Friday, April 24, 2015

Post-debate polls suggest Wildrose slipping, but what about the NDP?

As debates go, the Alberta leaders debate last night seemed potentially consequential. Most debates tend to be dull affairs where each party leader lives up to their lowest expectations. But last night did not feel like that. What do the polls say?

One poll done just after the debate concluded, by Mainstreet Technologies, showed a big win for the NDP's Rachel Notley, with the Tories' Jim Prentice in second. That fit with the consensus view. But a voting intentions poll done by Mainstreet released this afternoon suggests that the NDP has not had a boost, though Wildrose has taken a hit.

A poll by Forum Research, done on April 22 and 23 (so before and after the debate), showed a similar slip for Wildrose. But the Tories dropped as well, and the NDP surged into first place. Is it an outlier, or a sign of things to come?

The projection, as always, takes the middle road. The NDP is now first in the vote projection with 35%, enough to give the party 26 to 45 seats. That flirts with a majority, but is mostly in minority territory.

Or Official Opposition territory, as with 32% Wildrose can win between 25 and 42 seats. That is down from the 35% the party had in the last update.

The position of the PCs has improved slightly, with 25% and five to 31 seats. That no longer puts them only in third place. They could still potentially finish in second, at least in regards to the likely averages.

At 5% and one to three seats, the Liberals can hope for the balance of power but nothing more.

Forum's poll, reported by the Edmonton Journal, put the NDP up 10 points from their previous survey of April 7-9. They led with 38%, followed by Wildrose at 25% (-5) and the Progressive Conservatives at 20% (-7).

Mainstreet's poll in the Calgary Herald showed Wildrose down three points since the poll of April 20, but still narrowly ahead with 32%. The NDP was unchanged at 31%, while the Tories were up one point to 26%.

These are opposing trends, though the margin of error in the Forum poll (+/- 3%, with Mainstreet's at +/- 1.5%) could explain much of the divergence.

The two agree on Wildrose being down, which is a believable result considering Brian Jean's middling performance last night. But they disagree on the trends for the NDP and the PCs. Mainstreet has the Tories still very much in the race. Forum has the NDP at almost double the PCs' support.

Part of that may be one of the oddities of the Forum poll. In total, Mainstreet gave the Liberals and Alberta Party 12% support. Adding the 'others' to that number, we get to 18% for Forum. Considering the slate of candidates these three categories include, that is just not plausible. The Liberal score may only be slightly inflated, but for the Alberta Party to have 4% to 6% support, they would need to average about 10% to 14% in each of the 36 ridings where they are running candidates. That just isn't very likely.

And what of the 5% Forum awarded to other parties? That will have to go somewhere, and is nowhere to be seen in Mainstreet's estimations (which do not include the option).

These polls are in some serious disagreement, but that discord might not be as dramatic as it seems considering the margin of error. The broader trends are still relevant - the New Democrats doing historically well, Wildrose polling just under its 2012 support but high enough to win a large number of seats, and the PCs in third. We will need some more polling, and particularly some polls done once the debate can sink in a little more (and perhaps fade from memory) to get a better idea of the precise state of the race.

But we shouldn't be too shocked at these results. The electorate is extremely volatile in Alberta, and for the last two weeks we have only heard from Mainstreet. Sooner or later, another voice was going to get involved and muddle things.

88 comments:

  1. Alberta about to make the biggest mistake in its history if these polls are right. We're still reeling from what the NDP did here in NS.

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    1. Dexter implemented centrist to right of centre fiscal policies to try to balance the budget. The Liberals are basically doing a shuffled version of that, and they're about to become just as unpopular.

      Every party that has been in power provincially has had a horrendous government somewhere. Grant Devine and Mike Harris destroyed their provinces.

      Otoh independent economic organisations have consistently rated NDP provincial governments, overall, the best fiscal managers of the three.

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    2. What are you talking about? Dexter's NDP government was the first in Nova Scotia in a generation to balance the budget.

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    3. Not the same people. Dexter was always centre-right.

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    4. Right, because the liberals and conservatives in NS have done so much better.

      Your attitude is hypocritical at best, condemning an entire party for the actions of one government is stupid. By your logic once a party is voted out of power they never should be voted for again.

      With that attitude no party in should ever be elected.

