Sunday, May 01, 2011

Daily Digest May 1, 2011



Conservative-NDP gap narrows to three points in dwindling hours of campaign: EKOS
The gap between the front-running Conservatives and the rising NDP has narrowed to just three points, a new poll finds. MORE...
>>>>>>>>>>INFOS <<<<<<<<<<

22h32 - Fuites · Wikileaks éclabousse des diplomates canadiens
19h39 - Bilan de campagne pour le Bloc · L'effet orange qui fait mal
19h18 - Fédérales 2011 · Horaire des chefs: lundi 2 mai
17h37 - Élections 2011 · Layton remercie les Québécois pour la vague orange
16h36 - Élections 2011 · Le NPD prend les gens pour des naïfs, selon Harper
13h40 - Élections 2011 · Ignatieff «persiste et signe»
13h23 - Élections 2011 · Le Bloc va se battre jusqu'à la dernière minute
13h16 - Élections 2011 · Aux urnes pour la quatrième fois en sept ans
11h26 - Élections 2011 · Un «vent de changement» souffle sur le Canada
10h04 - Élections 2011 · Les chefs à la loupe
09h31 - Élections 2011 · L'écart conservateurs-NPD se réduit encore
07h09 - Élections 2011 · «Je sens que le vent tourne»


Obama is dead.  Nothing gained in any concrete manner
Leastwise as far as I can see.
Do you see something I don't?

Subject: D-Day Minus One - The Momentum Election
From: Richard Neumann


Well, what was to  be one of the least interesting elections in modern history has become perhaps the most fascinating to follow, thanks in large part to the good folks in Quebec and the "orange crush" they initiated.

Trying to predict an outcome involving the near collapse of the Liberal Party and an unprecedented surge for the NDP in not only tricky, it's damn near impossible.  Nevertheless, it is always fun to try and perhaps to illuminate where the discussion will go Tuesday morning.

First, let's be clear, the Conservative strategic plan put in place in December of 2008 has been wildly successful.  If the current polls hold, the Liberal Party is going to be permanently wounded by this election, and much of the credit will go to the success of the Conservatives in defining Michael Ignatieff in the minds of voters years in advance of Monday's day of reckoning.  As for the Liberals, the first stirrings of their eventual demise can be traced back to the coalition of 2008, a construct not of their current leader, but rather Stephane Dion and others who failed to appreciate the implications of a Party whose remaining support lies primarily in the east recruiting the support of the Bloc to snatch an election victory away from a Party which dominates in the West.  The coalition narrative fed the Conservative Party for more than two years, but it was insufficient to take them to the finish line.  As for the NDP, the party that has become the story of this election was perhaps the least responsible for their own "surge" in popularity, unless a strategy of doing nothing counts as a successful strategy (which may in fact be the case in this narrative).

For as long as I can remember, the NDP has been held back by the proposition that they will never form a national government in this country, and that for many left-leaning Canadians a vote for the NDP was a vote that might ultimately work to elect Conservatives.  Until this election, the NDP represented the most successful of the protest parties, a broad collection of special interests that found a home in a party that was capable of promising everything and saying anything, comfortable in the knowledge that they would never be in a position to enact legislation but might still hope to influence it.  When even talk of achieving official opposition status is treated is fantasy to almost all political observers, expectations are set exceedingly low.  Even at the outset of this campaign, pundits and most Canadians grinned to themselves and rolled their eyes as Jack Layton mused about being Prime Minister.  That is not the case today.

The rise of the NDP, just like the fall of the Liberal Party, can be squarely credited/blamed on Quebec.  This province has been known to be unpredictable, to turn on a dime, and to shake up politics as we know it in Canada.  Further, voters in Quebec have shown themselves to be more prone to sending messages, voting on emotion, and not being particularly concerned over the longer term implications of their actions than Canadians in general.  They enjoy being a game changer, and in this instance they are playing that roll in spades.  The NDP began this campaign with the lofty hopes of realistically holding onto their one seat in the province, increasing their popular vote in Quebec marginally, and perhaps picking up another seat or two, at best.  As such, Quebec remained the place where they could conceivably grow most substantially.  In Quebec, the Liberal brand has been fatally damaged for some time.  Although not appreciated by many Canadians, Stephane Dion was not particularly popular in Quebec and his election only reinforced the inability of the Liberal Party to extend its reach beyond Montreal.  For a time, Quebecers gave consideration to Harper as a federalist alternative, and his conservatism gained favor in areas where the ADQ also found furtile soil, namely in and around Quebec City.  Despite this bridgehead into the province, the Conservative platform and the dominance of MPs from the West in its matrix made growth exceedingly difficult in Canada's most socialist jurisdiction.  With the fall of the Liberals, and a lack of power and influence under the Conservatives, Quebecers were comfortable parking their votes with the Bloc, as long as the Bloc kept its ultimate ambition, another referendum leading to independence, on the back-burner.  This all set the stage for Jack.

