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Posts Tagged ‘41st General Election’

Newman and Spector: Election Speculation From Two Wise Men

January 1st, 2010 | 7 Comments

Two important columns in as many days from a couple of wise men three time zones apart have me taking the possibility of a spring election seriously. Don Newman is arguing in a column on the CBC Website that the Prime Minister’s prorogation is setting the stage for a spring election. And Norman Spector followed up with a column for the Globe and Mail Politics Online section, circling Tuesday April 13 as the most likely date.

I’ve taken most of the election scares over the past year with a grain of salt (even the one last September, when it put me distinctly in the minority), but the strategy and timeline proposed by Newman and Spector seem plausible now, even if they’re fraught with some risk for the Prime Minister, and are being pooh-poohed by at least one Conservative insider.

I do have a small quibble with the date currently on Mr. Spector’s column, however, because it doesn’t fit the provisions of the Elections Act. Easter Monday is April 5 this year, not April 12. Thus even though the Globe and Mail online corrected the original date from Tuesday, April 12 to Tuesday, April 13 this morning, they were right the first time. Elections have to be held on a Monday (per s.57 of the Elections Act), unless the Monday is a holiday which is the only time they can be pushed to Tuesday. Thus, April 12 would have been the correct date alright, they just corrected the wrong part of the headline.

An election for Monday, April 12 would have to be called on or before Sunday March 7 to allow a 36-day writ. The Prime Minister is calling Parliament back for a Speech from the Throne on Wednesday March 3, with a budget to be tabled the next day on Thursday March 4. Impolitical is suggesting tonight that the budget could contain a measure to eliminate the public subsidies of political parties, which the government has certainly been pretty forthright about including in their next election platform for some time. However, Spector is not suggesting the P.M. would let the budget go to a vote; he’s arguing that Mr. Harper would go straight to the Governor-General, and ask to have Parliament dissolved and an election called.

So, how ready are the parties, cash-wise?

  • We’ll find out how well they did in the 4th quarter fundraising results by the end of January.
  • The next installment of the public subsidy allowance is due on Monday, and will cover the period from October to December, 2009. The quarterly allowance for January to March of 2010 is payable on or around April 1.
  • Central election expense rebates will have already been paid out to the parties’ headquarters. But not every candidate rebate has been paid out from the last campaign yet. Using the number of candidate returns reviewed by Elections Canada versus the number still in “as-submitted” form as a rough indicator, we get the following estimates:
    • Conservatives: 196 reviewed / 307 submitted (307 candidates; 300 rebate eligible)
    • Liberals: 133 returns reviewed / 298 submitted (307 candidates; 270 rebate eligible)
    • Greens: 119 reviewed / 291 submitted (303 candidates; 41 rebate eligible)
    • NDP: 105 reviewed / 304 submitted (308 candidates; 243 rebate eligible)
    • BQ: 61 reviewed / 75 submitted (75 candidates; 71 rebate eligible)

    Of course, not all the unreviewed candidates could have expected rebates either, so I’ll have to take a closer look shortly at how many rebatable candidates have not had their returns reviewed as yet.

  • We don’t know what the parties’ debt situation is at the end of 2009, and won’t until their financial statements are filed at the end of June 2010. Some reporting will have to be done to see what the Liberals, NDP and Greens have to say about this now (over to you, Parliamentary Press Gallery). I don’t believe either the Conservatives or Bloc took out any loans to finance the 2008 election campaign, beyond lines of credit repayable out of their central rebates.
  • We also won’t know about the riding associations’ bank balances at the end of 2009 until the end of May 2010, either. Indeed lots and lots of ridings have still not even filed their mandatory annual returns for 2008 which were due this past May 2009 (all numbers for “as submitted” state, as none have yet been posted in “as reviewed” state):
    • NDP: 279 of 307 registered electoral district associations have filed their required 2008 annual returns to date
    • Conservatives: 264 of 308 registered EDAs have filed, as have
    • Liberals: 254 of 308 registered EDAs
    • Greens: 159 of 239 registered EDAs [UPDATE: I'm advised that only 200 EDAs were registered as of May 31, 2009, however. This filing obligation would have applied to active EDAs at the end of December, 2008, which could have been fewer still, but I haven't done a thorough count by date myself.]
    • BQ: 56 of 56 registered EDAs

    I’ll try and assemble a picture of their net worth at the end of 2008, but it won’t be a very consistent indicator, since different associations will have been in different states of recovering from the election by the end of December of that year.

