Last post at Talking Points

With Election 41 now a wrap, I’m returning to my regular blog channel, “A Few Tasteful Snaps.”  There, I will continue to indulge my fixation with data journalism and Canadian federal politics.

I’ve ported all the old Talking Points posts over there, if you need them for reference.



Talking Points 2011 election predictions

It takes a special kind of crazy to stand in a public square and loudly refute facts scientifically proven and obvious to all.

Think of the mapmakers who continued to insist, aainst astronomical evidence, the world ended where sea serpents swam and cherubs broke wind.  Imagine the nutcase who confronted astronaut Buzz Aldrin over his role in the massive conspiracy to fake the 1969 lunar landing.  Or the solitary Japanese soldiers on Pacific islands, who kept fighting W.W.II into the 8-track-tape era.

In the spirit of these hold-outs, flat-earthers and moon-deniers, Talking Points refuses to accept the growing mass of polling data that presages the NDP forming the official opposition or, in some scenarios, the government.

We just don’t believe.  So thin are résumés of NDP candidates in Quebec, so improvised is the party’s ground game, that they simply cannot get out enough votes to support the current seat projections in Quebec, some exceeding 50.

Similarly, we think pollsters have again underestimated the ballot-box commitment of Conservative voters, as they did in 2008. The base, this time, is older, grumpier, frightened and more determined to vote than opposition supporters.

At the risk of inducing an aneurism in Citizen colleague and prediction debunker Dan Gardner, here’s what Talking Points expects Monday, province by province. Riding-by-riding wild guesses follow the provincial summaries.

Come Tuesday morning, feel free to mock my ineptitude or laud my genius:

With wet blanket Danny Williams no longer a factor, the Conservatives will win back one seat from the Liberals, with Fabian Manning recapturing his old riding of Avalon.  But Liberal Siobhan Coady, a strong performer in the House of Commons, will hang on in St. John’s South–Mount Pearl.
CPC 1 (+1), LIB 5 (-1), NDP 1

Despite rumors of his demise, expect moderate Conservative Gerald Keddy to hang on to South Shore–St. Margaret’s. But the Orange Crush will claim Liberal Michael Savage and elect New Democrat Robert Chisholm in Dartmouth–Cole Harbour.
CPC 4, LIB 4 (-1), NDP 3 (+1)

Expect the Liberals to drop a pair to the Tories. Mulroney era cabinet minister Bernie Valcourt will skid past Jean Claude D’Amours in Madawaska-Restigouche. Brian Murphy will get pipped by Robert Goguen in Moncton – Riverview – Dieppe.
CPC 8 (+2), LIB 1 (-2), NDP 1

Former Liberal cabinet minister Wayne Easter will fall to Tory Tim Ogilvie.
CPC 2 (+1), LIBS 2 (-1)

Conservative Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq holds Nunavut and Liberal Larry Bagnall retains the Yukon. NDP’s Dennis Bevington clings to Western Arctic.
CPC 1, LIB 1, NDP 1

Voters’ comfort with NDP governments has to be a factor here.  In the Greater Moose Jaw area, New Democrat Noah Evanchuk will recapture an old NDP seat, Palliser, from the Conservatives, while Nettie Wiebe takes Saskatoon–Rosetown—Biggar from low-profile Tory Kelly Block. Liberal stalwart Ralph Goodale will barely hold onto Wascana, his party’s only seat in the province.
CPC 11 (-2), LIB 1, NDP 2 (+2)

Paint it blue, once more. Sure, there was a glimmer of Prague spring in Edmonton in 2008, but a full-court press from the Tory ground machine will help Ryan Hastman recapture Edmonton – Strathcona from the NDP.
CPC 28 (+1)

The rural-urban divide will preserve the status quo province-wide, except in Winnipeg-North where second time’s a charm for New Dem Rebecca Blaikie, daughter of Bill.
CPC 9, LIB 1 (-1), NDP 4 (+1)

Don’t buy the prediction of massive sea-to-sky change on the Lower Mainland. The NDP will pick off Surrey North from Conservative Dona Cadman, but that will be the only gainer.  Tory Ronald Leung will grab the NDP seat of Burnaby-Douglas vacated by Bill Siksay. Lib Ujjal Dosanjh will hold Vancouver South only by dint of Conservative Wai Young’s tragi-comic campaign.  On the Island, the Tories reclaim their rights to Esquimalt – Juan de Fuca after floor-crosser Keith Martin’s retirement.  Green Party leader Liz May strikes out against a cabinet minister for a second time as Conservative Gary Lunn holds Saanich – Gulf Islands.
CPC 23 (+1), LIB 4 (-1), NDP 9

Was the Orange Crush that began in Quebec a hilarious piece of performance art perpetrated on pollsters? Yep.  The NDP will have see a few breakthroughs – in Gatineau, Francoise Boivin should ride the wave to knock-off Blocquiste Richard Nadeau, and Nycole Turmel will upset Liberal Marcel Proulx. Tom Mulcair will hold Outremont, NDP rookie Tyrone Benskin will steal Jeanne-Le Ber from the Bloc. And the NDP’s Hoang Mai will snatch Brossard–La Prairie from the Liberals. Despite weak poll numbers province-wide, we think the Tories will hold pat by dropping two seats and gaining two others held by the Bloc.
CPC 11, LIB 12 (-2), NDP 5 (+4), BLOC 46 (-2), IND 1

The outcome of Election 41 was foreshadowed by the pre-writ leak of the Conservatives’ infamous “very ethnic” strategy to target multi-cult ridings, mostly around Toronto. On Monday, the Tories’ highly ironic use of long-form census data will pay off through Brampton and Mississauga.  Among the Liberal casualties in the GTA, expect to see Ruby Dhalla, Paul Szabo, Ken Dryden and Joe Volpe fall to Tories. Mario Silva and Gerard Kennedy will lose their Toronto seats to New Democrats.  Liberal Mark Holland in Ajax – Pickering will number among to survive the massacre.  Leader Michael Ignatieff should be fine in Etobicoke – Lakeshore, for what it’s worth.  Despite the drama in Simcoe-Grey, Conservative Kellie Leitch should dispatch Helena Guergis.  Around the capital, Liberal David Bertschi should edge out Conservative Royal Galiepeau in Ottawa – Orleans.  But expect incumbents to win all other Ontario seats in the National Capital.
CPC 58 (+7), LIB 29 (-8), NDP 19 (+2), IND 0 (-1)

