Wednesday, September 30, 2015

#Elxn42 StratVote Update...Vancouver-Granville


Good news.

With two polls already in the can showing the Dipper with a slight lead over the 2nd place Stealth-Con, Leadnow plans to poll there one more time so that the Seventy Percent has a chance to do the right thing to stop the Con.

It's all here in this story from the Lotulandian Division of the MoCo (warning: you'll have to put up with the handwaving of the Handsome Manthing for the first minute or so)...


#Elxn42: The Rumours Of Strategic Voting's Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated...

...Especially In British Columbia.

Above are Nanos' rolling thunder numbers from BC for all of September.


Here's the thing.

Those rising numbers for Mr. Trudeau in Ontario just may hold up and sweep first place away from Mr. Harper nationally.

But don't forget that in this Con-Artisinal game of partially whacking-the-moles to make sure both of Harper's main opponents are equally dazed, but only partially to make sure that neither gets a real leg up, the smacking around of Mr. T. has only barely begun.

Regardless all that, as is evident by the numbers above, there really has not been any long, slow Quebec-like descent for Mr. Mulcair here in B.C.

Which means that we, that chunk of the seventy percent in Lotusland who wants to force change, have to keep our resolve and do our best to take away seats away from the Con rump out here in the Pacific time zone.


Well, because even if the Liberals come in first (and that is not a given at this point with almost three weeks to go), we need to make sure that the deal that is done in the end is NOT done with the CPC.

Especially, if say, the brain trust of a second place Con party were to lop off the head of their current leader in an attempt to pave the way with a Kenneyfied accord with Maggie's son.

Which, if it were to happen, has the potential to be very scary indeed.

After all, we here in British Columbia know exactly what just such a 'neoliberal' accord has meant for us provincially.


Wall-to-wall riding-specific 'Strategic Voting' coverage to follow...


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

My Morning Ride.


I rode in to work late this morning.

But I have a kinda/sorta almost decent excuse.

Because, as you might suspect (and as my family most certainly knows all too well), it's grant writing season again.

And this time I'm writing two of them.

One project involves a really interesting new approach for my group that borders on immunology, so the learning curve has been steep. Luckily, we're working with an excellent group of collaborators that I have pretty much driving crazy for the last couple of weeks.

How crazy, you might be asking?

Well, if you've noticed how obsessive I can get about particular subjects around here occasionally, just take that obsessiveness and multiply it by, say, a million and you'll have an idea.

Anyway, yesterday was D-Day for getting the science parts of the grants done which meant that there was much caterwauling, figure making, reference checking, and hair pulling as we worked ourselves into a frenzy trying to make the things make at least some sense and get it all down to the character count on the text (go one space over the 25,000 and the bloody software rejects things; there is no room for artistic license here).

All of which led to a longer than usual day (and previous weekend) that involved little more than black coffee and flat food by way of sustenance.

Which is why I, as littler e. would say, pretended it was an 'IPP day' and took my time getting up this morning.

Which meant I didn't get down into the valley, post-Shaughnessy hump, until almost nine.

And by the time I got up onto the top of Lotusland's farthest-most Western plateau fifteen minutes later I could have sworn it was the middle of summer.

Strange days, indeed, for the beginning of fall.

Image at the top of the post is a sunflower in our backyard...It had blown down in the big storm a few weeks ago, but it survived the propping-up and produced this!
The theory of flat food' is something the then boy genius Mr. Coupland came up with a while back when writing about nerds and coding and all that.
IPP days?....I really have no idea...But they happen once every few weeks (seem to alternate with Pro-D days) and they mean e. gets to go to school about an hour later than usual...I hear about it if I inadvertently wake her up on one of those mornings..
And, no, the grants aren't finished....Now that the actual science is done it will be another couple of days of dealing with all the peripheral 'stuff' that includes: up-to-date CV's; budgets; budget justifications; relevance statements; abstracts, lay summaries; funding comparisons; training expectations, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera...The absolute worst (and I mean worst) in these the days of all things digital is getting institutional signatures...In the old days of paper, if you were having problems you would just go the offices of those involved and force them to sign if they were tardy....Now?....It's nothing but ether because getting to the person who actually pushes the buttons on online forms is not necessarily (not ever?) the person whose name you actually type into said form, if you get my bureaucratic driftiness....


Monday, September 28, 2015

Elxn42....Blue Rodeo's Lament For The 70%.

Thanks Karen!


#Elxn42...It's D.O. Day In Canada...


D. O. stands for 'drop-out' and today, September 28th is it, the last day a no-chance candidate can remove themselves from a ballot for the good of the country (i.e. to make sure that he small percentage of votes they receive don't help elect a Con.

And, despite the best efforts of David Beers of the Tyee, it looks like very few (and/or zero) no-chance candidates are going to do the right thing.

Of course, it's tough to really blame these folks.

After all, if they have no shot most of them are probably running as also rans for all the right reasons.

Plus, if they screw over the party they're working with now, at this late date, they will likely never, ever get another shot with said party.


It turns out that there is something else to consider here.

Which is that many of these candidates appear to know just as little as the rest of us about where they really stand in their riding.

Kai Nagata, also writing in the Tyee, explains:

...Perhaps the most expensive yet fleeting data (for candidates) is from opinion polls. We're not talking about national surveys, published by newspapers, which draw averages from a couple thousand people sprinkled across all 338 ridings in Canada. That information is all but useless to a campaign grinding it out at the riding level. That's why the parties do wave after wave of riding-level polling.

There are rare cases when these party polls are leaked strategically, as the NDP did in Justin Trudeau's riding this month. But most of the time internal numbers are a closely guarded secret. So secret, in fact, the candidates themselves are out of the loop.

I've had conversations now with contestants from four different parties in this election, and none of them has been willing or able to talk about specific numbers.