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    5. All politics are local. The NDP are still in Alberta and won't go that far left. They understand that easily, and Notley's platform looks a lot like Lauheed's and Bill Davis's first term. No doubt the PC's need to lose for the province's and their own good, and Mr. Jean looked terrible in leadership debate and not ready to lead. I think an NDP win would be good to shake up Alberta, and certainly would bring Canada closer together. And I say that as a tradition PC voter.

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    6. I beg to differ; the NDP varies dramatically by province; in Saskatchewan they took over after the Grant Devine government imploded (with 7 of its cabinet members ending up in jail!) and balanced the budget.

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    7. The PCs squandered Alberta's wealth during the province's long period of prosperity.

      I'm sure four years of a center-left NDP government will not be the biggest mistake in Alberta.

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    8. The biggest mistake in AB history would be to kick out the party which has been in power for close to half a century and who has saved virtually zero dollars after decades of pumping oil?

      The AB NDP are also just that, an "Alberta" style of NDP. They're no Marxists. Under Notley, a two-income household would stay at the lowest provincial income tax bracket up to a salary of $125,000 per person, potentially a quarter million dollars per household, before being bumped up to the next highest rate above 10%. So "socialist" or "communist" (choose your favourite descriptor) of them.

      Imagine - they might even do something as crazy as increasing royalty rates from their now rock-bottom levels (compared to global royalty levels) or even introduce some environmental protections! The nerve!

      But wait - all taxes are bad - all of them - vote WR!

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    9. Compared to what the liberals are doing now? I'd take Dexter back in a heartbeat

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    10. Dr. Hamm's and Rodney MacDonald's government balanced the budget in 2001 and kept the province in the black for 9 years only to fall back into deficit 4/5 years the NDP was in power.

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    11. You do know there was a world wide recession...

      Context = Important

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    12. Times weren't easy when Hamm and MacDonald were premier but, they made tough decisions to balance the books, even while transfer payments were declining because of Chretien and Martin. Dexter and Steele simply didn't have a commitment to balance the books-there's nothing wrong with that-it's a choice.

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    13. chirumenga,

      I know and worked with Darrell Dexter and I am pretty sure he would not describe himself as "centre-right".

      This is why you consider my writing authoritative but, your own writing is not!

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    14. I'm not interested in how Dexter would (inevitably self-servingly) describe himself. Tony Blair wouldn't describe himself as right-wing either, much evidence to the contrary. Public figures' self-descriptions are the least reliable sources for political analysis.

      Your writing is more ideological than analytical.

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    15. You certainly cared when I described you as a New Democrat! You are intellectually inconsistent and have no right to describe Mr. Dexter, whom you do not know, as "centre-right", if you would not want others to ascribe political leanings to you!

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    16. I don't actually believe you knew Dexter, but again, it doesn't matter. I can judge Dexter's politics by his actions (far more important than his statements).

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  2. Also as a side note, I think it is a huge mistake for so many mainstream polling organisations to be sitting out this election instead of pouring out the polls, experimenting with their methodologies, and trying to prepare and improve the for the general election in fall.

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    1. They probably are. They're just not publishing the results.

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  3. With the new aggregate, my simulators (modified/original) give:

    39/39 WR
    36/31 NDP
    8/12 PC
    4/5 ALP

    Interesting to note that the WR still wins the election in my model, even if they are trailing in voting intentions. The less populous rural ridings is giving them the advantage here.

    For the two polls, using only my modified model, the results are (Forum/Mainstreet):

    56/27 NDP
    23/44 WR
    4/11 PC
    4/5 ALP

    That is one huge difference! One has the NDP with a solid majority, the other has a slim WR majority. Give it to Alberta to have a majority government! The PC, one way or the other, seems to be out of the running.

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  4. Hey Eric, are the riding-specific polls from Abingdon Research eligible for inclusion?

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/elections/alberta-votes/alberta-election-6-ridings-where-the-pcs-are-faltering-in-the-polls-1.3047764

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    1. Yes, I'll be looking at including them next week.

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  5. I'll never count the PCs out. The ground game for both the NDP and Wildrose simply isn't there in enough places.

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    1. The ground game won the 2012 election for the PCs and the lack of one cost WR victory. At this point one wonders if their ground game will be enough?

