Author Archives: donaldstreet

“Dramatic” Wave Spreads Across Winnipeg!

I was looking for something to make fun of, so I looked a little closer at Hugh McFadyen’s quote from the Elmwood by-election:

The NDP have won more than 60 per cent of the vote in the constituency for at least the past three elections until its “dramatic slide” to just above 50 per cent Tuesday night, he said.

“Clearly there’s a pretty dramatic shift against the NDP, certainly in Elmwood, and it’s consistent with what we’re seeing across the city of Winnipeg,” McFadyen said.

Consistent accross the city, you say? Well, assuming that this dramatic wave sweeps across the city from Elmwood to all the far corners of Winnipeg….whatever would happen to the 2007 results? Here is 2007 replayed with growth rates from Elmwood: (Growth Rate is the percentage change in percentage of support. EG: Libs grew their percentage of the vote by 15.97%, so I take 2007 results for liberals and multiply by 1.1597.)

Dramatic Wave Sweeps In From Elmwood!
  NDP PC Lib
Assiniboia 4525 2699 531
Burrows 3313 1010 652
Charleswood 2275 4490 1288
Concordia 3375 1215 390
Elmwood 3385 1329 1277
Fort Garry 3750 2111 1740
Fort Rouge 3346 1208 2885
Fort Whyte 3404 6009 1898
Inkster 2061 546 4595
Kildonan 4381 2371 645
Kirkfield Park 4367 3880 1476
Lord Roberts 3932 1373 1414
Minto 2932 661 1343
Point Douglas 2329 483 685
Radisson 4199 3002 785
Riel 4277 2632 1188
River East 3766 4382 741
River Heights 1611 2352 5520
Rossmere 4227 2620 605
Seine River 5057 3291 1288
Southdale 5045 4514 1208
St. Boniface 4449 998 1217
St. James 3698 2355 761
St. Johns 3691 1023 700
St. Norbert 3535 2415 1249
St. Vital 4030 1762 900
The Maples 3161 1904 1076
Transcona 3986 1477 700
Tuxedo 2264 4001 2150
Wellington 2038 570 848
Wolseley 3529 718 838

Shizzam! Not a single constituency changes hands! None! How dramatic! But, nothing says drama like claiming victory in spite of terrible defeat. With victories like these, Hugh needs losses.

PS: Of course, this is academic. Boundaries have changed. But, the point is that it was a pathetic attempt to spin.


Spin in Elmwood

The Elmwood numbers are in.

Manitoba provincial by-election, March 24, 2009 : Elmwood
Party Candidate Votes % +/- Expenditures
     New Democratic Party Bill Blaikie 2,325 53.76% -7.75  
     Progressive Conservative Adrian Schulz 913 21.10% +0.09  
     Liberal Regan Wolfrom 877 20.29% +2.81  
     Green James Beddome 210 4.85% +4.85  
Total valid votes 4,325 100%    
Rejected and declined ballots 14      
Turnout 4,339 37.04%    
Electors on the lists 11,715    

As Curtis points out, predictions aren’t always that good. Our own preditors here on Don Street were way off – mostly in terms of the numbers for Liberal candidate Regan Wolfrom. I’m going to go out on a limb here and base that on web pressence. Wolfrom had tons more to say online than Blaikie, who’s site was basic and never updated during the campaign. The internet crowd gets a skewed view thanks to this.

The results, when compared to the histroric average, show that the NDP slipped very slightly, but not a lot. And, most of that change went to the Greens who didn’t run here in 2007.

Hugh MacFayden calls this a “dramatic shift“, which is total bunk. That spin is just plain rediculous. The PC party gained a whopping 0.09% from last time. The NDP dropped a 4.85% to the Greens. The Libs gained very slightly, up 2.81%. This is hardly dramatic. But, look at MacFayden’s statements closer: he is pointing to slightly lower NDP support as his big hope. That’s pathetic. He should focus on improving PC support, not small variations in NDP support. And, next time, he might want to run an intense, serious, long-term campaign – even in constituencies like Elmwood where the NDP have held on since the division was created in 1958. He is acting like he wants to perpetually be leader of the opposition.

