"We can't allow things that are inaccurate to stand." — The Word of Our Dan, February 19, 2008.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Valid points

Some Tiny Tories had an interesting exchange with CBC legislative reporter David Cochrane as last night's by-election results rolled in:

Here are some more valid points:

Not only did Liberal Crocker get more votes in Trinity–Bay de Verde than Tory Johnson did in 2011, he had one of the highest raw vote-tallies of any Liberal since this historically "swing" district was created in the redistribution of 1975:

In percentage terms, Crocker had the largest vote-share of any Liberal candidate in the district ever; it was larger than two of Johnson's three personal majorities; and was second only to her blowout in the 2007 Tory landslide.

Pretty valid points.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The map

General elections results of 2011 on the left.
Current standings (including provisional November 25, 2014, by-election wins) on the right.


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Friday, November 21, 2014

Then and now

On Nov. 18, 2010, Premier Danny Williams presented - and Premier Kathy Dunderdale has continued to support - the 13-page agreement providing details of the partnership between our government, Nalcor Energy, and the Government of Nova Scotia and its Emera energy corporation, and confirming the partnership between Nalcor and the Innu Nation of Labrador.

If this proposal is put in place and implemented, the result will be the development of Muskrat Falls. The power would be transmitted from Labrador across the Strait of Belle Isle for use on the island and to provide power for the future industrial development of Labrador, as well as providing hydro power for Nova Scotia or the Maritimes generally, or perhaps New England.

Then premier Williams stated that the agreement reached was a day of great historic significance for us because we can now move forward with development of the Lower Churchill on our own terms, free of the geographic stranglehold which Quebec has had for far too long in determining the fate of the most attractive clean energy project in North America.

I consider Muskrat Falls the last and best chance we have to overcome the disastrously unfair provisions of the original Upper Churchill agreement and to develop Labrador energy and resources effectively.


There is risk in every great enterprise, but the issue is whether the risks are reasonable or not. This 824 megawatts of power can be produced from clean, renewal resources, with interconnections to the Atlantic provinces and, if necessary, to the northeastern U.S. - enabling all to benefit from environmentally friendly, affordable energy.

It will cost us greatly if the Muskrat Falls project does not proceed. A reasonable assessment is that it will result in stability and less cost for consumers in the long term. The Maritime link will be owned first by Emera for 35 years, reverting to us.


As T.S. Elliott once observed: "Only those who would risk going too far can possibly find out how far you can go."
- John Crosbie, "Muskrat Falls is worth the risk", St. John's Telegram, May 25, 2013
Province Not Investing, It's Taking Risks Says Crosbie, Barry
VOCM News, Friday , November 21 2014

Newfoundland and Labrador is in a vulnerable economic situation according to John Crosbie, who blames the Danny Williams/Kathy Dunderdale governments for failing to reduce spending while oil prices were high.

At the Newfoundland and Labrador Employer's Conference, yesterday, Crosbie said government failed to acknowledge the volatility of oil prices and continued with large spending increases and budget deficits, despite the need for restraint during those years.

He says buying into offshore oil fields and Muskrat Falls depends crucially on the future price of oil. As a result, Crosbie says our exposure to risk is huge, and more than it needs to be. He says spikes in oil prices are inherently unpredictable, leaving us in economic risk.

Businessman Bill Barry furthered Crosbie's point, saying government is in no position to assess risk, and has jeopardized our economic future. He says we operate in one of the most expensive resource areas in the world, and our public policy does not reflect that.

Barry says we're not making investments, we're taking risks. While it's great to invest in our future, Barry says we shouldn't risk our future. He says the people who are making these public policy decisions are in no position to assess risk.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Such debate / many legislation / amaze!

No sooner was the Bow-Wow Parliament back in session for the fall, than a government minister was whining that the opposition were actually trying to do their job.

Here's Susan Sullivan, for the record:
MS SULLIVAN: ...For right now, of course we know that we are looking at Bill 25, An Act To Amend The Elections Act Of 1991.
A little surprising to me some of the commentary that I am hearing regarding what seems to me to be a housekeeping item that we should be able to move through fairly quickly, particularly given the fact that the three parties – as the Leader of the Third Party just said here in the House – have already met around this, they have already agreed to this amendment and they understand that we simply need to move forward and get it done.
It is a little surprising to me that we need to have this much debate in the House of Assembly regarding this particular act. We are simply about correcting a human error, Mr. Speaker, that which can happen any time to any one at any place.

A human error. Just like that time Danny Williams expropriated a polluted, shuttered paper mill.


And for the record: the governing PC caucus put up seven speakers on Bill 25, speaking 6761 words as recorded in Hansard, for 36% of the debate.

The Liberals? Six.


Sunday, November 09, 2014

Numbers game

So there was a by-election on November 5th in Conception Bay South, and after all the unofficial counting was done, Elections Newfoundland and Labrador pegged the preliminary result as 2102 to 2026 for Liberal Rex Hillier.

On Saturday, the Elections agency released the official count (which is not, as some people think, a recount), which modified the result to 2102-2034. The winner remained unchanged.

VOCM dutifully reported the dramatic narrowing of the numbers on Saturday...

...and again on Sunday:

Which is all kind of odd, given that the revised, official numbers were the same ones that were being entwootened out by partisans and media types on by-election night itself:

These were the unofficial figures as tallied up from those brought back to the two main candidates' headquarters by scrutineers or "runners" from each of the camps. In fact, the Liberal HQ maintained an up-to-the-minute Google Doc which, after the last poll reported, looked like this:

All of which is to say that, between Wednesday and Saturday, the only people who had the incorrect vote-total in the Conception Bay South by-election, were the people who are actually in charge of administering by-elections.