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  6. Several things should be considered with this poll:
    First, this poll may be an outlier (especially in Edmonton, where the sample size is so low, only 736 surveyed). So these numbers are not exactly reliable.
    Second, the seating projection can change wildly with these results. The biggest problem is the number of seats which are too close to call (they can go any way, especially Calgary). PC seat spread is 42, Wildrose is 39 and NDP is 33. This means the actual results are extremely unpredictable.
    Third, these polls may cause the the right to rally behind one party (either Wildrose or PC). I doubt whether Albertans are prepared to accept NDP government.

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  7. I still think this is a massive joke/trolling by Alberta voters. Tell pollsters NDP or WR are going to win for their headlines, might all switch to Liberal in last few days to really throw them off. PC's are going to win a sizable majority. I say this as a life long NDP voter.

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  8. The real wildcard here is Nenshi. If the NDP can win big in Calgary, they can easily form a majority government. No doubt an NDP government would be very good for Nenshi and Calgary, and would free up a lot of much needed funds for him and the city. At the same time, it would political suicide for Nenshi to come right out and support the NDP right now. He would make a lot of unnecessary enemies from both moderate PC's and Liberals of all stripes that could come back to haunt him in the future. Look for him to do exactly what he did last night. Though his tweet seemed to go after all candidates, it really made Mr. Jean look bad, without at all going directly at him. Look for lots of indirect posts like that going after the PC's and Wildrose, while not coming right out and supporting Notley. This will endear him greatly to left of centre Liberals and position him perfectly if Mr. Trudeau falters in the next election.

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  9. At this point it appears pretty clear that, barring some terrible gaffe, the NDP will carry a huge chunk of the vote. And whether or not it actually happens, the perception is what's really important: the sense from the post-debate polls and punditry that an NDP victory is possible and perhaps even imminent. But as a result, fear of vote-splitting is likely to lead voters on the centre-right to coalesce on a single choice, such that the NDP's strength, rather than benefiting themselves, instead pushes us to a question of which of Prentice and Jean can make the better case as the alternative. These are majority government stakes, I wager, because there'll be a huge positive feedback effect for whoever starts to pull away and because the NDP vote is just so darn inefficient.

    From his behaviour in the debate, and his comments after, it's clear that Prentice knows this. He's completely sidelining Jean, trying to use his incumbency to make himself the natural choice for the centre-right. As some commenters here predicted, the end result is the inverse of 2012, a ploy in the same spirit as the rallying cry of "Stop Danielle!". When I first read comments suggesting this possibility, I dismissed them, saying "Nah, won't work, because everyone knows that the NDP can't actually win." No longer.

    That's the brilliance of Prentice's debate strategy. He's gotten a lot of flak for focusing exclusively on Notley, with many saying that it made it her seem that much more legitimate. It did, but it's a Trojan Horse: by setting Notley up as a feasible bogeyman, Prentice has refound his lost path to a majority government. As such, it comes down to whether Jean can prevent a Wildrose exodus. As someone who thinks that 44 years is long enough, thank you, I very much hope that he can. But neither his debate performance nor these initial polls are as promising as I would like, and Prentice has proven himself quite clever. So.

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  10. I think one has to go with the Mainstreet poll over Forum-the sheer difference in sample size makes me think Forum's may be a rogue poll. MoE may explain a good deal of the divergence but, I think 25% at this point for WR is far too low and well outside what other polls have shown us.

    Anything could happen in this election but, for my money I'll bet on a Wildrose majority!

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  11. 10 days to go and it's still anybody's game. Hopefully this close race spurs a higher voter turnout as Alberta provincial politics is notorious for its low turnout. The competitive Alberta elections of 1993 and 2012 resulted in a higher than average turnout than the other elections where the election result was a foregone conclusion.

    What's unusual is that despite the Wildrose generally leading, nobody is taking Brian Jean seriously. The media nor the PCs/NDP are attempting to dissect the Wildrose platform. It's as if the Wildrose is polling a distant third.

    Another interesting tidbit is that the Forum poll shows 38% of former PC voters are supporting the NDP while only 18% are supporting Wildrose. This shows why Prentice decided to focus on Notley rather than Jean during the debate.

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    1. Your last point is absolutely essential. Only people with a vested political interest have avoided mentioning it.

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    2. Very fair point.

      Re: the 18/38 thing. It's unclear to me where those numbers come from but if it's "voted PC in 2012" then it makes perfect sense. Because most of the 2012 PC vote came from people who are more comfortable voting further left, but felt very threatened by the Wildrose. But they pretty much blew their shot at getting those votes again by little different from a WRP government.

