The official word has come from the LPC: bloggers will be accredited to the Convention, and they are inviting applications for accreditation. Since they’ve sent out a press release, and the form is publicly available on the convention web site, I don’t think they will mind me re-posting it below (also because anyone, not just Liberal supporting blogs, can apply.. but they of course reserve the right to decide who attends. That said, I hope some non-Liberal bloggers or non-partican bloggers are approved).
The next big question for bloggers (yours truly included) is whether the travel and accommodation costs are worth covering a non-leadership convention. This will be primarily a conventions where passing policy will be the main purpose – there will also be constitutional amendments possibly, and elections for party offices.
I’m undecided as of yet, but it might not be a bad convention to cover.. particularly to give publicity to a party’s policies of a party that often gets criticized that we/they have no policy. I’ll say this: I was at the LPC Leadership convention in 2006 in Montreal – the first ever one that accredited bloggers, and I had a blast. We got to experience a convention flavour, and we got to meet folks like Andrew Coyne, Paul Wells, and Kady O’Malley – back when bloggers were looked at with a curious eye, and social media was just getting going. Now of course, a lot of these folks either also blog or are very active on social media.
As previously stated, the LPC Details/Announcement is below
Continue reading Bloggers will be officially accredited at the Montreal LPC Biennial Convention
So does anyone read anything these days about that women’s night fundraiser and some of Justin Trudeau’s comments on China at it that some media and political partisans tried to turn into a firestorm?
Not really. The recent by-election successes of the LPC and the continuing (ever continuing) firestorm on the Senate has pushed that completely off the news cycle. That said, it is a warning to JT and his advisers/organizers need to be more aware and conscious of future events and how things get worded. The continued good polling for the LPC and JT has a big bulls-eye painted on the leader and the party, with political operatives and hostile media waiting to pounce on anything even remotely controversial in an effort to get it to stick. Even though the public has so far over looked these controversies and continues to send JT and the LPC continued general good-will/approval, one cannot assume the goodwill is limitless if these would be continually popping up.
That is why it’s good to see Mr. Trudeau do some very proactive, reasonable things, such as the reasonable statement in a CTV interview, saying it was more important right now for Harper to answer what was going on in the Senate then it was to call for his resignation at the present, and invite back-bencher Conservative MP Michael Chong to a Liberal Party caucus meeting – a very rare move – to discuss his Private Members bill on Parliamentary Reform and argue the merits of it.
Efforts to reach out like this, and to make reasonable statements like this, is what will keep JT in good stead with the Canadian voting public and act as a continuing buffer to attacks. I hope to see more moves like this.
Ipsos-Reid was the only pollster last month that showed the three federal parties in a three way tie and the NDP at the 30% mark. This of course was immediately seized upon by my NDP colleagues – I can’t say I blame them really; though the fact they ignored every other pollster that didn’t show this was a tad amusing.
Anyhow, I quote this month’s poll not because I like its numbers (though I do) or because I like its methodology (it uses internet panels, which I’m about as leery on as I am with IVR that Forum uses), but because it now has started to reflect other polling done by other pollsters:
If a federal election were held tomorrow, here’s how the vote breakdown would look like among decided voters. (The difference since the end of October is shown in brackets):
Liberals: 35 per cent (+4)
Conservatives: 29 per cent (-1)
New Democrats: 26 per cent (-5)
Bloc Quebecois: 6 per cent (unchanged)
Green Party: 3 per cent (+1)
Other: 1 per cent
The numbers suggest that “the soft NDP vote is starting to rally” behind Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and his party, according to Ipsos Reid. The Liberals are now leading in three battleground provinces: Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia, according to the poll.
This poll won’t make the NDP very happy – judging from their fury at being taken to task this past week by Justin Trudeau over them losing their moniker as being the party of hope, I suspect NDP’ers might be downright snarly. It also doesn’t show a lot of roses for the Harper Conservatives; the Senate scandal is still resonating out there and reflecting badly on them, despite the wishes and declarations of some of their conservative allies in the media like Margaret Wente declaring the scandal to be over.
I’m rather skeptical of those numbers – or any numbers – that Forum polls after last night. The Manitoba ridings were way off, as you might have seen. The Ontario #’s were slightly better; they can claim to be within the MOE at least in those races, though not as close as they’d like, I’m sure, but their polls performed erratically and inconsistently, and I’m looking forward to Forum’s post-mortem analysis (if there is any).
Anyhow.. I’d be posting a detailed analysis of how they did, but Eric Grenier has already done it for me.. so go read him there.
