Here’s to Brian LaBelle

In an age of elections when Harper hides in a press bubble, it shouldn’t be surprising that some towns (Sherwood Park), would think they can get away with charging politicians to debate.

Imagine the galls it takes to say, “yes, we’re for open democracy, but the only candidates you should be able to hear are the ones who can pay $220 to show up.”

Continue reading Here’s to Brian LaBelle

So close to change

Things are starting to look really close in Edmonton-Strathcona.

I mean, early in the election, all the major pundits painted all of Alberta off as a Tory landslide, but most seemed to ignore the fact that Jaffer here won by around 5,000 votes – a mere half of what the Liberals got.

Now we’re seeing sites like DemocraticSpace predict a virtual tie (pdf) of 35-38% of the vote to Jaffer and Linda, and that site doesn’t take into account Liberals (check this one out, Liberals for Linda) or Greens who plan on strategic voting. Another site, Vote for Environment, predicts Linda to lose by a mere 398 votes, but it also doesn’t take into account strategic voting! (Both projections in this paragraph were taken from 2 Oct. – pre-leaders debate).

It’s overwhelming to see the support coming behind Linda Duncan, and makes this campaign actually exciting. Keep up the good work, and we can win this election.

Reflecting on Roy

A few people have criticized Claudette Roy’s performance last night so far.

But here’s the thing I’m starting to wonder about: Claudette didn’t take any real swings at Linda Duncan. She didn’t take too many as she stuck to her policy mainly, but she did try to frame the debate as between the Liberals and Conservatives. She also aligned herself and the Liberal party as a centrist party (which it is), and I think she was hoping to appeal to fiscal conservatives in the audience.

So I’m thinking there’s a different strategy going on here in the Liberal camp.
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Edmonton Strathcona All Candidates Forum

In the past provincial election I intensely covered the Edmonton-Strathcona and Riverview (provincial) ridings all-candidates forums at the University of Alberta.  For this election, the boundaries of Strathcona are a bit different (larger) and include a diverse liberal, New Democrat and Conservative support base (often leading to vote splitting in the past).

So who’s running. From left to right on the stage (not the spectrum) we have (the letter at the end is how I’ll refer to them when I get to the question-by-question breakdown):

I’d just like to point out that before I got in I wasn’t allowed my popcorn or pop, a dissapointment.

The format was opening statements (1 min each), then prepared questions (1 min response and 30 s rebuttals), then audience questions (30 s responses), then closing remarks (1 min each). Also, as you can see in the top corner, I’ve already endorsed Linda Duncan officially, but I did go for quotes for all and to see how they all stand on their own merits.  In the Riverview forum last election, the Wildrose Alliance candidate appreciated my fairness / objectivity, despite us having almost polar opposite economic views.

Here we go:

Continue reading Edmonton Strathcona All Candidates Forum

Canada to Dion: not buying it

CBC is often criticized as a very “Liberal-friendly” news source, however I didn’t exactly find a basis for such a statement in today’s article: “Conservative lead widens, poll suggests“. My first though was that the Conservatives are actually doing better, but alas to my rejoice I found the following new poll data:

The Tories have dropped one percentage point over a week, and the Liberals are down three points.

The NDP is up two points at 17 per cent, and the Greens are also up two points at 11 per cent.

The Bloc Québécois (BQ), which is running candidates in Quebec alone, is unchanged at eight per cent.

Basically, what they report is that the Liberals are losing ground, but to the NDP and Greens.

What I really find interesting is that now if the NDP and Greens pooled support, they would defeat the Libearls for the opposition status (the Liberals have 23% support in the poll).

With a couple weeks to go it’s just a matter of Jack Layton convincing the rest of his potential supporters that he has the best platform to tackle Canada’s environmental difficulties.

Interestingly enough, the poll also asked who Canadian’s thought would be the best leader, and Layton came out far ahead of the rest (especially Harper and Dion who placed last):

Layton’s ranking is 16, the BQ’s Gilles Duceppe 12, the Green’s Elizabeth May 10, the Conservatives’ Stephen Harper four, and Dion minus 24.

Your turn with Jack Layton

(If you’re reading this in your feed click through to actually see the video)

Every day I move more comfortably into the NDP camp and feel better about supporting this campaign.

This is especially helped with brilliant interviews like tonight’s appearance of Jack Layton on The National’s Your Turn:

(The first bit of the interview starts at 24:30 of the current episode of The National, which I think will be up until tomorrow night – unless I get it off their servers).

Duncan’s got the web

There’s a nice article in the Journal today praising the use of the internet as key to this election. They admit however that it’s often hard for local politicians to cover the web, but Strathcona candidate Linda Duncan gets a gold star for her (and her team’s) work.

One of the better local sites belongs to Edmonton-Strathcona NDP candidate Linda Duncan. Her site even provides a contact for “citizen media,” such as bloggers. Underneath, it has html code for people who want to include Linda Duncan banners on their sites.

Then local bloggers Idealistic Pragmatist, The Enlightened Savage, and Daveberta get nods too:

Jennifer Dailey-O’Cain, a University of Alberta professor who blogs as Idealistic Pragmatist, runs the site, which she calls “her baby.” She said it’s a relatively simple way to reach out to potential voters.

“I realized a long time ago that this was a way we could get people locally involved in the campaign,” Dailey-O’Cain said. “I think it really works — and it doesn’t take a lot of time and money.”

But while local candidates aren’t providing much web fodder, bloggers are picking up some of the slack. Dave Cournoyer, a liberal who blogs at Daveberta.ca, publishes a frequently updated list of nominated candidates in Alberta. The Enlightened Savage blog has an ambitious plan to write analysis of a different Alberta riding nearly every day until the election.