      Maybe the PCs could find a way to re-stoke that fear to get those voters back, but as long as they're polling third, it's pretty hard to market themselves as the defensive vote to either side of the spectrum.

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  12. Here's what I find really interesting: if the NDP do not win a majority, it seems far likelier that Wildrose and PC would be able to form a larger minority than NDP/Libs with the Libs virtually out of contention. So we are really balancing on the edge of seeing the election of an NDP majority, or a minority led by Wildrose. The dynamics of a Wildrose/PC minority are not at all clear, and it would be a tough thing to swallow for the PCs... and maybe for the Wildrose. Should be fascinating either way, and to those who seem to fear that electing NDP is the same thing as electing Lenin... well.

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  13. I think the vote distribution will tell he tale. The Wildrose is strongest in central & southern rural Alberta, including in the smaller cities like Red Deer; they less dominant in northern rural, where the PCs have had a lock for generations. The NDP are becoming dominant in Edmonton, and Calgary seems to be in flux. The NDP also has opportunities in a couple of smaller centres, like Lethbridge.

    So we could see a highly regionalized, minority legislature after May 5th. How a stable government emerges from that will be something to see. I have my doubts.

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  14. What kind of polling is there for the area known as "The rest of Alberta"?

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  15. Hi, Eric. Here's something to another poll I found today to add to your calculations:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/a6f9pndj33rpaa9/Pantheon%20Release%20Apr%2024th.pdf?dl=0

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    1. Wow, where the heck did that poll come from? Not one media outlet has picked it up, even though it confirms Forum's poll of an NDP lead, and is much more thorough. It at least gets rid of the dreaded "rest of Alberta" moniker and divides the North and the South, with the NDP surprisingly surging in the south.

      It's another survey that confirms that Notley was way ahead of Prentice before the debate, yet so many still expect the PC's to win.

      What will be interesting is how the debate effects the numbers. Notley was already so far ahead, and ahead of any ceiling predicted, so how high is her max now? Will many Reformers change their vote from Wildrose to PC after Mr. Jean's debate performance, and to keep the NDP out? Or will they strategically vote which actually could guarantee the NDP can't get a majority.

      The big question: Why is a survey this big and this comprehensive being totally ignored by the media, when it's coming from a reputable polling company?

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    2. 11matt11, why do you think this to be a reputable polling company? I had not heard of them before just recently, and their website has almost no information. I have sent them an email asking about them but have yet to receive anything.

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    3. Eric, I too agree the veracity of this poll and m.o. of this polling organization need more investigation.

      Until then, I will treat Mainstreet Technologies with caution and their poll results as an outlier.
      Keep up the good work.Cheers.

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    4. Mainstreet is not the firm I was referring to, but rather Pantheon.

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    5. Éric,

      They've done polling for the City of Calgary... I know that doesn't impart reputability, but it can't hurt.

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  16. The interesting thing about the Forum and Pantheon polls (if we take the latter seriously: it claims to be a formed-this-year Calgary based organization but has a barely existent website at pantheonresearch.ca) is that they get basically the same results as the 1ABvote people. Pantheon may be a sock puppet, 1ABvote is explicitly a campaign, but Forum is (whatever criticisms anyone may have) well established. That they're showing common results suggests those results are available to be found. Which doesn't make them "the truth", much less how things will pan out in the election, but it does make them interesting!

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  17. On Pantheon Research, pantheonresearch.ca and pantheondata.ca go to the same placeholder landing page. But the site to look at is http://justinbumstead.ca. Apparently a recent geography graduate from U of C, @jbumstead87 is actually a real person and carrying on an extensive twitter conversations with @quito_maggi (Mainstreet). FYI.

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  18. This is fun to watch. The impossible might just happen and we'll see an NDP government in Alberta. Still a long ways to go but this is a lot of fun to watch from Ontario where we had the same thing happen but out of the blue in 1990 - I don't recall anyone saying the NDP might actually win it that year. Wonder what will happen if the NDP has the most seats in a minority situation - would the PC's and Wildrose work together to run the province and totally mess up Harper's arguments come the fall should he get the most seats and the Libs & NDP work together. That would be fun.

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    1. Prentice will have the opportunity to meet the House unless he resigns. So, a PC-WR working arrangement is possible.

      Harper will also have the opportunity to meet the House in the Autumn. The reason why the coalition was unconstitutional in 2008 was because the Government was not defeated on a confidence motion and had won a vote on the Throne Speech demonstrating Harper had the confidence of the House and hence the right to advise on the use of the Royal Prerogatives.