I would love to be proven wrong, but my theory is parties are hiding real data from candidates, mostly to keep them in the fight. I ran this by two different pollsters that have done work for parties in elections. Their reaction was the same: oh no, you don't tell the people who are running -- whose faces appear on the signs, whose reputations are tied to the outcome. They don't need to know...

Sound crazy to you?

Well, it does to me.

Interestingly, Mr. Nagata is part of a group, the Dogwood Initiative, that is doing it's best to get riding-specific numbers out British Columbian voters so that we, the 70%, can take matters into our own hands....For example, they have taken two polls in NorthVan over the last two months and the numbers indicate that votes going to either the Dipper or NVG's Green candidate could help elect the Con (i.e. the non-Con to vote for in that riding is the Liberal)

Sunday, September 27, 2015

#Elxn42: In Which Jason Kenney Makes Like Lyndon Johnson...

.....1948 Edition.

"He was sunk in despair. He was desperate... he called his equally depressed campaign manager and instructed him to.....accuse his high-riding opponent (the pig farmer) of having routine carnal knowledge of his barnyard sows, despite the pleas of his wife and children... His campaign manager was shocked. 'We can't say that, Lyndon,' he said. 'It's not true.' 'Of course it's not,' Johnson barked at him, 'but let's make the bastard deny it.'..."

Hunter Thompson, on Lyndon Johnson's 1948 Congressional Campaign.

And what does this have to do with Mr. Kenney in the here and now?


There is this, from Saturday:

A Conservative candidate appears to be falsely claiming Liberal leader Justin Trudeau wants to legalize brothels...

{snippety doodle dandy}

...“He wants to force communities to accept brothels,” (Jason) Kenney said. “We don’t think the values of most Canadians include having to put up with heroin injection sites imposed on their communities against their will, or to have brothels operating in their neighbourhoods against their will.”....

It's like we said earlier.

This is nothing but contempt for the 67% percent.

And, of course, it is also a dog whistle for the base, sounded in a desperate (and simultaneously calculated) attempt to get back up to 33-and-a-third.


Your Sunday Morning Read....The Last Straussian Standing.


Last Sunday we had a look at a slightly stale-dated piece by Doug Saunders wherein the good Mr. Saunders came to the thoroughly researched, fact-based conclusion that it is progressive, not conservative, governments that consistently do the right thing when it comes to fiscal management of all the people's money and, by extension, their futures as well.

This week I'd like to revisit a much older piece, from 2010, by Rick Salutin in the Globe that makes the case for why Mr. Stephen Harper governs the way he does:

...Leo Strauss was a German-Jewish thinker who escaped Hitler for the U.S. but despaired over the depravity that liberalism might lead to there as it had in Germany, after the liberal 1920s. He felt almost any means were valid to save Western civilization but, due to liberalism's strength, the strategy had to be cautious, secretive, even duplicitous, with the truth confined to an elite. This rarefied vision became highly influential when it was spread by his students (and theirs) in government, think tanks and media during the Reagan and Bush years. It's a prominent force at Mr. Harper's intellectual home, the University of Calgary...

Mr. Salutin then goes into the details of the five main pillars of Mr. Harper's governing style that he believes are guided by Straussian voices in the dark. These are populism, religion, nationalism, secretiveness and contempt.

Here's what Mr. Salutin had to say at the time (i.e. pre-majority), about that last one:

...There seem high levels of this (contempt), even for politics, among the Harperites (John Baird, Jason Kenney etc.). But Straussianism requires a strong sense of Us v. Them, to overcome the lassitude created through what it views as liberal notions such as tolerance and cultural relativism...

And here you may have thought that Mr. Harper is actually scared poopless about belly dancers wearing veils who are poised to overrun every polling station from Etobicoke to Esquimalt with or without the proper Pierre Pollivere-approved ID.

Then again, if you're reading this you probably didn't think that.

And (to swipe a line from that now long gone Pall Mall smoker) so it goes...


There is something else to consider here, which I believe is very important. It is also the reason that I truly fear a continuation of Mr. Harper's government for another four years.

And that is the fact that Straussianism has such a hold on the conservative political/corporate establishment in the United States that they really and truly believe (and have shown using the Rovian rules) that that the politics of division can be used to get to 50% + 1 at every level of the republic (eg. house, senate and executive branches). As a result, they are never working for the good of all of the people. And, in fact, as many have pointed out, including Thomas Frank, they are often doing their darndest to make sure the people vote against their own collective good.


Transport that thinking to Canada and the case can be made that this approach, which is clearly the one being taken by Mr. Harper et al., is even more divorced from any need to govern in the best interest of the majority of the people who live here.


Because in Canada Mr. Harper knows that he only has to get to 33% + 1 (give or take) and he has a darned good shot at another round of noble lies designed to transform Canada into something the other 67% has no interest in becoming.

Which, of course, brings me back to why I think strategic voting really and truly does matter this time around.


How did Straussianism get to the Calgary School and come to so heavily influence the thinking of Mr. Harper and his political friends and influential uncles?...Donald Gutstein laid out that story earlier this year in the Tyee...It provides insight into Mr. Harper's contempt for the Charter as well.


Saturday, September 26, 2015

Saturday Night's Alright For (Uke Cover) Fighting...This Time Featuring Bigger E!

First, the Original, covered by the excellent third generation Non-Originalists...

Next, Bigger E's amazingly graceful Uke Cover...

Why no video on this one?


If you listen closely I'm there in the audio mix, off in the background (which is right where I belong)...

If you want to keep track of where E. is playing around town, and beyond (she's across the water at a gig tonight, in fact) her Twittmachine feed is....Here.
And, just in case you were looking for that seminal second generation cover by the exceptional Mr. Van Ronk, it's....Here.
And, especially if you are looking for true originality every which way to next July, I highly recommend this unbelievably raw and beautiful version from the good Mr. Buckley. 


For My Dad...


Saw a bunch of boats running up the river while walking the Whackadoodle down at the ocean's edge this morning.