Talking Points predicts a narrow Conservative majority government, triggering the immediate resignation of Michael Ignatieff. Despite increasing seat totals, New Democrats will emerge disappointed they will not form the official opposition, as pollsters anticipated. Jack Layton will retire before the next election. The Green Party will also search for a new leader.  Or, I could be completely wrong.
CPC 156 (+11), LIB 60 (-17), NDP 45 (+9), BLOC 46 (-2), INDY 1 (-1)

Riding by riding predictions (* indicates party change)

Calgary Centre Lee Richardson Cons. Lee Richardson Cons.
Calgary Centre-North Jim Prentice Cons. Michelle Rempel Cons.
Calgary East Deepak Obhrai Cons. Deepak Obhrai Cons.
Calgary Northeast Devinder Shory Cons. Devinder Shory Cons.
Calgary Southeast Jason Kenney Cons. Jason Kenney Cons.
Calgary Southwest Stephen Harper Cons. Stephen J Harper Cons.
Calgary West Rob Anders Cons. Robert Anders Cons.
Calgary–Nose Hill Diane Ablonczy Cons. Diane Ablonczy Cons.
Crowfoot Kevin Sorenson Cons. Kevin A Sorenson Cons.
Edmonton Centre Laurie Hawn Cons. Laurie Hawn Cons.
Edmonton East Peter Goldring Cons. Peter Goldring Cons.
Edmonton–Leduc James Rajotte Cons. James Rajotte Cons.
Edmonton–Mill Woods–Beaumont Mike Lake Cons. Mike Lake Cons.
Edmonton–Sherwood Park Tim Uppal Cons. Tim Uppal Cons.
Edmonton–Spruce Grove Rona Ambrose Cons. Rona Ambrose Cons.
Edmonton–St. Albert Brent Rathgeber Cons. Brent Rathgeber Cons.
Edmonton–Strathcona Linda Duncan NDP Ryan Hastman Cons.*
Fort McMurray–Athabasca Brian Jean Cons. Brian Jean Cons.
Lethbridge Rick Casson Cons. Jim Hillyer Cons.
Macleod Ted Menzies Cons. Ted Menzies Cons.
Medicine Hat LaVar Payne Cons. LaVar Payne Cons.
Peace River Chris Warkentin Cons. Chris Warkentin Cons.
Red Deer Earl Dreeshen Cons. Earl Dreeshen Cons.
Vegreville–Wainwright Leon Benoit Cons. Leon Benoit Cons.
Westlock–St. Paul Brian Storseth Cons. Brian Storseth Cons.
Wetaskiwin Blaine Calkins Cons. Blaine Calkins Cons.
Wild Rose Blake Richards Cons. Blake Richards Cons.
Yellowhead Rob Merrifield Cons. Rob Merrifield Cons.
British Columbia
Abbotsford Ed Fast Cons. Ed Fast Cons.
British Columbia Southern Interior Alex Atamanenko NDP Alex Atamanenko NDP
Burnaby–Douglas Bill Siksay NDP Ronald Leung Cons.*
Burnaby–New Westminster Peter Julian NDP Peter Julian NDP
Cariboo–Prince George Richard M. Harris Cons. Dick Harris Cons.
Chilliwack–Fraser Canyon Chuck Strahl Cons. Mark Strahl Cons.
Delta–Richmond East John Cummins Cons. Kerry-Lynne Findlay Cons.
Esquimalt–Juan de Fuca Keith Martin Lib. Troy DeSouza Cons.*
Fleetwood–Port Kells Nina Grewal Cons. Nina Grewal Cons.
Kamloops–Thompson–Cariboo Cathy McLeod Cons. Cathy McLeod Cons.
Kelowna–Lake Country Ron Cannan Cons. Ron Cannan Cons.
Kootenay–Columbia Jim Abbott Cons. David Wilks Cons.
Langley Mark Warawa Cons. Mark Warawa Cons.
Nanaimo–Alberni James Lunney Cons. James Lunney Cons.
Nanaimo–Cowichan Jean Crowder NDP Jean Crowder NDP
New Westminster–Coquitlam Fin Donnelly NDP Fin Donnelly NDP
Newton–North Delta Sukh Dhaliwal Lib. Sukh Dhaliwal Lib.
North Vancouver Andrew Saxton Cons. Andrew Saxton Cons.
Okanagan–Coquihalla Stockwell Day Cons. Dan Albas Cons.
Okanagan–Shuswap Colin Mayes Cons. Colin Mayes Cons.
Pitt Meadows–Maple Ridge–Mission Randy Kamp Cons. Randy Kamp Cons.
Port Moody–Westwood–Port Coquitlam James Moore Cons. James Moore Cons.
Prince George–Peace River Jay Hill Cons. Bob Zimmer Cons.
Richmond Alice Wong Cons. Alice Wong Cons.
Saanich–Gulf Islands Gary Lunn Cons. Gary Lunn Cons.
Skeena–Bulkley Valley Nathan Cullen NDP Nathan Paul Cullen NDP
South Surrey–White Rock–Cloverdale Russ Hiebert Cons. Russ Hiebert Cons.
Surrey North Dona Cadman Cons. Jasbir Sandhu NDP*
Vancouver Centre Hedy Fry Lib. Hedy Fry Lib.
Vancouver East Libby Davies NDP Libby Davies NDP
Vancouver Island North John Duncan Cons. John Duncan Cons.
Vancouver Kingsway Don Davies NDP Don Davies NDP
Vancouver Quadra Joyce Murray Lib. Joyce Murray Lib.
Vancouver South Ujjal Dosanjh Lib. Ujjal Dosanjh Lib.
Victoria Denise Savoie NDP Denise Savoie NDP
West Vancouver–Sunshine Coast–Sea to Sky Country John Weston Cons. John Weston Cons.
Brandon–Souris Merv Tweed Cons. Merv Tweed Cons.
Charleswood–St. James–Assiniboia Steven Fletcher Cons. Steven Fletcher Cons.
Churchill Niki Ashton NDP Niki Ashton NDP
Dauphin–Swan River–Marquette Robert Sopuck Cons. Robert Sopuck Cons.
Elmwood–Transcona Jim Maloway NDP Jim Maloway NDP
Kildonan–St. Paul Joy Smith Cons. Joy Smith Cons.
Portage–Lisgar Candice Hoeppner Cons. Candice Hoeppner Cons.
Provencher Vic Toews Cons. Vic Toews Cons.
