Latest Polling Thread - March 5, 2012

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Doug

Brachina wrote:

Great news! The Conservative hard-core vote is only 17%.

I find it baffling that 7% think the NDP is responsible, what the hell have these people been smoking.

 

I expect these are the people who think the NDP is responsible for their toast being burned this morning.

janfromthebruce

I confess Doug that I burnt other Canadian people's toast!

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

Just read Grenier over at 308.com. Man does that guy ever spin fast. I wonder how he walks without falling over. I wish he'd come out and admit he was a Liberal instead of trying to portray himslef as some kind of objective, independant voice. That guys is a joke and his website is a joke.

Ottawa Centre-Left

 

Three Hundred Eight has now completed some very thorough analysis of the Forum poll:

 

http://threehundredeight.blogspot.com/2012/03/mulcair-lands-more-endorsements-best.html

 

 

The highlights:

 

"With Thomas Mulcair, the New Democrats hold on to their 58 seats in Quebec. Under Mulcair, the NDP even squashes the Bloc Québécois to non-existence. But under Brian Topp, who was born and raised in Quebec, the New Democrats are decimated and reduced to only three seats. Under Peggy Nash, the NDP is returned to the pre-2011 days in the province with only one seat."

 

and

 

"There really isn't much difference in the rest of Canada between a Mulcair-led NDP and an NDP led by either Topp or Nash."

 

clambake

I would think that the latter part of that analysis would likely change before 2015, especially during the campaign

Stockholm

These hypothetical polls of how a party would do if led by so-and so- aare interesting but also have to be taken with a boulder of salt. Remember that "the polls" told the Liberals in 1984 that they would win if they chose john Turner as their leader. "The polls" also told the federal Tories in 1993 that if they made kim Campbell their leader they would instantly be back in contention in the next election.

A year ago "the polls" told the BC Liberals that their ony chance to win the next BC election was to make  Christy Clark their leader - she has turned out to be a total fiasco. "The polls" also said that if the BC NDP chose Adrian Dix, they would be shooting themselves in the foot - instead he has performed very well.

So, I don't say ignore the Forum poll. In fact if i was working for Mulcair, i would promote everywhere i could - but realistically we won't really know how the NDP will do being led any of these people until a good year or so of them being leader and putting their mark on the party.

clambake

What's frustrating about that poll (and voting patterns in general, I guess) is the cult of personality associated with whomever leads the party and not the policy/idealogy behind the party itself. Why would Quebecers want to vote Bloc and give Harper another term if Topp or Nash were at the NDP helm? Unless they really want and believe that Mulcair would move the party to the centre and that's the sole reason for supporting him. I could understand these trends if we elected a president like the States, but not in a parliamentary system.

NorthReport

Well said Stock. These present polls are pretty much meaningless.

Steve_Shutt Steve_Shutt's picture

NorthReport wrote:

Well said Stock. These present polls are pretty much meaningless.

Normally I would be inclined to agree with you NR but I think this is a unique situation.  Your BC examples of Clark and Dix are within the context of an established BC dynamic of choosing between the NDP and BC Liberals.  The choice of leader may alter that dynamic and the buyers-remorse (in Clark's case) or pleasant surprise (in Dix's case) - and the interaction of the two with each other - doesn't change the basic ballot box question: do you support or oppose the BC Liberals, change or more of the same (if somewhat different :-).

The Mulcair component in the polling cited above changes the NDP question in Quebec from back to election-day or pre-Jack.  This isn't the slight fluctuation of background radiation we are discussing - the difference is between part of the electoral conversation in Quebec or not.  This is big and while, as I've stated elsewhere, I believe that should we choose someone other than Mulcair as our leader we can get back to this position in Quebec over time it is essentially a re-boot of the whole effort that started with Jack and Tom (and countless others to be sure).

Stockholm

I agree. I would never say that polls like the Forum one are "meaningless", just that we should be careful not to give them too much weight.

adma

And another thing about such strictly leadership-based polls is that they factor Mulcair out totally in the event of non-Mulcair leadership--but who's to say he, as a de facto "Quebec caucus leader", won't continue to play a prominent, critical role under Nash, Topp, Dewar, Cullen, etc.  (That is, unless he leaves the NDP and/or politics altogether.)

It's hard for me to see an NDP in which Mulcair is still a factor plummeting from their present contingent to 1-3 seats total in Quebec.

