05 December 2012

So much for Danny’s Bootie Bonus #nlpoli

During the 2007 general election, the provincial Conservatives announced a policy under which they would pay $1000 to any woman in the province who gave birth to a live baby or or adopted one.

SRBP called it the bootie call.  Danny Williams tried to claim the idea was similar to an idea Hilary Clinton announced in the United States while she was trying to get the Democratic Party presidential nomination.  It wasn’t and SRBP explained the difference between the two and why the Bootie Call was unlikely to work.  It wouldn’t work because it hadn’t really worked in any of the other xenophobic places where they’d tried it.

Williams famously told reporters at the announcement in Corner Brook that “we can’t be a dying race.”

You don’t hear much about the Bootie Call from the Conservatives these days, but a look at the birth statistics will tell you what happened after the the provincial government started handing out the breeding bucks in 2008.

Here’s a nice table showing live births in Newfoundland and Labrador by quarter from 2001 to the second quarter of 2012.

births by quarter

Start at the left of the chart and you can see a gradual decline in the number of births each quarter. The black line is the trend averaging every four quarters.

Then there is the huge jump.  It happens in the third quarter of 2008.  Lots of people must have been busy nine months or so before that.  Umm like after the provincial election and the news that people would get cash for breeding.

But then notice what happens.


The trend continues its previous trip downwards. 

The jump in Q3 2008 was about 14% above Q3 2007.  But the trend ever since has been downward.