"Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!"
-Homer J. Simpson

Sunday, December 30, 2007

This sums up our approach to Africa


Uninvolved indeed.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

The NSA has alwas been horrible for eavesdropping

An interesting story here


For decades, the US National Security Agency (NSA) has been reading effortlessly ultra sensitive messages intercepted from all parts of the world. This extraordinary feat was not the consequence of the work of some genius cyber mathematician. Nor was it the result of the agency dominance in the field of super computers, which allegedly have outpaced their most direct rivals by orders of magnitude. The truth is far simpler and quite troubling. The game was rigged.
This is a classic example of why single-source encryption should not be trusted:

A decade after the end of WWII, the NSA, also known as No Such Agency, had rigged the Crypto AG machines in various ways according to the targeted countries. It is probably no exaggeration to state that this 20th century version of the "Trojan horse" is quite likely the greatest sting in modern history.

Friday, December 28, 2007

I'm Back

Early December, Late December, Early January, it's all the same, right?

meh.

I did a lot of blogging during the provincial election and then I needed a break. But I am back now and will be making my 2-3 posts a week regular schedule.

Starting tomorrow. :-)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Blogging Break

I will be taking a break from blogging for a couple of weeks. Check back in early December.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Does this explain the comment trolls?

Interesting article:


New Scientist has a psychological explanation for poor behavior online. Whilst the post talks mainly about email, NewScientist draws the relationship between this and comment trolls.

Very interesting.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Who's big and who's small?

Interesting...


Read about it here

Cabinet Predictions by the Big Shots

Although I may have misspelled "shots" when talking about Mandryk (The "o" should possibly be an "i"):


Premier-designate Brad Wall will unveil his first cabinet in primetime on Wednesday.

Wall simply does not have the diversity in his caucus he needs to form a well-rounded cabinet.

And what of the seven remaining original founders of the Sask. Party (Ken Krawetz, Rod Gantefoer, June Draude, Don Toth, Boyd, Bjornerud and D'Autremont) who surely have a claim to a cabinet job, based on past contributions? What about other long-time personal friends like Ken Cheveldayoff and Wayne Elhard and even Don McMorris?

If you appease all these stalwarts, how much room do you have for new faces in a cabinet you already said would be no bigger than 18 members?

First, despite all the rumours that D'Autremont, Draude and Bjornerud might not get in, Wall has proven to be incredibly loyal. That means the aforementioned founding guard of the party will have a good shot at cabinet. It would also make sense for him to put the ex-Liberals in the social portfolios, so don't be surprised to see Gantefoer in health, Krawetz in education and Draude in social services (or community resources, as it's now called) or First Nations relations.

Ultimately, though, Wall's problem is a familiar one for an incoming government with virtually no governing experience.

It just doesn't seem quite ready for primetime.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

What's Brad going to do with the CUPE Strikers?

For those of you joining us from outside Saskatchewan, a quick catch-up:


As the strike by the province's 2,400 university support staff enters its 13th day today there is no sign of a break in stalled contract talks.
I am hearing from some interesting sources that Wall and Co. are looking at appointing a binding arbitrator for the dispute.

This would be a very interesting fist move by the Sask Party. It would send a signal to the labour movement that the Sask Party is serious about changing the labour-relations dynamic in this province.

This sort of move would be popular with the Sask Party base and only really piss-off trade unionists (who didn't exactly support them to begin with.)

Now, what would be a serious over-reaction by a rookie government would be to legislate these people back to work, THAT would be a sign that they are going to do exactly what the NDP always said the Sask Party would do: Declare war on organized labour.

This story bears watching....

Monday, November 12, 2007

Saskatchewan Cabinet Predictions

So Sean and John are starting the whole "guess who is in the new cabinet" game so I guess i will play too.

Firs off, I would agree that the cabinet will be smaller than the 16-18 of the Calvert years, but probably not as small as the 10 to 12 that John figures. I think 12-14 is the most likely.

So let's say 14 for the sake of this.

First off you need regional representation. I figure at least 2 from Regina and Saskatoon and 1from Moose Jaw and 1 from Prince Albert. Then you need your small urban's (So Estevan, Weyburn, Humboldt, Yorkton, Meadow Lake, Swift Current (obviously)) I would say you need 2-3 of those so let's say 2 other than Brad. So that is 9 all told so far.

Then you need some female representation. Luckily, you have some overlap with Regina and Humboldt out of the list above. But you are going to need more than just 2-3. I figure you need at least 5. So that puts Draude in for sure (Now we are up to 10) And you probably want Heppner in as well. Then either Wilson or Eagles

This then creates a problem. You only have 2-3 seats left for all the hardcore people from opposition. You have to include Boyd and Kravetz so that only leaves one (at best).

Let's recap:

Wall - Male - Small Urban (Swift Current)
Kravetz - Male - Rural
Hickie - Male - Prince Albert
Michelson - Male - Moose Jaw
Heppner - Female - Rural
Draude - Female - Rural
Huchinson - Male - Regina
Ross/Tell - Female - Regina
Morgan - Male - Saskatoon
Chevy/Norris/LeClerk - Male - Saskatoon [If he is smart he will pick Norris]
Harpauer - Female - Small Urban (Humboldt)
Boyd - Male - Rural
Eagles - Female - Small Urban (Estevan)

This gives you:

Small urban - 3
MJ - 1
PA - 1
Sasktoon - 2
Regina - 2
Rural 4

and
Male - 8
Female - 5

He could easily fit a rural female (Nadine Wilson) in there but that is the only easy demographic fit.

But look at who is being left out:

Don McMorris
Dan D'Autremont
Rod Gantafore
Bob Bjornerud
Wayne Elhard
Lyle Stewart

That was pretty much the front bench of the current Saskatchewan Party (Plus Chevy, Wall, Morgan and Kravetz) and he might leave Chevy out too.

Plus, do you want to leave nutjobs like Serge LeClerk and Jeremy Harrison on the outside ? (pissing inwards)

Mr. Wall is facing the first problem of moving over to government: cabinet selection.

It will be instructive to see how he handles it.

Note that this is all assuming that Wall cares about regional and gender parity, if he wants to just throw those ideas out the window then it would make his life better - in the short run. For example, I won't be surprised if some of the women that I have listed above get dropped to placate the old-boy's club.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Saskatchewan Party's True Colors Starting to Show

Just ask the media.

It starts out with Brad Wall's Childhood:


If there was any indication Saskatchewan Party leader Brad Wall had a political future, it could be his childhood interest in the board game Poleconomy ... the game with the not-so-catchy title, initially launched in Canada with the support of the Fraser Institute think-tank.


And then there is the whole "promises, shmomises" angle:

Saskatchewan is now a "have" province, enjoying a prolonged commodity boom. Could its economy use any help? Actually, yes. Unfortunately, what it needs most, the SaskParty promised not to deliver: wide-scale privatization...With a booming economy at his back, Mr. Wall should spend some political capital and dare to aim high--even if it means breaking a campaign promise or two.

And then there is oil royalties:

Saskatchewan‘s current tax for extracting oil is considered less generous to oil companies than Alberta‘s, but Saskatchewan‘s premier-designate Brad Wall says he‘d like to change that

The Pulp Mill deal:

Saskatchewan's new government plans to re-examine a multimillion-dollar plan to redevelop a pulp mill in the northern city of Prince Albert.

Tilma? check:


It may have been Mr. Calvert's NDP that copped its right-wing-phobic campaign strategies from federal campaigns like Mr. Martin's. ... The Prime Minister has already begun throwing Ottawa's muscle behind traditional federal priorities: developing infrastructure and fostering interprovincial economic harmony by promoting east-west trade, a single market regulator and harmonized sales taxes, while backing away from centralized social policies.


Planning a purge of the civil service:

But the need for change goes beyond the need for fresh thinking and fresh thinkers. After one term in office, a government seldom has a strong grasp on its levers. After two, it should have. After three, it becomes difficult to tell the government apart from its bureaucracy. Prejudices harden, constituencies of entitlement-holders and -seekers form, the polity comes to have interests so vested that dissent is weakened. In short, it's unhealthy, as even Albertans appear to be starting to realize.

The media is already starting to lay the groundwork for Brad and Co. to rip off that sheep's clothing and reveal the wolf.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Election Predictions Review

We will start with the broad predictions and work into the narrow ones:

My most recent final numbers:

Sask Party: 31 - 36
NDP: 24-29
Liberals: 0

So I was off by about 4 seats. the NDP only got 20 (but three are waiting for absentee ballots to come in) So yeah, I was wrong by less than 30 votes in three ridings.