Brachina

adma wrote:

And another thing about such strictly leadership-based polls is that they factor Mulcair out totally in the event of non-Mulcair leadership--but who's to say he, as a de facto "Quebec caucus leader", won't continue to play a prominent, critical role under Nash, Topp, Dewar, Cullen, etc.  (That is, unless he leaves the NDP and/or politics altogether.)

It's hard for me to see an NDP in which Mulcair is still a factor plummeting from their present contingent to 1-3 seats total in Quebec.

This reminds me of how Nash attacked Dewar for his choice of new deputy leaders, aka would you remove Mulcair from being duty leader like Dewar was nuts. It basically confirms that if Nash wins, Mulcair keeps his job as deputy leader. Which also hints where she'll go if she's not on the final ballot. Dollars to donuts she'll endorse Mulcair if she doesn't end up on the final ballot. The Topp to Nash managers thing just kind of confirms it for me.

jjuares

The other thing we should note that their is a serious "echo" factor in Canadian politics. A Mulcair led party not only would do well in Que. but that would lend credibility to the NDP in Ont. and cause a rise in support.

janfromthebruce

illusions of Mulcair grandeur dancing in his supporter heads - geez, oh please give it a rest. It's feeling like NDP voter suppression.  On a different note, once "new Tommy" wins, I can kick back in my rural riding and do little on the campaign trail, well nothing because my time, energy and $$ won't be needed. Goodie, we'll just reap the "instant love-in poll factor" and win win win.

So Mulcair comes calling I'll say, well you are the socialist newest mesiah.

Hunky_Monkey

janfromthebruce wrote:

illusions of Mulcair grandeur dancing in his supporter heads - geez, oh please give it a rest. It's feeling like NDP voter suppression.  On a different note, once "new Tommy" wins, I can kick back in my rural riding and do little on the campaign trail, well nothing because my time, energy and $$ won't be needed. Goodie, we'll just reap the "instant love-in poll factor" and win win win.

So Mulcair comes calling I'll say, well you are the socialist newest mesiah.

Yeah, cause Mulcair believes all that...

Winston

janfromthebruce wrote:

illusions of Mulcair grandeur dancing in his supporter heads - geez, oh please give it a rest. It's feeling like NDP voter suppression.  On a different note, once "new Tommy" wins, I can kick back in my rural riding and do little on the campaign trail, well nothing because my time, energy and $$ won't be needed. Goodie, we'll just reap the "instant love-in poll factor" and win win win.

So Mulcair comes calling I'll say, well you are the socialist newest mesiah.

Wow, Jan...that's pretty negative, and rather unlike most of your posts here or elsewhere online.

Suffice it to say that any of the leadership candidates' supporters would be equally pleased if the shoe were on the other foot and a poll was released showing that only THEIR candidate had the coat-tails to poll statistically even with Harper.

As for vote suppression, I don't think that showing other members polling numbers or rolling out endorsements from respected party leaders like Saganash consists of "vote suppression".  It wasn't vote suppression early in the race when Brian Topp's supporters were promoting the idea that their candidate was the presumptive favourite and trotting out party luminaries by the dozen.  If Mulcair has momentum, why shouldn't his supporters be happy about it?

Aristotleded24

Winston wrote:
As for vote suppression, I don't think that showing other members polling numbers or rolling out endorsements from respected party leaders like Saganash consists of "vote suppression".

I was an early Saganash supporter, but Saganash endorsing Mulcair hasn't softened my opposition to the thought of the Outrement MP becoming leader. I suspect most Saganash supporters, like myself, will make up their own minds as to where to go.

Brachina

janfromthebruce wrote:

illusions of Mulcair grandeur dancing in his supporter heads - geez, oh please give it a rest. It's feeling like NDP voter suppression.  On a different note, once "new Tommy" wins, I can kick back in my rural riding and do little on the campaign trail, well nothing because my time, energy and $$ won't be needed. Goodie, we'll just reap the "instant love-in poll factor" and win win win.

So Mulcair comes calling I'll say, well you are the socialist newest mesiah.

I understand your frustration Jan, Brian Topp is smart and has alot of wonderful traits and good ideas, but that doesn't seem to be counting for much and that doesn't seem fair. The same could be true of Niki Ashton and other leadership contenders as well, who have some wonderful ideas and strengths and it may seem unfair that Quebecers don't seem to care.

So in the interest of party unity I say which policies I like best from each current contender.

