Wednesday, April 30, 2014


This, again, ties in to the earlier "Pivot" post. I really do feel that we are in a "turning point" of politics in many ways.

In Newfoundland, the PC Government has all but chosen their new leader. Fred Corbett; er sorry, Frank Coleman. Yes that's right. A political nobody. In fairness, Frank does seem to have the business experience to suggest he is competent enough to do the job. His political and media astuteness, however, is clearly not yet up to par. For fans of the NL PC Party and/or Coleman; I point out that Harper's "media astuteness" was also not "up to par" upon his election as Tory leader.

The problem is that Coleman's election and all the things around it* suggest that my earlier post that a Liberal government is unstoppable is correct.

*For the record, lets examine this; in point form as we don't have all day here.
1 - Only 3 people ran
1a - One of them was leader of another party previously, and made potentially racist comments. He was officially rejected by Cabinet and the party.
1b - One of them has been accused of being a liberal, while also being accused of being a hard-right libertarian; he was unofficially rejected by Cabinet and the party.
1c - The only other person to run was Coleman, who is a social conservative; not a big problem, but his lack of media awareness is.
2 - None of the people who ran were "big" names, or even "small" names, they were "nobodies." That's not to say you can't become a "somebody" - look at Dalton McGunity or Naheed Nenshi, but it does not bode well for a government party.
3 - Nobody in the party seems willing to step up to stop the bleeding. That alone is telling.
4 - We've heard so little despite the change in attitudes; suggesting they knew they were heading for a loss.

Regardless, in my view this only backs up my earlier claim that the Liberals will win a majority. Will win. A majority.

I made this map (of course) to help explain things.

I've actually used real riding data to make this map - as opposed to my last Newfoundland map which was simply based on historic trends. There are only 3 seats the PC Party can totally count on; and there are chances that retaining them depends on incumbents running for re-election; they may not. Ferryland (the blue one south of St.John's) seems the most solid regardless of the candidate.

This would see all 12 Liberals re-elected. It would also see 14 folks join them. These ridings are, in my mind, locks. There is no way the Liberals can lose these, at all. Of the 14 the only potential one that I see could somehow be lost is the one in St.John's, which may turn into a 3-way race, and thus, could be won on the splits. Even if that happens, that still leaves 25 seats that are "guaranteed" to go Liberal; that's a Majority government in Newfoundland.

Beyond this, there are 9 seat I see as likely to go Liberal. Hard number projections are difficult in smaller provinces. In general there may be 500-1000 votes in every riding that don't behave as expected. In Federal elections, with 50,000 ballots being cast, this is no big problem; but in Newfoundland, there are 5,000 per riding, meaning a 1,000 "unexpected swing" is huge.

Thus there are 7 ridings I think the Tories could maintain, even despite the polls and the swings we've seen in the by-elections. The NDP also looks like they could hold on to their seats as well.

If correct, this produces 35 Liberals, to 10 Tories, to 3 New Democrats. A healthy and traditionally sized Newfoundland Government Majority. At the most extreme, the Liberals could take 44 seats, to 3 for the Tories, and 1 for the NDP; this would be more the margin of victory we've become used to in the past decade in Newfoundland.

An interesting but unlikely possibility would see the PC Party finish in third place. At this time I can't see it happening, but if it does, it poses an interesting question, especially with the federal Tories doing so poorly. Can Newfoundland join BC as a Liberal-NDP province?

As always, only time will tell.


  1. Link to my "Pivot" post; for the record
    (I'll just link to this directly in future posts!)

  2. The last time the Newfoundland PCs picked a "political nobody" it was a guy named Danny Williams! He won the next two elections with the largest majorities in the history of the Province.

    1. is Frank expecting a similar oil boom to prop him up?

    2. Newfoundland gets a larger share of it's budget from Royalties than Alberta does. I'd call that an Oil Boom.

    3. With Oil at $100+ a barrel I believe the answer is Yes Brendan.

      Teddy, that "discrepency" is partly due to the fact that without oil royalties Newfoundland would receive larger equalization payments.

  3. bede dunelm ... Not as much as Quebec to name one. Canadians just don't stand up for themselves when it comes to the sell off resources to foreign countries. 20% royalties is nothing to what Norway receives at 80%.

    1. Anyong,

      I don't follow you. Teddy correctly states Newfoundland's budget is more dependent on oil royalties than Alberta or to put it another way oil royalties make up a larger per centage of revenue than in Alberta. I am not an expert on the Norwegian system but, since, Statoil is a Crown corporation I would think your 80% figure likely represents royalties+profit. Even with high grade oil at $100+ considerable costs exists to extract and find reserves. If royalties were at 80% in Canada it would not be profitable to extract oil anywhere in Canada. Most wells in Alberta need oil to be at $70 or better to break even. Coasts excluding royalties make up roughly $35 of that $70. Also it is important to note some royalty structures are based on oil price or production. For instance sometimes royalties are structured so that the first 100,000 barrels have a royalty rate of X and subsequent barrels a royalty rate of Y.