Saint Boniface Shelly Glover Cons. Shelly Glover Cons.
Selkirk–Interlake James Bezan Cons. James Bezan Cons.
Winnipeg Centre Pat Martin NDP Pat Martin NDP
Winnipeg North Kevin Lamoureux Lib. Rebecca Blaikie NDP*
Winnipeg South Rod Bruinooge Cons. Rod Bruinooge Cons.
Winnipeg South Centre Anita Neville Lib. Anita Neville Lib.
New Brunswick
Acadie–Bathurst Yvon Godin NDP Yvon Godin NDP
Beauséjour Dominic LeBlanc Lib. Dominic LeBlanc Lib.
Fredericton Keith Ashfield Cons. Keith Ashfield Cons.
Fundy Royal Rob Moore Cons. Rob Moore Cons.
Madawaska–Restigouche Jean-Claude D’Amours Lib. Bernard Valcourt Cons.*
Miramichi Tilly O’Neill-Gordon Cons. Tilly O’Neill Gordon Cons.
Moncton–Riverview–Dieppe Brian Murphy Lib. Robert Goguen Cons.*
New Brunswick Southwest Greg Thompson Cons. John Williamson Cons.
Saint John Rodney Weston Cons. Rodney Weston Cons.
Tobique–Mactaquac Mike Allen Cons. Mike Allen Cons.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Avalon Scott Andrews Lib. Fabian Manning Cons.*
Bonavista–Gander–Grand Falls–Windsor Scott Simms Lib. Scott Simms Lib.
Humber–St. Barbe–Baie Verte Gerry Byrne Lib. Gerry Byrne Lib.
Labrador Todd Russell Lib. Todd Russell Lib.
Random–Burin–St. George’s Judy Foote Lib. Judy Foote Lib.
St. John’s South–Mount Pearl Siobhan Coady Lib. Siobhan Coady Lib.
St. John’s East Jack Harris NDP Jack Harris NDP
Nova Scotia
Cape Breton–Canso Rodger Cuzner Lib. Rodger Cuzner Lib.
Central Nova Peter Gordon MacKay Cons. Peter G. MacKay Cons.
Cumberland–Colchester–Musquodoboit Valley Scott Armstrong Cons. Scott Armstrong Cons.
Dartmouth–Cole Harbour Michael Savage Lib. Robert Chisholm NDP*
Halifax Megan Leslie NDP Megan Leslie NDP
Halifax West Geoff Regan Lib. Geoff Regan Lib.
Kings–Hants Scott Brison Lib. Scott Brison Lib.
Sackville–Eastern Shore Peter Stoffer NDP Peter Stoffer NDP
South Shore–St. Margaret’s Gerald Keddy Cons. Gerald Keddy Cons.
Sydney–Victoria Mark Eyking Lib. Mark Eyking Lib.
West Nova Greg Kerr Cons. Greg Kerr Cons.
Ajax–Pickering Mark Holland Lib. Mark Holland Lib.
Algoma–Manitoulin–Kapuskasing Carol Hughes NDP Carol Hughes NDP
Ancaster–Dundas–Flamborough–Westdale David Sweet Cons. David Sweet Cons.
Barrie Patrick Brown Cons. Patrick Brown Cons.
Beaches–East York Maria Minna Lib. Maria Minna Lib.
Bramalea–Gore–Malton Gurbax Malhi Lib. Bal Gosal Cons.*
Brampton West Andrew Kania Lib. Kyle Seeback Cons.*
Brampton–Springdale Ruby Dhalla Lib. Parm Gill Cons.*
Brant Phil McColeman Cons. Phil McColeman Cons.
Bruce–Grey–Owen Sound Larry Miller Cons. Larry Miller Cons.
Burlington Mike Wallace Cons. Mike Wallace Cons.
Cambridge Gary Goodyear Cons. Gary Goodyear Cons.
Carleton–Mississippi Mills Gordon O’Connor Cons. Gordon O’Connor Cons.
Chatham-Kent–Essex Dave Van Kesteren Cons. Dave Van Kesteren Cons.
Davenport Mario Silva Lib. Andrew Cash NDP*
Don Valley East Yasmin Ratansi Lib. Yasmin Ratansi Lib.
Don Valley West Robert Oliphant Lib. Robert Oliphant Lib.
Dufferin–Caledon David Tilson Cons. David Tilson Cons.
Durham Bev Oda Cons. Bev Oda Cons.
Eglinton–Lawrence Joseph Volpe Lib. Joe Oliver Cons.*
Elgin–Middlesex–London Joe Preston Cons. Joe Preston Cons.
Essex Jeff Watson Cons. Jeff Watson Cons.
Etobicoke Centre Borys Wrzesnewskyj Lib. Borys Wrzesnewskyj Lib.
Etobicoke North Kirsty Duncan Lib. Kirsty Duncan Lib.
Etobicoke–Lakeshore Michael Ignatieff Lib. Michael Ignatieff Lib.
Glengarry–Prescott–Russell Pierre Lemieux Cons. Pierre Lemieux Cons.
Guelph Francis Valeriote Lib. Bob Speller Lib.
Haldimand–Norfolk Diane Finley Cons. Diane Finley Cons.
Haliburton–Kawartha Lakes–Brock Barry Devolin Cons. Barry Devolin Cons.
Halton Lisa Raitt Cons. Lisa Raitt Cons.
Hamilton Centre David Christopherson NDP David Christopherson NDP
Hamilton East–Stoney Creek Wayne Marston NDP Wayne Marston NDP
Hamilton Mountain Chris Charlton NDP Chris Charlton NDP
Huron–Bruce Ben Lobb Cons. Ben Lobb Cons.
Kenora Greg Rickford Cons. Greg Rickford Cons.
Kingston and the Islands Peter Milliken Lib. Alicia Gordon Cons.*
Kitchener Centre Stephen Woodworth Cons. Stephen Woodworth Cons.
Kitchener–Conestoga Harold Albrecht Cons. Harold Albrecht Cons.
Kitchener–Waterloo Peter Braid Cons. Peter Braid Cons.
Lambton–Kent–Middlesex Bev Shipley Cons. Bev Shipley Cons.
Lanark–Frontenac–Lennox and Addington Scott Reid Cons. Scott Reid Cons.
Leeds–Grenville Gordon Brown Cons. Gord Brown Cons.
London North Centre Glen Pearson Lib. Glen Pearson Lib.
London West Ed Holder Cons. Ed Holder Cons.
London–Fanshawe Irene Mathyssen NDP Irene Mathyssen NDP
