Party Platforms - Analyzing When Voters Research their Vote

By Greg Farries on Oct 28, 2008

We use Google Analytics to monitor and analyze the traffic we receive on Maple Leaf Web. The level of detail provided by Google Analytics is simply astonishing and it provides a unique look into how people are using Maple Leaf Web to research important political topics.

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How do you pay off a $200,000 leadership debt? $1,100 at a time

By Harold Jansen on Oct 21, 2008

So, Stephane Dion has announced he's quitting ... eventually. There's lots of speculation as to why he's staying, but one popular theory is that he's sticking around until the party crowns a new leader in order to pay off his lingering leadership campaign debt, estimated to be over $200,000. I thought it might be useful to quickly review the law over leadership finance to understand how daunting Dion's task is. When the Liberals changed the party finance laws in 2004, they put in a $5,000 cap for a number of kinds of donations, including to leadership contests.

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If the Liberals thing replacing Dion will solve all of their problems, they're delusional. Or stupid. Or both.

By Harold Jansen on Oct 18, 2008

For most of the parties on election night, there was some good news. The Conservatives and NDP both have larger caucuses, the BQ was revived againm and the Greens increased in votes and dollars from the annual state subsidy. For the Liberals, however, you had to look hard for good news. The party earned its lowest share of the popular vote in its history, had one of its lowest seat totals ever, and was down in almost every region of Canada. The bright spots? Well, Quebec was bit kinder to the Liberals than most people expected. Also, despite a pretty ineffective campaign, the party still has a significant degree of support. The Liberals may have reached bottom and the only way to go is up.

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Congrats to david_lewis and derekkim for Winning the MLW Comment Contest

By Greg Farries on Oct 17, 2008

Congrats to david_lewis and derekkim - both commenters names were drawn for the two $50 gift-certificates.

Thanks to everyone who contributed their comments on the Maple Leaf Web blog during the 2008 federal election, and stay tuned for more contests and giveaways in the future!

Considering the 2008 Election Results: Canada’s Electoral System Needs to be Replaced

By Harold Jansen on Oct 17, 2008

I’ve been thinking over the election results since Tuesday night and I keep coming back to one thing: Canada’s electoral system needs to be replaced. I need to point out first of all that I’m not an electoral system ideologue. I don’t think there’s one abstract, theoretically derived system that works best in all countries and at all times. Canada currently has a single member plurality electoral system (often misleadingly labelled the “first past the post” system).

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Election 2008: Winners & Losers

By Royce Koop on Oct 15, 2008

Winner: Stephane Dion. The snide comment he got off at CTV and Roger Smith (" understand?") was great, almost as good as Smith and Lloyd Robertson's breathless, wounded indignation afterward.

Loser: CTV. While results were pouring in from B.C., the network cut to a lengthy, chummy interview with Bob Rae, followed up by a simultaneous interview with Michael Ignatieff. I watched the B.C. results at the bottom of the screen while Rae and Ignatieff complimented one another and played coy over their leadership intentions. Lame.

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Quick Thoughts on the 2008 Election

By Harold Jansen on Oct 14, 2008

We'll be talking about the results for a few days to come, I'm sure, but here are a few quick election night thoughts.

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Things to watch on election night

By Harold Jansen on Oct 14, 2008

Election night is always interesting. There are lots of things to watch and it's easy to get lost in the flurry of numbers that will fly at you while watching the results come in. Here are a few things to watch for.

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Best and worst campaigns: and the winners are...

By Harold Jansen on Oct 12, 2008

As we're in the dying days of the election, it's time to look back and see who had the best and worst campaigns in this election. It was an odd election, with events overtaking the best laid plans of political strategists and consultants. Just to be clear, this doesn't have anything to do with how these parties will do on election day. This evaluation looks at how well the party did, based on the resources they had and the goals they needed to accomplish.

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Why Strategic Voting is Wrong: Oh, the Irony

By Jared Wesley on Oct 11, 2008

Strategic voting is wrong.  Not because it perverts some high-minded view of democracy, where every citizen sticks to her principles when casting a ballot.  (Quite frankly, that view of democracy is visible only through high-prescription, rose-coloured glasses.)  Rather, strategic voting is wrong because it is self-defeating.  What these people need is electoral reform, and that's the last thing they'll get by casting their ballots for either of the two most-successful parties.

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Mea Culpa: The Economy and the Election

By Harold Jansen on Oct 11, 2008

It's the last weekend of the election and it's time to look back at the campaign. I've also looked back at the blogging we've been doing. I went back to the post where I argued that the election wouldn't make much difference in the campaign. Obviously, I was wrong. The election has come to dominate the campaign in a way no one could have foreseen. In that post, I argued that the economy wouldn't make much difference because there's a lag between economic changes and voters' perceptions of the economy. As a general statement, I think that holds true. But my argument that voters in Canada wouldn't yet perceive the economic downturn turned out to be incorrect. In my defence, what we've seen in the markets is almost unprecedented. But obviously panic has set in and people have become very concerned with the economy.

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Election 2008: Most Awkward Moment?

By Royce Koop on Oct 10, 2008

Awk-ward! Hoo boy, this exchange between a sneering Mike Duffy and a smirking Geoff Regan has to count as the most uncomfortable moment of the campaign. You have to fast-forward to the 04:40 point see it.

Advance Poll Turnout: A Closer Look

By Jared Wesley on Oct 10, 2008

Elections Canada has released its preliminary advance poll figures.  The bottom line:  Turnout in these early polls is down 6.5% relative to the last election (see table above).  Between the lines, there are a lot of interesting stories.

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Dion and Layton on the Economy

By Royce Koop on Oct 10, 2008

Since the English language debate, the media have essentially handed Stephane Dion and Jack Layton free passes to attack Harper for "not having a plan," despite that they are somewhat lacking in this respect themselves. This has led to some amusing episodes as the two leaders have tried to keep the spotlight focussed on Harper, and away from themselves. Failure to do so has led to disaster, at least for Dion.

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Stephane Dion and Gotcha Politics

By Royce Koop on Oct 10, 2008

My first thought after watching the clip is that it's hardly as bad as many are making it out to be. He's obviously tired and there's something about the question that is throwing him off. And he doesn't exactly come across as petulent or annoyed - I've seen much worse from Dion, especially in interviews from the 1990s. He actually comes off as somewhat likeable near the end of this video.

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