've tried to offer a range on my projections rather than just a specific count.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 4:54 p.m.  

  • Jack seems more comfortable campaigning than the other leaders; it seems to be more 'work' for the others

    By Anonymous Marc from soccer, at 6:34 p.m.  

  • Thanks so much for the post, very helpful info.

    By Anonymous vip escort, at 6:08 p.m.  

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