Specific Seats that I was Right/Wrong in:

1) Moose Jaw North

I predicted an NDP hold, but the Sask Party won by 30 votes (This is one of the absentee ones)
This one was a major upset for the NDP and I did not see it coming

2) Regina Wascana Plains.

I predicted this one would switch over.

3) Regina South.

Everyone said this one would go to the Sak Party and I said no way. I was wrong. the Sask Party won by just over 200 votes. That being said, this is not a safe Sask Party seat by any stretch of the imagination.

4) Regina Qu'Appelle Valley.

This was another upset for the Sask Party. I don't think anyone really saw this one coming.

5) Regina Dewdney.

Against people's claims, I predicted an NDP hold, which turned out to be right.

6) Regina Rosemont.

John Murney claimed a Liberal pick-up, I said that was nonsense. I was right. :-)

7) Yorkton.

I conceded it part-way through the election but I thought it would be closer than it ended up being.

9) Humboldt.

I also conceded this one. And based on the polling numbers, I knew this one wasn't going to be close.

10) Saskatoon Sutherland.

I initially did not think this one would go, but then news out of Saskatoon during the campaign convinced me it was going down.

11) Saskatoon Greystone.

I was totaly wrong predicting an NDP hold here.

12) Saskatoon Eastview.

I was totaly right predicting an NDP hold here.

13) Saskatoon Meewasin.

NDP hold, I said it all along, the campaign started with Liberals saying they were going to win it and it ended with the Sask Party saying they were going to win it, but the NDP held it.

14) Saskatoon Northwest.

Conceded it to the Sask Party.

15) Batoche.

Thought it might be close, but the poll numbers meant a Sask Party hold.

16) PA Carlton.

Another upset for the NDP (But wait for the absentee ballots)

16) PA Northcote.

As predicted, NDP Hold.

17) Sask Rivers.

I thought we were going to win, but the polling numbers said otherwise. The polling numbers were right, I was wrong.

18) Battlefords.

As predicted, and NDP hold.

19) Lloydminster

I thought this one would be way closer, but the Sask Party really won this one.

20) Meadow Lake.

Wait for the recount. (But for now it looks like I was wrong)



So in conclsuion, I called the 38 easy seats right and got 12 out the next 20 right. However, in at least 3 of those there are still ballots to count that could change things and in 2 more there was a difference of less than 250 votes.

I am going to go with about 90% of my predictions were accurate, which isn't too bad. But there were some surprise upsets in PA, Regina and Moose Jaw that don't exactly make for safe seats for the Sask Party.

The election on November 7th, 2007 will be even closer than this one.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Democracy

I don't like the outcome of yesterday's vote but I do like the fact that we live in a democracy that takes things like the smooth transition of power from the old government to the new one peacefuly.

There are other countries that are not nearly so lucky:


An anti-terrorism court in Pakistan Thursday granted bail to more than 300 lawyers arrested during protests against President Pervez Musharraf's imposition of emergency rule, attorneys said.

Chaudhry and eight other Supreme Court judges remain under effective house arrest.

Chaudhry has accused Musharraf of imposing the emergency because he feared an upcoming Supreme Court verdict on the legality of his victory in a presidential election on October 6.

We should be thankful for what we have and the people who did not vote yesterday should be shipped to Pakistan.

I will be back tomorrow with my recap of my predictions, where I was right, where I was wrong, and where John The-Liberals-Are-Going-To-Win-Four-Seats-including-Rosemont Murney was wrong (Just kidding John!)

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Election Day in Saskatchewan

It doesn't matter who you vote for, but Vote!


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Everyone wants NDP voters to got to the Polls

I mean, I understand the NDP wanting NDP voters to go to the polls:


Premier Lorne Calvert’s campaign will make stops in key ridings in Saskatoon, Moose Jaw and Regina, where he will encourage NDP supporters to continue to work to ensure the NDP forms another majority government in Saskatchewan.

But what is going on on the Sask Party Site?

After 21 Years of NDP MLAs, Prince Albert Voters Looking For Positive Change
Brad Wall Asks Prince Albert Voters to Support Darryl Hickie and Kevin Shiach

Yep, he is looking for NDP voters. He's not saying it in as many words, but that what he means.

I mean, at least the Liberals are open about it.

Saskatchewan Liberal Leader David Karwacki today spoke directly to NDP supporters of the necessity of having a strong opposition in the Legislature in order to hold the next government to account.
Now in the Liberal's case that makes sense, I mean, there is no point in appealing to Liberal voters because, you know, there aren't any.

But isn't it interesting that all the parties basically acknowledge that traditional NDP supporters will decide this election.

But what if they all voted the way they actually believe?

What if they all voted for the NDP?

I'm not saying that I think this is a likely or even probable outcome tomorrow, but what if?

There would be some red-faced media outlets.

Just like in 1999 (although in the opposite direction) and 2003.

hmmmmmm......

Monday, November 05, 2007

The Liberals bring in the Big Guns!

Hey, when none of your candidates are elected and 50% of your federal caucus in the province has resigned this year, you have to take what you can get.


Gerard Kennedy, former Liberal Party of Canada leadership contender and special advisor to Stephane Dion for party renewal was door knocking with some Regina Liberal candidates on Sunday.
Yep. A non-elected official out helping other liberals who can't get elected.

Sounds about right.

Maybe Kennedy will bring some of the Dion magic to Saskatchew.....no, I can't even type that with a straight face.

Where's Ralph Goodale in this Campaign? As the only card-carrying Liberal who is actually elected to any position in the province, he might be of some use.

Oh, right, he depends on too much NDP support in his riding federally to piss them off provincially.

Or, perhaps, even Ralph thinks Karwacki is a loon.

The only good news for a dipper like me in this election is that it could spell the demise of the provincial Liberal party once and for all.

Good riddance.

(P.S. David Kawacki can't win his seat, so stop e-mailing me to tell me I am wrong, I don't care, and it just makes me do more posts like this one)

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Sask Liberal Leader keeps making stuff up!

Seriously, how is this guy allowed to just get away with making stuff up left and right?

The Canadian Federation of Students website is trying to compare all the platforms of the two main parties in Saskatchewan and for some reason they let the Liberals play too.

Interestingly when it comes to Tuition the NDP is the only party that gets an A (The Sask Party is the only one to get an F on the report card)

But here is the interesting thing. What is the Liberal Plan?


The Liberal Party achieved a grade of B for their promise to continue the tuition freeze for 10 years.
REALLY?

That would cost in the range of a BILLION dollars, that is a hell of a lot of money. You would think they would mention that in, oh, I don't know.

Their PLATFORM!!!

and yet, not so much.

Not a cent.

The same amount budged for their Debt-Free-In-A-Decade-Scheme.

Seriously, why not just go around promising solid gold toilets for everyone? while you are pulling policies out of your ass, David, why not make them interesting.

Why does the media let this guy get away with this stuff.

Oh well, when you are only going to get 6-7% of the vote on election day and win no seats I guess no one takes you seriously, but still.

The stupid pronouncements of the leader don't help. If I was a liberal I would be calling for his head.

Friday, November 02, 2007

My take on the recent Poll Numbers

So everyone has been carrying on about the polling numbers from Saskatchewan:


The numbers suggest the Saskatchewan Party has the support of 54.2 per cent of decided voters, the NDP with 33.7 per cent of decided voters and the Liberals far behind with 8.1 per cent.

First of all, even the media is putting an important caveat on these poll numbers:


The samples aren't quite large enough to tell us whether or not, you know, what's happening specifically in Regina and Saskatoon

Secondly, this is reminiscent of the 1999 polls that showed the NDP with a 20 point lead and we all know how that turned out.

Now, before people accuse me of covering my eyes with my hands and ignoring reality, I admit that these types of polls have some validity and things are not looking good for the NDP.

However, in Regina I will stand by my prediction that only Wascana Plains is changing hands. Saskatoon is a different story. I think Eastview and Greystone are still fine (based on my local contacts) and I have always said that Meewasin will be going NDP. However, I am prepared to concede that Sutherland may be in the too-close-to-call category.

So if the NDP lose Wascana Plains and Sutherland, and they are in trouble in Yorkton, well, then that does not bode well for them. Even if they keep Meadow Lake, Sask Rivers and pick up Lloydminster (all still in the realm of possibility) they are still a couple of seats short of government.