As the nice lady who took the image above, a little farther up the big muddy at New Westminster,  said on the Twittmachine...

'It's a Tugboat Party!'

Actually, this might also be for my Granddad too.
A previous, much more important, post for my Pops that a lot of folks, all of whom I'm pretty sure are part of 'The Seventy Percent', is....Here.


Can Anything Good Come From...

...A Post-Wilburys Jeff Lynne?

Yuma Wray tells Ben Tufts that he thinks not.


I'm not entirely sure...

Then again, the chord-bending Mr. Wray and the skins-hammerin' Mr. Tufts also appear to have a problem or two with a pre-Abracadabra Steve Miller...

You can listen to Mess'rs Wray and Tufts doing their thing with Miss Shevaughn and friends....Here.
And, like Mr. Lynne, the gang above will soon have new album out...Details, and more, are here...Don't know about you but I, for one, sure do look forward to figuring out which disc contains just the right number of chords AND the most truth (not to mention the least amount of bullsh*t).


Friday, September 25, 2015

This Day In Clarkland....Hotels? What Hotels?


First there was this:

Then there was this, from Lori Culbert in the VSun:

Somewhere between 23 and 50 foster children have been placed in B.C. hotels in the past year, officials reported one week after a foster youth fell to his death from the window of a hotel where he’d been housed for months.

The numbers are imprecise and vary according to whom you ask.

The children’s ministry puts the number at 23 hotel stays, for an average of five days each, between November 2014 and this month.

However, the provincial representative for children and youth believes the number is higher. Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond’s files suggest between 30 and 50 youth in the care of the Ministry for Children and Families have been lodged in hotels instead of group or foster homes in the last year.

“Why is this happening?” asked Turpel-Lafond...

And then there is even more, from a report from the Canadian Press:

...Turpel-Lafond stressed that her office has no difficulty interacting with the ministry's front-line workers and directed her condemnation towards upper management.

"Who would actually believe them when they tell you they're adamant no kid will be in a hotel and then a young person is in a hotel in crisis and dies,' she said. "Will I take what they tell me at face value ever again? Probably not.''...


I take no pleasure in learning any of this.

But it just needs to end.

Unfortunately, until the folks in charge and those respsonsible are held to account, I very much fear that it will not.


Thursday, September 24, 2015

Mr Trump, Tear Down That Wall (That You Haven't Even Built Yet)...

...With Canada?

And, no.

I'm not joking.

The following is from Bloomberg News:

...41 percent of Americans say that if a wall is built along the Mexican border, one should also be erected on the Canadian one. And yes, the same percentage favors a wall erected along the nation's southern border...

And the reason they need the monstrosity, both North and South?

Well, according to at least one citizen it's because:

"...If you cut off one (border), they're going to come in the other way..."



#Elxn42...How Serious Is This Vote Splitting Thing, Really?


Very serious.

Bruce Livesey, writing in the National Observer, explains:

...For voters desperate to end the reign of the Harper government this public squabbling between the opposition parties (that went on in last week's English language debate) is alarming, largely because they fear it will only help Harper garner a fourth term as prime minister. “We have an electoral system where a majority of people can vote for change and still see the Conservatives win seats because the parties refuse to work together,” says Amara Possian, election campaign manager for Leadnow, a national advocacy organization campaigning for strategic voting.

Some political experts agree. “It's most emphatically in Stephen Harper's interests to have the NDP and Liberals tied (in voter support),” says Toronto-based pollster and political strategist Allan Gregg. “He does not want one of them to collapse. If one of them collapses, he loses… He doesn't want any of them to have a knockout punch."

Indeed, while the chances of Harper winning another majority are looking bleak, winning a minority government is still firmly within his grasp. And that’s because the opposition vote is split between the Liberals, NDP, Bloc and Greens. After all, as long-time Toronto-based election consultant Warren Kinsella points out, the only reason Harper has won the last three elections is because “the opposition parties are exactly where he wants them – splitting the progressive vote…Until the progressive side gets its act together he’s going to win.”

Back in 2011, of 14.8 million ballots cast, 5.8 million went to the Conservatives, and a combined total of 7.9 million went to the Liberal, NDP and Green parties – a difference of more than two million ballots. And yet the Tories picked up an extra 23 seats and wrested control of the House....

Which, again, is why we, the 70% must take matters in to our own hands, riding-by-riding (i.e. National and Regional numbers don't mean squat here because voters need to know who best to vote FOR at the riding level to make a difference in the outcome).

And make no mistake, it won't take gazillions of votes from folks doing the right thing to affect change in many ridings:

...During the 2011 election, 6,201 votes was the combined margin of victory across the 14 most closely-contested Conservative ridings – with 6,215 being the number needed by the nearest parties in those races to have won them by one vote...

And, on that note, here are the current polling numbers for Pitt Meadows-LarryWalker, from Environics and the folks at LeadNow:

Do you folks leaning Red and Green see what you have to do out there to flip that riding out of the clutches of the CPC?

Of course, the fact that many ridings will be swung by relatively few votes is also a scary thing because that means that's where the patented vote-shaving strategy of one party in particular can be particularly effective....Which is all the more reason for the 70% to take matters out of the hands of both the other 30% AND the parties themselves.


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

#Elxn42...Vancouver Granville....What's The Frequency Kenneth?


As in.....

What, exactly, is the frequency required to successfully vote strategically to stop the Con in this new, amalgamated riding that runs North-South through the middle of central Lotusland.


According to a brand new Environics poll commissioned by the good folks at LeadNow, the frequency currently looks like this:

NDP - Orek - 36
Liberal - Wilson-Raybould - 30
Con - Brosko -29
Green - Barkusky - 6


Despite what the aggregators, which start with the old 2011 numbers and then layer-in a mix-master flashed-up concoction of (mostly) regional polls, this riding-specific poll, wherein the numbers are not that different than a similar poll done in August, tells us that...

