Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Alberta By-Elections

Teddy here on his laptop with a quick update.

The above is a colour coded results table.

The largest victory is in Calgary-Foothills.
The ratio margin is 0.5129
That means even if the PC Party had only managed 51.29% of their vote they would have still won (or at least tied) in the riding.

Prentice ran here. This indicates that he has some personal support over and beyond his party, which only makes sense. This was the least-likely loss for the party and would have been most damaging if they had lost it.

Number Two is in Edmonton-Whitemud.
While the ratio is 0.5236 there is a caveat here.

Not only is this the best NDP result, but it's also the best Liberal result, and, the worst Wildrose result. This is an Edmonton riding. Edmonton is more to the left, and these results indicate to me that the Tories can still win on the splits in the city.

Up next is Calgary-Elbow.
The ratio margin here is 0.8102, a much closer race.

There were two spoilers here, the first is that this is the riding of Redford, and the second was the very strong Alberta Party candidate. My personal read on this is that the AP vote is the "I want to vote PC but what they are doing recently upsets me" vote. This vote is available across the province for the party best able to pick it up. Note that if Wildrose or the Liberals had picked up this vote, they would have won the riding. This is good news for both parties; if they can tap in to the anger at the PC Party, and hold on to it (without losing it to fear as Wildrose did last time) they could win the election. The problem here is that neither party has been able to do so, and these results simply show that the PC Party is still flying high.

Last on our list is Calgary-West.
The ratio margin is a small 0.9347.
This means even a loss of 7% of the vote would have resulted in a loss for the Tories.

The simple fact that this is the last riding on the list is important, it's the only one where the Tories were not running a Cabinet minister. In effect, it is the riding the Tories decided they could afford to lose. They did not lose it.

For the reasons outlined above, this is great news for the Tories, bad news for the Liberals, NDP, and Alberta Party, and Terrible news for Wildrose. The latter needed Calgary West. Losing it will have repercussions.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Remember to vote, and updates

I hope everyone who follows this blog who can vote today has already done so. Those who have yet to, I hope you do so soon, even if you simply submit an empty ballot.

I've voted for Morgan Baskin. I am unconvinced she could do any worse than the "big 3" candidates. I also want to encourage her to stick with politics as we need more people like her.

As for updates.

In Tunisia, the Liberals (Nidaa) have secured a victory. The Islamists have conceded defeat.

In Ukraine, now that more votes are in, I've updated the results. With 75% of the vote in, things stand as follows:

As noted in the graphic, the Front and the President's party are setting up for a coalition government.

30-40% of Ontarians in Various Municipalities Vote 2014 (and some Albertans too)

Today is election day across Ontario's thousands of local municipalities, ranging from the big ones in Toronto and Mississauga, to itty bitty races where specific people need to be beaten back by large margins. Turnout in these elections are hilariously low usually, despite municipalities being the closest level of government to your daily life - even Toronto's competitive 2010 mayoral race only saw 50% turnout.

So don't expect to see high numbers of voters, except in the few cases there are highly competitive races. Lets go over some, if you've got the time.

Mississauga is definitely going to see a spike in turnout, featuring its first actual competitive mayoral race since its creation in the 1970s. The main contenders are former Liberal MP Bonnie Crombie and former Liberal MPP Steve Mahoney - the race was fairly close before, but Crombie managed to score the endorsement of Hurricane Hazel McCallion herself a couple weeks ago, and that has put her far in the lead of Mahoney. Both have some great ideas though, and its good to see Mississauga has such strong contenders after McCallion's retirement.

In Hamilton, incumbent mayor Bob Bratina has decided not to seek re-election after one term (and is instead seeking election as a federal MP for the Liberals in Hamilton East-Stoney Creek). That has brought forward three main contenders to replace him: Brian McHattie, a downtown Councillor with ties to the NDP establishment in the city; Brad Clark, a suburban Councillor with ties to the Conservatives; and Fred Eisenberger, the previous mayor before Bratina who was defeated in 2010 who also has ties to the Conservatives, though maybe some Liberals as well. Clark has been accused of essentially trying out the Rob Ford strategy of pitting the suburbs against the downtown core, and it seems McHattie and him will work up their various bases. Eisenberger led in the polls I've seen scattered around, and probably has the best chance of winning due to broader appeal among both constituencies. Its really up in the air at this point though.