I think it is looking likely that the Sask Party is going to form the next government, but I will stand by my claim that the final outcome is going to be a lot tighter than people think.

I think that Lloydmister is the only seat that could change into the NDP camp and I think that Yorkton, Sutherland and Wascana Plains are likely to go Sask Party. In the too-close-to-call camp remain Greystone, Eastview, Meadow Lake and Sask Rivers, but I think the NDP can (if things break in their favor amongst the undecided) hold all 4.

So here is my updated seat range:

Sask Party: 31 - 36
NDP: 24-29
Liberals: 0

I will work on narrowing that prediction down a little before e-day

(And by the way, when David Kawarcki said during the debate that he didn't think the NDP was going to form the government, Calvert's response should have been, "You aren't even going to win your own seat, so be quiet you goof and let the adults talk")

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Saskatchewan Debate Anaysis

First of all, this debate didn't change anyone's mind. There was no clear winner or loser and after the first shouting match most of the people would have turned off their TV's in disgust.

Stupid moderator. Stupid Format.

With that being said, Brad Wall didn't lose his temper so he did alright for himself, Calvert did a pretty good job of defending his government and Karwacki made shit up.

Karwacki's "plan" for highways is to complain about traffic jams? WTF?

Karwacki talked about the gangs he sees every day in Riversdale when he drives to his campaign office? The problem is that he lives in Silver Springs and is running in Meewasin. Why the hell would he drive through Riversdale every day? No wonder he thinks traffic jams are a big problem, he takes the longest route imaginable to get anywhere.

Karwaki once again talked about his debt-free-in-a-decade plan that he doesn't budget a single cent for in his platform.

And he claimed Stephen Lewis said that the Saskatchewan Liberals have the best plan for health care? Um, care to prove that one David?

Oh, yeah, cities will be the “Velcro” that keeps young people in the province. David is a moron. And what was up with his grandmother cleaning the toilet? What did that have to do with anything?

My Analysis? David was smoking the Karwacki Tabacci.

More importatly, no one's vote changed tonight.

The Sask Party's So-Called "Ethics"

In the wake of the Dan Harder scandal the NDP has been raising some serious questions about the so-called ethics of the Saskatchewan Party and Brad Wall.


Mr. Wall’s handling of Mr. Harder mirrors the actions he took around Regina Wascana Plains candidate, Christine Tell, who accepted a suspension from her job as a police officer after she was accused of improperly accessing private information.”

It was only after reporters raised questions that Mr. Wall referred the matter to his ethics panel, which reported that they accepted Ms. Tell’s statement about the events. Mr. Wall has also failed to address concerns raised about three other Sask Party candidates.


Yes, why was it back in the summer, that Ms. Tell's problems with the RCMP were turned over to the Sask Party "ethics panel" and Mr. Harder's problems with harassment were simply "dealt with" by Mr. Wall? (After he got caught covering it up)

Doesn't this mean that ultimately Brad Wall just makes the decision? So what was with the whole bullshit "ethics committee" investigation in the summer? Wall knew that he was going to keep Christine Tell so he sent his trained "ethical lapdogs" in to deal with the problem of Christine Tell and her RCMP investigation.

So for the record there is still no instance of the ethics committee actually finding any action by any of the members of the Sask Party unethical.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sask Party Candidate Quits due to Workplace Harrasment

As I posted last night:


The Saskatchewan Party's candidate in the Regina Walsh Acres constituency has stepped down at the request of the party's leader after allegations that he made inappropriate comments.

When Dan Harder became the party's candidate in the constituency for the Nov. 7 provincial election, he told the party about a complaint made against him in 2006 by three employees during his former job as executive director of Big Brothers of Regina.

CBC News recently obtained documents containing allegations that Harder made inappropriate comments about others based on race, gender, marital status, weight and sexual orientation.
So in other words this guy was asked to leave his job at Big Brothers of Regina due to workplace harassment.

But the next question is, when did this happen?

Well, it must have happened sometime after October 18, 2006. How do I know this? Because of this article posted on that day that still has him working in this position. And then Dan Harder is still listed as a contact person for the Big Brothers of Regina "Bowl for Kid's Sake" in 2007.

So it is getting more and more likely that this happened in 2007.

Update: And according to the NDP news release Harder was nominated in March of 07

And what was the Sask Party doing at that exact same time in 2007?

Oh yeah, standing up every day in the legislature and condemning workplace harassment.

In fact it was Sask Party MLA Nancy Heppner's big deal at the time:


"It is misconduct for managers and supervisors who know of workplace harassment not to take immediate corrective action."
- April 4th, 2007 Hansard, Page 1118 (link)


"Why weren’t earlier harassment complaints taken seriously?"
- April 5th, 2007 Hansard, Page 1214 (link)


And another Sask Party MLA June Draude had this to say:

"ignoring harassment complaints is in itself a violation of the harassment policy."
- April 3rd, 2007 Hansard, Page 1115 (link)


Yet, at about the same time that these Sask Party MLA's were getting up and denoucing workplace harassment in the government and blaming the NDP for doing nothing, what was going on?

One of the Sask Party candidates was guilty of workplace harassment as well. And what was the Sask Party doing?

They were ignoring the harassment complaints, they were not taking them seriously and they were not taking corrective action (until now when they got caught)

In other words, they were doing exactly what they were standing up in the house every day, for day after day, and doing, until they got caught.

But wait, what does the Sask Party have to say about ignoring workplace harassment and then getting caught doing it? Well, one of their MLAs Donna Harpauer had this to say:

It’s just crisis management. That is all it is. This is crisis management because they got caught. They got caught...So let’s have that investigation. Let’s
find out what went wrong here. Who knew? Who knew? ...is it okay with these members that people that covered it up are still employed. Is that okay? Is that zero tolerance? And I don’t think it is. Talk to these victims [of workplace harassment] and see how they feel.
- April 5th, 2007 Hansard, Page 1112 (link)

So there is at least one Sask Party MLA who thinks people who cover up workplace harassment should be fired. That there should be an investigation in this sort of situation.

Interesting. I wonder if she is going to come out and demand an investigation in this sort of circumstance?

oh, and by the way, what is the very next comment made by Sask Party MLA Donna Harpauer that day:

"You know, the member from Regina Walsh Acres, someone needs to take her to the back room and give her the . . ."
Oh yes, that is a famous phrase, remember?

This is how seriously the Sask Party takes workplace harassment, THEY DO IT THEMSELVES.


Harpauer said someone should "take her to the backroom and give her the horse ...,'' then stopped.

Harpauer later said the self-censored phrase was horseshit, adding she was referring to the backroom where cabinet ministers go after question period to be briefed by staff before facing reporters.

But Morin said she believed Harpauer was about to say horsewhipped.

Through tears, Morin later told reporters that the comment reminded her of when she was assaulted at a previous job.

Kowalsky ruled Wednesday that Harpauer's comments were unparliamentary.

"They constitute a personal attack on another member and caused considerable disorder in the chamber,'' he said.
What else could you call a "personal attack" against Sandra Morin, in her workplace (The Saskatchewan Legislature) if not workplace harassment?

The Sask Party are a bunch of political opportunists who used the issue of workplace harassment for political advantage all the while doing it themselves in the legislature, and covering up one of their own candidates doing the same thing.

To elect these people would be a tragedy.

Upperdate: On a lighter note Big City Lib has some specualtion as to what Mr. Harder may have said. Worth a read.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Sask Party is Only Party Not to Field Full Slate of Candidates

From the Sask Party site:


Saskatchewan Party candidate Dan Harder has withdrawn his candidacy for the Regina Walsh Acres constituency in the November 7 provincial election.

The decision was made after Saskatchewan Party Leader Brad Wall learned the details of a 2006 complaint made by employees against Harder while he was the Executive Director of the Regina Big Brothers. The complaint involved allegations of inappropriate comments made by Harder to employees.

Harder responded to the complaint at the time and no further action was taken on the complaint by Big Brothers. However, after learning the details of the complaint and Harder’s response, Wall felt Harder could not continue as a Saskatchewan Party candidate.

Wall said he had been aware that there was a complaint against Harder, but only learned of the details of the matter today.


Hmmm. I wonder if he got severance after being dismissed for harassment? And if he did and the Sask Party knew about that, then their whole spring legislative session attacking Murdoch Carrierre was pure bullshit.