...To beat the Con, family/household shown above should pick up its red and green signs from their lawn and vote the remaining orange to help end our national identity crisis.


Even though I like very much (and have contributed to) what LeadNow is doing here, there are still a couple of important things to consider... Environics looked at decided and leaning voters (which means that there is some softness) to get the numbers....And the MOE was 4% in this specific riding....Still, you have to remember that the Con shaving and GOTV efforts to come may give their candidates 2-3 points each....Thus, strategic voters like us have to give it our best shots based on the actual riding-specific data available (and again, regional and national polls mean absolutely NOTHING when it comes to these efforts)....Lastly, I'll remind you that this kind of info really helped voters do the right thing in Esquimalt in 2011....

Other BC ridings polled by Environics in the last week...
1) PoCo-Coq...Dipper Donnelly still up by 7 but his lead has shrunk considerably in the last month...Lib is way out of contention here - Therefore, liberal leaners must strat vote as it is now getting uncomfortably close....
2) Pitt Meadows- Maple Ridge....Here it looks like a Con-to-Dip flip may be happening for the NDP's Bob D'Eith...Again Libs, and of course Greeniacs, you can't win here, so do the right thing and help de-elect the Con (who won big in 2011)!...
3) North Isle-Powell River...Dipper Rachel Blaney now looks to have a bit of a lead but there is a solid rump of Greens vote in the riding...Thus, a significant red and green strat vote, together, will ensure that the Con, who narrowly won this seat in 2011, is eliminated from the picture (interestingly, this was a 2011 riding where it looks like Strat-Voting almost worked because the Dipper was close and the Lib and Green votes were both low)...
4) Nanaimo-Ladysmith...Dipper Sheila Malcomson has a bit of lead but there is a crazy high Green vote here (as a reader points out in the comments it's exacerbated by the Paul Manly effect) that could take votes away from the hordes of orange and thus give the riding to the Con...So...Stop this!...Particularly given that the the Cons have shown some strength here in the past...Libs you are a significant number here too, but you CANNOT win so, please, do the right thing...
5) Kootenay-Columbia....It just my be a dead-heat between the Dipper Stetski and the Con...There are definitely enough Lib and Green votes here to make sure the Con Wilks is de-elected if even half of them strat-vote...

And, hey!....Thanks to A. Reader for the image at the top of the post.


Monday, September 21, 2015

My Morning Ride.


The acorns are down in Kitsilano!

Which brought back boyhood memories of scooping them up and storing them in bags for battles royale through the neighbourhood I grew up in.

Of course, our Mom was always shouting about how somebody was going to lose an eye.

And we are probably lucky nobody did.

But, man, it sure was fun - essentially hide-and-go seek with the added bonus of small sympathetic nervous system-juicing projectiles.

Fun, that is, until one of the big kids down the street started in with the chestnuts.

The Good - The young kid at the counter where I buy the Monday morning lab treats who said 'Sure, it's right around the corner' when an old guy who was down on his luck came in and politely asked to use the washroom.
The Bad - Sliding on those acorns under tire while turning corners.
The Ugly - Absolutely nothing (say it again!)


Sunday, September 20, 2015

Your Sunday Morning Read...Which Party Will Be Canada's Best Fiscal Steward?


Back in the salad days of mid-summer (i.e. before Mr. Harper kicked off this interminable election campaign), I was lying on the beach in the just-tucked-out-of-the-fog sun at Florencia Bay when I read the following, from Doug Saunders, in the dead-tree edition of the Globe purchased earlier that day at the Tofino Co-Op:

...Right-wing governments are simply not faring well as fiscal stewards.

Has the world turned upside down? Not really. It’s just more evidence of a well-established trend. Since the early 1980s, in much of the Western world, liberal and social-democratic parties have been entrusted to clean up the fiscal and spending messes created by conservative regimes.

In the United States, Mr. Reagan managed to increase debt, government spending and even (ironically) taxes; it took Bill Clinton’s less state-heavy economics to send debt plummeting, until Mr. Bush repeated the pattern.

In Britain, Conservative debt became a problem in the mid-1990s, when the Labour Party under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown used strict fiscal discipline to keep debt below 40 per cent of gross domestic product for a decade, until the 2008 crisis forced all governments to spend.

In Canada, Brian Mulroney’s Tories pushed spending and debt to record-breaking levels, precipitating a world-scale crisis that Liberals Jean Chr├ętien and Paul Martin finally faced down with aggressive program cuts. On top of this, analyses show that over the 30 years from 1981 to 2011, the Canadian governments most likely to have balanced budgets, and those with the lowest deficits, were provincial NDP regimes.

This has tangible effects: After analyzing 12 Western countries, economist Douglas A. Hibbs found that “the unemployment rate has been driven downward by Democratic and Labour administrations and upward by Republican and Conservative governments.”...

There's a lot of important, data-backed stuff in Mr. Saunders' piece that is impossible to argue with.

Having said that, what I don't agree with is Mr. Saunders' speculation about why, as he puts it, 'the left is repeatedly more fiscally sensible than the right'.

But I will leave my thoughts on that for another time.

For now, you should just go read Mr. Saunders' entire column so that you can use the facts within it to influence all your whackadoodle (and/or even just bamboozled) friends, uncles and aunties when they tell you that they are 'scared' to vote for Mr. Mulcair and friends because they are sure to mess things up like the NDP always do...blah...blah...blah.


Heckfire, if you really wanted to stretch this argument out...You could even make the case that nobody but the far left Syriza folks were willing to deal with the Greek debt thing in a rational, realistic way.
As the photo at the top of the post of the two E's in their wetsuits shows...If you're in the Tofino area and the big beaches are blanketed by fog, try heading south to Florencia/Wreck Bay and you just might find that the dangle of the headland above and the southward-facing curve of the beach below somehow manage to keep the fog at bay (especially when the weather is otherwise fine and there's a westerly blowing).