Nathan Cullen I like his position on the Northern Gateway Pipeline. Ashton I like her idea for a generic drug crown corp which is tied with her ideas for greater access to justice. Nash I like her ideas on encouraging innovation and investment. Dewar I like his support for the energy grid and his idea for party unity which invovles meetings and an exchange of ideas with his rivals. Singh I like his ideas on enterpurnialism and his template for Pharmacare which is the most detail and well thought out promise of this race. Topp I like his focus on the income gap and how he
made income taxes a real issue. Mulcair I like his platform on affordable housing and fair trade.

Just an effort to build an air of positivity and mutual respect.

Winston

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Winston wrote:
As for vote suppression, I don't think that showing other members polling numbers or rolling out endorsements from respected party leaders like Saganash consists of "vote suppression".

I was an early Saganash supporter, but Saganash endorsing Mulcair hasn't softened my opposition to the thought of the Outrement MP becoming leader. I suspect most Saganash supporters, like myself, will make up their own minds as to where to go.

I wouldn't have assumed any differently. The early part of this race with its emphasis on endorsements intrigued me. Naturally if someone respects another figure, their endorsement of a candidate will factor into their decisions. But ultimately, an endorsement represents just that: 1 vote.

adma

Remember: a lot of the "embracing" Mulcair talk presently in this thread relates strictly to the Quebec electoral situation.  Outside of Quebec, Mulcair's a neutralish factor.

 

Which leads me to wonder: what might have happened to the federal Tories, had Lucien Bouchard kept within the fold rather than splitting to form the Bloc...

Stockholm

I think that if Meech lake had passed and Bouchard had remained a Tory, the BQ would never have been founded and Quebec would probably be a PC stronghold to this day...but the PC party would be a very different kind of party from Harper's CPC

Aristotleded24

adma wrote:
Which leads me to wonder: what might have happened to the federal Tories, had Lucien Bouchard kept within the fold rather than splitting to form the Bloc...

How would Western Canada have reacted to that, considering all the seats Western Canada has?

autoworker autoworker's picture

Stockholm wrote:

The Conservatives decided that Quebec was a "nation" - how much more of aan acknowledgment of asymmetry can you have? they still swept Canada outside Quebec.

Simply calling Quebec a nation doesn't grant it special status or more autonomy than the other partners of confederation. Besides, what about First Nations? Shouldn't they enjoy, at a minimum, the same rights, benefits, and status within that acknowledged asymmetrical framework?

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

I am not capable of saying anything really meaninfgul, but to say the least autoworker, you make a valid point. We really need to get serious about how we address the abroginal communities real, inherent, and natural "uniqueness". We have done very poorly to say the very least. But regarding this discussion, I don't see how this fits within a polling thread. One man's sentiments.

Debater

I don't understand why 308 is doing seat projections this far out from an election.  And that guy is going to have to change the name of his website anyway since in the next election there will be 338 seats.  Laughing

It doesn't make sense to be doing seat projections before we even know which cities are getting new seats or where they will be.

Incidentally, his supposition on the NDP Quebec seats is bizarre to say the least.  It doesn't make sense that the NDP would be reduced to only 1 or 2 seats if Mulcair didn't become leader, nor does it make sense that the NDP would retain all 58 seats if he did become leader.  The likely number will probably be somewhere in between.

Winston

Debater wrote:

Incidentally, his supposition on the NDP Quebec seats is bizarre to say the least.  It doesn't make sense that the NDP would be reduced to only 1 or 2 seats if Mulcair didn't become leader, nor does it make sense that the NDP would retain all 58 seats if he did become leader.  The likely number will probably be somewhere in between.

You may be right, Debater, but so might be Éric Grenier.  With Mulcair as leader, it's also not entirely out of the realm of possibility that we GAIN seats in Québec - especially at the expense of the Liberals in the West Island!

Debater

Actually, the West Island seats that the Liberals lost in the last election because of Laytonmania are likely to go back to the Liberals, particularly when Mulcair's views on expanding Bill 101 and abolishing the Clarity Act become better known.

Life, the unive...

Yeah, because those dumb Quebecers had no idea what they were voting for in May.  The arrogance of the Liberals never stops.

Debater

If you read some of the letters to the Editor and some of the editorials and articles in The Montreal Gazette, you will see letters from voters who didn't realize the extent to which the NDP and Mulcair have abandoned the English-minority in Montreal.