Also relevant to readiness is the number of candidates nominated, which is now at the top of my list of new year’s resolutions to catch up on.

Finally, there are a few outstanding legal issues affecting the financial situation of several political parties.

First is the case of L.G. (Gerry) Callaghan et al. v. the Chief Electoral Officer, also known as the “In and out” case, the hearings for which were being tweeted by Glen McGregor for the Ottawa Citizen before the holidays. A successful outcome for the Conservative candidates’ official agents would result in the payment of remaining disputed candidate rebates for the 2004 and 2006 elections to certain Conservative candidates. A successful outcome for Elections Canada could result in a finding that the Conservative Party overspent the limit in 2006. I don’t know when a ruling is expected.

Second is the case apparently just decided late yesterday in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice between the Conservative Party’s chief financial officer and the Chief Electoral Officer. The former sought to return a portion of the party’s central rebates for the 2004 and 2006 elections to the CEO, arguing that the amount of GST for which they received a rebate from the Canada Revenue Agency as a non-profit organization, reduced their effective election expenses in 2004 and 2006, and thus the amount of the central rebate to which they were entitled based on those expenses.

Key to the case’s implications is the fact that the Liberal Party also applied for such GST rebates, and could thus also be obligated to return a portion of its rebates, estimated at a half a million dollars or more. Unclear would be the situation for other political parties who never requested their GST payments be rebated by the CRA such as the NDP, according to Bruce Cheadle’s story for the Canadian Press last September.

A successful outcome for the Conservatives could also see calculations of their central spending for 2004 and 2006 reduced by that amount, either reducing or eliminating altogether their risk in being found to have exceeded the 2006 spending limit as a result of the first case.

The ruling is still not published, and it’s as yet unclear whether Elections Canada will file any appeal. I don’t know if any other political parties had standing in the proceedings, or would seek it in an appeal, but I’m not a lawyer and so that’s as much as I can discern about things at this stage without reading the ruling.

We are just learning about it now, because after an email bulletin was sent from Conservative Party headquarters to their own members, the victory was tweeted by Wild Rose, AB Conservative M.P. Blake Richards, then retweeted by Conservative spin doctor Tim Powers, and picked up on by the CBC’s Kady O’Malley, shortly after which the bulletin itself was sent to Paul Wells who blogged it late Thursday night. I expect we’ll see the first mainstream media coverage of the story either Saturday or Monday.

So, that’s where we are on the election watch front on the first day of 2010. Happy New Year to one and all.

Target Practice for the NDP and Conservatives: HST Campaign

December 8th, 2009 | 9 Comments

The NDP launched a campaign last Friday with a radio buy, website, web ads, a joint federal-provincial leaders news conference in Ottawa and probably mailings and/or print ads, all focused on the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) votes being held this week in Parliament.

What was unusual about this announcement, at least compared with past practice, is that they named the ridings they’re targetting (opens video; fast-forward to 1:05): 10 Conservative-held ridings, 5 each in Ontario and British Columbia (see below).

