The second French language leaders debate has ended, and the campaign is moving into its final phase. And with that, the 2006 Bow James Bow Federal Election Pool shifts into phase 2.
The rules are still the same: simply predict, right here, right now, or up to the moment when the polls close, your best guess of how many seats each party will win on January 23, and the voter turnout. For details on how this pool will be scored, click here.
For those of you who had the gumption to make a prediction during the early part of the campaign, you have a choice: you can submit your revised prediction, or you can stick with your original guess. Simply tell me to “let it ride”, and we will admire your bravado. And if your guess is right, we will stand in awe of your prognostication skills. Those who didn’t participate in round one can still submit a guess for round two; they have to accept a penalty for not guessing earlier. Please note that, in 2004’s election pool, many who submitted late still managed to get close enough to overcome the first round penalty.
The prize for the person with the best guess overall is an 11 x 14 print by Sean McCormick at Digiteyesed. We’re still willing to accept donations for a prize for the second place finisher (the individual who submits a single guess that comes closest to matching the final results) and a third place finisher (second best performance by points). Anybody who wants to donate are encouraged to e-mail me.
As I announced on Monday’s blogger hotstove, I’ll be working as a poll clerk for Elections Canada on January 23. I go for training this Saturday. I had been a deputy returning officer during the 2004 election, but Elections Canada trains its personnel from scratch, and so DROs and poll clerks are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.
During this year’s training, I’ll be swearing an oath to conduct myself in a non-partisan manner until the votes are counted, an oath I take seriously. For this reason, I bowed out of the hotstove, and partisan political posts will take a holiday from this Saturday on. I’ll also be hard at work all through Monday, January 23. This may delay the announcement of the final results of the pool, and I ask your indulgence.
A sleeper issue that’s not received the attention of the mainstream media or even the blogosphere is that of Chinese Canadian redress. In the Chinese Community, however, the government’s continued foot-dragging, coupled with the gaffe of Liberal exec Mark Klandar comparing NDP candidate Olivia Chow to a dog has angered many in the Chinese Canadian community.
When my Chinese grandfather immigrated to Canada in 1910, he paid a head tax of $500 — the equivalent of two years wages at the time. He was denied citizenship, and when my English-Canadian grandmother married him in the early 40s, her citizenship was revoked. These were just two examples of the racist policies of the day that afflicted Chinese Canadians. The community is well aware of the time when some businesses posted signs which said “no Chinese or Dogs allowed”.
For more than twenty years, the Chinese-Canadian community has been demanding compensation. The slow progress has proven frustrating. Earlier this month, Paul Martin issued an informal apology during a radio interview, but a number of Chinese-Canadian voters are not happy.
The Chinese-Canadian National Congress hasn’t gone as far as endorsing other parties over the Liberals, but they are asking that Chinese-Canadian voters press their local candidates on the issue of redress. Ill will between the community and the Liberal party could cost the Liberals support in downtown Toronto and in Vancouver, with NDPers like Olivia Chow, among others, being possible beneficiaries. Don’t count out the Conservatives either, as MP Inky Mark has been a strong spokesman on this issue.