Saturday, September 19, 2015

Saturday's Alright For (Uke) Cover Fighting!....Tiny Dancer.


Was listening to late-night, butt-headed sportstalk on the longwave recently and suddenly, between the caterwauling about the NY Giant pass rusher guy who blew his fingers off with fireworks and the ridiculousness of the abundance of riches of Ohio State at the pivot position, the two 'hosts' suddenly and incongruently started waxing nostalgic for Cameron Crowe's 'Almost Famous'.

And, specifically, that scene on the tour bus near the end of the show.



Despite the tonguish-in-cheek title of this little series, I don't think I've ever done an Elton John tune.

So, without further ado, here's a pretty good version of the original by the Original mouthing the really original words of Mr. Taupin:

And here's a barebones Cover with just as much feeling (it actually amazes me how covering a tune can transform folks as they're playing/singing the song even in the most straightforward and rudimentary way).

And, just for good measure, here's the scene from the movie....And, why the heckfire wouldn't Dave Grohl do an almost, but not quite, ironic cover on the TeeVee?...Case in point, by the time the gum-popping Grohl gets halfway through the second verse he has the same expression on his face as the kid in the video above...Then, of course, he starts to work the crowd...
As always, Uke Peg-Head at the top of the post courtesy of fantabulous Los Angeles photo-maven Ellen Bloom.
Previous Cover Uke Fighting sessions can be found....Here.


#Elxn42....Attempting To Quantify The Number of Voters Willing To Vote To Stop The Con In Lotusland.

That's from a recent Metro Vancouver-focussed poll of decided voters in Metro Vancouver by Justason.

My opinion?

Nineteen percent of decided voters willing to vote to Stop-A-Con, with a 12 percent differential, is enough to make a real difference.

But only 'if'.....

And it's a really big 'if'....

Which is...

'If' they know who to vote for to stop the Con.

Which is why we need more riding-specific polling.



Friday, September 18, 2015

How Liberal Leaners Can Vote Strategically To Stop A Con In British Columbia.


This is a first pass, and like our earlier post for Liberal leaning folks looking to vote strategically, it leans heavily on Eric Grenier's riding projections (and as we've discussed previously, I know that there are inherent problems with his methodology). I'll update it as more riding-specific polls are done.

Essentially, the key to this stuff is figuring out which ridings are in doubt where your party of choice's candidate CAN'T WIN.

That way you can vote for another non-Con party with a clear conscience (and be fairly certain that you are helping ensure that the majority of Canadians who want a change in government get it).

Here goes...

Cariboo-Prince George: Leaning Con, Liberal has no chance but the Dipper does...So, Liberal leaners can make a big difference in Con-stopping.

Central OK Similkameen Nicola: Strong Con, Dipper clear second but would need significant Lib and Green votes to win.

Coquitlam-PoCo:  Leaning Con, Liberal has no chance but the Dipper does...So, Liberal leaners can make a big difference in Con-stopping.

Courtenay Alberni: Leaning Dipper, Lib has no chance but Con in the running...So Liberal leaners can make a really, really big difference to ensure a non-Con win.

Cowichan Malahat Langford:  Leaning Dipper, Lib has no chance but Con in the running...So Liberal leaners can make a really, really big difference to ensure a non-Con win.

Esquimalt Saanich Sooke: This is NOT Elizabeth May's riding...Here Dipper is solid with Con in distant second...The problem here, as is the case with all South VanIsle ridings that are not a non-Con lock, is the potential for significant misguided Green bleed...Thus Liberal leaning votes sent the NDP's way could make sure nothing disastrous happens in this riding.

Kamloops Thompson Cariboo: Dipper and Con may be neck-and-neck here...Importantly, the Lib cannot, I repeat, CANNOT win this riding.... Thus, any Liberal votes that go to the NDP could be extremely useful, especially given that the Green vote is relatively weak here (compared to VanIsle at least).

Kootenay-Columbia: Like Kamloops the Dipper and Con may be neck-and-neck and the Lib  CANNOT win here.... Thus, any Liberal votes that go to the NDP would be extremely useful for Con-stopping purposes.

Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Craneyon: Leaning Con, strong Dipper and Lib has no chance...So, Liberal leaners can make a big difference to stop Cons.

Nanaimo Ladysmith: Sure, this is strong Dipper territory...But given the potential for Green votes sliding up to the mid-Island, I would strongly suggest that Lib leaners ensure that the Con, who might have as much as 30 percent support, doesn't come up the middle, especially given that your Liberal candidate cannot win here.

North OK Shushwap: Leaning Con with clear 2nd place Dipper...Votes from Liberal leaners and a few Greens might just flip it.

Pit Meadows Maple Ridge: Con and Dipper running neck-and-neck...A solid block of votes from Liberal leaners could easily stop the Con here.

Prince George Peace River NorthernRockpile: With the Con so far ahead this is kinda pie-in-the-sky by the Dipper looks to be solid second...So, if I were a dreamer I would hope that all Liberal and Green voters would go orange here....Just don't pinch me!

South OK West Kootenay: Pretty strong Dipper with Con in second...The potential for Green hiving scares the heck out of me though...So, again, Liberal folks...Your candidate cannot win...Therefore, please do your best to ensure a solid Con-stopping.

Every other B.C. riding, at least as far as I can tell, either has a lock for somebody such that switching even half of the Liberal vote wouldn't help...There are two exceptions though, where the uncertainty makes it really hard and/or impossible to tell who the heck is in first or even second for sure...Both are 'new' ridings...Delta and Vancouver Granville.
I've already done one of these kinda/sorta for Greeniacs who want to Strat-Vote to stop a Con...It's here.
One for Dipper voters will soon follow.


My Morning Ride. Friday Sept 18th.



I guess if you can't put surveillance camera stickers on your giant signs you can always put your giant signs right next to actual (kinda/sorta) surveillance cameras.

Or some such thing.