The move appears designed to meet multiple simultaneous objectives:

  1. first, obviously is to raise the party’s concerns about the shift in the tax base from business to consumers being accelerated by the HST, and to urge public action to block its implementation
  2. second, they are trying to recast their own positioning on taxation, and raise questions about the Conservatives’ positioning as tax-cutters, amongst the group of voters who swing between their two parties: primary resource and secondary manufacturing workers and retirees who are being squeezed in the current economic climate
  3. also they may want to demonstrate, after the Conservatives targetted opposition-held rural and remote ridings with mailings and radio ads about the long-gun registry vote, that two can play the same game; and also to
  4. build support and local organization for their early-nominated candidates in those ridings (and perhaps give a bit of support to neighbouring first-time incumbents)
  5. take the opportunity to mute the future usefulness of strategic voting strategies against them by demonstrating that their vote and potential support doesn’t only switch between the NDP and Liberals, and
  6. subtly try to recast the public debate on this issue, and no doubt others in the future, as being between the NDP and Conservatives

At first blush it’s a bold approach, particularly when most insta-pundits use narrow margins as a proxy for the winnability of ridings, and assume that an issue being raised potentially months or years away from an election will have no impact later on. [Not raising any issues until the eve of the election is another strategy, I suppose, but I'd wager it's even less effective.] Yet the NDP has apparently picked ridings where it placed third last time (4 of the 10 seats) or has large margins to make up in order to win.

Once it was decided to target Conservative seats, the choice of ridings could be reasonably guessed by looking at the list of the NDP’s best Conservative-won seats in 2008, by vote-share, for both Ontario and British Columbia. The party has held all but 3 of the 10 at some point in the last 20 years federally. And Leader Jack Layton personally attended the nomination meetings of 5 of the 8 currently nominated candidates, according to my notes, and many of these communities were also visited during the party’s spring task forces on the recession and recovery, so they’ve evidently had the seats in mind for some time.

Where the 2008 margins were large in BC, they often represented Liberal voters who stayed home or switched to the Conservatives (as suggested in an earlier analysis of BC voting patterns), and short of those Liberals returning home, the NDP needed a new strategy to shrink the Conservative vote in those ridings.

In Ontario, they’ve picked their only unheld seat in the northwest, and four seats in southwestern Ontario who’ve been hit by the decline in the manufacturing sector, and where the party had reasonably strong local campaigns in 2008 and has strong local candidates in place. While the party’s vote dropped somewhat across southwestern Ontario in the last election, I did notice a lot of movement back and forth between the NDP and Conservatives in the southwest during the daily tracking polls of a number of pollsters over the course of the campaign.

So, by an incrementalist narrow-margin approach to targetting seats, not all these would be next on their list. But one thing long-time stalwarts of all parties learned in 1993 is that hot-buttons and a desire for change can make large margins melt away. We may not be there yet, but political veterans also know not to wait for opportunities to appear, they work to create them and to be ready to maximize their advantage.

As a sidebar, it’s also nice to see that 3 of the 10 ridings being targetted by the NDP have nominated women candidates (and 2 of the 3 are aboriginal women candidates). On the other side of the balance sheet, 3 of the Conservative MPs being targetted are women.

Riding
Nominated Cons & NDP
Contest
2008 %Mrg
2008
Cons
2008
NDP
2008
Lib
St. Catharines, ON
DYKSTRA, Richard (Rick) (M)
WILLIAMS, Mike (M)
Cons-Lib
17.2%
45.9% 18.4% 28.6%
Elgin – Middlesex – London, ON
PRESTON, Joseph (Joe) (M)
DOLBY, Ryan (M)
Cons-Lib
24.9%
48.4% 19.2% 23.5%
Sarnia – Lambton, ON
DAVIDSON, Patricia (Pat) A. (F)
SINOPOLE, Crissy (F)
Cons-NDP
28.4%
50.0% 21.6% 20.3%
Essex, ON
WATSON, Jeff (M)
NATYSHAK, Taras (M)
Cons-Lib
10.9%
40.0% 26.6% 29.1%
Kenora, ON
RICKFORD, Greg (M)
CAMERON, Tania (F)
Cons-Lib
8.8%
40.5% 23.2% 31.6%
Cariboo – Prince George, BC
HARRIS, Richard (Dick) (M)
[none as yet; Bev Collins in 2008]
Cons-NDP
29.5%
55.4% 25.9% 10.5%
Kamloops – Thompson – Cariboo, BC
MCLEOD, Cathy (F)
CRAWFORD, Michael (M)
Cons-NDP

