Saturday, August 29, 2015

This Weekend In Lotusland...The Wall Of Joy.


Eyoalha Baker's new pictorial mural project is done.

You can see it take up one full side of the Arco Hotel at the corner of Abbott and Pender.

Her website is here.

Capsule proMedia description is here.


Friday, August 28, 2015

At The End Of The Day...

When I climb on my bike and ride by those 'Stop Harper' signs in the dorm room windows...

I wonder...

How the heck can we get those kids to actually go vote?


This Day In Clarkland...Mr. Casavant And The Two Bears.


First, in a report from the MoCo's Sharon Lindores, the good news regarding those two bear cubs that provincial conservation officer Bryce Casavant saved from the bureaucracy's hasty and, it would appear, unwarranted death sentence:

...The bear cubs' mother was killed by Casavant after it repeatedly raided a freezer full of meat and salmon, but despite an order to kill the cubs too, Casavant took them to a veterinary hospital instead, believing they could be rehabilitated.

They were later transferred to a recovery centre run by the North Island Wildlife Recovery Association in Errington, also on Vancouver Island.

Subsequently the cubs were approved for the orphaned bear cub rearing and release program, said Vivian Thomas, communications director for the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. They'll stay at the centre until 2016 when they'll be released...

Now, the bad news:

...Bryce Casavant, the B.C. conservation officer who was suspended after he refused to kill two black bear cubs near Port Hardy in July, is being transferred out of the Conservation Officer Service...

But so what....

After all, the Clarklandian government spokesthingy/media line dispenser concerned who, presumably,  knows absolutely nothing whatsoever about whether or not a bear cub in custody should be destroyed says to have no fear, because...

..."No employee involved in this case has been subjected to any discipline."...

Are these people insane?


#Elxn42: First They Came For The Folksingers...


And, just in case you think that header is an exaggeration...

It is not:

An Ottawa federal scientist is being investigated for breaching the public service’s ethics code for writing and performing a highly political protest song to get rid of the Harper government.

Tony Turner, a scientist in habitat planning at Environment Canada, was recently sent home on leave with pay while the government investigates the making of Harperman, a music video posted on YouTube in early June that has attracted about 48,000 hits...

Is this Canada?


Is it?

And yes, Mr. Turner works for Environment Canada...He currently works on the habitat of migratory birds...So....Does his song compromise/impinge/affect that work at all?....Of course not.


#Elxn42...First Pass On Where Strategic Voting Could Matter In British Columbia.


Friday Lunchtime: Please see the reader-driven update at the bottom of the post...

First, another important tidbit from that Insights West Poll we mentioned yesterday, specifically regarding the malleability of so-called 'decided' voters in British Columbia:

Do you see what I see?

Essentially, those British Columbians who have identified themselves as Liberal and, especially, Green Party voters are those of us who are most willing to change their votes.

And, presumably, at least some of those 'changeable' Green- and Red-leaning folks are willing to do so if they recognize it will do some good (i.e. help stop the re-election of the Fed-Cons).


Where could that 'good' occur in British Columbia, specifically.

Well, as a starting point I've had a close look at Eric Grenier's early aggregator projections (from and have tried to identify key ridings in a couple of clusters....

Ridings where hopeless (i.e. can't possibly win) Green votes alone (not to mention almost hopeless Lib votes) could stop the Con by helping to elect a Dipper:
Cariboo-PG....Here Dipper looks to be very strong but Green votes alone (not to mention a few % of those almost as senselessly weak Liberal votes) could seal it:
Con - 38
Lib - 11
Dipper - 42
Green - 9

Northern OK...Here, any significant movement from a stronger (but still non-winnable) Green vote could put the Dipper over the top for good...And, again, the Lib vote here that doesn't look like it can win either would help stop the Con.
Con - 34
Lib - 15
Dipper - 36
Green - 14

Central OK...The Dipper is only a little behind the Con and, if things stay the same the Green votes alone could turn this Okanagan (yes, Okanagan!) riding orange.
Con - 37
Lib - 20
Dipper - 33
Green - 10

Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon...Here the Dipper has been rising even higher recently, presumably based on recent polls...That Green vote could drive in the last spike however.
Con - 35
Lib - 17
Dipper - 42
Green - 6