Over in Brampton, Susan Fennell's drama continues on and she still seems likely to go down to defeat, probably to former Liberal MPP and cabinet member Linda Jeffrey. Fennell, mayor since 2000, had her reputation ruined due to an audit that found she inappropriately charged hundreds of thousands of dollars to the city expensive account. She then sued the audit company for "exceeding its mandate," and the city's integrity commissioner looked in and eventually cleared her of wrongdoing, saying its an "established practice" that she followed and can't be held accountable for (right). That happened last week, so who knows how the polls have moved since then, but it seems likely that not enough people are going to be convinced by Fennell's cleared-by-technicality to win re-election. We'll see.

In southwestern Ontario, Windsor and London are looking for new mayors. Windsor's popular incumbent Eddie Francis decided to not seek re-election, and his position is being sought by three main contenders: Councillor Drew Dilkens, a leftist with probable NDP ties; Larry Horwitz, a former Liberal candidate from 2008 using suspiciously Ford-like campaign graphics; and John Millson, a former mayor from the late 1980s who may/may not have had the backing of former Liberal MPP and cabinet member Sandra Pupatello. I have zero clue about whats going on, but it looks like a fun race.

In London, former mayor Joe Fontana was booted out for being a corrupt asshat, so the city needs a new mayor. The main contenders, as far as I can tell, are business Paul Cheng, who has a largely self-financed campaign; and sitting councillors Matt Brown, Roger Caranci, and Joe Swan. An early poll suggested Brown had the lead over Cheng, but not much has come out since. Like Windsor, I have no idea whats going on, but I like the cut of Cheng's campaign, who says "folks" more than Doug Ford does.

Speaking of, the Ford legacy is on the line tonight in Canada's biggest city. John Tory, Olivia Chow, and Doug Ford are all competing to succeed Rob Ford as mayor, and the polls indicate so far that Tory has the lead. I don't live in Toronto, so it doesn't really matter to me - though I will heartily chuckle if Doug Ford gets in - but if I did, I would probably vote for Tory. I do find his resume impressive and he clearly has some positive ideas for the city, plus at this point he seems likely the only person who can defeat Ford. That being said, I feel like my heart is with Olivia Chow - she really does speak to a lot of the issues I care about, especially alleviating poverty. Yet I suspect a lot of people are saying "I like Olivia, but..." today. Tory will make a competent mayor, that's all people can ask for and actually receive at this point.

Some council races to watch are Ward 2, where Rob Ford is seeking his hold seat but does have some spirited challengers; Ward 7, where Comrade Mammoliti will hopefully go down to defeat; Ward 12, where former MP John Nunziata is trying to join his sister on council; Ward 24, where Dan Fox is running a strong campaign to unseat incumbent David Shiner; Ward 32, where incumbent Mary-Margaret McMahon is running against former incumbent Sandra Bussin and certified weirdo James Sears; and Ward 42, where former Liberal/PC candidate and incumbent Raymond Cho is facing off against Neethan Shan, former NDP candidate/party president who is perennially close to being successful, kind of like the NDP's John Tory.

On a personal note, the reason I haven't been as active lately is that I have been managing the campaign of my friend Michael Kukhta, who is running for Public School Trustee here in my city of Burlington (whose races are mostly pretty boring, especially for Mayor). We're hoping to get Michael elected tonight against three other opponents, and I'll be watching the results come in at a local bar, so no live results unless Teddy does them. But good luck to everyone in their respective campaigns!

Oh, right, Alberta - I nearly forgot. That's my Central Canadian bias coming out.

There are four by-elections in Alberta tonight as well, the first - and final, if it goes badly - test for new PC Premier Jim Prentice, who himself is a candidate on the ballot. Calgary-Foothills, Calgary-Elbow, Calgary-West, and Edmonton-Whitemud feature Prentice and two appointed cabinet members (and another guy) facing off against stiff competition in the Wildrose Party, and maybe the NDP or Liberals if they get their act together. I encourage people to mosey on over to Daveberta's website for more information.