10.3%
46.2% 35.9% 9.8%
Surrey North, BC
CADMAN, Dona Marie M. (F)
SANDHU, Jasbir (M)
Cons-NDP
3.2%
39.4% 36.2% 15.0%
Pitt Meadows – Maple Ridge – Mission, BC
KAMP, Randy (M)
[David Murray is announced]
Cons-NDP
18.8%
51.8% 33.0% 6.6%
Vancouver Island North, BC
DUNCAN, John M. (M)
BELL, Catherine J. (F)
Cons-NDP
4.4%
45.8% 41.4% 4.2%

I’m trying to assemble a comparable list of ridings that were targetted by the Conservatives with their long-gun registry ads and mailings on policy towards Israel, for future posts in this series. If anyone can point me to such lists, please do get in touch.

2008 Candidate Financial Returns: Latest Data

November 30th, 2009 | 2 Comments

I’ve just finished making a pass-through, updating the database with the latest version of each candidate’s 2008 financial return information from Elections Canada. Both the Bloc Québécois and Conservatives are substantially through the review process, while the Liberals, Greens and NDP returns are taking longer for Elections Canada to get through.

This increases substantially from last time the number of 2008 candidate returns in the Pundits’ Guide database, meaning that the summary financial data on the Browse Parties page for this election is starting to be a lot more reliable. For example, we can now see that:

  • With 9 returns yet to be filed or entered into the Elections Canada database, the Liberals seem to have spent around 50% of their 2008 candidate spending limits overall, which is down roughly 10 percentage points from 2006, and down 25 percentage points from 2004. Fewer than 1 in 3 of their candidates spent over 75% of the limit in 2008, unlike 2006 when over half their candidates ran fully-funded campaigns. And while just over 50% of their candidates spent over 50% the limit in 2008, that metric is down from 87% in 2004.
  • With 7 returns yet to be filed or entered into the Elections Canada database, the NDP was on track to spend around 25% of its 2008 candidate spending limits overall, roughly the same as in both 2004 and 2006. 36/308 candidates spent over 75% of the spending limit in their riding, while 66 spent over 50% (up slightly from 54 in 2004 and 61 in 2006).
  • With 12 returns yet to be filed or entered into the Elections Canada database, the Green Party looks to have more than doubled its candidate spending in 2008, moving from 3% or so in both 2004 and 2006 to some 7% in 2008. 4/303 candidates spent greater than 75% of the limit, while 7/303 spent 50% or more.
  • All the Bloc Québécois returns are filed, and all but 15/75 have already been reviewed. Their spending patterns were not significantly different in 2008 from 2006.
  • With just 1 return yet to be filed or entered into the Elections Canada database, the Conservatives again dominated candidate election spending, and in fact increased their own percent spent from 69% in 2006 to 72% or more in 2008. Fully 170/308 of their candidates spent 75% of the riding spending limit or more (the same number as in 2006), with 248/307 spending 50% of the limit or more.

As more returns move from “as submitted” to “as reviewed” status and I get a chance to enter the amended figures, we’ll have an even clearer picture of what the candidates spent and where.

Remember that this is candidate spending, according to the candidate financial returns, and is in addition to the central spending done by party headquarters and already reported by them six months after Election Day. In the Browse Parties financial table, the national spending is on the left, and doesn’t change as you drill down further by region, while the candidate spending is found on the right, and does show regional subsets as you drill down.