An accomplished debater and everyman, Jack Layton as an individual is hardly threatening, rather he is engaging.  Having steered clear of most of the muck and mud on the federal scene, there was little reason not to like the guy.  In most parts of Canada, that was never enough, as the NDP was never going to form a government, but in Quebec that question had little relevance, as they'd been voting Bloc for over a decade.  The NDP showed little life in Quebec until the debates, but the timing of that performance in French could not have been better for him.  The Parti Quebecois was holding a convention that week, beating the separatist drum again, and given Premier Charest's position in the polls looking very much like the next government.  As a consequence of the attention given to the PQ, the Bloc was reluctant to run a very aggressive campaign given that a large chunk of their support was coming from soft federalists who might be very uncomfortable with a strong Bloc presence at the same time as the PQ returned to power.  Duceppe, with little to run on other than stopping a Harper majority, barely campaigned at all, appearing to take his support in Quebec for granted.  Quebecers don't like being taken for granted, and they certainly take pleasure out of exercising their collective voice to send a message that as voters, they should never be ignored.  Jack Layton scored well in the French debate, and the NDP immediately found some wind in their sails.  As the NDP support ticked up a few notches and Bloc support fell a few, the media began to speculate on whether the NDP might breakthrough in the province and score perhaps a half dozen seats.  That was enough for most Quebecers to collectively conclude that voting NDP wasn't such a bad idea as realistically, there was no other way to reassert themselves into the political process.  NDP support continued to grow in that province, rapidly.  In a short time, the momentum gained almost solely at the expense of the Bloc was enough to push the national numbers of the NDP up and into a statistical tie with the Liberals.  The sudden realization in the rest of the country that the NDP might form the official opposition allowed for their Quebec momentum to spill over into Ontario and BC, but oddly not in Saskatchewan or Manitoba, where one might expect their message to find more fertile soil. 

Once the NDP reached a comfortable lead over the Liberals, their growth had to slow as they hit more core Liberal support in the rest of the country, could gain little more from the Bloc in Quebec, and were unlikely to make big gains from Conservative voters.  However, the ebb in this tide comes on the final weekend of the campaign and very likely will be too late to affect the appearance of ongoing momentum headed into Monday's vote.  There will no doubt be some additional reflection on the part of voters regarding the NDP before they mark their ballots, but those second thoughts will likely be offset by a much higher voter turnout by NDP supporters than has ever been the case before.  The Liberal vote will likely collapse in Quebec and out West, but might still hold sufficiently in Ontario for them to remain as official opposition, though just barely.  Vote splitting is likely to work in the favor of the Conservatives in Ontario, but barring a sudden dip in Dipper support in BC, and a lower than expected NDP voter turnout in Quebec where the NDP ground game is so weak, the Conservative gains in Ontario are unlikely to make up for losses in Quebec and BC. 

I have maintained a position that a Conservative majority was possible, if not probable, in this election.  Key to that prediction was that the NDP support would hold fast, and that the subsequent split in votes would favor Conservative gains in Atlantic Canada, Ontario, and BC.  I did believe that the Conservatives were likely to lose some Quebec seats, but not enough to affect the outcome due to gains elsewhere.  The Conservatives have run an extraordinarily controlled, and cautious campaign.  It was as if they felt that 38% was enough as long as the Liberals stayed mired in the high 20's.  The failure of the Conservatives to be more aggressive and to drive the campaign narrative may mean that they have more difficulty getting out their vote.  Further, their focus on Ignatieff and the Liberals is of minimal value when the leader who most challenges their majority is now Jack Layton.  Always the optimist, I continue to believe that a Conservative majority is possible, but extremely difficult without some NDP slippage in Quebec (probable) and BC (less likely).   The NDP has a weak ground game in Quebec, and the Bloc might be able to motivate their separatist core to come out and prevent a massive setback.  Organizational weakness of the NDP in Quebec might still save some Conservatives and several Bloc MPs, and perhaps a few Liberals, but the NDP is still set to score big there.  In BC, the NDP is far more prepared to take advantage of their surge, and this will likely turn several seats their way.  In Ontario, Liberal support needs to hold where it is if the Conservatives are going to make sufficient gains to make up for BC losses and gain the additional seats needed for their majority.  In Atlantic Canada, three way races may shuffle the deck some with Tories and Dippers set to make gains at the expense of Liberals, but the end result is likely to be a wash.