Nothing to see here, folks, move along.


Thursday, October 30, 2014

A "donation" has been made in your name

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Through the electoral looking-glass

On October 7 — a week ago — Elections Dannystan, in conformity, presumably, with one of Danny Williams' more creative brain-farts, announced that Special Ballots were now open in the by-election to fill the vacancy in Trinity–Bay de Verde.

Elections Dannystan even posted a button on its website:

Today, a by-election writ was issued.

To fill the vacancy in Conception Bay South.

Accordingly, Elections Dannystan added another button to its website:

That is to say: For a week now, Elections Dannystan has been promoting early voting in a by-election which does not yet exist, but did not promote early voting in a by-election which now, as of today, does exist.




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Saturday, October 04, 2014

Canada is big

Some rainy Saturday figgerin'.

This is the current 308-riding electoral map of Canada (urban insets excluded.)

The five ridings in the darkest shade of blue constitute more than 50% of Canada's landmass.

The next five, from Labrador in the east to Skeena–Bulkley Valley in the west, bring the total up to 69%.

Adding the next five, in palest blue, which include all ridings of more than 100,000 square kilometres of area, gets you to 79% of Canada.

On the other extreme, the 147 geographically smallest ridings, in urban and suburban areas, contain just over half the country's voting population, but only 0.1% of the area. That's roughly equal to the size of the current riding of Okanagan–Shushwap in the B.C. Interior, highlighted here in yellow.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Tale of Two Dannies

Abraham Lincoln once said, "let the people know the truth and the country is safe." We will keep the people of this Province fully informed; there will be no secret documents, there will be no hidden agenda. If you and I know the facts then we will collectively decide the best course for our future. At the end of the day, the most formidable judge and jury I have ever faced will be the people of this Province.
  • Danny Williams, in his December 5, 2000 PC leadership campaign launch speech

It's time for real leadership that has the common sense to say Yes to opportunity, the common decency to say No to giveaways, and the wisdom to know the difference.
  • Danny Wiliams, in his April 7, 2001 speech accepting the leadership of the PC party.


Friday, September 12, 2014

Confederation, cartographed

A little first for this corner: an interactive map.

This map shows the results of the second-round referendum of July 22, 1948, in which the people of Newfoundland and Labrador chose between Confederation and Responsible Government. This was only the third time that the people of Labrador had the right to vote; the first two being to choose a delegate to the National Convention in 1946, and the second, the first round of the referendum in June 1948.

Each symbol shows a community location and the result on July 22nd. The two green squares are the only two places in Labrador which voted for Responsible Government. The squares in various shades of red voted for Confederation, with the Confederate side taking between 50 and 99% of the vote. The four shades, in ascending depth of colour, represent 12.5% brackets. The yellow stars are communities where 100% of the vote was to join Canada.

Click on a symbol to see the community name (as it was given in the referendum return) and detailed numerical result.

Through some historical accident or another, the poll-by-poll results of the referendum in the electoral district of Labrador survived. In most of Newfoundland, they did not. The figures shown here are drawn from the table published in the December 1984 edition of Them Days. Any errors or omissions are theirs, not mine.

If a community symbol is not in the right location, leave a correction notice in the comments.

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Endorsemap (II)

(Updated from here.)

Now that he's no longer Speaker, Ross Wiseman's piece of turf is now shaded a Paul Davis shade of green. And the Hon. Member for Whocares—I'mouttahere, Ray Hunter, is finally on the map for Davis' neighbour and leadership rival Steve Kent.

Outgoing Interim Interim Premier Marshall is the only remaining neutral grey, unless Interim Speaker Wade Verge walks back his Davis endorsement before Saturday. (Click to enlarge.)

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Friday, September 05, 2014

The slow-motion election

This chart outlines the changes in the composition of the House of Assembly since the October 11, 2011 provincial general election. (Click to enlarge.)

Each "jump" represents a change. Chronologically, from left to right, they are:
  1. September 13, 2012: Tom Osborne leaves the PC caucus.
  2. April 8, 2013: Yvonne Jones resigns (Cartwright–L’anse au Clair).
  3. June 25, 2013: Lisa Dempster wins by-election.
  4. August 29, 2013: Tom Osborne joins the Liberal caucus.
  5. October 2, 2013: Jerome Kennedy resigns (Carbonear–Harbour Grace).
  6. October 29, 2013: Chris Mitchelmore and Dale Kirby leave the NDP caucus.
  7. November 26, 2013: Sam Slade wins by-election.
  8. January 20, 2014: Paul Lane crosses the floor to the Liberal caucus.
  9. February 4, 2014: Chris Mitchelmore and Dale Kirby join the Liberal caucus.
  10. February 28, 2014: Kathy Dunderdale resigns (Virginia Waters).
  11. May 5, 2014: Cathy Bennett wins by-election.
  12. June 2, 2014: Joan Shea resigns (St. George’s–Stephenville East).
  13. August 26, 2014: Scott Reid wins by-election.
  14. September 5, 2014: Charlene Johnson resigns (Trinity–Bay de Verde).
  15. September ??, 2014: Terry French to resign (Conception Bay South).
Missing from image: Tom Marshall's resignation (Humber East).

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