Tuesday, December 22, 2009

2009 Projections Retrospective

The year is coming to a close, and as I don't think I will be making another projection in 2009, I thought I'd take a look back at the projections I've made throughout 2009.

This is my first full year of making projections, and it is interesting how things progressed over the year. I'm looking forward to another year of projections in 2010, which will hopefully include some provincial projections (and elections). From what Michael Ignatieff has been saying in the press lately, it looks like we will not have an election in the coming year. But then again, we were absolutely certain to have one in 2009. So who knows anymore!

The chart below shows the projections I've made over the year, with one tick on the graph for every projection - a total of 55 over the year. That's an average of one projection every 6.6 days. While the trend line tracks every projection update, the numbers mark the status of each party at the first projection update of every month.If you take a quick glance at the opinion polling trends graph to your right, you'll see the projections more or less follow the same trends.

Let's start with the NDP. They've shown decline and growth, dropping as low as 19 around April. Things started to get better at the end of the summer and into the fall, and today the party is up to a projected 29 seats. So, we've seen a variation of 10 over the year.

The Bloc has been, as usual, rock steady. They've straddled the 50-seat mark, rising to 51 and dropping to 49, and back. That is what happens when they've managed to keep completely steady in the province.

The Liberals and the Conservatives more or less traded seats throughout the year. There was a period from the end of May to the middle of August where the two parties were neck-and-neck, and in the month of June the Liberals even had a small lead in seats. But the parties have not moved an inch, relatively speaking, since January 2008. The Conservatives are back to 140, plus or minus a handful of seats, while the Liberals are back to around 90, plus or minus a handful of seats.

Politically speaking, 2009 changed nothing when it comes to voting intentions. And I don't think the year has changed perceptions of the various parties either. Ignatieff is still considered an unknown because of the lack of policies the Liberals unfolded during the year, Harper is still seen the same way (not disliked, not liked), while the Bloc is still the choice of 2/5ths of Quebecers and has a stranglehold on the francophone vote. The NDP hasn't moved much either, but to their credit has managed to maintain most of the support that has pushed them to all-time highs since 2006.

What will 2010 bring? It sounds like it is going to be a boring year, politics-wise. It is possible parliament won't even sit until after the Olympics, and it is unlikely the Liberals will threaten to bring down the government after the thumping they received in the polls in September and October. That will leave the Jack Layton and Gilles Duceppe to do what they did to Stephane Dion. What's old is new again.

So, what was your best and worst of politics in 2009? I'd love to see some of our regular contributors weigh in on this question - but with one caveat. In addition to your overall best and worst, I want one best from a party you do not support and one worst from a party you do!


  1. I'll get the ball rolling.

    My Best in Politics goes to Stephen Harper, playing the piano at the NAC. Inconsequential, I know, but it showed a lighter side to what is generally a man without personality. Plus, he actually did a decent job.

    My Worst in Politics goes, again, to Stephen Harper and the Conservatives as a whole, in the language and political tone they used to denounce the coalition plan between the NDP and Liberals. While it began in December 2008, it carried over into 2009. The term "socialists and separatists", is now the political buzz-phrase which annoys me the most.

    As for my best and worst for parties I don't support and do, I'll go with the Conservatives and their new immigration booklet. I liked that it spelled out some basic precepts of Canadian society, that it put an emphasis on our military past, and even gave respect to the sovereignty movement in Quebec.

    My worst goes to the Bloc's support for the seal hunt. I believe in animal rights and have been a vegetarian for seven years. I'm not militant about it, however. That Europeans banned the import of this product does not bother me at all, but it did bother me how the Bloc gave this particular importance in the House of Commons, even hosting a seal meat dinner in the parliamentary cafeteria. Frankly, it should just be treated as an evil we tolerate, not something to celebrate.

  2. Retrospectively, this is excellent news for the Conservatives.

  3. Worst: Harper, Piano NAC, like you said, inconsequential, though portrayed as significant. And I disagree, Harper has a personality, just not a very charming one.

    Best: Opposition Critics re: the Afghanistan detainee issue.

    Worst, Party I support: Ignatieff's coronation.

    Best, Conservatives: the running gag that is Senator Duffy.

    Great work Eric.

  4. J. Kenneth Yurchuk23 December, 2009 00:11

    Nice challenge Eric.
    The apocolyptic apoplexy on the part of the Conservatives in reaction to the threatened coalition. While it effectively stampeded the Liberals into a panic, and therefore was successful, it was cheap, shoddy, and dishonest campaign. The worst.

    The best: Steadfast hardworking Paul Dewars doggedly pursuing the Conservatives, who come close to tying their worst with their shifty and dishonest attempts to derail efforts to get to the bottom of the detainee scandal.

    Worst from a party I support? Jack selling NDP support cheap (but at least not for free) when Iggy pulled the "Your time is up" gag.

    Best from a party I don't support?
    I guess I'd go with the Home renovation tax relief. One of the very few parts of the stimulus package that benefitted the working and middle classes, and actually put a lot of folks to work.

  5. Worst:
    The opposition parties and the Canadian people for ignorantly and self-destructively preventing the Harper Government from attaining it's much deserved majority.

    We're only hurting ourselves from not trusting this great man.

    Everything Stephen Harper does or says.

    Worst (party I support):
    The Harper Government for not attaining its much deserved majority.

    Best (from party I don't support):
    The Liberals for being so completely inept that they offer little to no challenge for the foreseeable future

    Bonus: The Liberals for electing another leader who fails to identify with Canadians in a broad sense and for moving to the right without shame.

  6. Best overall:
    I'll buy that immigration booklet.

    Jason Kenney may be a So-Con, but he handles his buisness.

    Worst overall:
    Coalition maddness.
    I thought we were a Banana Republic there for a minute.

    Worst for CPC:
    The way the've handled the detainee issue.
    It has been shaming.

    Best from others:
    Ignatieff renouncing the coalition and recognizing the damage it was doing, supporting the budget, and the HST.

    I like Iggy. I just don't trust the LPC as a whole.

  7. Best for party I support (CPC): Non panic and sound governance in crisis situations- isotopes, H1N1, economic downturn and recovery

    Best for party I don't support..

    Dewar getting biggest stimulus grants in his NDP Ottawa riding.

    Leblanc getting chief of staff Paul Zed banished to hinterlands after waffergate fiasco at his father's funeral

    years worst: The constant made up scandals - Mulroney-Schrieber, isotopes, H1N1, economic disaster, not enough stimulus, too much deficit, Olympic torch run through CPC ridings, CPC Olympic logos, wafergate, HST.. Liberals having the gall to talk about the environment.

    All these non-issues getting press cycles and so very little discussion, opinion on the biggest single stimulus spending item in history of Canada: the Auto bailout.

    Second place the Liberal gathering of the Chretien adscamers Kinsella and Donolo and Mario Laguë

    Year's worst move by CPC : Auto bail along with bailout of gold plated pension funds.

  8. New Nanos Poll out:


  9. Complete Nanos Numbers:


  10. Goaltender Interference03 January, 2010 16:02

    My Best in Politics goes to Martin Cauchon. He won a decisive battle against Denis Coderre. He has also set himself up to be a Liberal hero just by winning back his old riding, which would do big damage to the NDP (exactly what the Liberals need to be competitive again).

    Worst must go to the tag-team duo of Gilles Taillon and Eric Caire, which turned the ADQ into a joke.

    Not sure I'd give any Best or Worst Awards to the federal leaders for 2009. Seems to me that they're pretty much where they were after the 2008 election. None of them had any long-term successes or failures.


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