Markham–Unionville John McCallum Lib. John McCallum Lib.
Mississauga East–Cooksville Albina Guarnieri Lib. Peter Fonseca Lib.
Mississauga South Paul Szabo Lib. Stella Ambler Cons.*
Mississauga–Brampton South Navdeep Bains Lib. Navdeep Bains Lib.
Mississauga–Erindale Bob Dechert Cons. Robert Dechert Cons.
Mississauga–Streetsville Bonnie Crombie Lib. Bonnie Crombie Lib.
Nepean–Carleton Pierre Poilievre Cons. Pierre Poilievre Cons.
Newmarket–Aurora Lois Brown Cons. Lois Brown Cons.
Niagara Falls Rob Nicholson Cons. Rob Nicholson Cons.
Niagara West–Glanbrook Dean Allison Cons. Dean Allison Cons.
Nickel Belt Claude Gravelle NDP Claude Gravelle NDP
Nipissing–Timiskaming Anthony Rota Lib. Anthony Rota Lib.
Northumberland–Quinte West Rick Norlock Cons. Rick Norlock Cons.
Oak Ridges–Markham Paul Calandra Cons. Paul Calandra Cons.
Oakville Terence Young Cons. Terence Young Cons.
Oshawa Colin Carrie Cons. Colin Carrie Cons.
Ottawa Centre Paul Dewar NDP Paul Dewar NDP
Ottawa South David McGuinty Lib. David McGuinty Lib.
Ottawa West–Nepean John Baird Cons. John Baird Cons.
Ottawa–Orléans Royal Galipeau Cons. David Bertschi Lib.*
Ottawa–Vanier Mauril Bélanger Lib. Mauril Bélanger Lib.
Oxford Dave MacKenzie Cons. Dave MacKenzie Cons.
Parkdale–High Park Gerard Kennedy Lib. Peggy Nash NDP*
Parry Sound–Muskoka Tony Clement Cons. Tony Clement Cons.
Perth–Wellington Gary Schellenberger Cons. Gary Schellenberger Cons.
Peterborough Dean Del Mastro Cons. Dean Del Mastro Cons.
Pickering–Scarborough East Dan McTeague Lib. Dan McTeague Lib.
Prince Edward–Hastings Daryl Kramp Cons. Daryl Kramp Cons.
Renfrew–Nipissing–Pembroke Cheryl Gallant Cons. Cheryl Gallant Cons.
Richmond Hill Bryon Wilfert Lib. Bryon Wilfert Lib.
Sarnia–Lambton Patricia Davidson Cons. Pat Davidson Cons.
Sault Ste. Marie Tony Martin NDP Tony Martin NDP
Scarborough Centre John Cannis Lib. John Cannis Lib.
Scarborough Southwest Michelle Simson Lib. Michelle Simson Lib.
Scarborough–Agincourt Jim Karygiannis Lib. Jim Karygiannis Lib.
Scarborough–Guildwood John McKay Lib. John McKay Lib.
Scarborough–Rouge River Derek Lee Lib. Rana Sarkar Lib.
Simcoe North Bruce Stanton Cons. Bruce Stanton Cons.
Simcoe–Grey Helena Guergis Independent Cons. Kellie Leitch Cons.*
St. Catharines Rick Dykstra Cons. Rick Dykstra Cons.
St. Paul’s Carolyn Bennett Lib. Carolyn Bennett Lib.
Stormont–Dundas–South Glengarry Guy Lauzon Cons. Guy Lauzon Cons.
Sudbury Glenn Thibeault NDP Glenn Thibeault NDP
Thornhill Peter Kent Cons. Peter Kent Cons.
Thunder Bay–Rainy River John Rafferty NDP John Rafferty NDP
Thunder Bay–Superior North Bruce Hyer NDP Bruce Hyer NDP
Timmins–James Bay Charlie Angus NDP Charlie Angus NDP
Toronto Centre Bob Rae Lib. Bob Rae Lib.
Toronto–Danforth Jack Layton NDP Jack Layton NDP
Trinity–Spadina Olivia Chow NDP Olivia Chow NDP
Vaughan Julian Fantino Cons. Julian Fantino Cons.
Welland Malcolm Allen NDP Malcolm Allen NDP
Wellington–Halton Hills Michael Chong Cons. Michael Chong Cons.
Whitby–Oshawa Jim Flaherty Cons. Jim Flaherty Cons.
Willowdale Martha Hall Findlay Lib. Martha Hall Findlay Lib.
Windsor West Brian Masse NDP Brian Masse NDP
Windsor–Tecumseh Joe Comartin NDP Joe Comartin NDP
York Centre Ken Dryden Lib. Mark Adler Cons.*
York South–Weston Alan Tonks Lib. Alan Tonks Lib.
York West Judy Sgro Lib. Judy Sgro Lib.
York–Simcoe Peter Van Loan Cons. Peter Van Loan Cons.
Prince Edward Island
Cardigan Lawrence MacAulay Lib. Lawrence MacAulay Lib.
Charlottetown Shawn Murphy Lib. Shawn Murphy Lib.
Egmont Gail Shea Cons. Gail Shea Cons.
Malpeque Wayne Easter Lib. Tim Ogilvie Cons.*
Abitibi–Baie-James–Nunavik–Eeyou Yvon Lévesque Bloc Yvon Lévesque Bloc
Abitibi–Témiscamingue Marc Lemay Bloc Marc Lemay Bloc
Ahuntsic Maria Mourani Bloc Maria Mourani Bloc
Alfred-Pellan Robert Carrier Bloc Robert Carrier Bloc
Argenteuil–Papineau–Mirabel Mario Laframboise Bloc Mario Laframboise Bloc
Bas-Richelieu–Nicolet–Bécancour Louis Plamondon Bloc Louis Plamondon Bloc
Beauce Maxime Bernier Cons. Maxime Bernier Cons.
Beauharnois–Salaberry Claude DeBellefeuille Bloc Claude DeBellefeuille Bloc
Beauport–Limoilou Sylvie Boucher Cons. Michel Létourneau Bloc *
Berthier–Maskinongé Guy André Bloc Guy André Bloc
Bourassa Denis Coderre Lib. Denis Coderre Lib.
Brome–Missisquoi Christian Ouellet Bloc Christelle Bogosta Bloc
Brossard–La Prairie Alexandra Mendes Lib. Hoang Mai NDP*
Chambly–Borduas Yves Lessard Bloc Yves Lessard Bloc
Charlesbourg–Haute-Saint-Charles Daniel Petit Cons. Daniel Petit Cons.
Châteauguay–Saint-Constant Carole Freeman Bloc Carole Freeman Bloc
Chicoutimi–Le Fjord Robert Bouchard Bloc Robert Bouchard Bloc