My question is, why are the NDP doing that?  And do NDPers here approve of that?  Will the West Island NDP MP's agree to oppose the NDP's support for more language laws and oppose its opposition to the Clarity Act?

NorthReport

Steve, the NDP has been without a pemanent leader for how many months now? It was totally anticipated that during the leadership race there was going to a drop in support until the new pemanent leader is chosen. That's was a given so it is best to not get concerned.

 

Steve_Shutt wrote:

NorthReport wrote:

Well said Stock. These present polls are pretty much meaningless.

Normally I would be inclined to agree with you NR but I think this is a unique situation.  Your BC examples of Clark and Dix are within the context of an established BC dynamic of choosing between the NDP and BC Liberals.  The choice of leader may alter that dynamic and the buyers-remorse (in Clark's case) or pleasant surprise (in Dix's case) - and the interaction of the two with each other - doesn't change the basic ballot box question: do you support or oppose the BC Liberals, change or more of the same (if somewhat different :-).

The Mulcair component in the polling cited above changes the NDP question in Quebec from back to election-day or pre-Jack.  This isn't the slight fluctuation of background radiation we are discussing - the difference is between part of the electoral conversation in Quebec or not.  This is big and while, as I've stated elsewhere, I believe that should we choose someone other than Mulcair as our leader we can get back to this position in Quebec over time it is essentially a re-boot of the whole effort that started with Jack and Tom (and countless others to be sure).

Stockholm

Debater wrote:

Actually, the West Island seats that the Liberals lost in the last election because of Laytonmania are likely to go back to the Liberals, particularly when Mulcair's views on expanding Bill 101 and abolishing the Clarity Act become better known.

The elderly anglo rights crowd (ie: William Johnson and co.) didn't vote NDP in the first place and those people are all dying of old age. The ridings that the NDP won in Montreal tended to have pretty sizable franco- and allophone populations and young anglos in Quebec tend to be so perfectly bilingual that they don't care about these old issues anyways. The really purely anglo ridings - Lac St. Louis and Mount Royal didn't go NDP in the first place so there is nothing to lose there.

Debater

I think you are missing the point.  Why is the NDP adopting all of the BQ's policies?  These will be problematic outside Quebec too.  Most people want to recognize Quebec's distinctiveness in a balanced way, but not by imposing more language laws or by abolishing the Clarity Act.  The NDP has become BQ-lite and that seems to be okay to most NDPers here.

Your post displays an insensitivity to the importance of this balanced approach and displays a cold-heartedness that all that matters is how many votes you get and not whether what you are doing is right or wrong.

Stockholm

First of all no one in the NDP has said anything about "abolishing" the Clarity Act. Its a moot point since there have already been Supreme Court rulings. Secondly, every time the NDP has put forth motions in the House of Commons to further protect the French language in Quebec - the Liberals have voted FOR it. In the next election, the Liberals will be so desparate to re-establish themselves in francophone Quebec that I predict that whatever the NDP promises in terms of French language protection - Bob rae will say "me too". 

Debater

The Liberals and Conservatives both voted AGAINST the NDP & BQ motion to increase Bill 101.  The Liberals only voted with the NDP on the Supreme Court bilingualism requirement.

Anyway, I wonder what Harper's plan of attack against Mulcair is going to be?  If Harper thinks the NDP is going to be his main rival in the next election instead of the Liberals, will he engage in a multi-million dollar attack ad campaign against Mulcair the way he did to Dion and Ignatieff?

It will be interesting to see who Harper's main target becomes in the next round.

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

Debater, stop pointing at us and telling us how bad we are. Secondly, as far as I can tell, you seem to be arguing from what is "your opinion", and telling us that none of us know what we are talking about. If you want to actually debate, that is fine, otherwise, stop partonizing. It is very unbecoming.

Debater

AC, you can't be serious.  The NDP supporters here do that to the Liberals all the time.

Anyway, what do you think Harper's method of attack against Mulcair will be?  What will be his multi-million dollar attack ad strategy against Mulcair in the way he did it to Ignatieff and Dion?

algomafalcon

Stockholm wrote:

I think that if Meech lake had passed and Bouchard had remained a Tory, the BQ would never have been founded and Quebec would probably be a PC stronghold to this day...but the PC party would be a very different kind of party from Harper's CPC

I think that is quite likely (PCs would have remained fairly dominant in PQ without Bouchard founding BQ). Would Harper have even been elected leader? I gues that Reform would have still risen up, but would there have been a CA or "united right wing" party?