      Layton, Dion and Duceppe, wanted nothing less than to re-write the rules of responsible government so that a ministry could be appointed without; 1. defeating the Government on a confidence motion, 2. without winning a vote demonstrating they held the confidence of the House, 3, Against the standard advice of the Lascelles principles that a request for a dissolution could be ignored if a general election would damage the national economy, The parliament was viable and a PM could be found who is able to govern for a reasonable period.

      In the case of the coalition Dion had already resigned as Liberal leader and could not be expected to govern for a reasonable period; a general election would do far less damage to the economy than a Government propped up by the BQ; Therefore, the Parliament was not viable since, the NDP and Liberals did not even control a plurality of seats nor could they rely on the BQ in any meaningful sense to pass their legislation.

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    2. THE 2008 COALITION WAS NOT IN ANYWAY UNCONSTITUTIONAL!!!!

      How many times does this have to be said before you right-wing propagandist stop using that canard. You are completely misrepresenting events and facts to suit your right-wing agenda, and you twisting of how our government works is insulting.

      Once again;

      the 2008 coalition, was not, is not and never will be unconstitutional and you can ask Opposition Leader Harper since he was ok with it had the NDP been ok with forming one with him against Martin.

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    3. It's true that the 2008 coalition had not yet defeated the government in the house, but they were clearly planning to. They said as much.

      They just didn't get the chance because of prorogation. That prorogation worked shows clearly that the coalition wasn't doing anything unconstitutional.

      It was a bit cheap that they voted for the throne speech, and then decided to defeat the government on its budget which conformed almost exactly to the throne speech. The only substantive difference was the elimination of the per-vote subsidy - if that's what they were defeating, they should have been open about that.

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    4. DCMOJY,

      The way Layton and Brian Topp thought they could go about and become government was unconstitutional, illegal and borders on treachery. They gave the Governor general unconstitutional advice, that if followed, would have damaged the monarchy, Parliament and democracy in Canada itself (responsible government)! The fact the advice was not followed demonstrates it was improper!

      Layton, Dion and Duceppe advocated the appointment of a coalition government that had not defeated the Government on a confidence motion-such an act would have been unconstitutional! They then proposed the installation of a coalition government that had not won a confidence motion demonstrating they held the confidence of the House or won election-such an appointment would have been unconstitutional! They proposed the Governor General dismiss the prime minister who had recently won a confidence motion-the Throne Speech! Without just cause the Governor General's action in such regards would have appeared to be unconstitutional even if technically they were legal.

      As Ira mentions, the cabal was planning to defeat the Government, but, planning and doing are two separate things. The Crown can not act on plans they must see results. Responsible government is the convention that the Government is held accountable to the House through the mechanism of votes! So a vote is absolutely essential in order to change the Government. That prorogation worked clearly shows that Harper held the confidence of the House and the Crown since, he had not yet been defeated. It also demonstrates that a change-over of ministries can not be accomplished without a vote of confidence- something the cabal, had not achieved.

      Coalitions in and of themselves are not unconstitutional, however, they way in which Layton, Topp, Dion and Duceppe tried to become Government without first defeating the Government on a confidence motion by providing unsolicited and improper advice to the Crown was an unconstitutional attempt to become Government-one that if followed would have re-written the convention and rules of responsible government, damaged the Monarchy and made Parliament irrelevant.

      New democrats should be ashamed and really should ask for blood because of Topp's poor planning. If they had kept their mouths shut they may have pulled it off but, Layton couldn't keep a secret and started crowing about how smart he was. That gave Harper the time and opportunity to use the Royal Prerogative and shows that Dippers can't be trusted with state secrets.

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    5. The Harper 2004 coalition with Layton was constitutional since, it presumed Martin would first be defeated on a confidence motion in the Commons. That's the difference: Dion, Layton and Duceppe wasnted to be appointed Government without first defeating the Government-Harper understood how government formation, the Constitution and responsible government work and acknowledged the Government must first be defeated on a confidence motion. Layton wanted nothing less than to usurp the Constitution for his own egomaniaical means.

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    6. bede,

      You've used this line before, it's as false now as ever and you know it.

      The manner in which the coalition was formed and would have been implemented are 100% legal and justifiable. There is no argument or speculation to the contrary, this is fact.

