Crossposted on BlogsCanada EGroup Election Site. And thanks to Jim Elve for designing the icon on my right...
We may already have Revmod's Gaffe-o-meter, but who says you can have enough side-games during an election. Now that the election has been called, I'm proposing a straight-up, straight-on, election pool.
The rules are simple: simply write down the number of seats you expect each party to take nationwide this coming election. Nothing could be easier than that. Actually, to make things a little more interesting, I'm giving everyone two kicks at the can: you get to make your prediction during the first two weeks of the campaign -- no fair editing your posts -- and then you get to make your second guess between the end of the leader's debate and just before the polls close. The two guesses will limit the advantage people who wait until the last minute have over those with the courage to guess early.
So, now that the vote has been called, make your predictions, either in the comments to this post, or in the comments of the post I've going to make on the BlogsCanada E-Group elections website.
And though it is early, I am going to make the first prediction:
Liberals - 140
Conservatives - 81
Bloc Quebecois - 60
New Democrats - 27
Jim Elve has since augmented this contest with prizes:
The winner of of the Election Pool will receive a slightly used, hard cover, 3 volume set of The Canadian Establishment by Peter C. Newman. More great prizes of used Canadian book sets will be announced soon.
So cast the first of your two predictions as soon as you can. Your second choice will be accepted after the leaders' debate.
In other news, Electionprediction.org is now in business, attempting to predict the upcoming election on a riding-by-riding basis. They boast a 94% accuracy level in the Ontario election, but I personally find that they make too many changes in the final days of the campaign. I'd be more impressed if they achieved their results after locking in their results one week to three days before the polls open.
The Globe and Ipsos Ried has new poll numbers. The results should terrify everybody, except the BQ.
Why the Liberals Should Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid
- "A new Ipsos-Reid poll, conducted for The Globe and Mail and CTV this week, showed the Liberals falling four percentage points to 35 per cent, a level that would traditionally win only a minority government"
- "It was driven in part by a seven-point decline in Ontario to 42 per cent just after Premier Dalton McGuinty's provincial Liberals delivered an unpopular, tax-hike budget.
- Majority of Canadians agree that it is a time for change
- The Bloc Quebecois sit at 50% popular support in Quebec
- "The Liberal strategy of painting Conservative Leader Stephen Harper as scary is ineffective..."
Bottom Line: The Liberals are low and sinking lower. They do not deserve to be reelected.
Why the Conservatives Should Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid
- "The Liberal strategy of painting Conservative Leader Stephen Harper as scary is ineffective because respondents do not think he will become prime minister."
- "Mr. Bricker said that the Conservatives and Mr. Harper have not caught fire yet, especially in Ontario, where surly voters preferred to park their support with the New Democrats."
- Ipsos-Reid president Darrell Bricker said there is not just a volatile mood among the electorate, but a sense that they can have the Liberals and punish them, too... Most of the voters surveyed prefer the Liberals as the best government
Bottom line: Harper and his Conservatives are still not seen as the natural governing alternative to the Liberals.
Why the NDP Should Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid
- "surly voters preferred to park their support with the New Democrats."
Bottom Line: Canadians want to replace the Liberals... with the Liberals.
This all suggests that most Canadians have somewhat equal distaste for leaders Paul Martin and Stephen Harper. They wish to vote against Paul Martin and seem unwilling (or unable) to vote for someone else. Disgusted voters are heading to the NDP as a party of convenience, and are not "afraid" of Stephen Harper because they do not take him seriously.
Nobody should be going into this election smug, or even particularly proud. The Conservatives are still well below the combined 2000 vote of the PCs and the Alliance, and it's possible that many new-NDP voters could be scared back to the Liberals if the Conservatives cross the 30% threshold...
Right now, if "none of the above" became an option in the next ballot, people would select it in droves.
Why Canadians Should Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid
- The Bloc Quebecois could hold the balance of power after this election
Or should we be afraid? History has shown that Quebec will not separate without a proper referendum result, and no referendum will occur while Charest leads the province. In the absense of that mandate, the Parti Quebecois have won elections on a campaign for good government, and they have govered Quebec effectively in the past. Would the Bloc really be much different? Only time will tell.
The :Trenchcoat Farewell Project: has been slowed due to the presence of housework and other life issues, but the proofreading is almost complete. As Victoria Day appears to be a wash, I expect to work some more on entering the proofreading changes and generally getting ready to print. About half of the issue is now completely laid out in its final form.
The Rosemary and Time rewrite is also almost complete. I am butting my head up against a troublesome piece of description, which I'll post to this blog later, but otherwise I hope to start sending the story out to publishers again in early June.
And I've gotten some interesting work done on some journalistic articles which might appear on this website once they've been published...