# of Candidate Returns by Status, by Party, 2008 General Election

Party Party Name Not
In
As
Sub
As
Rev
Ran in
2008 GE
Lib Liberal Party of Canada 9 183 114 307
NDP New Democratic Party 7 213 88 308
Grn Green Party of Canada 12 199 92 303
BQ Bloc Québécois 15 60 75
Cons Conservative Party of Canada 1 118 188 307
PC Progressive Canadian Party 1 4 5 10
Ind Indep/No Affil 13 34 24 71
1st First Peoples National Party 2 4 6
Anml Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party 1 3 4
CAP Canadian Action Party 4 8 8 20
CHP Christian Heritage Party 2 32 25 59
CPC Communist Party of Canada 24 24
Lbtn Libertarian Party of Canada 2 14 10 26
Marj Marijuana Party 1 7 8
M-L Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada 15 44 59
N1st Newfoundland and Labrador First Party 1 2 3
PPP People’s Political Power Party 2 2
Rhin neoRhino.ca 4 3 7
WBlk Western Block Party 1 1
WrkL Work Less Party 1 1

Guest Post: Election Economics

September 14th, 2009 | 8 Comments

Tonight, while I work on the nomination news for you, a guest-post by former Canwest News Service National Economics Writer, Eric Beauchesne, cross-posted from the Beauconomics blog.

—————————-

Election Economics

by Eric Beauchesne

A fall election is just what the economy needs.

Despite claims to the contrary, a fall election would boost, not hurt the economic recovery.

Based on the impact of last year’s October election on the economy, which was then sliding into recession, an election this fall would create some 40,000 full-time jobs across the country.

“With the federal election in mid-October, there were large employment gains in public administration, spread across most provinces,” Statistics Canada noted in an analysis of the employment changes during that month last year. “Most of the increase was among occupations related to the election process.”

“At the same time, employment declined in accommodation and food services,” it also noted in its analysis released in the month following the election. “There was little change for all other industries.”

And that doesn’t include any other positive impact on economic output and employment in both the public and private sectors leading up to and during an election such as that generated by the boost in political advertising at the riding and national levels and travel by candidates and their media contingents.

Further, economists have already dismissed the threat of any economic damage resulting from political uncertainty generated by an election.

Moreover, even another minority government wouldn’t add to the uncertainty as both the two main parties are basically committed to maintaining the current levels of economic stimulus and don’t diverge much on other economic issues.

True, the boost in employment and election related spending would be temporary, but so are government stimulus packages.

And, like other forms of government stimulus, the election related economic boost would help extend the recovery in the domestic side of the economy until the global economic recovery strengthens to the point that it begins to provide some stimulus to the export side of the economy.

Nomination News To Close Out The Summer

September 1st, 2009 | 4 Comments

As the pre-session posturing starts to pick up, so does the pace of nominations activity. I’m really going to try and keep up with it all, particularly as these stats are now being cited in a number of media outlets and blogs these days.