Update: Yep, it was for harassment, read about the pure hypocrisy here

Not to mention all their "we have a code of ethics" crap. And all of the "don't the NDP know who is running for them" crap.

And these are the people that might get entrusted with the public purse?

Lying Liars and the Lies They Tell.

Sask Party Attack Website

Now, I don't agree with the information on this website, but the tactic of the website is not objectionable to me. (I do find it funny that they are still stealing all their images from the NDP because they are too lazy to have their own, but now they at least are following the law and sourcing them properly)

But what about all the whopping and hollering over the Wolf in Sheep's Clothing campaign? I mean, the comments section of Small Dead Animals got bat-shit crazy condemning the NDP for, quote, "Negative Campaigning" but the newspapers condemned the NDP for lowing the debate.

So I assume the same condemnation will befall the Sask Party, right?

Right?

*sound of crickets chirping*

Friday, October 26, 2007

Liberal Party of Saskatchewan Plaform Wildly Inconsistent

Hey, remember when David Kawarcki was all about Saskatchewan getting "debt free in a decade"

You know, it was his big complaint after the Saskatchewan Budget:


One of the more interesting ideas to emerge from Thursday's budget debate was Liberal Leader David Karwacki's goal of making Saskatchewan "debt-free in a decade.''

Karwacki's view is that billion-dollar windfalls from non-renewable resource revenues should be used, not for ongoing operations, like health and education, but for permanent debt reduction.

With the province shelling out more than $500 million a year in interest payments, Karwacki says paying down the debt would free up half a billion bucks a year for future economic and social development programs.



And he made it part of a big speech as reported by prairie fire:

We need to get to work to become debt-free in a decade. To leave this province a better place than we found it for our children.

John Murney over at his blog thought it was a great idea:

Saskatchewan could probably be debt free in about 10-15 years. Wiping out the debt in 10 years is very ambitious. I commend Karwacki for at least having the vision and the gumption to suggest the idea.

It is mentioned on the Liberal website here:

This $400 million dollar infrastructure investment would be funded through the sale of SaskFerco. Additional funds from the sale would be directed towards debt reduction along with our plan to be debt free in a decade.
And on one of his candidate's sites here:

Our plan for becoming Debt Free in a Decade will give us the flexibility we need to leave our children and grandchildren with a bright future full of opportunity.

One place where it doesn't appear?

The Liberal Platform which has exactly $0 for debt reduction. That's right, not a single cent over 4 years.

Is Karwacki just stupid and forgot all of his promises and all of his speeches?

Or was he just full of shit to begin with?

You decide.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Once Again, the NDP Out-Greens the Greens

I wonder why the Green Party of Saskatchewan didn't make this announcement:


Premier Lorne Calvert today announced that the Saskatchewan NDP would take steps to compensate for greenhouse gas emissions produced by the NDP central campaign and Leader’s Tour during the 2007 election.

“Creating a greener Saskatchewan is one of our five major commitments in this election,” Calvert said. “We want to demonstrate that we don’t just talk the talk; we walk the walk. That’s why we are working with Saskatchewan organizations to address our greenhouse gas emissions during this campaign and purchase green power.”

By offsetting emissions from the campaign motorhome, staff and campaign vehicles, and heating and electricity for the central campaign office, the NDP will compensate for almost 30 tonnes of carbon dioxide and purchase 20,000 kilowatt-hours of green power. In addition, the NDP will encourage its 58 local campaigns to also offset and use green power.

“We have calculated how much carbon our campaign will produce, and we will contribute $1,200 to the Saskatchewan Environmental Society to compensate for those emissions,” Calvert said. “In addition, by purchasing $500 of green power from SaskPower, our campaign is investing in the future of cleaner power generation in Saskatchewan.”


Oh yeah, 'cause the Green Party of Saskatchewan is just like the Green Party of Canada, well-meaning, but inept.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Saskatchewan Election Prediction Update

In my last pre-election post on election predictions I made the following point:

The seats to watch are the following ones:

Wascana Plains in Regina.
Humboldt
Yorkton
Greystone in Saskatoon
Meewasin in Saskatoon
Northwest in Saskatoon
Meadow Lake
Saskatchewan Rivers
Lloydminster


I am starting to hear some rumblings from people on both sides about a couple of these seats.

In Yorkton the NDP is running a strong campaign with a lot of support for the local councilor in the city of Yorkton proper, but not so much support from the rural area. This does not bode well for the NDP in this seat as they need to at least win a couple of polls in the rural to make up for the new suburban south-east end of the city of Yorkton proper, which the Sask Party has wrapped up. I am not ready to concede this seat yet, but it is on life-support.

The flip side of that is Sask Rivers. I hear from a friend of mine in the Sask Party that they are not getting the traction they need in the seat and I also hear that the NDP campaign office opening had 800 people out. If that's true, then this seat will be an NDP hold. (Perhaps defying conventional wisdom)

I have another friend who is involved in the Greystone campaign and says that the NDP are holding all of thier support from last time in the seat. If she is not lieing to me (and I have no reason to suspect she is being untruthful) the NDP will hold Greystone.

The Liberals are cratering in Saskatoon and will be lucky to get 10% of the vote in the entire city. So unless that 10% all live in Meewassin that means that Karwacki is done for (again). If this 10% stat hold true, the NDP will actually increase their percentage win in this seat (which may be the only seat in the province where this is the case)

And, sadly, I am afraid that it is time to concede Regina Wascana Plains. It does look like this will be the most likely pickup for the Sask Party.

So here was my summary going into this post:

Province-Wide Summary:
NDP: 24
SP: 25
Too Close: 9

I am giving Regina WP to the Sask Party and I am giving Greystone and Meewasin to the NDP. Yorkton and Sask Rivers remain too close to call but leaning in particular directions and I have no new information on the rest.

New Province-Wide Summary:
NDP: 26
SP: 26
Too Close: 6

I have said one thing all along, that this election was going to be closer than a lot of people thought. These numbers are looking like that will be true.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Sask NDP Announce Wait Time Plan

Health wait times is one of the areas where even New Democrats admit that there is some work that can be done.

Luckily, we are:


Premier Lorne Calvert today announced several new initiatives to further strengthen and preserve public health care in Saskatchewan. In addition to announcing plans for a second surgical care centre, this one to be located in Saskatoon, the Premier says an NDP government will expand cancer screening and prevention programs.

"Publicly funded and operated day surgery centres make good sense, helping to free up hospital space and resources for more complex procedures, while reducing surgical and diagnostic wait times," Calvert said. "With two day surgery centres, including the one underway in Regina, wait times will be reduced significantly and patients will receive their day procedures more quickly."

Once fully operational, the Regina surgical centre will be equipped to perform up to 10,000 surgical and diagnostic procedures each year, and the one in Saskatoon will perform up to 20,000. These procedures may include cataract surgeries; ear, nose and throat surgeries; joint arthroscopies; biopsies; and hernia repairs. Approximately 75,000 operating room procedures were completed last year; more than half were day surgeries.


It is only part of the solution, not the whole package, but it is a good step forward.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Sask Party Violates Copyright Law

So the SaskParty website has a series of negative quotes about the NDP on thier web page overlayed on top of different pictures of Lorne Calvert. (The yellow boxes in the screen shots below)






The problem is that all those photos come from the Sask NDP website which has a copyright notice at the bottom of the screen. (Hard to see from my screen shot but go and look yourself) Note: I particularly like the last image from the SP that has the Sask NDP logo in it and is obviously from the NDP convention.

Now I know what all the right-wingers are going to say - "fair use", "fair use"

One small problem


The Copyright Act lays out permissible exceptions to copyright infringement in its section on fair dealing. “The Copyright Act provides that any "fair dealing" with a work for purposes of private study or research, or for criticism, review or news reporting is not infringement. However, in the case of criticism, review, or news reporting, the user is required to give the source and the author's, performer's, sound recording maker's or broadcaster's name, if known” (Canadian Intellectual Property Office). If you read the Copyright Act, you’ll notice that there are no specifics about how much of a work can be used for these purposes, such as a particular number of lines or paragraphs.

If you want to read the relevant section in the Canadian Law it is here

I don't see the Sask Party site citing the source anywhere, do you?

More importantly, how lazy and stupid of a political party do you have to be to not have your own pictures of the opposition to use?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Amature YouTube and the Saskatchewan Election

When it comes to Saskatchewan election ads, we've seen the best, now let's look at the rest...