      The notion that the coalition partners were planning to harm our government institution, conventions, constitution or the monarchy is complete lunacy. They announced their intention to form a coalition and defeat the government at the next opportunity. Parliament was prorogued without need by the government to save itself, that is the only legally gray area.

      If the partners are guilty of anything it was not acting fast enough and going to the GG with their intention right after the presser, thus stopping the Tories from closing down parliament.

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    7. A lot of debating stuff that was done 6 years ago. The Libs/NDP/BQ could've taken Harper down easily had they just had patience. Make an agreement then wait until Harper finally runs out of tricks and vote him out. Dion though was a disaster - and his party refused to act professionally as I figure the 2 groups who felt they should've been running things (Ignatieff & Rae) I suspect were doing whatever they could to mess things up figuring they'd get their shot in a year or two. Very dumb, and short sighted. The biggest issue for destroying Canadians confidence in our system was Harpers prorogation as it was obvious he was just trying to hold power as long as possible hoping the other 3 would blow it like they did.

      This election will be interesting - to see if Harper doesn't get a majority, how he reacts should the Libs/NDP/Greens appear ready to boot him out.

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    8. Think about it DCMOJY,

      If the advice Layton gave was proper and constitutional why did Michaelle Jean, appointed by a Liberal and whose political beliefs and opinions as far as the common man or woman can tell lean to the left, not follow constitutional, legal and proper advice from Dion and Layton?

      The answer that is painfully obvious is the advice had major constitutional flaws.

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    9. Don't Count Me Out Just Yet,

      I am very sorry you don't understand how our constitution works! If you try and become government without a vote in the Commons whereby the sitting Government is defeated your methods are unconstitutional and illegal! Dion and Layton should and probably did know better but, Jack was power hungry and I suppose so was Dion. Sad really because it means both are not true democrats.

      Your second paragraph is complete falsehood; the coalition was not formed so it could not have been "100% legal". The fact Her Excellency felt harper's advice was correct helps demonstrates that the Crown had reservations about the cabal of Layton, Duceppe and Dion.

      The fact is had the GG acquiesced to unsolicited and improper advice by Layton the effect would have hurt the Monarchy, because such action would have been seen as illegitimate by many Canadians, hurt Parliament because it means the Crown-without the approval of the House of Commons may appoint a Ministry and by doing so change the convention of responsible government since, the Crown approves the Government unilaterally.

      You need to read the letter Mr. Dion, Layton and Duceppe sent to Her Excellency, it does not mention they would defeat the Conservatives at "the next opportunity" it states Mr. Dion holds the confidence of the Commons which was, at the time of writing, untrue and unproven since, no vote had taken place.
      Therefore, what Mr. Dion advised was not only untruthful but, unconstitutional since, his proposal would have meant the Crown would have unilaterally dismissed a sitting PM who held the confidence of the House, through the passage of the Throne Speech and had not yet lost a vote. Furthermore, it would have imposed a ministry that was neither elected by the people nor had won a confidence motion-such actions are a complete rebuke of the convention of responsible government! The Crown has not taken such action since the mid-1840’s. You call yourself a "New Democrat" instead of what you really are a; “New Absolute Monarchist”!

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    10. Such rhetoric doesn't alter the Constutition Acts. From Section 12, "with the Advice or with the Advice and Consent of or in conjunction with the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada, or any Members thereof, or by the Governor General individually", the GG can act alone or on advice from Members of the Privy Council. Furthermore, while customary to first defeat a sitting government in a vote of confidence, it is not explicitly stated in our Constitution Acts.

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  19. Éric,

    I would imagine that most posters on this site would agree that this Alberta election is definitely a STOP someone vote.

    From the get-go, it seemed that Prentice had been too clever by half in welcoming Danielle and Company into the PC fold. I thought the PCs would likely lose power because of that.

    But now, with the NDP running ahead of the other parties -- that strikes me as a blessing for the PC Machine. The emphasis could very well shift from stopping Prentice to blocking Notley from forming a government.

    Under such scenario, soft supporters of Wildrose might shift back to Prentice rather than vice-versa, to keep the NDP out of government.

    I would call it a potential Prentice redemption and it might just win the day once the smoke clears.

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    1. Well that's an interesting opinion but there's no evidence to show that the Albertans are Voting to stop someone. While it's true Mr. Prentice has so far fumbled the election, it's been Smith and Co. who paid the price with their political careers.