That particular riding (the new Vancouver Granville one) is driving me crazy.

I mean, how is anybody supposed to figure out how to vote strategically if nobody knows who is in either first or second.

I actually saw the LeadNow folks out in force canvassing in the riding yesterday.

So, as you might expect, I stopped to ask one of them if they were going to do another riding-specific poll there.

Unfortunately, the very nice fellow had no idea what I was talking about.

(Strat vote suggestions for Liberals in B.C. comin'....promise)

Good - Gaggle of junior high-aged kids that waited for the old guy to swoop through the same traffic circle he had trouble with the other day so that he struggle up the hill on the other side
Bad - Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
Ugly - I know it was done with the best of intentions but that painted in bike lane between the through and right-turning traffic at King Ed and Arbutus (going West) just seems to be making everybody crazy. And this morning when the bus pulled up on my right to go straight I decided to wait for him when the light turned green which, of course even made the speedy guy on the bike behind me angry.


Thursday, September 17, 2015

My Morning Ride.

I've written about this tree before.

He stands straight up, like a sentry, at the head of the powerline trail that cuts through the park that buffers the place where I work out on Lotusland's western-most edge.

Usually his colours turn last, but this year they seem to be going a little early.

And I'm not entirely sure what's up with his buddy the cedar either (the one in our backyard has had the same problem this year).

Subtly strange days perhaps?

Weather/climate-wise, I mean.


Had an interesting talk with a science geek-buddy this morning.

He's a Dipper who lives in the former provincial Earth-Wind-And-Fire minister's (i.e. Liberal Joyce Murray's) riding.

"Should I vote for her?" he asked.

What do you think my answer was?

Good - The puffed-up starling on the fence in the back lane who I could swear winked at me as I disembarked.
Bad - The first sheen of damp leaves on wet pavement - super scary for bikes
Ugly - I did my best when I turned right at the sentry and hit the trail this morning...But there was one slug I just couldn't avoid...Maybe they need a lane of their own...


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

At The End Of The Day...

...Sometimes I really do wonder if our Neil killed hair metal (and more) in one fell swoop in the fall of 1989.

He wrote it in response to George Bush the Elder - thus the '1000 points of light' business.

But it was so much more than all that.

When the geezer rockers and I get together we do it as fast as humanly possible.

They let me sing and set the Tele to maximum distortion.

It always has to be my last song of the night because the entire thing is pure raw power without the Iggy.

And because I am an old guy.

But not as old as Mr. Young.


Wee bit of nitty gritty about this specific performance for Lorne Michaels et al......Here.
Coming soon...Recommendations for Strategic Vote ridings for progressives who lean Liberal and want to stop Cons in Lotusland...Stay tuned.


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

My Morning Ride.


One thing I've been noticing in the vicinity of Cambie while riding around these days is how fast the houses go downhill once the land assemblies are, well, assembled.

In this one, there were still kids living in the place in the foreground in July.

Granted, the landlord had clearly started to let things go before then, but still...

Good - The great Eastern at my back for all 13 kilometres this morning
Bad - The long black clouds coming down with that easterly.
Ugly - My rushing a traffic circle to gain a little speed to get up out of the Discovery trough on 12th avenue and almost paying for it...Darned hard to hear the hybrids coming sometimes.


Sunday, September 13, 2015

Recommended Sunday Morning Read...How A Vote For A Green Could (Still) Elect A FedCon.


I stumbled across Taylor Lewis' blog via the Twittmachine.

And I can't figure out how I didn't know about it and his writing already.

Because it's really good stuff.

On Friday Mr. Lewis posted up a breakdown/analysis of Elizabeth May's five claims that voting Green won't elect Conservatives.

The entire post is really, really worth a read (and I will be returning to it often), but here is Mr. Lewis' kicker:

...Elizabeth May calls vote splitting rhetoric “fear mongering.” Andrew Weaverhas called it a form of voter suppression. While I am sympathetic to their concerns, the data says what it says. If the Conservatives start consistentlytanking in the polls, then ABC voters might consider the Green candidate in areas, say, west of the Okanagan.

If the Conservatives maintain their base Canada-wide, though, then current polls don’t suggest the Greens are an option, unless you can point to strong riding-level polling and a Green candidate who has worked years to build up a profile.

Furthermore, Harper has cheated in every election he has won, and there’s no reason he won’t this time. He has stacked the deck against us with actualvoter suppression tactics, and progressives need to be vigilant and at times pragmatic in order to defeat him. Sources like will help.

What the Green Party needs is for Canadians to elect a government that will end First Past The Post; that, at least, is a realistic possibility, as the NDP is committed to mixed member proportional representation and the Liberals are committed to some type of electoral reform, such as PR or ranked ballots, pending further study (for what it’s worth the Law Commission of Canada recommended MMPR in a 2004 report).

Don’t mistake this as being patronizing; Speaking as a one-time Green voter, I would love a situation where a strong Green caucus could push for a basic livable income and stymie the other parties’ half-measures on environmental protections.

It just isn’t going to happen this time...

Now go and read the entire thing.

Because it really is clear-eyed, detailed, well-researched and even-handed analysis.



Saturday, September 12, 2015

Saturday Night's Alright For (Uke) Cover Fighting....The Ace Of Spades!


The Original, Lemmy, was on Maron last week.

Which got me to wondering if there is a good Uke Cover out there somewhere.

And there is:


Then I found this!

Holy Doodles!

Previous Saturday Cover Fighting sessions can be found....Here (scroll down).


Sparkle Ponies On Parade...The Dean Takes Us To The Fainting Couch.


After initially hiding behind a 'prepared statement', the Deputy Premier of British Columbia subsequently agreed to a phone interview with the VSun's Vaughn Palmer about that safety audit of his chief Sparkle Pony purveyor, Petronas of Malasyia.

And it would appear that the Dean of the Legislative Press Gallery was not happy with what he heard.