  • Cypress Hills – Grasslands, SK – Greens met this past Saturday, August 29 to hold a contested nomination in this riding at the southwest corner of Saskatchewan, and picked IT manager Chris Carnell as their candidate for the coming election. Carnell will be facing four-time Conservative M.P. David L. Anderson.
  • Nanaimo – Cowichan, BC – Further west, Conservatives met on the same day in this middle Vancouver Island seat to decide between their nomination candidates, and John Koury came out the victor, reports the Cowichan News Leader and Pictorial. Koury previously ran for the Conservatives in Esquimalt – Juan de Fuca, BC in 2004 in a campaign that garnered a little media attention. His new riding is currently represented by three-term NDP M.P. Jean Crowder. Thanks to several readers who got in touch to let us know about this one.
  • Manicouagan, QC – I originally had a note that the meeting was scheduled for August 29, but it now appears to have been deferred. Charles Dufour, an aide to Senator Francis Fox, is in the running, as is north shore community development advocate André Forbes. The riding is currently represented by five-term Bloc Québécois M.P. Gérard Asselin.
  • Abitibi – Baie-James – Nunavik – Eeyou, QC – On Sunday, August 30, Liberals did meet next door in this most northerly seat in Québec to acclaim as expected Val d’Or engineer Léandre Gervais. The riding is currently represented by three-term Bloc Québécois M.P. Yvon Lévesque, but it was up-in-the-air earlier this week whether he would run again, and whether he would be contested for his nomination. By the following day, Lévesque was downplaying the rumours, maintaining his intention to run again, and chalking the whole thing up to Denis Coderre’s recent visit to town for the Liberal nomination. Still the situation warrants us keeping an eye out for further developments. Meanwhile New Democrats have tried several times to woo Cree leader Romeo Saganash to run for them in this riding, if you can believe what you read on Babble, but apparently the timing of the last election was no good for him.
  • Mégantic – L’Érable, QC – Meanwhile, as just noted, the Liberals have lost a candidate in this eastern townships riding over a policy dispute on asbestos. Marc Giroux was only just nominated on August 17, but Liberal Québec lieutenant Denis Coderre says that he will have a candidate in that riding, and that the Liberal candidate in the neighbouring riding of Richmond – Arthabaska where another asbestos mine is situated, Louis Bérubé, is still on board. The riding is currently held by Conservative Québec lieutenant and two-term M.P. Christian Paradis.
  • Parry Sound – Muskoka, ON – This contested Liberal nomination meeting was slated to take place on Sunday, August 30. However, I can’t locate any news about its outcome, or whether it was deferred. If you know, please take a second and get in touch. The riding is now represented by two-term Conservative M.P. Tony Clement. Computer consultant and jazz musician Doug Banwell, a former aide in the Ontario Rae government, lawyer Shawn Pudsey, and former journalist Leigh Beal were in the running for the Liberal nod, as we reported here last week.
  • Lotbinière – Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, QC – The meeting also appears to have been rescheduled since I last compiled the list of Liberal nomination meetings; originally I had it for Monday, August 31, but in fact it’s tonight. The riding is currently held by two-term Conservative M.P. Jacques Gourde.
  • Ottawa West – Nepean, ON – Again, here’s a Liberal meeting I had down as occurring Monday, but can’t find any evidence of either the meeting or the outcome in Google. Former Liberal M.P. David Pratt was expected to be acclaimed. The riding is currently represented by two-term Conservative M.P. John Baird.

In other nomination news:

