Harper and an Anti-Woman Agenda

March 18, 2012 § Leave a comment

Birth control controversies a fundraising boon – Robin Bravender – POLITICO.com. Often times people vote against a party rather than for a party. Harper is smart to keep his right wing social MPs under a tight leash.


Rick Santorum’s Ugly Appeal to Rural Voters – The Daily Beast

March 16, 2012 § Leave a comment

Rick Santorum’s Ugly Appeal to Rural Voters – The Daily Beast. I’m not a big fan of the Daily Beast, but this is a nice analysis of why rural voters support conservative social agendas against their own economic self-interest. It certainly applies to some rural areas around Saskatoon. Rural residents in the last Federal election voted in favour of dismantling the Long Gun Registry at the expense of keeping the Canadian Wheat Board.

Funny and cool

January 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

Likeability can do a lot for policy. Obama, when he’s being himself, is a very likeable person. I’ve been reminded of that this past little bit. He can calm a baby:

He can be funny:

And my very definition of cool, he can sing some Al Green:

The Long Gun Wedge

November 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

Les MacPherson, columnist for the Star Phoenix, celebrates the destruction of the Long Gun Registry data.

He may be in for a surprise.

First, I would be very surprised if a copy of the Long Gun database hasn’t already made it’s way into the “wild”. In a world of bits and bytes, it is just too easy to make surreptitious copies of such files. You can pick up a USB key from any computer store that will do the job nicely.

You’re also relying on the integrity of civil servants who have worked long and hard to build something they may actually believe in. When the NDP comes to power, they will award an Order of Canada to the nerd who defied Prime Minister Harper. In fact, the French version of the award will be bold faced.

Second, the Long Gun Registry will return. Any redistribution or addition of Federal ridings will go to urban centers. The cities support the Long Gun Registry and the rural ridings will have less chance to exercise their power. Just as destroying the registry was a wedge issue used by the Conservatives, the reverse is also true.

Finally, the opponents of the Long Gun Registry have failed to make their case with their city cousins. All I have heard is that the Registry is a violation of rural citizens’ 2nd Amendment rights. Whoa. Wait a minute – Canada doesn’t have a Second Amendment! Isn’t that embarrassing.

Let me, however, not defend the irrational fears of Metrosexuals and Soccer Moms. Hunters of game and fowl actually kill the meat they eat – they don’t need the antiseptic packaging of chicken breasts and ground beef to assuage their inability to connect with nature. Going for a walk on the Wanuskewin trails isn’t actually getting out into nature. If you have a bunch of damn beavers wrecking havoc on the local ecology, buckshot and lead is a humane alternative.

But give me a break. I have to drop by an SGI agent to register my vehicles once a year. Is it so much more onerous to let the Feds know you have some long guns?

From out of right field…

October 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

This discussion of expert predictions focuses on the prospects of Herman Cain getting the Republican Presidential nomination. More importantly, it discusses how frequently political predictions are wrong because there simply isn’t enough historical data. This applies to both “experts” who use their judgement and statisticians who use polling.

So, the next time you use your “good sense” to divine the political future, have a bit of humility.

The show must go on

October 27, 2011 § Leave a comment

In wondering how it is possible that Herman Cain has managed to become the Republican front runner, Andrew Sullivan makes a really important observation. Politics too often becomes entertainment and politicians just play a role. Why would Sarah Palin keep voicing her idiocy? Because it’s the stage on which she makes money.

Saskatoon – Rural and Urban Votes in the 2011 Federal Election

August 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

You should refer to this webpage for the data used in this analysis. These maps of federal ridings in all of Saskatchewan and just Saskatoon may also be useful.

Saskatoon-Wanuskewin is the least urban riding at 54%, while the other three city ridings are around 70% urban. The urban areas of Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar went heavily NDP. The urban areas of the other three ridings went Conservative by about a 7% margin. However, if you combine the total urban votes in Saskatoon,  the Conservative edge is down to 2.5%. This makes Saskatoon slightly Conservative and Regina a little NDP.

Three Saskatoon urban ridings should average 56.600 voters – about 3,000 more than Regina. In Saskatoon, there is no one riding that could stay more or less intact. However it’s done, one riding will have to straddle the river – I’d create such a riding out of the North end of the city.

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