Because, after first making it clear that Dep-Preem Coleman told him that we shouldn't worry our pretty little heads about the audit despite the fact that he (i.e. Coleman) didn't actually know what is in the audit, Mr. Palmer ran through a polite but roaring stream of damned-up consciousness before finishing with the following:

...In short, neither safety concerns nor a dubious environmental record nor that mysterious $700 million will shake Rich Coleman’s confidence in Petronas and the likelihood that it will go ahead and build here in B.C.

“I’m bullish,” he told me. Bullish. Change the spelling of that word slightly, and you’ve got another way of looking at it.

Which is good, strong stuff.

Some might even call it vintage Palmer.

Now one can only wonder if the bile has risen high enough in the Dean's throat to make this the start of something more than a one-off.

We shall see.

And why didn't the actual, you know, Premier speak to this matter?...No one but the Wizards and the Third Man know for sure (take that Markerbuoy!), but I reckon it would not be unreasonable to speculate that the good Ms. Clark is probably working on her super-secret plan to defeat that dastardly threat to her Iron Snowbirdness, Miley Cyrus....Or some such thing.
Reader EG asked, in all seriousness, why the Premier would even bother to take a run at the former Hannah Montana...Our best guess?....Well, wasn't there just a wee bit of a problem with another junked-up hunk-o-software from one of those finest-of-the-fine super most-favoured multinats that day?....Which was bad enough on the face of it...But just imagine if people had started dredging up those old Lindsay Kines stories about the homegrown system that the Clarklandians trashed a while back...So, when in doubt...Deflector Spike Spin Uber-Alles!


Friday, September 11, 2015

At The End Of The Day...

...Sometimes I Feel Like A Herzog Out Of Water.

Werner with the anime kids at Comic Con.

Me with the kids who are crawling all over the place where I work out  on the far western edge of Lotusland again.

And this afternoon those kids had one of their 'Welcome Back!' bashes right outside my office window.

Actually had to go in the lab and do some real work to escape the racket.


#Elxn42....Who You Gonna Call?

...Poll Busters!

Which is just another way of saying that strategic voting might still really matter (i.e. because the demise of the FedCons has been greatly exaggerated by the long tail of the Duffmaster Flash thingy, which is all gone now for the duration).

But there is some good news.

And it can be found in Nanos' '2nd Choice Poll (scroll down)':

But here's the thing...

Those bendy-shoot Green-leaners (and the rest of us Con-Stoppers who are willing to be flexible) in Lotusland need to know who to actually vote for to be useful strategically.

And for that we need on-the-ground, riding-specific polls with decent statistical power (i.e. the National and Regional numbers mean less than zero from a strat-vote point-of-view).

And, just in case you don't believe me, that's the way it worked in Esquimalt in 2011.



This Day In Clarkland...Corroding With The One That Brung Ya.


From Peter O'Neil and Gordon Hoekstra's VSun piece on the safety 'audit' of Petronas' Malaysian operations:

...Auditors found six "pressure vessels" — containers on offshore platforms holding pressurized gas or oil — that were found to have internal corrosion and yet hadn't been inspected for at least 20 years...

But never fear, Big Rich is here:

...B.C. deputy premier Rich Coleman, the minister responsible for natural gas development, wouldn't say if the government was aware of Petronas's internal problems in Malaysia. But in a prepared statement he did stress that LNG operators will have to adhere to a "strict" regulatory regime operated by the B.C. Oil and Gas Commission...


And here I thought Mr. Coleman et al. were doing their darndest to get rid of all that icky/awful regulatory red tape that used to prevent the draining of wilderness lakes, deadly fireball explosions in sawdust-filled mills, and the bursting of tailing pond dams around here.

And lest you think this all just enviro-hooey and/or something that went on in the distant past, there is the following, also from the O'Neil/Hoekstra piece, to consider:

...(L)ast year, Petronas's new gas pipeline on Borneo Island was shut down, and remains out of use, due to a massive explosion because of construction on soil that proved unstable...

'Nuff said?


My Morning Ride.

Because the Greeniacs were giving me a hard time about riding by it yesterday....

I decided to ride through Mountain View cemetery this morning.

Another ridiculously beautiful day.

Good -1...The little black cat who comes looking for an ear scratch if I stop for a second at 26th and Ash.
Bad - 1...The leaf blower guy who blew crap from the Subway parking lot into my eyes at 16th and Macdonald
Poopy - 1...The dozens of geese on the playing fields at Hillside Park...Will have to keep the Whackadoodle out of there for awhile to prevent the ear grinding


Thursday, September 10, 2015

This Evening In Clarkland...But What About The Yoga?


According to the Canadian Press noted environmental expert Ms. Christy Clark is not happy with the fact that the entertainer Miley Cyrus agrees with at least some real environmental experts about BC's wolf kill:

British Columbia's premier is suggesting singer Miley Cyrus stick to twerking instead of interfering with the province's environmental policies.

Christy Clark says Cyrus doesn't know anything about the reasons behind B.C.'s wolf cull, which she says is necessary to protect endangered caribou.

Cyrus has urged fans to sign an online petition against the wolf hunt, saying it's a "tax-payer funded kill program."

Environmentalists have criticized the government's plans to hunt 184 wolves in the South Selkirk and South Peace.

The petition was posted online by a group in January.

Clark says that if the province needs any advice on twerking -- or dancing provocatively -- it may contact Cyrus...


Guess our fine Premier doesn't know that Ms. Cyrus is really into yoga.

Because if she did you'd think she might invite the singer up for a Downward Facing Dogathon on the Ice Bomb Bridge.

Or some such thing.


Interwebz Comments Fell Another Candidate.


Already wrote a post on how this smacking down of candidates for past statements, particularly online, is worrisome, mostly because I'm not sure where the line is and/or where it should be.

And then reader Glen Clark weighed in on how this kind of thing will ultimately prevent good and interesting people from running.