Compton–Stanstead France Bonsant Bloc France Bonsant Bloc
Drummond Roger Pomerleau Bloc Roger Pomerleau Bloc
Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine Raynald Blais Bloc Daniel Côté Bloc
Gatineau Richard Nadeau Bloc Françoise Boivin NDP*
Haute-Gaspésie–La Mitis–Matane–Matapédia Jean-Yves Roy Bloc Jean-François Fortin Bloc
Hochelaga Daniel Paillé Bloc Daniel Paillé Bloc
Honoré-Mercier Pablo Rodriguez Lib. Pablo Rodriguez Lib.
Hull–Aylmer Marcel Proulx Lib. Nycole Turmel NDP*
Jeanne-Le Ber Thierry St-Cyr Bloc Tyrone Benskin NDP*
Joliette Pierre Paquette Bloc Pierre A. Paquette Bloc
Jonquière–Alma Jean-Pierre Blackburn Cons. Jean-Pierre Blackburn Cons.
La Pointe-de-l’Île Francine Lalonde Bloc Ginette Beaudry Bloc
Lac-Saint-Louis Francis Scarpaleggia Lib. Francis Scarpaleggia Lib.
LaSalle–Émard Lise Zarac Lib. Lise Zarac Lib.
Laurentides–Labelle Johanne Deschamps Bloc Johanne Deschamps Bloc
Laurier–Sainte-Marie Gilles Duceppe Bloc Gilles Duceppe Bloc
Laval Nicole Demers Bloc Nicole Demers Bloc
Laval–Les Îles Raymonde Folco Lib. Karine Joizil Lib.
Lévis–Bellechasse Steven Blaney Cons. Steven Blaney Cons.
Longueuil–Pierre-Boucher Jean Dorion Bloc Jean Dorion Bloc
Lotbinière–Chutes-de-la-Chaudière Jacques Gourde Cons. Jacques Gourde Cons.
Louis-Hébert Pascal-Pierre Paillé Bloc Pierre Paul-Hus Cons.*
Louis-Saint-Laurent Josée Verner Cons. Josée Verner Cons.
Manicouagan Gérard Asselin Bloc Gérard Asselin Bloc
Marc-Aurèle-Fortin Serge Ménard Bloc Marie-France Charbonneau Bloc
Mégantic–L’Érable Christian Paradis Cons. Christian Paradis Cons.
Montcalm Roger Gaudet Bloc Roger Gaudet Bloc
Montmagny–L’Islet–Kamouraska–Rivière-du-Loup Bernard Généreux Cons. Nathalie Arsenault Bloc *
Montmorency–Charlevoix–Haute-Côte-Nord Michel Guimond Bloc Michel Guimond Bloc
Mount Royal Irwin Cotler Lib. Irwin Cotler Lib.
Notre-Dame-de-Grâce–Lachine Marlene Jennings Lib. Marlene Jennings Lib.
Outremont Thomas Mulcair NDP Thomas Mulcair NDP
Papineau Justin Trudeau Lib. Justin Trudeau Lib.
Pierrefonds–Dollard Bernard Patry Lib. Bernard Patry Lib.
Pontiac Lawrence Cannon Cons. Lawrence Cannon Cons.
Portneuf–Jacques-Cartier André Arthur Independent Andre Arthur Independent
Québec Christiane Gagnon Bloc Christiane Gagnon Bloc
Repentigny Nicolas Dufour Bloc Nicolas Dufour Bloc
Richmond–Arthabaska André Bellavance Bloc André Bellavance Bloc
Rimouski-Neigette–Témiscouata–Les Basques Claude Guimond Bloc Claude Guimond Bloc
Rivière-des-Mille-Îles Luc Desnoyers Bloc Luc Desnoyers Bloc
Rivière-du-Nord Monique Guay Bloc Monique Guay Bloc
Roberval–Lac-Saint-Jean Denis Lebel Cons. Denis Lebel Cons.
Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie Bernard Bigras Bloc Bernard Bigras Bloc
Saint-Bruno–Saint-Hubert Carole Lavallée Bloc Carole Lavallée Bloc
Saint-Hyacinthe–Bagot Ève-Mary Thaï Thi Lac Bloc Ève-Mary Thaï Thi Lac Bloc
Saint-Jean Claude Bachand Bloc Claude Bachand Bloc
Saint-Lambert Josée Beaudin Bloc Josée Beaudin Bloc
Saint-Laurent–Cartierville Stéphane Dion Lib. Stéphane Dion Lib.
Saint-Léonard–Saint-Michel Massimo Pacetti Lib. Massimo Pacetti Lib.
Saint-Maurice–Champlain Jean-Yves Laforest Bloc Jean-Yves Laforest Bloc
Shefford Robert Vincent Bloc Robert Vincent Bloc
Sherbrooke Serge Cardin Bloc Serge Cardin Bloc
Terrebonne–Blainville Diane Bourgeois Bloc Diane Bourgeois Bloc
Trois-Rivières Paule Brunelle Bloc Paule Brunelle Bloc
Vaudreuil-Soulanges Meili Faille Bloc Marc Boudreau Cons.*
Verchères–Les Patriotes Luc Malo Bloc Luc Malo Bloc
Westmount–Ville-Marie Marc Garneau Lib. Marc Garneau Lib.
Battlefords–Lloydminster Gerry Ritz Cons. Gerry Ritz Cons.
Blackstrap Lynne Yelich Cons. Lynne Yelich Cons.
Cypress Hills–Grasslands David Anderson Cons. David Anderson Cons.
Desnethé–Missinippi–Churchill River Rob Clarke Cons. Rob Gordon Clarke Cons.
Palliser Ray Boughen Cons. Noah Patrick Evanchuk NDP*
Prince Albert Randy Hoback Cons. Randy Hoback Cons.
Regina–Lumsden–Lake Centre Tom Lukiwski Cons. Tom Lukiwski Cons.
Regina–Qu’Appelle Andrew Scheer Cons. Andrew Scheer Cons.
Saskatoon–Humboldt Brad Trost Cons. Brad Trost Cons.
Saskatoon–Rosetown–Biggar Kelly Block Cons. Nettie Wiebe NDP*
Saskatoon–Wanuskewin Maurice Vellacott Cons. Maurice Vellacott Cons.
Souris–Moose Mountain Ed Komarnicki Cons. Ed Komarnicki Cons.
Wascana Ralph Goodale Lib. Ralph Goodale Lib.
Yorkton–Melville Garry Breitkreuz Cons. Garry Breitkreuz Cons.
Northern Territories
Yukon Bagnell,Larry Lib. Larry Bagnell Lib.
Western Arctic Dennis Bevington NDP Dennis Bevington NDP
Nunavut Leona Aglukkaq Cons. Leona Aglukkaq Cons.