These by-elections will heavily influence the fate of Prentice's government, though if he loses a riding I wouldn't say its the end - Prentice came in at a bad time for the hegemonic PCs, and there is a lot of anger out there. By-elections are a chance for people to express that anger, and not necessarily decide the fate of a government. So whatever happens, do not read too much into it.

One of the biggest questions to come out of this, as it always happens anyways, is the question of a merger on the progressive side of Alberta's spectrum. There are three main "progressive" parties in this election - the Alberta Liberals, the NDP, and the Alberta Party, the latter which poached former Redford/Nenshi campaign guru Stephen Carter. For some reason this speculation doesn't include the revitalized Greens, but whatever. Its very, very unlikely any of these parties will win any of the ridings up for grabs here, so any "success" tonight will be about who can end up in what position in the final results.

There was some hoo-haa in Calgary about the Alberta Party trying to set-up Liberals saying things about merger/co-operation (which, in fairness, Kent Hehr, does promote), but we're not likely to see any movements by any party to merge right now. The Liberals are counting on the Trudeau effect; the NDP are counting on new leader Rachel Notley's appeal; and the Alberta Party is betting on Carter. Co-operation in certain ridings makes sense, but the hail-mary plays of these respective parties have hardly come to pass.

Besides, any new entity that comes out of a merger will, at best, manage to get an Official Opposition role to a Wildrose government in this climate. The PCs are not swinging wildly to the right, and frankly neither are the Wildrosers. Everyone is making a play for the "progressive" centre, which is a lot more prevalent in Alberta than most people actually think. A merged progressive party will just be another party making the same play, and not even a mildly successful one at that - 20-25% of the vote, and that is being very generous. If it were me, I'd rather take my chances as a separate party and maybe find my own success - and if a strong movement for a merger does arrive, I'd have a better bargaining position based on my own success, wouldn't I? ;)

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Ukraine election

Teddy here, I've quickly put together a map showing the results of the Ukraine election. Remember that the ridings seen on the map are supplemented by Proportional Representation, and, that the results are still very early.

It appears when all is said and done that the President and the Anti-Yulia Liberals will each have in the area of 130 seats. The two parties are already rather close in ideology and should be able to put a stable government together. 

The Pro-Russian opposition has done well in the individual ridings, nearly sweeping the eastern portion of the country. This could pose troubles for Ukraine going forward as now a total of 5 provinces are either in open revolt or have voted for parties that tacitly support the rebellion. 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Teddy's final prediction in Toronto and more

I've managed to cobble together some internet using my old computer. And with that, I have some updates in my personal predictions. First, Toronto.

I don't see how John Tory can be defeated. Especially as people believe this is still a Tory-Ford horse-race. In fact, at this time, the only way I see Tory losing is if this post itself goes viral, and people switch from John Tory to Chow and others out of "comfort" that he will win. Tory will win on the power of some strategic voting and with a healthy margin. His biggest risk is people voting for Chow and not Tory, or people staying home thinking Ford can't possibly win.

In Ukraine things are getting a bit more clear. I thus have a prediction for Tomorrow's election:

Prez - 190 - President's party
Bloc - 60 - Pro-Russian Opposition
Front - 55 - Anti-Yulia Liberals
Rads - 45 - Radical Party
Home - 30 - Pro-Yulia Liberals
Self - 25 - Christian Pro-Europe
Ind - 18 - Various others

This is based on a few things, but one assumption I am making is that slightly more people will vote for the opposition Bloc. Pollsters do not have them this high but with the war I am estimating some people simply do not want to admit to supporting them, thus, they win an extra 10 or 15 seats beyond what the polls would otherwise give them in my books.