Its so ironic that people really associate the BQ as a left wing "progressive" party when it was founded by disgruntled tories.

I wonder if any of the newly elected NDP caucus were ever federal Conservatives (who defected to the BQ)? Or are they all to young for that?

 

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

Debater, that is not what I said. But ok, lets move on.

I think he'll try it, but it won't work. I think he is doing so much damage to himself that it won't matter. It might hurt Mulcair a little, but I have confidence in the NDP to be able to fight back. I think the only thing to be carefull is to not let Harper get away with framing the discussion. Based on what I have seen of Mulcair, and from talking to him at a Town Hall, I am confient Harper's tactics aren't going to work.

As Lincoln said, and I think Mulcair believes, "you can't fool all the people, all the time". I feel pretty confident that this guy knows how to fight and that the NDP will learn to do the same.

Stockholm

Debater wrote:

The Liberals and Conservatives both voted AGAINST the NDP & BQ motion to increase Bill 101.

The Quebec Liberal party has voted for it...last time I checked they were federalists...I have a lot of English-speaking family in montreal - none of them give a hoot about whether or not francophones have a right to speak French in federally regulated workplaces. Its the usual Liberal strategy - when all else fails try to press a magic button and restore the issues and modd of the 1970s...these issues have no resonance anymore.

Debater

We're talking about Federal politics - not Provincial politics.  The NDP is the only federal party that voted with the BQ on increasing Bill 101.  Don't think the Conservatives aren't going to use that against Mulcair in the rest of Canada after he becomes leader.

And language laws are still a big issue in Quebec - they're in the news every week.

http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/03/08/jonathan-kay-quebecs-cree...

Incidentally, as Chantal Hébert wrote in a column recently, if the PQ gets back into power, it could help the Federal Liberals because the old separatist vs. federalist rivalry could begin again and drive up support for the Liberals.

Lou Arab Lou Arab's picture

Debater discussing 308dotcom wrote:

Incidentally, his supposition on the NDP Quebec seats is bizarre to say the least.  It doesn't make sense that the NDP would be reduced to only 1 or 2 seats if Mulcair didn't become leader, nor does it make sense that the NDP would retain all 58 seats if he did become leader.  The likely number will probably be somewhere in between.

For once, I am on the same wavelength as Debater.

I'm no statistician, but this guy's methodology is crazy.

Here is my example: his Alberta projections for the NDP are based on a projection of the party getting 12.3% of the vote.  I asked him how he came to that figure, since the last twelve published opinion polls had the NDP between 13-16%.  His reply was that he 'adjusted' the NDP figure because he assumes the NDP will drop in a campaign.

This qualifies as statistical analysis?

This guy gets published in the Globe and Mail?

How does this happen?

Sorry for the thread drift. But it drives me nuts.

Stockholm

...of course and that's why federal Liberals are now reduced to being a party of pyromaniacs - desperately hoping that a national unity crisis erupts and that old polarization lines re-emerge. Its pretty sad that the party of Pierre Trudeau that identifies so strongly with keeping Canada united - openly hopes for a growth in sovereignist sentiment and new crisis - just so their party can possibly pick up a few seats. FOR SHAME!!!

Stockholm

Debater wrote:

The NDP is the only federal party that voted with the BQ on increasing Bill 101.  Don't think the Conservatives aren't going to use that against Mulcair in the rest of Canada after he becomes leader.

He can try that...but it would also be lethal to Harper's chances of re-electing any Tory Mps at all in Quebec. Besides the man who decided to recognize Quebec as a "nation" is on pretty thin ice if he attacks the NDP for supporting protecting the French language in Quebec. In any case, people outside of Quebec don't give a damn about language legislation that only applies in Quebec...as long as the farmer in Sask isn't personally being forced to speak French - what does he care?

NorthReport

25 posts out of the 90 posts in this thread for one poster so far - some folks think that constantly repeating the same silliness is going to convince more people. I would suggest the reverse. 

adma

algomafalcon wrote:

I wonder if any of the newly elected NDP caucus were ever federal Conservatives (who defected to the BQ)? Or are they all to young for that?

Well, given that people like Nick Auf der Maur ran for the federal Tories in '84, it certainly isn't *un*likely...

janfromthebruce

Thank you for getting my "snark" and discomfort and finally negativity related to the constant and it is constant Mulcair love-in. Humility comes to mind and was an important characteristic of Jack.