  • Cumberland – Colchester – Musquodoboit Valley, NS – A poster on this Babble thread reports that the CCMV NDP is about to interview a series of candidates, and will announce a nomination meeting sometime thereafter. One Babbler has calculated a transposition of the provincial results onto the federal boundaries and compared them with the 2008 federal results, and finds that the NDP could do much better in this seat than it ever has if those results are indeed translatable. The seat was vacated when Independent M.P. Bill Casey resigned his seat in order to take a job representing the provincial government in Ottawa. Already nominated is Conservative candidate Scott Armstrong, while the Liberals have a contested nomination race under way between 2008 candidate Tracy Parsons and farmer Jim Burrows slated for Saturday, September 12.
  • Portneuf – Jacques-Cartier, QC – The Bloc Québécois has independent MP André Arthur in its sights, leader Gilles Duceppe told Le Soleil from a newser in Rimouski. 20
    08 candidate Richard Côté is set to be renominated on Sunday, September 6, and Duceppe claims they will be able to make up the 600 margin this time around. No Liberal candidate is officially nominated as yet, and still unclear is whether the Conservatives intend to run a candidate against Arthur this time (they didn’t in 2008). We previous ran down the riding’s history here.
  • Don Valley West, ON – Thanks to a reader for confirming that John Carmichael was acclaimed the Conservative candidate here again this past July 12, 2009. Carmichael will face newly elected Liberal M.P. Rob Oliphant.
  • Toronto Centre, ON – We earlier reported that 2008 Willowdale NDP candidate Susan Wallace has moved downtown and announced her candidacy for the nomination in this riding. Since then the nomination meeting has been scheduled for Friday, September 11, according to this Facebook event listing. Wallace is expected to be acclaimed and will then face former NDP-turned-Liberal M.P. Bob Rae.
  • Trinity – Spadina, ON – A reader has just written to advise that the NDP nomination in this neighbouring riding has been set for Tuesday, September 22. It’s expected that two-term NDP M.P. Olivia Chow will be acclaimed. Already nominated in this riding are 2008 Liberal candidate Christine Innes and Green Party candidate Stephen La Frenie.
  • Mississauga – Streetsville, ON – We earlier reported on the recruitment of municipal councillor Sue McFadden to run for the Conservative nomination in this riding. Now we learn from the Liberal Scarf blog (whose author hails from Mississauga) that former Liberal-turned-Conservative M.P. Wajid Khan has announced he won’t be running again and is supporting McFadden “110%”, according to a story in the Mississauga News where Khan reflects on his political career. He was defeated by first-time Liberal M.P. Bonnie Crombie in 2008.
  • Perth – Wellington, ON – A commenter on that same blog reports that no Liberal candidate has been identified in this riding as yet. The riding is currently held by four-term Conservative M.P. Gary Schellenberger.
  • Richmond, BC – We earlier reported that Raymond Chan was hoping to win back the Liberal nomination in his old seat, but would have to get past new challenger Mason Loh first. Now we learn courtesy of a reader on the west coast that another former M.P. in that riding, Joe Peschisolido, is running for the nomination as well. Peschisolido ran for the Reform Party in Mississauga South, ON in 1997 and then ran for the Canadian Alliance leadership. He got elected as an Alliance M.P. in Richmond, BC in 2000, defeating then-Liberal M.P. Raymond Chan. However former Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chrétien lured him across the floor, and he ran for the Liberal nomination in 2004 ultimately losing to Chan. It seems the long-standing rivalry between these two men is set to continue. The riding is currently represented by first-term Conservative M.P. Alice Wong. The riding is over 50% Chinese in ethnicity, ranked #1 in the country on that measure.
  • Saanich – Gulf Islands, BC – The Green Party has now approved the candidacy of Stuart Hertzog, and he is thus eligible to contest the Green Party nomination against leader Elizabeth May on Saturday, September 19 in this riding. The contested Liberal nomination meeting will be held a week earlier on September 12. The seat is currently held by long-time Conservative M.P. Gary Lunn.

In other Québec Conservative nomination news, Le Nouvelliste is reporting that the Conservatives are “on the hunt” for candidates in eastern Québec, but so far only a few names are surfacing publicly. The party’s regional organizer says that there are several ways of doing things in politics, and the Conservatives will be waiting in many cases until the election is called to announce its candidates, as they do not want their names revealed yet. However, a few names are being speculated on in a few ridings:

  • Bas-Richelieu – Nicolet – Bécancour, QC – 2008 Conservative candidate Réjean Bériault has made no secret of the fact that he wants to run against long-time Bloc Québécois M.P. Louis Plamondon. We earlier reported on the celebrations planned for Plamondon’s 25th anniversary as an M.P. this coming September 4th, and how he hasn’t clarified his future plans as yet. To date Bériault is the only declared candidate for the Conservative nomination.
  • Berthier – Maskinongé, QC – This riding is also said to be ready to be “opened” for a Conservative nomination meeting, although no names are reported. It’s currently held by three-term Bloc Québécois M.P. Guy André, and the Liberals nominated Francine Gaudet by acclamation last week.
  • Trois-Rivières, QC – This riding has not yet been “opened”, but is interviewing the applications of several potential candidates. It is currently represented by three-term Bloc Québécois M.P. Paule Brunelle.
  • Saint-Maurice – Champlain, QC – This riding is also said not to be ready for applications yet. While 2008 Conservative candidate Stéphane Roof remains active with the riding association, he has decided to run municipally this fall. The riding is currently represented by two-term Bloc Québécois M.P. Jean-Yves Laforest, and France Beaulieu was recently acclaimed for the Liberal nomination.

