Monday, November 09, 2009

Quite The "Test"

Is tonight really a "test" for the Liberals, or a test to see just how bored the media really is, desperate to find a storyline? Here's some advice- just because a party hack floats a ridiculous narrative, it doesn't mean you have to take it seriously and digest the "implications".

I do believe that by-elections can be indicative, and I don't automatically fluff them off for the respective parties. People may recall my focus on Outremont for the Liberals, because I felt that was a potential watershed moment, that would have long term ramifications. I reference that, because I'm not engaging in the spin game, genuinely I believe these by-elections represent a gigantic YAWNORAMA, in terms of Liberal fortunes or "signs". There are a couple intriguing storylines for other parties, the only items of value.

Why? Well, pardon me if I don't over-analyze results in by-elections where the Liberals are a complete afterthought. There's a reason Harper fast tracked these by-elections, because he knows none of them hold optimism for the Liberals. The hope was, that the media would latch on to results, furthering a negative trendline for Ignatieff. It remains to be seen whether the media will resist the ridiculousness, but the track record doesn't leave me encouraged.

Anyways, in an attempt to pierce through the haze, let's look at these contests. Did you know that in the last election, the Bloc received 2.5 times that of the Liberals in Hochelaga? Did you know that the Bloc received 3 times the vote of the Liberals in Montmagny? Did you know that the Liberals received a paltry 20% and 15% respectively?

It gets worse. Did you know that the NDP received nearly 4 times the Liberal vote in New Westminister. A whopping 11% for the Liberals, only 29% behind the second place Conservatives. I'm cautiously optimistic. Maybe at bit less in Cumberland, where we received a credible 8% of the vote, only 8 times less than the victor.

So, I'll be glued to the results come 10pm, because clearly the Conservatives are right, this is a huge test for Ignatieff, really a referendum on his leadership. The fact these by-elections occur on such fertile Liberal ground, all the more telling. Gods speed Michael.

23 comments:

ottlib said...

The media is bored?

You are being very generous there Steve.

It should come as no surprise that a newspaper owned by the same company that owns CTV would allow themselves to be used by the Conservatives.

Steve V said...

Not to generalize, because there are plenty of good ones, but it amazes me the way some just lap up whatever the PMO pukes out. You don't have to acknowledge it you know, you can ignore the silliness?

ottlib said...

Not just the PMO.

Remember how The Star took what that low level functionary from Mr. Kenney's office said about Liberal defections and blew the top off of it?

It seems to me the only people the media listens to is any Conservative and "anonymous senior Liberals".

Forget about anybody actually officially associated with the Party of the office of the leader or the leader.

Steve V said...

I just hope Ignatieff can hold off the Rae faction after tonight. Fingers crossed.

Gayle said...

I see this also as spin from the CPC to cover their own losses here. Just speculating, but if the CPC polls show they are not going to take any riding, despite the fact they have spent quite a bit of money on three of them (according to the pundits on QP yesterday), it makes them look like they are faltering.

So, theoretically, they know they need to put the focus elsewhere and so try to get the media to look at the liberals.

The CPC should be able to win in NS and in BC as they have recently held both ridings - and they won in NS with a wide margin. In one riding in Quebec they are running a very popular local politician, so that one is also winable for them.

I watched the clip on QP yesterday and none of the pundits suggested the LPC had a chance nor did they seem to believe it reflected poorly on them. I have not read this spin being carried by anyone but the Globe, but then I haven't looked either.

Bill Mooney said...

Isn't Harper polling in majority territory?

Seems he's the one who has to "seal the deal" tonight.

Steve V said...

Canadian Press and CTV as well. No biggy in the grand scheme, it's just funny how the PMO can play people. You have the right to not report you know.

DL said...

Seriously though, I think that from a Liberal perspective, you have to look at these byelections in terms of what "COULD" have been. Just a couple of months ago the conventional wisdom was that the Liberals were the new default federalist party in Quebec and neck and neck with the BQ. Back then the expectation would have been a a riding like Montmagny etc... would have been a faceoff between the BQ and the Grist as opposed to the Tories being in the game. Back then the expectation would have been that the Liberals would be the clear alternative in Hochelaga. Back then there were polls showin the Liberals back in the game in BC and the expectation would have been that the Liberals would at least returns to 2004 or 2006 levels in NWC when they got over 25% and were in contention.

I agree that in all likelihood these byelection will not tell us anything about the state of the Liberal party that we didn't already know. But it will probably confirm what we knew and it ain't good.

Steve V said...

You're like a robot.

Steve V said...

What is interesting, the race between the BQ and Cons in Mont.

CK said...

Just heard the latest: Montmagny-L'Islet-Kamouraska-Riviere du Loup riding still too close to call between Bloc and Con, but somebody has already called the cops about some kind of election tampering.

Before you comment, I know, too much time on my hands since I quit smoking

Steve V said...

Looks like about 25% turnout, literally within a few votes.

Steve V said...

With this surprising win tonight, the Cons have something to crow about.

Gayle said...

"Back then the expectation would have been a a riding like Montmagny etc... would have been a faceoff between the BQ and the Grist as opposed to the Tories being in the game."

Maybe - if they had a candidate who was a popular former mayor with a ground crew ready and experienced in campaigns.

Sure the CPC pulled one off here, but do not forget who is running. He already had an advantage over any other candidate.

WesternGrit said...

Good post. I would only add that we could have been out front with our own talking heads, dropping hints that we don't expect to win "any of the seats", and done it before the Cons. We have to get out of "react" mode, and move into a more proactive approach if we wish to set the agenda. We have done well with the illegal partisan ads/stimulus funding theme - being out front on that. Let's keep working this angle...

Tomm said...

Yes it was a "test".

Liberal's failed.

Let us look at Question #1; in Hochelaga where the Liberal's ran second in 2008 with 20% of the vote followed by the NDs with 15% and trailed by the CPC with 10%.

Last night the NDs got 20%, the LPC got 15% and the CPC stayed at 10%.

I would mark that 1 out of 5 for the Liberal's. They didn't do much more than show up.

Gayle said...

Hi Tomm

Rather than your superficial analysis of the numbers, would you care to explain why coming third in four ridings they were expected to come in third amounts to a failure for the liberals?

DL said...

Its true that the Tories had a popular candidate in MIKR - but that begs the question, why are the Tories able to attract a popular candidate to run for them while the Liberals are stuck with a door-stopper?

Its fine to say - the Liberals were expected to do badly and they did - but what does it say about the Liberals that they get to a point where coming in a distant third in four by-elections in disparate parts of the country is considered OK because it was expected.

Gayle said...

It says they have not been a factor in those ridings for a very long time. I suspect we could find four ridings across Canada where the CPC, or the NDP are also not a factor.

Steve V said...

DL

It says nothing, sort of like you.

DL said...

In 2004 the Liberals took 27% in New Westminster-Coquitlam and were only 7% behind the winner in a tight three-way race. In 2006 they had 24% in that riding. What is the explanation for the Liberals being reduced to TEN PERCENT in an urban riding right splat in the middle of metropolitan Vancouver?

Steve V said...

Robot.

Gayle said...

It says nothing.