Let a hundred cell phones ring, and a hundred news telecasts contend

Still here in NDP HQ, and what I want to know is, what the hell? What happened to January? The long term forecast for next week goes up to 2°C here. Don’t tell me I lugged my skates here for nothing. I want to go skating, damn it! And also live on a planet not melting down just so soccer moms can off-road. But in the short term, I want to skate.

I’m getting used to the swank hotel life, although I still think I’d rather be somewhere with less expensive furnishings but room service I could afford. This morning I used the bergamont scented soap to wash my socks in the marble basin in the bathroom. I’m guessing the sight of my laundry hanging to dry will amuse the housekeeping staff even more than the small stuffed animal I brought to keep me company, but really, who wants to go to a laudromat just for a few pairs of socks?

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Back to the election: if for some reason you’re among the 40% or so of eligible voters who don’t bother to show up at the polls, you should know that each Federal party that wins receives $1.75 per vote in cash after each election. This means less need for fundraising, and more support for smaller parties like the Greens, who went from one paid employee in 2004 to 20 full-time staff and a bunch of extra people during election campaigns. I’m not such a huge fan of their party (although that’s another rant), but it’s good that people getting the level of popular vote they do are guaranteed the means to have a voice on the national stage and all. So, don’t let me hear you say that your vote doesn’t count for anything. Canadians are so bloody apathetic sometimes that I can’t even be bothered to be pissed off anymore.

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Random thing pissing me off for the day: stupid attempts at strategic voting.

People who try to vote strategically but only look at national poll results really get on my tits. You could at least look at Election Canada’s tables of the results in your riding from last time. The last election was held fairly recently and I’m sure those results are a pretty good predictor of what’s going to happen this time, with the same leaders campaigning on basically the same issues. Jack Layton, unsurprisingly, is devoting a lot of time to explaining this to people, hoping that he won’t see a repeat of 2004, when the NDP lost twelve ridings by around a thousand votes or less. What few people know is that only half of these went to the Liberals; the rest went to the Conservatives. For example, in small-town BC, the Liberals are seen as the party of big-city power brokers in expensive suits and the contest is between the NDP and Conservatives, both of whom have a strong populist appeal.

In our next issue: a few websites with interesting election prediction methodology.