It happened again today as Stephen Hui notes in the GStraight:

Facebook comments touting the benefits of marijuana have torched the federal-election hopes of Joy Davies in South Surrey-White Rock.

Today (September 10), Davies quit as the Liberal candidate in the B.C. riding after party leader Justin Trudeau rejected her two-year-old remarks....


Where is that line, exactly?


Mostly this looks like the candidate's comments, while a wee bit whacky, were not at odds with Mr. Trudeau's position on marijuana legalization.


This Day In Sparkle Ponyland...Something Scary This Way Cometh.


So scary that the VSun has posted a 'teaser':

Who is B.C. dealing with when it invites Petronas, the Malaysian state-owned global energy giant, to play a lead role in developing an LNG industry?

In the first of a two-part examination of the company by reporters Peter O’Neil and Gordon Hoekstra, The Vancouver Sun will post at 9 p.m. PT tonight, and publish in Friday’s newspaper, a story with explosive new information on the company’s problems in Malaysia...

Go figure.

Thanks to the StraightGoods for the heads up on the Twittmachine.


And Now A Word From A Reader About The Online Shaming Of Candidates For Past Minor Transgressions.


The other day I wrote a post about how all this online shaming of candidates and campaign-associated folks for their past transgressions/actions/points of view is starting to make me uncomfortable.

Mostly it's the 'gotcha!' of the thing, particularly when it has nothing to do with issues or policy positions, or even ideology, that concerns me.

But, to be perfectly honest, there is also a wee bit of the 'There but the grace (and parmesan) of the spaghetti monster go I'  mixed into my discomfort.

But it turns out that there is also something else to consider here.

Which is a point that was raised in the comment thread by a reader that some of you might know/remember:

Glen Clark said...

"...Hard to see how this 'morality test' applied to old social media posts can survive much longer. 

I hate to think of things I would have posted when I was younger. Clearly had I had the opportunity to display my 'thoughts' I would have been disqualified for public office (course some may be applauding now!). 

But I really fear that we risk alienating all but the most boring, careful risk-avoiding people from even competing for public office if we continue to react with outrage at every old tweet."

Hard to argue with that last part, eh?

And ya, it was that guy named Glen...I checked, and he was OK with me bringing this to the front page.


#Elxn42....The Weirdness Of The Rolling Polls.


Looks like there is some sustained movement towards Mr. Trudeau, particularly in riding rich Ontario.

And this is reflected in the overall numbers.

But the regional rolling polls show just how weird things are.

First off, Nanos has the Cons bouncing around wildly nationally.

And, in BC, things look flat out crazy:

Granted, there is a big MoE here.

Still, all that coming together of the orange, red and blue yesterday tells me that, now, more than ever, we progressives who are willing to swing our votes to stop the Cons (which is a significant number according to Nanos' second choice poll) have to do our best to make sure that, Trudeau + Harper does not equal a majority.


I know that "Justin would never do it" is what many of you are likely muttering to yourselves.

Especially you folks who are starting to get an inkling that it just might be safe to vote Green in any riding outside of Saanich.


There is that classic Liberal 'Run left, govern right' thing to keep in mind.



My Morning Ride.


Was pedalling past the cemetery on East 31st this morning when I noticed the light streaming in, the temperature, and the absolute calm....

And then I realized there probably will only be a half dozen more rides as nice as this between now and next May.

Oh boy.

Good - 1 (the nice lady who pulled up a few feet short so that I could get across Cambie at 26th)
Bad - 2 (both going up the hill on 12th west of Alma, both black European SUV's in a hurry for school apparently)
Ugly - 0


Wednesday, September 09, 2015

A Stunning Admission From The New York Times' Public Editor.


Margaret Sullivan is the Grey Lady's current PE.

Here is what she had to say on her NYT 'blog' in response to readers' raising the issue of the Times' 'coverage' of longtime progressive and current US Senator Bernie Sanders' run to become the Democratic party's presidential nominee in 2016:

..."Here’s my take: The Times has not ignored Mr. Sanders’s campaign by any means, but it also hasn’t always taken it very seriously. The tone of some stories does seem regrettably dismissive, even mocking at times. Some of it is focused on the candidate’s age, appearance and style rather than what he has to say..."

Stunning admission or what?


Meanwhile, as you might expect, the Times' low priest of high-Broderism, David Brooks, pretty much simultaneously sees Mr. Sanders and the Donald as being two sides of the same (completely fictional) coin on the NYT's OpEd page.

Former News Blog denizen, Driftglass, does the fisking:

...David Brooks really hates hippies.

And no one represents the spirit of what David Brooks hates most in this world -- a spirit now gone gray but still radical, thoughtful but still clarion-clear, politically pragmatic but still mission-driven -- than Bernie Sanders.

Ergo Mr. Brooks must destroy Bernie Sanders.


And being David Brooks, he has one and only one, tried-and-true method of destroying that which is terrifyingly true and beautiful and unabashedly Liberal: by cooking up some lie flexible enough to yoke something decent and Liberal to whatever misshapen monstrosity has slouched out of the Conservative ghoul factory this week and then heaving them both from the fantail of the good ship Centrism into the great, dark sea of Political Unseriousness, where they slip beneath the waves and never trouble the beautiful minds of the Villagers, who are all up on the lido deck getting drunk with Chuck Todd and Mark Halperin.

Which is, or course, exactly what Mr. Brooks did, following the accepted recipe of the Villager Both Siderist Playbook...

Don't know about you, but when I read stuff like that I can feel the fire of the greatest of Left Blogistan's greatest of all time Steve Gilliard.

(and smell the Beer Can Chicken)

In case you missed it, Driftglass does a weekly podcast with his wife Bluegal...The recently hit their three millionth download...It's hard-headed lefty politics, proMedia criticism, and more....Try it.
Tip 'O The Toque to Jay Rosen for calling attention to the money quote from Ms. Sullivan on the Twittmachine.