If you have nomination or candidate news to pass along, drop me a line. And then follow along on Twitter.

List of Candidates who have stepped down

September 1st, 2009 | 7 Comments

LAST UPDATED: Friday January 8, 2010.

One of the most popular features of the last election was the list of candidates who stepped down. Since we’ve just had our first one for the 41st General Election Cycle, it’s time to resurrect that feature.

Prty Riding Candidate Reason for resigning Replaced by
Grn AB Calgary West Randy Weeks
Cons ON Markham – Unionville Gordon Landon comments regarding allocation of infrastructure spending
Lib QC Mégantic – L’Érable Marc Giroux policy disagreement
Grn QC Richmond – Arthabaska François Fillion switched ridings (to Mégantic – L’Érable) Tony Bombardier
Grn ON Halton Amy Collard family reasons Matt Gilgan
Grn ON Renfrew – Nipissing – Pembroke Benjamin Hoffman work commitments
Grn AB Edmonton – Spruce Grove Alison Beil family reasons
Lib ON Niagara West – Glanbrook Ivan Luksic took new job
Lib ON Newmarket – Aurora Margaret Black running again municipally
Cons ON Mississauga – Streetsville Sue McFadden running again municipally

Not officially nominated, but withdrawing themselves from running was: Nathalie Le Prohon (Lib – Jeanne Le Ber – Dec 20, 2009).

I learned my lesson this time, though, and will be maintaining the list in my own database as well, along with the date, and the URL for the information source. As time permits, I’ll try and add that to the site.

If you information to update this list with, please get in touch.

Your Online Sources for the 41st General Election

August 30th, 2009 | 0 Comments

We mentioned the other day that the Election Prediction Project has set up its new site for the forthcoming election.

Now, it’s been joined by democraticSpace’s latest election prediction site.

One new feature is that we’re all linking to one another this time. The riding profile pages at Pundits’ Guide contains links to the Election Prediction Project 2009 Election page Election Prediction Project page for the same riding, which in turn contain links to older predictions for the same riding and a link back to the Pundits’ Guide page. (There’s still a little kink to iron out between Simcoe North and Simcoe – Grey, but we’ll get there.)

Same goes for democraticSpace 2009 Election page democraticSpace. He doesn’t link internally, so I’ve included direct links to both the 2008 and 2009 prediction sites oh wait, he does now, I just noticed!

Meanwhile NoDice.ca has been reincarnated as ElectionAlmanac.com, and is also set to go for the forthcoming election. The Election Almanac doesn’t have riding-specific pages, so I just have it on my Links page instead.

Some new participants in the online community are:

  • ThreeHundredEight.com which uses the published national and regional polls to generate seat projections
  • Canadian Election Watch a very new blog being written by “an exiled Quebecer” and “twenty-something expat living in the United States” which produces seat projections based on current polls with a bit of the author’s own commentary added
  • PoliTwitter.ca which tracks the Twitter activity of individual MPs, Senators, journalists and other political actors and observers (including yours truly), including stats, a directory, and rankings
  • TweetCommons.com which tracks the Twitter conversations between tweeting politicians and others

As soon as I have a second to expand on my Candidate index pages, I’ll be cross-referencing there with Trevor May’s PoliTwitter.ca pages (he’s already kindly linked to my riding profile pages, for example see Jason Kenney), and Cory Horner’s HowdTheyVote.ca pages (here’s the current top-talking MP Paul Szabo) which I notice that Trevor is also already linking to as well.

I’m also trying to get the Links page here into some kind of shape this morning. Some of it was horribly out of date (anyone remember “Mike Duffy Live” or “Politics with Don Newman”?), and the newer media compendia needed to be added in, along with links to the new mapping resources at GeoGratis.ca.