Staffing Jack’s OLO or….PMO?

With the Office of the Leader Opposition and, perhaps, Langevin Block, within grasp, New Democrats are speculating on who might take the key roles with Jack Layton after the election.

Though recruiting top talent can be difficult for a leader of the fourth party, in an “official position,” Layton will be able to draw on seasoned political staff from past and present NDP governments across the country.

But in the top job, chief of staff, Layton would likely tap his current top aide, Anne McGrath, an Albertan who has brought a steady hand to the office in the past few years and gives such much needed Western bona fides.

Party strategist Brian Topp, executive director of ACTRA Toronto and Globe and Mail contributor, would likely be invited to serve in some senior capacity, his health allowing (like Layton, Topp is living with prostate cancer). Topp has governing experience as deputy chief of staff to former Saskatchewan Premier Roy Romanow.

Relations between the NDP and Robin Sears, ex of Bob Rae’s Ontario government, have warmed recently, so he’s a possible choice for a senior position if willing to leave his consulting job with Navigator.  Former MP and past federal secretary Dick Proctor, who is working in the war room, would be asked to emerge from retirement and once more come to the aid of the party.

On the communications side, Layton’s gregarious press spinner Karl Belanger would continue in a similar role, so warm is his relationship with the gargoyles in the Parliamentary Press Gallery.  Kathleen Monk, who moved from the war room to the leaders’ tour mid-way through the campaign, would be a strong bet to take on a senior comms role.

Watch for Layton to pull in expertise from union economists, possibly Erin Weir with Steelworkers or Jim Stanford of the Canadian Autoworkers.  Kevin Dorse, the “socialist banker,” would probably be asked to return from the Credit Union Central of Canada.

Layton may also draw on the knowledge of his former wife, a public servant in Ontario, for help selecting senior bureaucrats to join his office. Matt de Vlieger, former NDP staff economist now in the federal public service, is one name in circulation.

Other troops in contention for key positions: Matt Hebb, who helped run Premier Darrell Dexter’s campaign in Nova Scotia and currently in charge of the party’s “target team,” identifying winnable ridings; Michael Balagus, chief of staff to Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger; and Elliott Anderson, a war room vet who famously orchestrated the complaint to the RCMP on income trusts and subsequent release that turned the course of the 2005-06 election.

Wikileaks dumps huge pile of cables from U.S. missions in Canada

U.S. ambassador to Canada David Jacobson (right) and unidentified man (left).


With but a furlong to go in the election campaign, Wikileaks today released a large number of cables from U.S. embassies and consulates in Canada, many of them commentary on the Canadian political scene written by ambassador David Jacobson.

In the cables, Jacobson comments on the apparent futility of efforts to reinvent the Liberal Party in 2010.  This is truly astounding reading and hugely awkward for the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa.