Brachina wrote:
janfromthebruce wrote:

illusions of Mulcair grandeur dancing in his supporter heads - geez, oh please give it a rest. It's feeling like NDP voter suppression.  On a different note, once "new Tommy" wins, I can kick back in my rural riding and do little on the campaign trail, well nothing because my time, energy and $$ won't be needed. Goodie, we'll just reap the "instant love-in poll factor" and win win win.

So Mulcair comes calling I'll say, well you are the socialist newest mesiah.

I understand your frustration Jan, Brian Topp is smart and has alot of wonderful traits and good ideas, but that doesn't seem to be counting for much and that doesn't seem fair. The same could be true of Niki Ashton and other leadership contenders as well, who have some wonderful ideas and strengths and it may seem unfair that Quebecers don't seem to care. So in the interest of party unity I say which policies I like best from each current contender. Nathan Cullen I like his position on the Northern Gateway Pipeline. Ashton I like her idea for a generic drug crown corp which is tied with her ideas for greater access to justice. Nash I like her ideas on encouraging innovation and investment. Dewar I like his support for the energy grid and his idea for party unity which invovles meetings and an exchange of ideas with his rivals. Singh I like his ideas on enterpurnialism and his template for Pharmacare which is the most detail and well thought out promise of this race. Topp I like his focus on the income gap and how he made income taxes a real issue. Mulcair I like his platform on affordable housing and fair trade. Just an effort to build an air of positivity and mutual respect.
______________________________________________________________________________________ Our kids live together and play together in their communities, let's have them learn together too!

Brachina

Debater wrote:

AC, you can't be serious.  The NDP supporters here do that to the Liberals all the time.

Anyway, what do you think Harper's method of attack against Mulcair will be?  What will be his multi-million dollar attack ad strategy against Mulcair in the way he did it to Ignatieff and Dion?

With all the election scandals and voter suppression headlines, Harper maybe more reluctant to try this again, the possiblity of blow back is greater, and as is the possiblity that a major negative ad campaign will remind people of roboscandal. People are starting to get fed up with Harpers tactics and dirty play and his getting really close to crossing the tolerance level for his own voters. Especially given the new official opposition party has a clean record and much greater public confedence on ethics issues.

Jacob Two-Two

I agree that this would be a bad strategy for them, but I'm thinking they might not be able to help themselves. This has become such a knee-jerk conservative playbook response they might be too pre-programmed in their thinking to realise that they won't be successful. That would be awesome if they do. 

David Young

New polling results show that the Nova Scotia NDP leads the other parties handily with 45% voter support.

The re-election of the NDP government in Nova Scotia would be a credibility boost to the federal NDP, wouldn't it?

 

socialdemocrati...

I read Eric Grenier / 308. But it's entertainment. Pornography for statisticians. I love numbers, but reading polls is an art, not a science.

His methods are mindlessly scientific. That is, he takes data, runs it through the model, and gets the result. But when an election is called he (the model) is always wrong. In a province of significant size, he's really wrong. In a close call situation, he's really really really wrong.

The problem isn't that he's biased or that he's a hack. The problem is the data he's using. Every election is different.

Let me give you an example.

His analysis of the NDP race is based on a model that Nate Silver (the 538) used for some American primaries, retrofitted to conform to data from the past few NDP leadership conventions. Scientifically, it makes a lot of sense. You input the voting numbers from as many past ballots as you can find, you input the endorsement numbers from past leadership conests, then you try to assign weights to the endorsements to understand how they get there. Then you assume (big assumption) that the endorsements in 2012 will have the same impact as they did in the past 30 years.

But the numbers aren't really going to line up. How do you scientifically factor in the change from 25% affiliated members to one-member one-vote? How do you scientifically factor in the increased media scrutiny? How do you scientifically factor in the sudden increase in Quebec MPs, and the conventional wisdom that bilingualism is now essential? How do you factor in the numerous Liberal and non-NDP sources that are chattering about Nathan Cullen?

How about the 50% increase in new members -- scientifically we have to assume they'll vote a lot like the old members, but common sense says they'll do anything but.

Again, the science is good, even when he starts making adjustments "because I'm correcting for past systemic errors". But the problem is the data. (In America, the data is better because polling is more frequent, because there are only two major parties, and because the regionalized data tends to be more detailed.)

It's like a high school kid trying to figure out if a girl likes him by reading a two line text message. You can do all the analysis you want, but you just don't have the right information.

Doesn't mean it's not fun.

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