In the end, I believe that the Conservatives will likely finish short of a majority, but much closer than current polls suggest.  The NDP will gain a dozen seats in Quebec, but organizational weakness may prevent them from displacing the Bloc as the ultimate winner in that province.  In Ontario, the Liberals will lose more than a dozen seats, most to the Conservatives, but several in urban Toronto to the NDP.  In BC, the Liberals will lose seats, and the NDP will make the gains.  I see a future where the Liberals will hold their nose and allow the Conservatives to govern for another two years.  I see a new Conservative leader, a new Liberal leader, a new Bloc leader, and an NDP looking for another opportunity to go to the polls quickly so that they can better focus their attention on the Liberals before they have a chance to regroup.  These are indeed interesting times...

My final predictions:

Conservative:  150
NDP:  65
Liberal:  62
Bloc: 30
Ind: 1
Green: 0


From: "S Booiman"
Subject: GG

Reads like you are supporting it.

Harper mum on post-election governing scenario
Stephen Harper is refusing to say whether he would accept a decision by the Governor General to hand power to the opposition parties in wake of the May 2 election.

Mr. Harper is warning voters the next government will either be a Tory majority or a coalition government led by the New Democrats. He warns a Conservative minority would be short lived, defeated by a coalition.

But he declines to say whether he’d accept a decision by the Queen’s representative in Canada to give an opposition party the chance to govern - rather than, say, demanding the Governor-General call another election instead.

With just days before a ballot, he says it’s a hypothetical question.

The question is hypothetical, the answer not "a decision by the Queen’s representative in Canada to give an opposition party the chance to govern" ought to be accepted.

Yup. The majority of Members of Parliament determine who is the Prime Minister.
From: Rebecca Gingrich
Subject: it is a good thing civilians are not being killed by NATO

NATO strikes kill Gadaffi's son and three of his grandchildren
Colonel Gaddafi's youngest son and three grandchildren killed in Nato air strike

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi survived a NATO airstrike on Saturday night that killed his youngest son Saif al-Arab and three of his grandchildren, a Libyan government spokesman said.

Mussa Ibrahim said Saif al-Arab was a civilian and a student who had studied in Germany. He was 29 years old.

Libyan officials took journalists to the house, which had been hit by at least three missiles.

Subject: re polls--DD
Questioning the science of opinion polls
 [] Posted 4/27/2011 12:53:00 PM
Call display is worth every extra penny that I don't think my phone company should be charging me. These days  it's rare that my land line actually rings , but when it does I simply take a quick look at who's calling and more often than not it's some random area code that I choose to ignore.  Of course that random area code is likely attached to a telemarketing firm that is conducting a consumer survey or is working for an election polling company.  I know I'm not the only Canadian who isn't answering their phone and sharing their feelings on the federal parties.  And that's just the Canadians who still have home phones.  Most young people don't. So how do polling companies reach them? All of this has me thinking, when we talk about a surge in NDP support in the polls, where are they getting the information?  I know it comes down to a mathematical formula , but I think we have to take a close look at the business of polls and how much they have changed in the last few years.  Are polling companies really getting a true sense of how Canadians are feeling in the run up to May 2nd?.  Maybe former Prime Minister John Diefenbaker was right when he said "dogs know best what to do with polls".

From: Tom Brewer

Daft is all I can think! Yesterday I was in our common area. Politics of
course were part and parcel of the discussion. One individual was talking
about Harper, her support and how the rest of us should stem our comments!
OH! I said the sky is falling, the sky is falling, and was berated!

She asked why I would say that.... And I had to tell her it is not New
Democrats yelling the sky is falling BUT Cons! Well she did  not like that
at all!

She went on to tell of her support for Harper. In my mind and behind my
tongue my comments were " well that is your problem... Live with it"!

Indeed far too many Canadians, in my opinion, assume Harper is so angelic!
Oh yes... Little do they realize, if we give him a majority we are toast!!
The best thing that could happen is a minority government and if Harper cant
live with that LEAVE! That is the way of our government albeit should Harper
get a majority!!