The Canadian content stretches from reports from the Vancouver Winter Olympics back as far as 1985, with a cable from the U.S. embassy in Dublin describing the Air India disaster and wreckage in the Irish Sea.


But it is the more recent material, from the embassy in Ottawa, that could lead to red faces among U.S. dips. Consider Jacobson’s pessimistic state-of-the-nation summary of the Liberal Party in 2010, titled “Liberals chart renewal in 2010”:

The Liberals' muted response to PM Harper's late December prorogation
of Parliament (ref b) suggests a lack of energy and hands-on
leadership (Michael Ignatieff reportedly remains on vacation in
France), however.   The party's "transformational" process sets
high goals, but a similar 2006 renewal exercise did not meet
expectations.  The  Liberals face a tough road ahead if they hope
to beat the Conservatives in the next federal election - whether in
2010 or 2011.  End summary.

Another, apparently from Deputy Chief of Mission Terry Breese, is titled, “About face: PM Harper stacks the Senate.” It shows a  sophisticated, in cynical, understanding of Canadian politics:

8. (SBU) Comment:  Appointing senators is a major about-face for a
PM and a party that long campaigned for an elected upper chamber.
The cost of the eighteen new senators also conflicts with political
messaging about the need for official belt-tightening.  However, PM
Harper will not pay a real political price.  The staunchest
advocates of Senate reform are Conservatives in western Canada, who
will swallow the expedient in order to forestall any opposition
appointments should the Harper government lose any upcoming vote of
confidence.  The tenor of the Prime Minister's comments about a
possible Liberal/New Democratic Party coalition and the timing of
the appointments, however, underscore that the PM may fear that the
present parliament will not last long.

In one 2008 dispatch on a potential Canadian election, Jacobson’s predecessor, David Wilkins, summarizes the state of U.S.-Canada relations and our “inferiority complex”:

1. (C) Summary. Despite the overwhelming importance of the U.S. to Canada for its economy and security, bilateral relations remain the proverbial 900 pound gorilla that no one wants to talk about in the 2008 Canadian federal election campaigns. This likely reflects an almost inherent inferiority complex of Canadians vis-a-vis their sole neighbor as well as an underlying assumption that the fundamentals of the relationship are strong and unchanging and uncertainty about the outcome of the U.S. Presidential election. End Summary.

Another cable describes Canada’s decision to sit-out the war in Iraq and agreement not to criticize U.S action:

6. (C) Comment Continued: Following the meeting, Political
Director Jim Wright emphasized that, despite public
statements that the Canadian assets in the Straits of Hormuz
will remain in the region exclusively to support Enduring
Freedom, they will also be available to provide escort
services in the Straits and will otherwise be discreetly
useful to the military effort. The two ships in the Straits
now are being augmented by two more enroute, and there are
patrol and supply aircraft in the  UAE which are also
prepared to "be useful."  This message tracks with others we
have heard.  While for domestic political reasons and out of
a deep-seated Canadian commitment to multilateralism the GOC
has  decided not to join in a U.S. coalition of the willing,
they will refrain from criticism of our actions, express
understanding, and focus their public comments on the real
culprit, Iraq. They are also prepared to be as helpful as
possible in the military margins, an aspect of their role
which we intend to clarify.

Jacobson reports on a lunch meeting with then-Environment Minister Jim Prentice, who sounds really happy to be there:

From the onset of lunch, Minister Prentice was clearly
making every effort to establish a connection with Ambassador
Jacobson, outlining his respect for the Administration and his
interest in President Obama's "back story", persona, and goals.
The tone was very collegial and Prentice appeared unrushed,
focused, and interested in getting to know the Ambassador on a
personal level, sharing stories about his daughter, life in
Alberta, and his love for the outdoors.  Prentice appeared keen to
forge a personal relationship with Ambassador Jacobson - to the
mutual benefit of both countries.  Note:  Prentice is
widely-considered to be the most respected member of Prime Minister
Harper's inner circle and enjoys Harper's complete trust.  He is
the lead Minister for climate change, as well as the lead on the
Clean Energy Dialogue and Northern Gas pipelines.

One cable in advance of Jacobson’s visit to Winnipeg, he referenced Gary Doer’s new gig in Washington, D.C.:

2. Manitoba, occasionally the victim of an inferiority complex as
the neighbor to richer Ontario, enjoyed its time in the spotlight
as the home to the new Canadian Ambassador to the U.S.  The
Ambassador's visit ensured the spotlight shone even more brightly
on Winnipeg as the new Premier took office.

In the same cable, Jacobson says he was interviewed by Mary Agnes Welch, head of the Canadian Association of Journalists and a writer with the Winnipeg Free Press:

The unexceptional and rather flat article, titled “We can work it out,” summarized the U.S. position on key issues and gave an overview of the Ambassador’s Winnipeg visit.

One cable, apropos of what we do not know, gives a detailed biography of NDP MP Megan Leslie:

. (SBU) In terms of her personal characteristics, MP Leslie is
very approachable and, as a recent magazine interviewer noted,
she has a laid back style that conveys the feeling that you are
"chatting with a neighbor on her front porch."

Another in a lighter tone, also from Breese, itemizes a list of Stephen Harper’s Christmas wishes:

--  Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams recants his
Venezuelan/Che Guevara economic theories and gives free
rights to Newfie water to AbitibiBowater in perpetuity,
leading Maude Barlow to emigrate to Zimbabwe;
--  Quebec voters come to their senses, abandon the Bloc
Quebecois, and vote en masse for the Conservatives in the
next election, creating a stable Conservative majority in the
House of Commons;

One refers to the Canadian government holding off on copyright reforms because of public pressure and efforts by University of Ottawa professor Michael Geist:

5. (sbu) From December 2007 to mid-February, senior GOC
officials and well-informed private sector contacts assured
the Embassy that legislative calendar concerns were delaying
the copyright bill,s introduction into Parliament.  Our
contacts downplayed the small - but increasingly vocal -
public opposition to copyright reform led by University of
Ottawa law professor Dr. Michael Geist.  On February 25,
however, Industry Minister Prentice (please protect) admitted
to the Ambassador that some Cabinet members and Conservative
Members of Parliament - including MPs who won their ridings
by slim margins - opposed tabling the copyright bill now
because it might be used against them in the next federal
election.  Prentice said the copyright bill had become a
"political" issue.  He also indicated that elevating Canada
to the Special 301 Priority Watch List would make the issue
more difficult and would not be received well.