There are also elections in Tunisia - expected to be won by Liberals who are polling at 40% - and I am, as always, keeping track of events in other countries like Japan and Israel - No change since last update - and the UK - where UKIP's not only has 1 MP and another likely coming in a by-election, but their EU group has a new member - and just about everywhere else in the world where democracy happens.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Man down

Teddy here. Those who know me in person know I can, at times, attract a comedy of errors.

At about 2am today, my computer broke. While trying to fix it, I unplugged the router. Being unable to fix it, I got frustrated and went to bed. When I woke up, I found that the router was still unplugged, and thus, all the login information for my ISP had been deleted. Normally this is not a big problem, but, all that info is on the broken computer, and, since I used VoIP, I can't even call them.

Long story short, I won't be online to cover the coming Toronto election, or the election in Ukraine. I should be back up and running in 2 weeks, hopefully much shorter.


John Tory should be able to win by at least 4 points, or as many as 12, over Doug Ford. I don't expect any "Fordslide" this time around.

Council will see some totally unexpected surprises, I expect at least one person to win that nobody expected. I also feel that some of the worst Ford Enablers of the past term, like Minnan-Wong (who suddenly finds himself attracted to John Tory) and David Shiner will also go down to defeat. I have a bad feeling, though, that Rob Ford will manage to hold on, if narrowly, to his ward.


The President should be able to cobble together a majority out of loyal MPs and Independents. If needed, Liberals can be brought in as well. I expect the next election's parliament to last for the full term.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

New Political Party

According to Google Translate - my French is sub-par - "Forces" can be translated as Strength, Power, or Leverage. Democratie is, of course, Democracy.

Thus the name seems to be a play on the fact the party sees itself as a Democratic Force, a party that will use the strength and power of Democracy to leverage the results it desires.

But I'm getting ahead of myself, what IS this party, and where did it come from? 

This is a new political party; the newest Political Party on the Federal scene in Canada.

FetD, also known as F&D or FD, plans to run in all Quebec ridings. They plan, in short, to be a Bloc Quebecois that is not tired to the idea of sovereignty.

Their logo and name may give us some idea of their policies. The name, or at least a similar name, was used in France for a short period in the late 1990s by a party that was moderately centre right. The logo and it's colours, Blue and Green, may also indicate a right-leaning outlook, or at least, a party that is not tied to the social democratic principles of the Bloc Quebecois. 

The party appears to appeal to the regions of Quebec, that is, areas outside Montreal. According to their website, and the Google Translation
In Ottawa, the Conservatives, Liberals and New Democrats propose measures "across the board", national strategies and pan-Canadian standards
This clearly is appealing to the same sort of voter who would vote for the Bloc Quebecois.

The party has a unique platform.

1 - There is no whip. Much like the Greens, the party promises to have no party line.
2 - The party seems to have a rather strong pro-Green stance.
3 - The party, as mentioned before, is not tied to Sovereignty.

This is designed to appeal to a large segment of the voting public in Quebec.

So what is my take on all of this?

My read is that this is a party that wants to do what the Bloc was unable to do in 2008, and join a government in coalition. In addition, my guess is that all the various Independents and De Jure independents have had discussions. There are now 11 MPs in Ottawa that are not part of an official caucus. It would be difficult for the Greens and the Bloc to sit as one caucus even if only to split the money and resources. The new party however appears designed to allow it to do just that.

Lets say in the next election FD wins 11 seats, and the Greens win at least 1, if not 2, or more. The way the party platform is laid out, FD could well form a parliamentary coalition with the Greens in order to get the 12 seats needed for party status.

In addition, if, somehow, the Greens were to win a majority of seats outside Quebec, FD is the natural coalition partner should it win a majority of seats inside Quebec, but, we are getting ahead of ourselves. 

The Bloc is on the way out. Sovereignty is just not popular right now, and with that being the wedge issue between the Bloc and the FD I for one expect the FD to pick up huge amounts of Bloc support.

For that reason, I am removing the Bloc from all my further personal predictions and adding FD in it's place.

Edited to add

In my haste to explain the party I neglected to mention it has two MPs. Jean-Francois Fortin, formerly of the Bloc, and Jean-Francois LaRose, of the NDP.

In addition, the website of the party can be found here: