Thursday, January 26, 2006

Dangerous Thinking By Conservatives

There seems to be a consensus developing among Conservatives that they have almost a guaranteed year in office. Even more, there seems to be more and more saying that they can pass almost whatever they want in the first 100 days. There are two premises this is based upon. The first is that none of the opposition parties want an election, primarily because the public does not want an election. Although there is some truth to that, they should keep in mind that the public did not want the election we just had but still elected the Conservatives to government. The second premise is that with the Liberals heading into a leadership race they would not dare to bring down the Conservative government. And without the Liberals the Bloc and NDP are incapable of defeating the government. I would not put too much faith in that if I were the Conservatives. It is ironic that on both of these premises Joe Clark would be Harper's best advisor. Pierre Trudeau's resignation did not prevent the Liberals from defeating Clark's government. In our current situation, I do not believe it would be Paul Martin who would come back to fight. Instead, here is how I think things could develop. If the Conservatives brought in legislation that the Liberals thought they could win an election on they could defeat and bring down the government and then bring in someone like Frank McKenna to serve as leader and fight the election. There certainly are party rules, and I do not believe any of the rules allow for this. However, most people do not realize that the various political parties technically have no authority over their party's caucus in parliament. The leader of the Liberal party is the person the caucus recognizes - period. Originally, and for quite some time, it was the caucus that elected the leader. So if they appointed Frank McKenna he would be recognized by parliament as the Liberal leader. If he won the election he could then go through a leadership race, one in which I am sure he would be appointed. If he lost the election he could still go through a leadership race, but I am sure he would be challenged in such a case.

Do I think this will happen? Only if the Conservatives become arrogant enough to think they can act like they have a majority.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Beginning of the End for the Bloc

I would hope that since the Bloc fell short of expectations many Quebecers are rethinking the very existence of the Bloc. Let us presuppose for a moment that Quebec has concerns with federalism that are legitimate enough to justify separation. Why then do they elect separatists to Ottawa? Separatists have no desire to fix federalism. Quebecers have three main parties to choose from that cover most of the Canadian political spectrum: Liberals, Conservatives, NDP. They may find that none of those parties really reflect the views of Quebec. However, ask Albertans the same question. The policies of the Conservative party have been modified a great deal and in a direction that many Albertans would not agree with. But political parties in Canada must accomodate a wide range of views.

I fully recognize Quebecers right to vote for the Bloc. However, if the Bloc win a majority of seats next time then I will no longer take seriously Quebec's concerns with federalism because electing the Bloc demonstrates that they do not seriously want these concerns addressed.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

How the Forecasters Stack Up

So here are the results and how various forecasts matched them. As you can see, The Truth Hurts did very well compared to other national forecasts. If you are aware of any other forecast sites I am more than prepared to add them to this comparison chart. If I find the time I will do the same comparisons at the subnational level.

I found through the election that my model's weakness, though it was not that bad, was with smaller parties. The final results reflect that as well as no other predictor had a lower error rate for the two largest parties combined and only The Truth Hurts predicted one of those two parties exactly. There is also some irony that the forecast with the absolutely worst results was from a professional polling firm. All of the others were reasonably close to one another.



CANADA






LIBERAL CONSERVATIVE BLOC NDP GREEN OTHER

103 124 51 29 0 1 Actual
TOTAL WRONG 99 124 60 25 0 0 The Truth Hurts
18 4 0 9 4 0 1 Difference

104 118 56 29 0 1 Election Prediction
12 1 6 5 0 0 0 Difference

94 128 56 29 0 1 Democratic Space
18 9 4 5 0 0 0 Difference

64 150 58
36
0 0 IPSOS
80
39 26 7
7
0 1 Difference

93 127 54 33 0 1 UBC
20 10 3 3 4 0 0 Difference


I should point out that I have adjusted my forecast for the NDP from 27 down to 25 because of a data entry error. That actually increases the error rate for The Truth Hurts in the chart above, but it better reflects the accuracy of the model because the error was caused by a data entry mistake not a mistake in the model (SES Research had the NDP at 12% in Montreal and I mistakenly entered that as 22%). But feel free to call this mistake differently than I have if you like.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Liberal Cabinet Death Watch



Last Updated: 01/23/06 11:00:00 am








CABINET DEATH WATCH




Call Me In The Morning As Safe As A Liberal Can Be This Election
Call The Doctor At Risk



Call The Coroner I Think You Get The Idea


Cabinet Member LIBERAL CPC NDP Bloc Green Other Hold/Lose
Member/Portfolio/Riding Prediction





Paul Martin






Prime Minister






LaSalle-Emard 36.2% 12.6% 13.4% 31.5% 4.9% 1.3%
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Anne McLellan






Deputy Prime Minister






Edmonton Centre 34.4% 44.0% 12.8% 0.0% 6.3% 2.5%
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ý
Andy Mitchell






Agriculture & Agri-Food






Parry Sound-Muskoka 43.0% 32.8% 12.8% 0.0% 11.3% 0.0%
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Joe McGuire






ACOA






Egmont 46.0% 33.8% 13.1% 0.0% 7.1% 0.0%
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Liza Frulla






Canadian Heritage






Jeanne-Le Ber 23.0% 12.3% 18.6% 36.8% 8.0% 1.4%
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Joe Volpe






Citizenship & Immigration






Eglinton-Lawrence 42.9% 32.8% 15.6% 0.0% 8.4% 0.2%
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Jacques Saada






Canada Econ Dev-Que






Brossard-La Prairie 27.7% 14.1% 12.8% 39.8% 5.4% 0.2%
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Stephan Dion






Environment






Saint Laurent-Cartierville 42.3% 15.5% 18.9% 17.5% 4.6% 1.1%
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Ralph Goodale






Finance






Wascana 46.4% 30.2% 17.9% 0.0% 5.4% 0.0%
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Geoff Regan






Fisheries & Oceans






Halifax West 38.6% 23.8% 31.0% 0.0% 6.5% 0.0%
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Pierre Pettigrew






Foreign Affairs






Papineau 22.9% 10.5% 23.3% 35.6% 5.0% 2.6%
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Ujjal Dosanjh






Health






Vancouver South 45.2% 29.2% 21.3% 0.0% 2.5% 1.8%
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Belinda Stronach






HRSD






Newmarket-Aurora 49.1% 36.1% 6.9% 0.0% 5.8% 2.0%
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ý
Andy Scott






INAC






Fredericton 38.7% 37.9% 19.2% 0.0% 4.2% 0.0%
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David Emerson






Industry






Vancouver Kingsway 42.4% 19.5% 33.3% 0.0% 2.6% 2.2%
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Lucienne Robillard






Intergovernmental Affairs






Westmount-Ville-Marie 27.9% 19.9% 28.7% 11.9% 10.6% 1.0%
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ý
Aileen Carroll






International Cooperation






Barrie 42.2% 41.9% 7.4% 0.0% 8.5% 0.0%
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Jim Peterson






International Trade






Willowdale 44.5% 30.8% 14.7% 0.0% 7.7% 2.3%
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þ
Irwin Cotler






Justice






Mount Royal 48.5% 21.9% 15.1% 7.2% 6.2% 1.1%
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Joe Fontana






Labour & Housing






London North Centre 38.1% 31.5% 23.1% 0.0% 6.7% 0.6%
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þ
Tony Valeri






House Leader






Hamilton East-Stoney Creek 42.4% 24.6% 27.5% 0.0% 4.2% 1.2%
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Jack Austin






Senate Leader






Senator






Bill Graham






National Defence






Toronto Centre 38.9% 18.4% 34.0% 0.0% 7.6% 1.0%
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þ
Mauril Belanger






National Defence (Ass.)






Ottawa-Vanier 46.4% 21.7% 23.4% 0.0% 7.3% 1.1%
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þ
John McCallum






National Revenue






Markham-Unionville 66.7% 23.9% 6.1% 0.0% 3.3% 0.0%
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John Efford






Natural Resources






Avalon 49.9% 34.8% 12.7% 0.0% 2.6% 0.0%
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Scott Brison






Public Works






Kings-Hants 37.8% 34.2% 19.6% 0.0% 6.5% 2.0%
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Ken Dryden






Social Development






York Centre 38.4% 33.3% 20.0% 0.0% 6.3% 2.1%
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Jean Lapierre






Transport






Outremont 20.2% 11.6% 33.2% 26.3% 7.4% 1.2%
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ý
Reg Alcock






Treasury Board






Winnipeg South 40.6% 40.9% 12.2% 0.0% 5.5% 0.8%
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▲▲▲



ý
Albina Guarnieri






Veteran Affairs






Mississauga East-Cooksville 57.4% 27.9% 8.3% 0.0% 3.9% 2.6%
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Stephen Owen






Western Diversification






Vancouver Quadra 52.7% 29.8% 12.9% 0.0% 3.9% 0.6%
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Tony Ianno






Families & Caregivers






Trinity-Spadina 28.0% 10.2% 52.5% 0.0% 7.9% 1.4%
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▲▲▲


ý
Claudette Bradshaw






Human Resources Dev.






Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe 46.2% 29.3% 15.2% 0.0% 9.2% 0.0%
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þ
John Godfrey






Infrastr. & Communities






Don Valley West 42.9% 37.3% 13.0% 0.0% 6.9% 0.0%
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þ
Raymond Chan






Multiculturalism






Richmond 44.1% 39.4% 12.7% 0.0% 2.9% 0.9%
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þ
Ethel Blondin-Andrew






Northern Development






Western Arctic 41.6% 17.3% 41.1% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
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þ
Carolyn Bennett






Public Health






St. Paul's 40.6% 25.7% 22.8% 0.0% 10.9% 0.0%
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þ
CABINET DEATH WATCH

Lose: 8