One cable backgrounds Laureen Harper, wife of the Conservative leader. Some of the highlights:

1. (SBU) Summary: Laureen Harper, wife of Prime Minister Stephen
Harper, plays no formal public role (unlike the U.S. First Lady),
but those close to the family have described her as politically
engaged and as her husband's most valuable political asset.
Extroverted and friendly, she is widely credited for "softening" her
more reserved husband's political image. End summary. 

2. (U) Laureen Ann Harper (nee Teskey) was born on June 23, 1963,
the eldest of three children, in Turner Valley, a rural community of
about 1,600 residents southwest of Calgary, Alberta.  Her parents,
who divorced in 1991, ranched and owned an electrical contracting
company. She attended Calgary's Southern Alberta Institute of
Technology to study journalism and photography.  She married New
Zealander Neil Fenton (with whom she backpacked across Africa for
six months) in 1985, but they divorced in 1988. 


3. (SBU) Passionate about politics since her teens, Laureen Harper
joined the Reform Party (the forerunner of the Conservative Party of
Canada) in the late 1980s; she met Stephen Harper at a Reform
meeting in Saskatoon in 1991.  They married in December 1993.  Some
of Stephen Harper's earliest political colleagues, including his
first boss and later fellow Reform MP Deborah Grey (who introduced
the couple), have credited Mrs. Harper with "mellowing" her husband,
"balancing his serious side" and helping solidify his image as a
family man.  Described as personable, free-spirited, and with
considerable personal charm, Mrs. Harper is a pro at working a room,
and many observers believe her to be more at ease in front of
cameras and strangers than her husband.  She is also the
self-confessed "mouthy one," with strong opinions on a wide variety
of issues.  However, Mrs. Harper reportedly made a deliberate
decision not to carve out her own public role.

“Some marijuana, if you got some…”

Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff responded in the affirmative to the inevitable marijuana question on Wednesday, saying, “I have smoked pot as a young man, yes . . . and it’s one of the reasons why I urge young people not to repeat the experience. It did not ruin my life. I just think there are a lot more important and interesting things to do with your life, including a glass of wine after dinner. Hey, I mean, let’s all relax here.”

Just as a reminder, here’s Conservative leader Stephen Harper’s response when he got the question on June 4, 2004:

“What I said was that I was offered a joint once and I was too drunk. But the serious answer is that I’m an asthmatic, so I’ve never smoked anything.”

Harper, apparently, has since recovered and is no longer an asthmatic though almost certainly not toking.  He was, however, seen sipping a beer in a TV clip at his home recently. A Molson Canadian, alas.

Meanwhile, with patriarch Marc Emery making little ones out of big ones at the D. Ray James Correctional Facility in Folkston, GA, the Marijuana Party is but a pungent wisp of its former self. Only five candidates running for the “green” party in this election:

Kornelis Klevering    Guelph
Michael Baldasaro    Hamilton-Centre
John Andrew Akpata    Ottawa-Centre
Terry Parker    Parkdale–High Park
Denis A. Carrière    Thunder Bay–Superior-Nord

My gift to Sun News Network

With Jack Layton poised to become… what? something, there’s no need to dig through your Little Red Book for tangential Maoist references from Michael Ignatieff’s words.

I’m dusting off an item from my 2005-06 election notebook column. My gift to you guys, Sun Media, just ’cause you’re all such good sports:

Fri Dec 2 2005:  Although the fellow travellers in the NDP would never publicly gripe about extra ink for their leader during an election campaign, there are some quiet murmurs of discontent in party ranks about the photo of Jack Layton that appears on the cover of this week’s Maclean’s. Conspiracy theorists suggest that the magazine chose the photo of Mr. Layton because it best reflects his passing resemblance to another balding, moustachioed hero of the proletariat, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin.

Mr. Layton appears in the black-and-white photo in a three-quarter profile pose, a motif favoured in propaganda posters and innumerable iconic renderings of the old Bolshevik. His firm jaw line and stern demeanour in the picture further the similarities. NDPers might wonder if Maclean’s editor Ken Whyte, who is believed to steer toward Alberta in his political view, had a right hand in the decision. The candid picture was taken by veteran photographer Peter Bregg, who followed Mr. Layton around for several weeks, according to the Layton campaign.

Tories in the octagon: Conservatives target MMA Maniacs

With Toronto ground zero this weekend for a Mixed Martial Arts event (MMA 129, if you’re still counting), Canada’s first MMA magazine is set to launch right this month.

According to Masthead, MMA Guide is published by one Harry Rosen — the mens clothier, perhaps?

Among the first advertisers:  Step into the octagon, Conservative Party of Canada — maybe.

A version of this ad is circulating online. It has a photo of a pair of MMA gloves hanging against a brick wall backdrop, under the slogan, “Never hang up your dream.” It also pumps the $500 fitness tax credit the Conservatives have promised to deliver, c. 2014-15.

It looks legitimate but its authenticity has yet to be determined. It is also unclear whether the ad, if authentic, was appearing in the magazine or on the affiliated website,

If real, targetting MMA Maniacs marks a significant departure from the Hockey Dads demographic that the Tories so aggressively court.

Ryan Sparrow, a Conservative spokesman, said he knew nothing of the ad. All the party’s advertising appears on its website and, besides, the Conservatives don’t really buy print advertising, he said.

Party spokesman Ryan Sparrow confirmed the ad is authentic.