I know it supports "my" party. But what the hell??????

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Saskatchewan Party Web-Site Foul-Up!

Hmmm. Remember when the NDP put up their new web site and small dead animals and others spent all their time poring over it looking for the slightest mistake? Perhaps all that right-wing energy should have went into teaching Brad Wall how to use his web site.

Buckdog has the story:


Over the weekend, someone with the Saskatchewan Party's campaign made a huge screw up. For a brief while, their entire 28 day campaign - planks, announcements and television ads, were left unprotected for all to see. The press got their hands on the entire package and the 28 day Saskatchewan Party campaign is now public knowledge.

First of all, there is nothing overly remarkable in the package. A little tax tinking here, a little there ... much less than what would have been expected considering the shrieking and theatrics the Party has utilized over the last year in the Saskatchewan Legislature.

So what now? Well, it looks like Brad Wall and the Saskatchewan Party are going to soldier on without any element of surprise or timing for the next three weeks.

It does leave one to wonder how well they would run the government of the province when they can't even run a website!

Hah! Snark.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Premier Lorne Calvert on a Universal Pharmacare Program

It's time to hear about this straight from the source:


Certainly Medicare has a proud history in Saskatchewan. We invented it.

We invented it because, in the words of the Greatest Canadian Tommy Douglas, we believed that healthcare is too important to come with a price tag attached.

We believe that it’s your health card that should determine the services you get under Medicare, not your credit card.

Friends, I was very proud, in the spring of this year, to vote in favour of a budget that had within it the single most important improvement to a provincial Medicare plan in this country in a generation, the Seniors Drug Plan.

We believed then and we believe now that no senior citizen in the province of Saskatchewan should ever have to make a decision about which prescription he or she is going to fill in any given month.

We believe that no senior citizen in the province of Saskatchewan should have to choose between filling a prescription and buying gift for a grandchild.

And so we capped the cost of prescription medications listed in the provincial formulary, for seniors, at $15 per prescription.

Our province’s seniors and elders, whose contributions to Saskatchewan are incalculable, are no longer required to make these types of choices.

But friends, we also know that you don’t have to be 65 years old or older to be burdened by high cost prescription drugs. There are times when those costs represent a severe burden, and a measurable deterioration of a person’s, or a family’s, quality of life.

There are cases when the costs associated with prescription drugs are truly catastrophic.

It’s interesting to note that my predecessor, Premier Romanow, in his 2002 report on the future of healthcare in Canada, which was commissioned by the federal government, called for a catastrophic drug transfer program that would enable provinces to offset the sometimes unmanageable drug costs of their citizens.

Premier Romanow repeated his call for nationally funded catastrophic drug coverage in November of last year.

The federal government, not surprisingly, didn’t hear him. But we did.

Friends, our mission is to make life better for Saskatchewan families. Our mission is to ensure that all Saskatchewan people benefit from our strong and prosperous economy.

Our mission is to preserve, strengthen, and lead Canada in the provision of publicly funded and publicly delivered healthcare.

Today we take the next step.

Today, I am pleased to announce that an NDP government will introduce a Universal Drug Plan, modeled on the Seniors Drug Plan, effective July 1st, 2008—the 46th anniversary of Saskatchewan Medicare.

The Seniors’ Drug Plan works. Seniors and elders across Saskatchewan have repeatedly expressed their approval of the program to me personally.

The time has now come to extend those benefits to everyone in Saskatchewan so that a family’s ability to pay will no longer determine whether they get the prescription drugs they need.

Like the existing Seniors Drug Plan, the Universal Drug Plan will ensure that no one will pay more than $15 per prescription for drugs listed in the Saskatchewan formulary. If your prescription cost is less than $15 you will continue to pay the lower amount.

Friends, this program places Saskatchewan at the forefront of Medicare delivery in Canada, precisely where we belong, precisely where an NDP government will always insist on being.

We do not expect Brad Wall and the Sask Party to ever support such a program. They didn’t support the Seniors Drug Plan. They voted against the Seniors Drug Plan. They pay feeble lip service to the principles of Medicare itself.

Today’s announcement makes the choice in this election ever more clear.

It is a choice between a New Democratic Party dedicated to the principle that all Saskatchewan people should enjoy the benefits of our prosperous and growing economy, and a Sask Party made up of the philosophical heirs and political apprentices of those who have fought Medicare every step of the way since 1962.

We will deliver this program to the people of Saskatchewan, and this leadership to the people of Canada.

We will move forward together.

Thank you.

Days like this make me proud to be a New Democrat.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Liberal Candidate to drop out and endorse NDP

I am hearing rumors that one of the Liberal candidates is about to drop out of the race and endorse the NDP candidate in his or her constituency. I rate this rumor with a probability of 9 out of 10

If true, this is both awesome and hilarious.

Stay tuned

Tax Credits for Middle Class vs. Programming and Facilities for All

The Saskatchewan election is taking a play from the playbook of the Federal election. The Sask Party is offering tax credits that benefit a few (Those who pay tax) vs. the NDP plan to benefit everybody.


The NDP has learned that Brad Wall intends to unveil a $150 child-tax benefit, for kids taking music and art lessons, or enrolled in sports.

"I am a strong believer in the value of arts, cultural and sports activities in the healthy development of all children" [NDP Candidate Sandra] Morin said. "Wall's plan only helps families who are already able to enroll their children in music, art and sports activities but does nothing for those who can not afford these activities for their children. Wouldn't that money be better spent on programming in schools and community facilities so that all children can benefit?

"An NDP government will ensure that families have more money in their pockets to be able to enroll their children in activities such as sports, and art and music classes. With the NDP's universal drug plan, our lowest cost utility bundles and other initiatives we are making sure that all Saskatchewan families share in the prosperity they helped create."
It seems to me that this is just like the Sask Party's drug plan where they only want certain people to beneft whereas the NDP plan is universal.

Why does the Sask Party keep wanting to pick winners and losers in the population?

Friday, October 12, 2007

Saskatchewan Election "Battle of the Student Tuition Plans"

The Saskatchewan NDP has released the following plan:


Premier Lorne Calvert today announced plans to give young people even greater access to affordable post-secondary education and more reason to build their futures in Saskatchewan.

"An NDP government means that Saskatchewan students will be the first in Canada to see their undergraduate university tuition reduced by $1,000 in the 2008-09 school year, in addition to benefiting from a tuition freeze that will continue next year.

"This brings our tuition to well below the Canadian average, and your NDP team will make sure it remains well below the Canadian average in future years. By linking tuition to the Consumer Price Index, your NDP team is providing students with tuition protection," the Premier said.

Last year alone, the tuition freeze saved students an average of $1,500. An additional $1,000 in savings for each university undergraduate will ensure the cost of post-secondary education remains within reach of students.
This is building on the McCall report:

"Following extensive consultation throughout Saskatchewan, Regina Elphinstone-Centre MLA Warren McCall, now Minister of Corrections and Public Safety developed 45 options and recommendations. "

Wheres the Sask Party Plan is a little weak:

Students will lose under Brad Wall's policy. Tuitions will skyrocket. There will be no tuition reduction and no tuition protection from future increases...Unlike the Sask Party, the NDP welcomes young graduates from out of province who choose to pursue their careers and build their future in Saskatchewan. How is this complicated Sask Party program any incentive for people to come back to Saskatchewan and build their futures?
I think this one goes to the NDP

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Saskatchewan Ellection Call coming soon!

I just heard a rumor through the grapevine that Premier Calvert's nomination is Wednesday night. That means the election will be called probably on Thursday or Friday of this week.

Stay tuned!

Update: Whoops! Called on Wednesday night.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Che

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Saskatchewan Election Predictions - Wrap Up

I made a series of 5 posts examining each of the 58 constituencies in the province of Saskatchewan and my analysis on the outcome of the next provincial election.