Ridings where hopeless (i.e. can't possibly win) Green votes alone (not to mention potentially hopeless Dipper votes) could stop the Con by helping to elect a Liberal:
Steveston - Richmond East...This is one where my Dipper compatriots may argue (and or get mad at me) but I just don't see that orang vote holding in this riding (although I'll change things if it does)...At the moment, the safe place for the few Green votes to go to surely beat the Con is to theLiberal.
Con - 31
Lib - 35
Dipper - 28
Green - 5

South Surrey - White Rock...Here, at least at the moment, things are a little more clear than in Steveston.... Greens for sure, and maybe a few Dippers too(?), should consider going Liberal to stop the Con.
Con - 34
Lib - 35
Dipper - 23
Green - 7

Richmond Centre...The Con is still pretty strong here, but the Liberal has gained and has a chance with those Green votes and a few Dipper votes for good measure.
Con - 37
Lib - 34
Dipper - 22
Green - 6


Finally there are a few weird ridings where it still looks it's too difficult to tell where, specifically, any excess vote should go to beat the Con....

First there is WestVan, etcetera where the Con vote is suddenly weak enough that it looks like even a 50:50 split in a significant (but not winnable) Green vote to either the Dipper or the Liberal could send the Con off to climb the Chief in perpetuity...I wonder....Should this be dubbed the 'Rafe' effect?

Then there are the new/redrawn Van-Granville and Delta ridings where the Con could win if everybody else doesn't get together to form some sort of an alliance (i.e. the nightmare scenario that elected so many Cons in 2011)....Ugggghhhh.

So, have at it...Especially you pros/insiders/deepnumberdivers out there...Again, please remember that this is only a first, early look at things...
And why am I doing this as an 'equal' opportunity Strat-Voting enthusiast?....Because, as things currently stand, I don't see this thing as being a majority for anybody...Thus, it is my position that anything that helps lower the Con count at the end of the day on Oct 19th is vital to the interests of all Canadians (and that includes those folks who are more than willing to vote against their own best longterm interests for an extra hockey stick or three)...OK?
Update: Paul Ramsey makes a very important point in the comments that the Grenier riding predictor runs on a "proportional swing model" which relies heavily on previous election results as a starting point  that then change based on regional polling numbers as they roll out...While it has had some validity in the past with picking winners when things are pretty obvious, particularly as things get closer to E-Day (and more regional polls accumulate), it is no substitute for riding-specific polling - particularly in riding where things are tight...Which, in my opinion, is why folks should not get excited about single Forum polls that say the Dippers are in majority range (for example)...


Thursday, August 27, 2015

#Elxn42...Beneath The Valley Of The Ultra-Stealth-Cons.



They're not just for Lotusland anymore.

Richard Brennan and Robert Benzie, following up on the StealthCon pronouncement of Joe Daniel we mentioned last week, have the story in the TorStar.

Here is their lede:

Conservatives running in the federal election have been advised not to attend all-candidates’ meetings or speak to reporters during the campaign, a party source says.

A Conservative insider said Wednesday that most of Stephen Harper’s flag-bearers have “been told no debates and no media.”

The informal edict appears to affect Tory candidates across the country, which explains why so many press interviews are being rebuffed.

“They’re getting pulled out of everything,” the source said, noting even some experienced cabinet ministers are being instructed to avoid candidates’ forums before the Oct. 19 election...



#Elxn42: The Citizenry Will Have To Make Sure 34% Does Re-Elect The Fed-Cons...


....Because, at least at this point, it would appear that the Green Party of Canada sure as heck won't.

From the Canadian Press:

A Green party association in Ontario won't support its candidate's decision to withdraw and endorse the NDP nominee.

The Green party's Peterborough-Kawartha Electoral District Association says candidate Gary Beamish's apparent plan took the organization by surprise.

It apologizes for any confusion Beamish's move may have caused supporters in the central Ontario riding.

The association says it is considering options and plans to discuss the next steps with local members...

Here is Eric Grenier's early line on the riding in question, Peterborough-Kawartha (scroll down):

Con - 37
Lib - 27
Dipp - 34
Green - 4

'Nuff said?


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

#Elxn42...Are Lotuslandian Dippers Being Bamboozled By That 41% Thingy?