      As for the people shifting they votes to stop the NDP or WR voters moving to the PC there's nothing that shows that. Fact is the NDP has been running high in the polls the whole election since day one and only getting stronger day by day and poll by poll. If people were going to switch we would see it already but the trend line it rising for the NDP and falling for the right-wing parties.

      Now knowing Alberta, it's entirely possible the there could be a major vote shift a la 2012 but well have to see on election day if the polls continue to show the NDP on the rise.

      Other then that what you're suggesting is wishful thinking not represented in the polls.

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    2. There is a "STOP someone vote" happening, and its going to the NDP at the expense (primarily) of the PCs. With, as Forum found, 38% of past PC voters now supporting the NDP and, remarkably, 12% of past WR voters also now supporting the NDP. Those people who most fear the NDP getting into power are already in the PC and Wildrose camps, but the movement has been going in the other direction.

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    3. Well, I am an example of a "conservative" and PCAA member who is voting NDP this time. My vote is not an anti-Prentice or pro-Notley vote. No, my vote is a straight-out vote to get rid of Mandel, who I detest as a politician. Further, it is my opinion that voting NDP in Edmonton is most likely a vote for a Rosie government since it will deny PCs seats. I have no problem with that. In fact, even the unlikely possibility that the NDP forms a government doesn't really phase me. The income tax proposal of the NDP is only marginally more taxing to me than the PCs (with the healthcare premium factored in ... and I am a 1%-er). Moreover, I agree that if personal income tax rates must go up, so should corporate tax rates. Shared shouldering of the solution requires no less! (By the way my preferred solution to the revenue stabilization issue is to keep the income tax rate flat and to introduce a 5% PST harmonized with the GST.) The bottom line is that the reality of the modern democratic capitalist state in a globally interconnected economy within the contest of export dependent province with its need for large foreign investment capital will inevitably force any NDP government to restrain its more exuberant tendencies in any event.

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    4. Prentice only becomes a reasonable option to help stop one side or the other if Albertans don't believe the polls, of if they're trying to stop both the NDP and Wildrose.

      The latter appears impossible given the polls.

      The former should appear absurd to the voters, given the polls. However, the polls themselves suggest that Albertans don't trust the polls, so that might just work.

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  20. Random aside: I was polled on the Alberta Election yesterday by ROI. Fairly simple poll (didn't ask me for much in the way of demographic info (age/sex/income etc. etc.) just if I rented or owned... other then that just the standard Voting Intention, Issue Importance, Leader impressions, and Prior Voting.

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  21. It's worth noting that when it comes to fundraising, the NDP is second behind the Progressive Conservatives. Furthermore, the bulk of donations to the PCs is corporate (80% of donations above $250), while donations to the NDP are overwhlemingly from individuals.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/alberta/the-election-index-ndp-fundraising-surge-suggests-alberta-election-polls-not-a-blip/article24015660/

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    1. So if the NDP wins and wants to screw over the PC's they'll pull a Harper and change the fundraising rules ASAP. No more corporate/union donations only from individuals with a low cap.

      Of course, that requires the NDP to win first. Wonder how it will affect things if the NDP gets a majority purely on Edmonton/Calgary - is that possible?

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    2. A majority of 44 seats would require winning every single one in Edmonton and Calgary. So it's a possible-but-unlikely result, particularly since they haven't picked up a seat in Calgary at all since the '80s. Add in the two from Lethbridge and 2 more from Red Deer, and an all-urban majority becomes a little more likely, but would still be a shocking outcome.

      In a realistic result, to win a majority the NDP would have an urban-focused power, but still pick up a few rural seats.

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    3. WR would also benefit from those campaign finance restrictions. I would expect any outcome other than a PC majority to result in prompt campaign finance reforms.

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    4. John, it was Chrétien Liberals who outlawed corporate funding at the federal level, shooting themselves in the foot.

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    5. Shooting Martin in the foot, presumably intentionally.

      In the 1990s, when I worked for the Reform Party, the big advantage the Liberals and PCs has was that they got mountains of corporate cash. We tracked it, donor by donor. Generally speaking, big corporations would give equivalent donations to each. So, if a bank gave the Liberals $20,000, they'd also give the Tories $20,000. They were currying favour.

      Campaign finance reform dramatically improved the Canadian political landscape, and prevented us from forever being locked into the same two parties (the way the Americans are).