Part 1 - The South
Summary:

Sask Party: 9
NDP: 2

Part 2 - Regina
Summary:

NDP: 10
SP: 0
Too Close: 1

Part 3 - Central Saskatchewan
Summary:

NDP: 0
SP: 10
Too Close: 2

Part 4 - Saskatoon
Summary:

NDP: 7
SP: 2
Too Close: 3

Part 5 - The North
Summary:


NDP: 5
SP: 5
Too Close: 3

Province-Wide Summary:

NDP: 24
SP: 25
Too Close: 9


The seats to watch are the following ones:

Wascana Plains in Regina.
Humboldt
Yorkton
Greystone in Saskatoon
Meewasin in Saskatoon
Northwest in Saskatoon
Meadow Lake
Saskatchewan Rivers
Lloydminster


So as polling and other data comes out, I will be applying analysis to these 9 seats. Now the Sask Party does have a small advantage in that they only have to win 5 of these seats but the NDP have to win 6 of them (to form a 30-seat majority government) but the flip side of that is that 6 of them are incumbent NDP seats and only Wascana planes and Greystone do not have the incumbent MLA running for the NDP (but new candidates) .

I am not ready to make my final prediction about who is going to win the election yet, but I will say this: IT WILL BE CLOSE.

either side will be racking up an impressive win here, either the NDP will squeek through again with a small majority, or the Sask Party will manage to edge out enough to form the government by a couple of seats.

If the Liberals were at ALL competative, I would actualy predict a minority government again (like in 1999) but with the possible exception of Meewasin, they cannot win any seats so that probability is out.

It is going to be an exciting election, so stay tuned. (Oh yeah, my prediction for the call of the election is on the 16th of October so we are less than two weeks away)

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Saskatchewan Election Predictions - Part 5

This is the fifth in a series of 5 posts examining each of the 58 constituencies in the province of Saskatchewan and my analysis on the outcome of the next provincial election.

Part 1 - The South
Summary:

Sask Party: 9
NDP: 2

Part 2 - Regina
Summary:

NDP: 10
SP: 0
Too Close: 1

Part 3 - Central Saskatchewan
Summary:

NDP: 0
SP: 9
Too Close: 2

Part 4 - Saskatoon
Summary:

NDP: 7
SP: 2
Too Close: 3


Part 5 - The North

Traditionaly a strong area for the NDP, with the two northern-most seats being rock solid bastions of NDP support.


1. Lloydminster

Margin of Victory for SP (2003): 1%

Now this one is very interesting, the raw vote difference was 64 votes in 2003, but there was very low turnout on the Onion Lake reserve. Interestingly enough, the NDP candidate is from that reserve (with over 1000 voters). Let's say that only 75% of the people who voted NDP last time do again, (a huge drop - over 10% in the popular vote) and then lets say the NDP candidate gets 50% of the voters in Onion lake to the polls. The NDP would then win quite handily. At the very least, this seat is far to close to call

Prediction: To Close to Call


2. Cut-Knife Turtleford

Margin of Victory for SP: 10%

This will remain Sask Party


3. Rostern Shellbrook

Margin of Victory for SP: 14%

This will remain Sask Party


4. Martinsville

Margin of Victory for SP: 30%

This will remain Sask Party


5. Batoche

Margin of Victory for SP: 7%

I know that NDP types are saying that this will be a possible pick-up for them based on their strong candidate (the son of the former MP from the area) . I think they may improve their share of the popular vote but 7% in a tough year is a lot of ground to make up. For the time being I am going to have to concede this seat to the SP.

Prediction: SP Hold.


6. Prince Albert Northcote

Margin of Victory for NDP: 30%

This will be and NDP hold. Both the Prince Albert seats have new candidates for the NDP and the results are bound to not be quite as decisive as last time. But PA has been rock-solid for the NDP for almost 3 decades now and with 30% leads (and absolute majorities) in both seats, both are staying orange on election night.

Prediction: NDP Hold


7. Prince Albert Carlton

Margin of Victory for SP: 30%

This will remain an NDP hold. See above.


8. Sask Rivers

Margin of Victory for NDP: 8%

The Sask Party has obviously targeted this seat. However, keep in mind that not only did the NDP MLA take this seat away from the Sask Party last time due to hard work and on-the-ground campaigning, but since then has become a cabinet minister that by all accounts has worked very hard for his riding. Also the SP decision to oppose the pulp mill deal is killing them in this seat. I am going to mark it as to close to call for the time being, but I would not be at all surprised if this was an NDP win on election night.

Prediction: To Close to Call


9. Carrot-River Valley

Margin of Victory for SP: 4%

This will remain Sask Party, but probably just barley, they did the smart thing and got rid of their biggest liability, the Sask Party incumbent, who kept trying to run in other seats and never showed up in the legislature. Flooding has also hurt the NDP in this area. All of this being said, if it looks for sure that the NDP is going to form government, this is a seat that could move.

Prediction: Weak Sask Party.


10. Meadow Lake

Margin of Victory for NDP: 6%

This was probably the best chance that the SP hadfor a pick-up in the whole province. However, they keep nominating bad people. Their first candidate resigned in a cloud of suspicion and their new candidate is the only Conservative incumbent MP in the country to lose to a Liberal in the 2006 election campaign. He has also referred to First Nations as "Banana Republics" which isn't going to be an asset for him in a seat that has 8 or 9 reserves. This should be a SP pick-up but due to their bungling, I am marking it as too close to call.

Prediction: To Close to Call


11. The Battlefords

Margin of victory by NDP: 20%

Without a strong Liberal candidate (like the incumbent in 2003) this seat gets even better for the NDP.

This will be an NDP hold.


12. Athabasca

Margin of Victory for NDP: 50% (Yes, that's right, the NDP got 70% of the vote)

This will remain NDP


13. Cumberland

Margin of Victory for NDP: 48% (Told you the north was solid)

This will remain NDP


Part 5 Summary:

NDP: 5
SP: 5
Too Close: 3

To-Date Summary:
NDP: 24
SP: 25
Too Close: 9

Check back for the full summary and anlaysis

Monday, October 01, 2007

Saskatchewan Election Predictions - Part 4

This is the fourth in a series of 5 posts examining each of the 58 constituencies in the province of Saskatchewan and my analysis on the outcome of the next provincial election.

Part 1 - The South
Summary:

Sask Party: 9
NDP: 2

Part 2 - Regina
Summary:

NDP: 10
SP: 0
Too Close: 1

Part 3 - Central Saskatchewan
Summary:

NDP: 0
SP: 9
Too Close: 2

Part 4 - Saskatoon

Saskatoon is always a key battleground for the NDP and this election will not be any different.

1. Saskatoon NorthWest

Margin of Victory for SP (2003): 3%

The NDP just lost this seat in 2003 with the lame (former Liberal) candidate Jim Melenchuck. Also, the Liberals got over 20% of the vote here and could act as a spoiler for any candidate. The SP are the incumbents and on the upswing, but the candidate that they have nominated is controversial to say the least (Calling the Charter of Rights and Freedoms a "Piece of Garbage" and making what could be considered off-color comments about Jewish people) . There are just to many factors up in the air in a seat that has been won by all three parties in the last three elections.

Prediction: To Close to Call.


2. Meewasin

Margin of Victory for the NDP: 7%

This is another interesting on. This would normally be a solid NDP seat but this is the seat where the Liberal leader ran last time (he has run in other places since) and I assume that he will be running here again. Of course, he was beaten by a person that was nominated 2 weeks before the election that no one had ever heard of - Frank Quennell. Quennell has gone on to be a high-profile cabinet minister for the NDP and has been working hard in his local constituency to keep the people there on side. I personally think that Quennell will hold the seat but I grant that this is the only seat in the province that the Liberals stand a chance in, so I would assume they will throw all of their resources into it (Course, being Liberals in Saskatchewan they will probably throw all their resources into say, Rosemont where they don't have a snowball's chance in hell). Ignoring typical Liberal bumbling, I am going to have to put this one down as too close to call.

Prediction: Too Close to Call


3. Silver Springs

Margin of Victory for SP: 4%

This one will remain close but in the SP camp.

Prediction: Weakly Sask Party.


4. Fairview

Margin of Victory for NDP: 30%

This will be an NDP hold.


5. Massey Place

Margin of Victory for NDP: 40%

This will be an NDP hold.


6. Sutherland

Margin of Victory for NDP: 20%

There has been some talk that the SP will pick up this seat. I doubt it. Both the Liberals and the SP get over 20% in this seat but the NDP get almost a clear majority (46%) . The NDP will probably drop a bit in this seat but the problem for both opposition parties is that the vote will split between them, allowing the NDP to run up the middle.

Prediction: NDP Hold.


7. Saskatoon Center

Margin of Victory for NDP: 40%

This will be an NDP hold.


8. Riversdale

Margin of Victory for NDP: 40%

This will be an NDP hold.


9. Nutana

Margin of Victory for NDP: 35%

This will be an NDP hold.