I really, really hate it when I'm forced to acknowledge that the good Mr. Kouvalis might actually have a point...


Speaking of Mario Canseco...

One bit of that Insights West poll that created so much heat in both the public prints and on social media platforms after it was released yesterday was problematic in the extreme.


Not because the poll itself was crappy (it was actually very detailed) but rather because, in my opinion, the press release from Insights West featured the following graphic prominently...


Looks pretty exciting, right.

After all, 41% of folks voting Dipper in Lotusland, while simultaneously crushing all of the other parties, would seem to be a pretty big deal indeed.

Which is how things were (and are still being) reported, pretty much straight-up, all over the place.

Except when you dig into the poll's details things are not quite so exciting.

First of all, that 41% is based on using only 'decided voters' in the denominator (see small bit in parentheses on the info-graphic above).

However, when you factor in all the folks who were polled, including the undecideds, the numbers look like this:


Have you got it now?

Specifically do you see that it is only 32% Dipper amongst all potential voters.

And that Dipper number is even lower outside Metro Vancouver.

And look at that whopping 24% for the Greens on VanIsle.

Finally, have a look at the age splits by party in that table above.

Do you see what I see (and what I've been bleating on about for awhile now)?

Decided Dipper votes skew decidedly young.

And, as much as I like and admire all young'uns everywhere, as we learned here in B.C. in the 2013 provincial election, the kids just don't vote like the old codgers do.

And that's why I begrudgingly have to admit that there is a kernel of truthful non-truthyism to Mr. Kouvalis' snarky tweet at the top of the post (but just a kernel).


Upshot?...In my opinion, even in the face of continuing Dipper-friendly poll results like this, strategic voting could still make a huge difference in BC...Which could really, really matter in the end of the night on Oct 19th if Nanos is correct that things are starting to shift back to the Con side of the ledger in Ontario (scroll down)...
There is some bonus good news in that IW poll however....And essentially it is how malleable the non-Con vote is in Lotusland...Which, again, means SVoting could work.


At The End Of The Day...

...Sometimes all you need is a really good story song.

This one is from a young kid named Aaron Lee Tasjan:



You can blame Mr. Beer for turning me on to that 'Hillbillies 'N More' radio station in Knoxville Tennessee for this one.

The kid's website is...Here...Apparently there's a big record comin'.


#DuffyTrial...PM Can't Talk About It But He (And His) Can Manage It.


What's all this about a PMO 'issues manager' showing up in court to watch the former 'issues manager' give testimony as a witness in the Duffy Trial and then talk to said witness in the hallways during breaks in the festivities?

Kady O'Malley runs it all down in her Ottawa Citizen mobile app on-the-go column thingy.

From the perspective of the potential for peddling of all issues influential, I found this bit to be most interesting:

...Although he’s reportedly been at the trial throughout the last two weeks, (current PMO info manager) Koolsbergen apparently managed to escape notice by the attending media until Tuesday, when he found himself pursued by cameras upon exiting the courthouse after (former PMO info manager) Woodcock’s testimony had wrapped up.

“I know [Conservative campaign spokesman] Kory Teneycke would be very happy to take any questions you guys might have,” he told reporters.

In an email to the Ottawa Citizen, Teneycke confirmed that Koolsbergen is currently on leave from his PMO job to work on the campaign.

As for his assignment at the Duffy trial, it was “the same as reporters,” Teneycke said: “to relay information on court proceedings.”

He (Teneycke) did not respond to a follow-up query on whether Koolsbergen had spoken to the witness...

And, of course, when asked, the always influential but never, ever peddlish, Mr. Harper continues to say he can't speak about matters before the courts:

...At a campaign event just outside Ottawa on Wednesday morning, CTV reporter Laurie Graham asked Harper if Koolsbergen had been told to “instruct” Woodcock.

“Are you aware that it is highly irregular for someone from the Prime Minister’s Office to talk to a witness who is under oath and under cross-examination?” she asked.

“These are matters that are before the court, and we don’t interfere with them,” Harper said before shifting to his standard answer on the issue...


And for those wondering...Yes, I do recall the government media minder that showed up to the Railgate trial...I also remember how little the Lotuslandian proMedia cared...