Anyhow.. bottom line.. it was still a great night for the Liberals, despite narrowly missing Brandon-Souris, and a staunch warning to the Conservatives.. AND the NDP. They can belittle JT all they wish about having not enough substance, or try to make a mountain out of a molehill and hope the mud sticks, but so far, it appears the public hasn’t in a general basis accepted those attacks.
Further thought: I think last night showed a lot of Canadians don’t pay whats going on – good or bad – in Question Period. They read/watch the news and make their judgments on parties/leaders that way.
Consider this a continuation of last blogpost, where I said I’d update the post if Forum came out with 1 last quickie update. I figured it just was better to post the new numbers here:
In brief: Toronto-Centre and Brandon were re-polled today. Bourassa and Provencher were not – their #’s from the prior blog remain the last polling #’s Forum has on those two ridings.
Toronto-Centre’s new polling #’s are: LPC 47, NDP 39, CPC 11, GP 3% (MOE: +/- 4%)
Brandon-Souris’s new polling #’s are: LPC 59%, CPC 30%, NDP 6%, GP 5% (MOE: +/- 5%)
TC’s #’s indicate finally the evidence that it was tightening, as NDP’ers on social media have claimed. I’ve no idea what to make of Liberal Rolf Dinsdale’s #’s out in Brandon. A 29% found lead is eye-popping in that riding… and Forum better be right on it, or they’ll lose any credibility they have. Why the other 2 ridings weren’t polled isn’t spoken to by Forum.
Who turns out to vote is obviously key in all of these, particularly with these new #’s.
For a minute, let’s forget what partisan side of the fence we’re all on, and turn into poll analysts. Forum Research is the only pollster doing any poll tracking of the four byelections, which are to commence tomorrow. Forum’s probably last poll of the cycle before Monday lists the following findings:
Bourassa: Liberals 43, NDP 31, BQ 15 (Margin of Error for poll: +/- 6%)
Toronto-Centre: Liberals 48, NDP 35, CPC 13 (MOE: +/- 4%)
Brandon-Souris: Liberal 50%, CPC 36%, NDP 8% (MOE: +/- 5%)
Provencher: CPC 48%, LPC 37%, Green 8%, NDP 6% (MOE: +/- 7%)
Forum has oft been criticized for recent polls in other byelections/elections where their final #’s seemed way off from what actually happened in the final result. They use Interactive Voice Response (IVR) for their polling, which is basically an automated call asking folks to press buttons to indicate who they support. This is our latest instalment of checking up on how this particular method works in byelections.
Keep an eye on election night when all the votes are counted and whether Forum comes anywhere within their Margin Of Error for the different political party vote. As I understand it (though if I’m wrong, I’ll happily be corrected) a Margin of Error indicates the % either higher or lower that a particular political party’s percentage could be; ie. in Brandon Souris, a MOE of +/- 5% I believe means that the LPC candidate of Rolf Dinsdale at 50% states his vote % could be as high as 55% or as low as 45%, and so on for the other political parties in the riding. Apply other MOE +/- %’s to the other ridings, and add or subtract against the final vote of each political party’s result accordingly, and let’s see how they do. (Again, if I am misreading what the MOE actually means, please feel free to let me know, and I’ll happily update the post).
It’s unfortunate other pollsters chose not to participate in this for a comparison of accuracy as well as methodology, but apparently, if I read some of the folks who poll on Twitter accurately, they’re afraid of high costs to run polls here, as well as concerns for a good enough sample rate, but it is what it is.
I’ve been a skeptic of Forum polling (though as a Liberal supporter, I’ll be very happy if they’re right in the 3 ridings we lead), but I’ll be just as hard on them as anyone if their results are inaccurate on this, whether they’re completely wrong, or even if a Liberal candidate wins by more or less then the MOE % that was listed by them.
UPDATE: I should also mention Forum gives the usual pollster stat that poll accuracy with this is considered accurate 19 times out of 20.
UPDATE 2: Frank Graves of Ekos, who I correspond with on Twitter, sends the following (starting here, if you wish to follow the Twitter tweet convo thread): “Your post is fine, but a few points: The MOE refers to the known population of all eligible voters. Only 30% or so will vote…so estimates for that sub-population only guessed at until after vote…estimate can be within MOE for the pop’n + be off the vote..whether by live int(erviewer) or robot, one should have call backs to reflect those at home less and a sample of cell phone and land lines…cell only very difficult to obtain at riding level because no geocode for those phones.. tend to be younger less affluent…overall methodology more important than mode of contact, + you need a good likely voter model… hard to construct at riding level…all of which is why we (Ekos) steer clear of riding level contests for the most part..”