10. Eastview

Margin of Victory for NDP: 25%

Same deal as Sutherland - Both the Liberals and the SP get over 20% in this seat but the NDP get almost a clear majority (44%) . Again, the NDP will probably drop a bit in this seat but the problem for both opposition parties is that the vote will split between them, allowing the NDP to run up the middle.

11. Greystone

Margin of Victory for NDP: 18%

This is going to be a key seat. The NDP are running a brand new candidate (albeit one who won all the Federal polls in the seat as a Federal candidate) and this has to be on the SP list as a target seat.

Prediction: To Close to Call.


12. Saskatoon Southeast

Margin of Victory for SP: 8%

This will be an Sask Party hold.


Part 4 Summary:

NDP: 7
SP: 2
Too Close: 3

To-Date Summary:
NDP: 19
SP: 21
Too Close: 6

Check back tomorrow for part 5 - the north. Then I will post my final predictions for the outcome and a list of seats to watch on election night.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

US Democracy in Action

And people think the rollcall votes in the House of Commons are backwards?



Friday, September 28, 2007

Saskatchewan Election Predictions - Part 3

This is the third in a series of 5 posts examining each of the 58 constituencies in the province of Saskatchewan and my analysis on the outcome of the next provincial election.

Part 1 - The South
Summary:

Sask Party: 9
NDP: 2

Part 2 - Regina
Summary:

NDP: 10
SP: 0
Too Close: 1

Central Saskatchewan

Not a good area for the NDP. Most of these seats have been SP for multiple elections and not much is going to change.

1. Kindersley

Margin of Victory for SP: 38%

This will be a SP hold.


2. Rosetown Elrose

Margin of Victory for SP: 46%

This will be a SP hold.


3. Biggar

Margin of Victory for SP: 17%

This will be a SP hold.


4. Arm-River Waterous

Margin of Victory for SP: 10%

NDP types point to this one as a pickup because the vote count was so close last time and they have a better candidate this time around. I don't see this mostly rural seat switching in this election. In fact, I see the percentage going quite a bit up for the SP. Remember that when you look at province-wide polling trends, a few hundred more votes in this seat doesn't help the Sask Party at all.

Prediction: Sask Party hold.


5. Humboldt

Margin of Victory for SP: 2%

This one is interesting, the NDP candidate has apparently been busting her butt in this seat, and she is a fairly well-known united church minister. The difference is popular vote last time was a statistical tie. I think this one is to close to call as well. If it looks like the NDP are going to pull it off, I can see this one switching over.

Prediction: To Close to Call


6. Kelvington Wadena

Margin of Victory for SP: 26%

This will be a SP hold.


7. Melfort

Margin of Victory for SP: 16%

This will be a SP hold.


8. Last-Mountian Touchwood

Margin of Victory for SP: 9%

Again, NDP types point to this one as a pickup because the vote count was so close last time , but they are running the same candidate. I don't see this one changing.

Prediction: Sask Party hold.


9. Melvile Saltcoats

Margin of Victory for SP: 7%

The 7% win here was an abnormality in the last election due to the incumbent Liberal cabinet minister from the coalition running as an NDP'r and the reappearance of Grant Schimdt. Unless something else goes crazy this election expect the SP margin to dramatically increase here. (again, remember that when province-wide polls come out)

This will be a SP hold.


10. Yorkton

Margin of Victory for NDP: 11%

Here is the interesting one. Was this seat NDP because of Clay Serby, or can they hold it with a new candidate. I think this is too close to call.

Prediction: To Close to Call


11. Canora Pelly

Margin of Victory for SP: 16%

This will be a SP hold.


Part 3 Summary:

NDP: 0
SP: 9
Too Close: 2

To-Date Summary:
NDP: 12
SP: 18
Too Close: 3

Check back for Part 4 - Saskatoon

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Saskatchewan Election Predictions - Part 2

This is the second in a series of 5 posts examining each of the 58 constituencies in the province of Saskatchewan and my analysis on the outcome of the next provincial election.

Part 1 - The South
Summary:

Sask Party: 9
NDP: 2


Part 2 - Regina

1. Qu’Appelle Valley

Margin of Victory (2003) for NDP: 26%

I know there is some talk of this being a change-up seat but remember that the city polls in this riding (most of which are middle-income people) has gone up and the number of rural voters has gone down. The vote percentage will probably only be in the 5-10% range for the NDP but they will hold it.

This will be an NDP hold


2. Regina Walsh Acres

Margin of Victory for NDP: 40%

This will be an NDP hold.


3. Regina Northeast

Margin of Victory for NDP: 40%

This will be an NDP hold


4. Regina Coronation Park

Margin of Victory for NDP 40%

This will be an NDP hold


5. Regina Rosemont

Margin of Victory for NDP: 40%

I know that there has been some talk that this seat is a possible pickup for the Sask Party, but come on, the NDP got 63% to the SP 21% (three to one ratio). This seat isn't going to change hands.

Prediction: NDP Hold.


6. Elphinstone-Centre

Margin of Victory for NDP: 48%

This will be an NDP hold.


7. Regina Dewdney
Margin of Victory for NDP: 28%

This one is a bit of an interesting seat, in the past this seat has gone much closer to being a break-even split than in 2003. This has to be one of the SP top "to get" seats. That being said, I think this one is going to be close (and I was tempted to put it down as "too close to call") but for the time being I am giving it to the NDP. If polls come out in Regina saying that the NDP is slipping then this seat might go.

Prediction: Weak NDP Hold.


8. Regina Lakeview

Margin of Victory for NDP: 36%

This will be an NDP hold.


9. Douglas Park

Margin of Victory for NDP: 36%

This will be an NDP hold.


10. Regina South.

Margin of Victory for NDP: 22%

This is another seat that the SP have very obviously targeted. Even thought the margin of victory from a percentage perspective is lower than Dewdney, the total numbr of votes cast is much higher in South. Over 2000 more people voted NDP than SP in the last election. Make no mistake, the NDP vote is going to drop here, but some of that vote is going to go Liberal (which is might not in other seats). I think this seat is actually MORE safe than Dewdney.

Prediction: NDP Hold.


11. Wascana Planes

Margin of Victory for NDP: 5%

This is the one that the NDP are in trouble in in Regina. If it wasn't for the fact that the Sask Party candidate is the Regina Police Office, Christine Tell, who was investigated by the RCMP for disclosing personal information, and was eventually disciplined by the Regina Police, I would give this one to the SP. However, their candidate has become a liability in my opinion.

Prediction: To close to call (but leaning SP)


Part 2 Summary:

NDP: 10
SP: 0
Too Close: 1

To-Date Summary:
NDP: 12
SP: 9
Too Close: 1


Check back tomorrow for part 3 - central Saskatchewan

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Saskatchewan Election Predictions - Part 1

This will be the first in a series of 5 posts examining each of the 58 constituencies in the province of Saskatchewan and my analysis on the outcome of the next provincial election.

Part 1 - The South

Overall the souther seats in the province are rock-solid Sask Party seats. There is not much evidence that is going to change in the next election.

1: Cypress Hills

Margin of victory for SP: 45%

This will remain SP


2: Wood River


Margin of victory for SP: 30%

This will remain SP


3: Weyburn Big-Muddy


Margin of Victory (2003) for SP: 5%

Of course the SP did much better in the by-election but I would be very surprised if they held those numbers in a general election. That being said, I would also be pretty surprised if the vote count changed so much that the Sask Party lost the seat.

Prediction: Sask Party


4: Estevan


Margin of victory for SP: 20%

This will remain SP


5: Cannington


Margin of victory for SP: 50%

This will remain SP


6: Swift Current


Margin of victory for SP: 22%

This will remain SP


7: Thunder Creek


Margin of victory for SP: 23%

Now this seat will be interesting as Rick Swenson, the leader of the PC party, will almost certainly be running here. This will no doubt take some votes away from the Sask Party candidate. That being said, I doubt it will take 23% of the vote away.

Prediction: Sask Party.


8: Moose Jaw Wakamow


Margin of victory for the NDP: 32%

This will remain NDP


9: Moose Jaw North

Margin of victory for the NDP: 23%

This normally would be a slam dunk for the NDP but there is some issue with the MLA from this riding having stepped down from cabinet in the spring. That being said, he has been the MLA for 20 years and the NDP have always gotten over 20% margin of victory here so I am safe in predicting an NDP hold.