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    6. Yes Yannick and a giant step forward towards real democracy. Sadly removed at a later date !!

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    7. It wasn't removed. The restrictions still exist. Corporate and union donations are still prohibited, and individual donations are capped annually.

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    8. The change Harper did was making it a lower limit and tighter rules iirc. He did it during a Liberal Leadership contest affecting how they could raise money then blasted them after for not raising enough to pay their bills. Sneaky but effective.

      The per vote subsidy was the fairest - all the parties had to do was get votes and what else do we want them to do? I'd have like an inbetween election addition though - on your income tax you'd be able to pick a party and have your $2 directed to that party. Thus they need to keep earning voters favour between elections or go broke.

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    9. I didn't like the per-vote subsidy. All that did was create a disadvantage for new parties.

      Elections are not productive activity. We should want less resources spent on them, not more.

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    10. Ira, I have to disagree about the per-vote subsidy. New parties don't have the advantage of the Conservatives and Liberals (and to a far lesser degree, the NDP) of receiving funds from corporate (or union) and wealthy individual donors. The per-vote subsidy was a way to comparatively level the playing field and put the emphasis back on political ideas and platforms rather than contacts and big money.

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    11. Oh, and of course, the federal Conservatives have been using an awful lot of taxpayers' money to promote their cause - another thing the per-vote subsidy could have mitigated.

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    12. That's why the prohibition of corporate and union donations, and the per-individual limit is important.

      A wealthy donor cannot give the CPC $10,000. It's not permitted.

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    13. Ira, the question of if elections are productive activity is two-fold. First, they are productive in change that depending on what side of the debate you are alternatives between good and bad. Second, they are a form of accountability. Quality Control isn't a productive activity in and of itself, but it does lead to higher productivity on the whole.

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    14. So we should have them, and regularly, but we should do so as efficiently as possible.

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    15. I completely agree, but the devil is in the details. I personally would like to see online voting that combined CRA-style login identification with Bitcoin blockchain verification. There are three main problems with online voting: user-interface security, data security in-transit and in-repository, and voter impersonation.

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  22. If anyone wants a quick laugh, take a look at the 1abvote poll which shows the NDP leading by 24 points.

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    1. Yeah, thats laughable. Even more laughable is in their summery they state (in reference to the NDP) "we can estimate that they are currently 6 to 10 seats behind the PCs"... okey so your "poll" say that the NDP lead 24 points overall (and by varying amounts in every region of the province) but their still behind the Tories?... riiiight. Does not compute.

      I think they're ahead right now overall but not nearly by that margin and not in every area of the province.

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    2. Personally, out of 50 or so people in Calgary I know who voted PC in the last election, not one single one is voting PC this time. Some used to knock on doors for the PCs no less. There's something huge brewing here, and those who are outside the PC camp know it, even if they haven't chosen a party yet. I think the 1abvote analysis is just very odd, but a 15 - 20 point lead or so for the NDP could very easily be the case at this point. But as we learned from the last election, 6 days is long time to go before election day. I just don't see what Prentice can do, because most people have made up their mind about him, bad or good, so anything he says will be seen through those opinionated glasses.

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    3. the site is a joke. i checked out the 'take the survey' link and when given options of who to vote for, the PCs weren't even listed.

      then they ask for contact info so they can remind you to vote on e-day. so essentially it's a get out the vote operation for the NDP posing as a source of polling data.

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    4. Well the only sure thing I can say is; however E-day turns out there's going to be a lot of crow on the menu if the comments here are any indication.

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    5. you misunderstand the point of the site. It is meant to unify the opposition in each riding to turf out the PC. Hence no option to select PC.

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    6. Nazar,

      Perhaps so but, that makes Bryan's comment correct: "essentially it's a get out the vote operation for the NDP posing as a source of polling data".

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    7. Before the election season heated up, wasn't it WR that was expected to be the main opposition to the PC outside Edmonton? They explicitly say it's an anti-PC site, so I'm not sure why the NDP would get blamed for "posing".

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  23. Eric, did you see the 1abvote poll\? What do you think of it? I've never heard of "neighbour" voting pattern. Is this a common statistical method?

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    1. We'll have to see how the 1ABVote polling works out after the election. The "neighbour" thing is new, but an interesting one.

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  24. Jim Prentice "Having spoken to Albertans, I've become convinced that I should have stuck with the fixed election period, so, I'm cancelling this election."
    (OK, he didn't actually say that)

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