07 October 2011

Advance voting and other campaign tidbits #nlpoli #nlvotes

If you want to get a good sense of what the advance poll turnout from Tuesday likely means in campaign terms, wander over to labradore.

In the current election, six of the ten highest advance-vote districts were in metro St. John's. In 2007, only three were. The top ten, interestingly enough, were almost all seats heavily targeted by Danny Williams-Government for pickup or hold, …

This may mean that the Tories and NDP are pumping GOTV resources into St. John's, and that the Tories are doing so at the expense of the formerly strenuous GOTV efforts in potential rural battleground districts in the Williams-era general and by-elections.

Yes, folks that would be the real story of the election which the conventional media have decided to avoid in favour of focusing on horseracing.

Luke, Luke, I gotta tell ya, at the end of the day, I am your father on a go forward basis

Speaking of the conventional media, the province’s largest circulation daily newspaper decided to engage in some public editorial self manipulation of the sort that used to grace the editorial pages of the old Spindependent. 

The subject is a poll the Telly commissioned from the same gang that do the provincial government’s quarterly political polling.

What can be said is that it is the broadest and most detailed snapshot in time of the current campaign, commissioned by an independent media outlet.

We can only look forward with bated breath to what will follow in the days ahead.

The Telly-torialist couldn’t resist getting in a little pre-emptive disclaimer at potential critics:

The poll will be received with the usual sniping — undoubtedly by those who have a larger problem with what the results spell out than what the critics honestly have with the methodology.

Nice thought but the People’s Paper is refusing to release any information that would let someone have a look at the poll methodology.

Your humble e-scribbler went asking a few questions on Thursday only to have senior management at the paper issue an immediate and complete ban preventing all Telly editors and staff from discussing any aspects of the poll whatsoever with anyone outside the paper.

Full stop.

After all those years of bitching about the provincial government’s unnatural desire for keeping polls secret, the Telly has finally caved in and joined the secrecy society. Governments across the land will rejoice that one newspaper has finally come over to the dark side of freedom from information.

What a shame too, because the Telly finally had some interesting information, or so it seemed out beyond the stuff that graced the front page of the Thursday issue.

Ah well, we’ll just have to sit back and see if the “broad-ranging public opinion poll with a large sample size conducted by an experienced polling company” lives up to that company’s usual accuracy.

And a large double-double to go…

doubledoublePoliticians’ handlers need to look for what the camera sees when their charge decides to scrum.

In this case, they should have looked at what CBC saw and then used to illustrate a story in which Liberal leader Kevin Aylward claims his party has a shot at up to 30 seats in the election. 

The elderly gentleman and the fellow apparently representing the local hit-man’s benevolent association don’t exactly convey that sense of energy and enthusiasm  - let alone numbers - to back up Aylward’s claim.

The one thing that does stand out nicely is the sign advertising real fruit smoothies for a buck 99.

Was it a campaign swing or a Tim’s run?

He wrote the book…literally

Check out a fine post on the CBC election website by Doug Letto called “Oil, wealth and caution at the finish line”.

Letto’s covered local politics for the better part of 25 years.  He’s forgotten more about politics than most reporters in the province will ever know. Plus, when it comes to the province’s history of economic development and politics, Doug’s written not one but two fine books.

Chocolate bars and rubbers boots looks at economic development during the Smallwood years. Run! is Doug’s account of the 1999 general election.

- srbp -