Prediction: NDP


10: Indian-Head Milestone

Margin of victory for SP: 10%

This is something of a swing seat but the incumbent is a fairly high-profile Sask Party MLA and the trend in the area is twards the SP so it is reasonable to assume they will keep this seat.

Prediction: Sask Party.


11: Moosomin


Margin of victory for SP: 29%

This will remain SP


Summary:


Sask Party: 9
NDP: 2

Check back tomorrow for Part 2: Regina.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Dick Cheney is Pure, Utter Evil.

This is just too much:


Vice President Dick Cheney had at one point considered asking Israel to launch limited missile strikes at an Iranian nuclear site to provoke a retaliation, Newsweek magazine reported on Sunday.

A military response by Iran could give Washington an excuse to then launch airstrikes of its own, Newsweek said.

This guy is nuts.

Friday, September 21, 2007

SDAP Goes Crazy

This will probably be the last post that I ever make regarding SDAP and the Heritage party because at this point we are just feeding the Troll's ego.

That being said, you have to check this out, Lance busts the guy hard (you have to read all the comments to get the full gist of it) and then the guy goes nutzo over at Murney's blog to the point where he has to cancel comments entirely. And then he goes even more nuts over on Saskboy's blog (again read the comments for a good laugh)

I particularly like the party where he starts ending his posts with "Legal Office Saskatchewan Democratic Action Party" like that matters. He accuses Lance of not existing (or of being some other guy) and photoshoping records, he accuses people of faking a Saskatchewan gazette, accuses other bloggers of not being real people, and he basically just goes completely off the deep end.

This guy is mentally unbalanced to say the least.

Update: So then I get this e-mail:


21 September 2007

Smarten up...

We are inviting you to take down the Libel you are posting and we'll
consider ignoring the behavior...

We'll be posting on political issues when ever and where ever they
appear as is our right as a registered political party.

If you figure you're just begin clever or that you are serving your
political party, consider that you aren't blogging to one of your
buddies, but you are attacking a registered political party. There
are legal ramifications to your libel.

Standard Legal: You have 30 days to remove the Libel against the SDAP
from all of your sites and pay us $250,000 for damage to our
reputation or legal action may be taken against you. It is our
opinion that your behavior has damaged our reputation and we believe
this is worth the amount above. Each day that passes we will consider
to be an aggravation of the damages you are creating with your libel.

Saskatchewan Democratic Action Party.

This correspondence is private communication between the Saskatchewan
Democratic Action Party and its recipient.

The message was sent from "Saskatchewan Democratic Action Party: sdap@accesscomm.ca" with the orignating IP of 65.87.230.25

Koo Koo, Koo Koo.

Nutter.

Uperdate: I am moving to comment moderation to stop the spam.

Liberal MP Donations Vs. NDP MP Donations

Nice little Canadian Press story:


Still reeling from Monday's humiliating byelection losses, Liberals are turning their attention to another horror story - their dismal fundraising record.
...
Only 29 per cent of Liberal MPs have donated to the party and almost none of their staff members.
Wow! I don't understand how you can be a Liberal MP and NOT make a single donation to the Party.

Let's take at look at the NDP. Each MP and how many times they donated in 2006 (for example)

Jack Layton - 13 times
Charlie Angus - 14 times
Alex Atamanenko - 7 times
Catherine Bell - 14 times
Denis Bevington - 13 times
Dawn Black - 11 times
Bill Blaikie - 15 times
Chris Charlton - 3 times
Olivia Chow - 14 times
David Christopherson - 13 times
Joe Comartin - 13 times
Jean Crowder - 15 times
Nathan Cullen - 13 times
Libby Davies - 12 times
Paul Dewar - 12 times
Yvon Godin - 11 times
Peter Julian - 15 times
Wayne Marston - 13 times
Pat Martin - 13 times
Tony Martin - 16 times
Brian Masse - 12 times
Irene Mathyssen - 13 times
Alexa McDonough - 14 times
Peggy Nash - 13 times
Penny Priddy - 12 times
Denise Savoie - 14 times
Bil Siksay - 16 times
Peter Stoffer - 12 times
Judy Wasylycia-Leis - 14 times.

So that is 100% of the NDP caucus making a donation. Sure, most of them are on a monthly donation system but still, recall that only 29% of Liberal MP's made ANY donation at all.

Now by Wikipedia's count there are 96 Liberal MPs. So 29% of that is 28 MPs who have donated.

So assuming the trend holds from last year MORE NDP MPS WILL HAVE MADE CONTRIBUTIONS THAN LIBERAL MPS. And we only have 1/3 as many MPs.

Yeah, I don't know why the Liberal Party is in trouble.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

SDAP Troll busted!

This may be the only time I link to Catprint in the Mash, but when you pull off a bust this good, it deserves to be recognized.

It turns our that the so-called "Saskatchewan Democratic Action Party" that has made comments in Saskatchewan blogs that include statements about 36,000 members and getting 60% of the vote in the next election is actually just a front for the Heratige Party that got 36 votes in the last by-election and has, like, 6 members province wide.

From now on, following the long established policy of this blog, I will only allow people to post with their real identity if they are using a cover to troll. So SDAP, post under your real name and/or party from now on here.

Update:
http://www.qp.gov.sk.ca/documents/gazette/part1/2007/G1200737.pdf

The Election Act, 1996 [clause 223(b)]
________
NOTICE OF AMENDMENT
Pursuant to clause 233(b) of The Election Act, 1996, notice is hereby given of an amendment to the name of the Saskatchewan Heritage Party to the Saskatchewan Democratic Action Party and the abbreviation of the name of the registered party to Saskatchewan Democratic Action Party – SDAP. Dated at Regina, Saskatchewan, this 4th day of September 2007.

Jean Ouellet,
Chief Electoral Officer.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

New Simpsons Game

The Simpson's fan in me just had to post this one:





In stores November 1st

Monday, September 17, 2007

Sask Party Candidate makes odd comment about Jewish People

So buckdog had this great post on Serge LeClerk, the new Sask Party candidate in Saskatoon:


Saskatchewan Party Candidate Takes Heat For Calling Charter of Rights And Freedoms 'A Piece Of Garbage'

A candidate for the Opposition Saskatchewan Party has been challenged to explain comments he has made concerning the Charter of Rights And Freedoms
Well it turns out that Mr. LeCerk has a couple more interesting things to say in his book "Untwisted" available on his website here, (copyright 2007) but I don't know that the Sask Party would want them brought to people's attention.

On Page 11, Mr. LeCerk has this to say:

And then there were the Sheeney Men, Jewish men with long black coats, black hats, and curls, who came down the street with their horse-drawn wagons.
"Sheeny" Men!

For those of you not in the know, I point you to dictionary.com. Sheeny can mean one of two things:

adjective, sheen·i·er, sheen·i·est.
shining; lustrous
or:

n. pl. shee·nies Offensive Slang
Used as a disparaging term for a Jew.
I will give you one choice as to which meaning Mr. LeClerk meant. I guess he could have meant shining Jews, but is that likely?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Which Middle East country remembered 9/11? (Answer may surprise you)

Which Middle East country held spontaneous candlelight vigils for victims of the World Trade Center Attack on 9/11?

  • Kuwait - No.
  • Saudi Arabia - No.
  • Qumar - No.
  • Israel - No.
  • Iraq - No.
  • Iran - Yes.
Read more here

Friday, September 14, 2007

Sask Party / PC Merger?

There is some evidence that shows that former Sask Party leader Elwin Hermanson approached the leader of the PC Party to discuss a merger between the two parties.

Why?

Follow the money.

According to the Sworn Affidavit of Rick Swenson (the PC Leader) after the 2003 election campaign he was approached by Hermanson to discuss merging the two parties together.

His sworn testimony is as follows:

(See the full affidavit here on the Sask NDP website)

So it is all about the money.

Perhaps that explains this story today:


The Progressive Conservative Party of Saskatchewan Trust Fund was set up in 1981 from contributions from the party "for the purpose of insuring the long-term survival and existence of the Progressive Conservative Party of Saskatchewan," according to the deed.

In 1997, with the formation of the Saskatchewan Party by Tory and Liberal MLAs, the PC party amended its constitution to allow the party to become inactive for two consecutive provincial elections.

During that time, the fund continued to disperse money to the party.

Swenson alleges funding was cut off when members of its board began discussing revival of the party.


Read more about this issue here and here