Update 3 @ 1:59 pm: I’ve read on FB that one of the folks I know who lives in that riding got a call from Forum today; so they may be trying to get in 1 more poll before Monday. If they publish it, I’ll post the updated #’s here for the most accurate comparison we can get from results vs their polling.
Fifty years ago today in Dallas, history was literally changed by a hail of bullets. It was before my time, but my parents were teenagers at the time and they recalled it vividly – JFK’s assassination caused grief in Canada too.
It might be said that the JFK assassination started the long decline in American politics – the escalation of Vietnam and the subsequent divisions over that, then Watergate. American politics hasn’t been particularly the same since JFK. We all know by now that JFK certainly wasn’t perfect, but one wonders what would have happened if he had remained alive – what would have occurred in his 2nd term?
The other continuing fascination with JFK is whether Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone gunman, or whether there was a conspiracy to kill him and the event was covered up. That, I suspect, will stay with us forever, unless some future information is uncovered, willingly or not.
I say that because PM Harper is in Winnipeg this (last) evening at the Jets game. It will be extremely interesting to see whether he pops in to Brandon-Souris tomorrow to personally campaign or not for the local Conservative candidate. The fact a personalized brochure was mailed out from the CPC to the riding voters shows they are rather concerned with the outcome of this vote.
If he shows up there, it might solidify notions the Conservatives are in trouble here; sitting PM’s rarely heavily campaign in by-elections, if at all. On the other hand, they may not bring him in if they feel it’s a lost cause; no point in making him wear the result more then he already has with the letter he ordered mailed out.
One other thing on Toronto Centre – I would expect one more poll before the vote on Monday. The LPC in the last poll a few days ago led by 15, (with as always the caveat this was a Forum poll, who need a good accurate result with their polling on these byelections before I trust them more) so that’s quite a gap. That said, I’m sure the NDP will be dragging in every volunteer they can in a 500 km radius to try and make that gap up and try to gain this riding. I’m sure the Liberals are aware of this however, and I’m confident they will find plenty of their own volunteers to canvas and ensure the ground game is up (and I’m sure if any of you Liberals who read this who wish to help out there can go and help – I doubt they’ll turn you away).
The RCMP releases their investigation notes on the Mike Duffy Senate Scandal from an officer explaining his thoughts on what he thinks so far of the investigation…. and 2 days later, you’d never even known anything was going on in Toronto with Rob Ford. He’s almost completely disappeared from the news and social media. I’m sure the Harper Government was hoping Ford would carry on his ridiculous antics for at least a day or 2 more.. though I doubt this latest news from the RCMP would have been overshadowed either way.
The latest in QP from today is detailed by Macleans here, and a story from CBC how Harper “ducked” answering specific inquiries from reporters today
Note: I had recently posted a quote in a blogpost that supposedly came from Opposition Leader Harper during the Gomery Affair. After some queries from some readers, I’ve investigated, and determined it to have come from someone else, but which has apparently widely been attributed online incorrectly to PM Harper. My apologies for posting that and incorrectly attributing it to him.
Is it too early/too bold to predict that because of today’s RCMP revelations/allegations that multiple members of the Prime Minister’s Office and top Conservative Senators conspired to whitewash the Mike Duffy report, it may have assured the Liberal Party wins the Brandon-Souris byelection on Monday – a riding it has only won once in the last 60 years?
Maybe. As has been pointed out by others who are veteran campaign folks, the Conservatives will have a large advantage on organization and ground game, and there are reports from a week or 2 ago that Jenni Byrne, the top person in the PMO, had taken personal control of the CPC campaign (which would explain the attack ad brochures being shipped out there in the last week, which among the usual CPC smears against Justin Trudeau, takes personal umbrage that LPC candidate Rolf Dinsdale once played in a punk rock band which did “raunchy lyrics” – SFH, the band Warren Kinsella is in, if you were wondering). They will go all out to try and prevent an upset here (the most recent Forum Poll had the LPC up by 8%)
That said, early voting indicated a sizable increase from 2011; that normally does not bode well for a government in power trying to hold a seat – that normally indicates dissatisfaction. Also, it doesn’t matter how good an organization you have on the ground if the people you’re trying to get to vote for you don’t want to vote for you, or worse, vote for the rival party.
We will just have to see how Monday unfolds. These revelations today certainly don’t help the CPC cause, however.