The turnout story is interesting. Turnout numbers are actually slightly inflated because of the poor renumeration. In 2007, there were 12721 registered voters. In 2009, it was 11,715. Since Elmwood was not visited by an epidemic of Spanish Influenza, that means that stated turnout was higher because Elections Manitoba did not do as good a job of registering voters. Using the 2007 registration numbers, we get a turnout of only 34%. The opposition parties and supporters can point to this and claim that this means Blaikie is less well supported. What it says to me, though, is that the other parties did a terrible job of engaging voters and getting out the vote. That means that they didn’t do enough to create a base of support to send a strong message. They didn’t do enough to signal that this division is up for grabs.

So, Elmwood 2009 means more of the same. Little movement, except a blip for the Greens.

Orlikow-Currier By-Election Maps

I’ve finally taken the time to go over the data and map from the recent city council by-election in River Heights-Fort Garry Ward between John Orlikow and Geoff Currier.

The results are stunning. The best poll for Orlikow resulted in an incredible 88.3% to 11.7% and the worst for Orlikow is equally incredible – 20.2% to 79.8%. The 68.1% gap between Orlikow’s top poll and his worst poll is unheard of. For example, in Elmwood, where the provincial by-election vote is happening tonight, the NDP received between 50% and 73%, or a 23% gap between best and worst.

But, even more amazing, the map shows an incredible story…

Continue reading

Elmwood Predictions

Elmwood By-election day has arrived. Check out here for past results and post your prediction of results and turnout below…


Beddome, James (Green)

Blaikie, Bill (NDP)

Schulz, Adrian (PC) 

Wolfrom, Regan (Liberal)


My own prediction is that this is going NDP. The big question is by how much. Looking over last election’s numbers, they won every poll – with the worst poll at 50% and the best at 73%. I swear to you all that I’ve looked at the numbers and can’t find a pattern. There is nowhere (North, South, East, West) in the constituency that is much worse or better for the NDP. The only pattern is NDP victory across the board with 61% for Maloway in 2007.

Welsh is right: the percentages here will matter. If the NDP drops a lot, despite big name Bill Blaikie and despite being in one of the safest locations in the province (They even held here in 1988), this will send a signal.

Predict away………

UPDATE (8:15pm): Here are the predictions received in full.

  donaldstreet Graham Bob Chris SB ghoris unclebob Phil Average
Beddome (Green) 5% 3% 4% 8% 4% 5% 7.5% 5% 5%
Blaikie (NDP) 48% 45% 58% 55% 39.1% 60% 50% 42% 50%
Shulz (PC) 15% 12% 14% 12% 18% 20% 7.5% 8% 13%
Wolfrom (Lib) 32% 45% 24% 25% 38.9% 15% 35% 45% 32%
Turnout 31% 42% 34% 29% 43% 35% 36%   36%


Check here for official results.


UPDATE (9:47): One poll left to go. Blaikie wins with a solid 54%, so far. The turnout is down a lot: 36.6% so far, but that number is skewed by a 1000 voter drop in renumeration from 2007! The only big gain is the Greens: they went for 0% to 5%. The Libs and PCs are up a whole 1% from 2007. I’ll have to post another day when final results are in.

Aryan Guard working hard to ruin Calgary’s image

Photo Credit: Jeff McIntosh, CP

Photo Credit: Jeff McIntosh, CP

I have to feel for the good people of the city of Calgary. I wake up this morning and go to CBC News to find this story about 50 members of the Aryan Guard who gathered to disrupt an anti-racism march on the International Day to Eliminate Racial Discrimination.

The real concern here is that this group is growing. According to the always reliable wikipedia, there were 20 members in August 2007, 40 at a protest in October 2008, and now 50 this March. And, to top it off, Calgary Police claim to need to protect the Charter Rights of these neo-nazis who celebrate Hitler’s birthday. Apparently, the Calgary Police have not heard of Section 319 of the Criminal Code prohibiting the promotion of hate.

Calgary needs to seriously consider its image. They are the first international stop for George Bush, the home of a growing neo-Nazi group, and the 5-time electors of MP Rob Anders who called Nelson Mandela a terrorist. Yes, the Nobel Prize winner and the man who brought in the Truth and Reconciliation instead of Zimbabwe-style revenge.

I doubt very much that Calgary is a bad place or full of bad people. But, the leaders of the city need to step up and actively work against the extremist elements on their far right. In particular, I would suggest that it is the moderate right-wing – the reasonable, level-headed majority – that needs to put these nuts in their rightful places.

Orlikow-Currier Poll-by-Poll breakdown: data needed!

The by-election victory for John Orlikow (presumably 57-43, with a shockingly low turnout) numbers at the official site do not add up. There were apparently 8848 voters who came to the polls and 7691 votes cast for Orlikow and Currier combined (4392 and 3299, respectively). Curtis points out the discrepency and wonders why.  

Checking the results carefully, though, we see that not all the polls had a by-election for both city council and Winnipeg School Division. So, the turnout numbers on the website are skewed. Only some of the 54,901 voters were voting in the Orlikow-Currier race. The Free Press article, by Bart Kives, corrects the situation:

“Only 7,691 of 35,015 eligible voters bothered to vote, which translates into a voter turnout of 22 per cent, city election official Marc Lemoine said.”

So, only 35,015 of the 54,901 voters in the two seperate by-elections were voting in the council race. Thus, Orlikow received 12.5% of eligible-voters’ votes, or 57% of 22%. Currier got 9.4% of eligible-voters’ votes, or 43% of 22%.

Still, I need more data. The poll-by-poll results on the official page show incredible differences of opinion in different poll locations. In one poll, RG36, Orlikow received 78%. In another, RG13, 31%. That’s incredible. I was looking at the Elmwood Provincial numbers for a coming post and there is nothing even close to this kind of massive gap: the best NDP poll was 73% and the worst 50%.

But, I don’t know poll locations. Does anyone have that link? If so, I can analyse the info fully and (to borrow from Currier) locate those dirty socialists in these bourgeois neighborhoods.

Conservative Party strategy to take over student unions?

Given our history with the Campus Conservatives here in Manitoba, this article doesn’t shock me one bit.

“The leaked materials were posted on over the weekend and add to the growing body of evidence that the Conservative Party has a strategy for interfering in campus student unions.”


“During the workshop, student Conservatives were also coached [including by MP Peter Baird] on how to set up “shell groups” as a way to advance a partisan agenda on campus.

“Yeah we had a front group like that: the Campus Coalition for Liberty. It was really just a front for the Conservatives, but it gave us like two voices.” said [Peter Baird’s Campaign Manager Aaron] Lee-Wudrick.

He added: “Don’t think that the Party doesn’t like that, because they do. They’re things that will help the Party, but it looks like it’s an organically-grown organization and it just stimulated from the grassroots spontaneously. They love that stuff… “

So, Conservative MPs and party officials are counciling junior Tories on how to fake a grassroots campaign so as to interfere in student democracy? And, they are admitting to creating their own “front for the Conservatives”?

I’d imagine that – as I am currenly reading John Ralston Saul’s “A Fair Country” – that Saul would surely point out that this is in keeping with the anti-democratic traditions of the Tory minority. They show themselves to have complete contempt for democracy in Canada and for real grassroots campaigns – and they train their youth in the best way to deceive others.

 And, I’ll quickly add that 8000 defamatory pamphlets were circulated anonymously on U of M campus – and in direct violation of election rules, at a cost exceding the total budget of our campaign – which defamed two of our candidates and claimed to be from a faux-grassroots organisation (Students for Better Parking). So, this doesn’t surprise me:

While recordings are available from only the Waterloo workshop, the OPCCA and the Manning Foundation have held similar Conservative training sessions on campuses in Ottawa, Toronto, London, Halifax and Winnipeg.”

UPDATE: Conservative Minister for Democratic Renewal and former UMSU President Stephen Fletcher was on campus this afternoon. Did anyone attend and was this article – widely circulated on campus – mentioned?