April 25 - Note - Catch 22 is recommending the NDP's Randall Garrison in E-JdF.
Dear Esquimalt Catch 22 Campaign supporters,
For the past year, the Catch 22 Campaign has been identifying vulnerable Conservative ridings, networking, building our base and laying the groundwork for the election.
We had successful endorsement meetings in Ottawa and Vancouver last week. We also pioneered our first online endorsement discussion in Saanich-Gulf Islands and rolled that out to an additional 25 Conservative ridings earlier this week.
We are now adding a number of vulnerable opposition held ridings to our list. Your riding is one of them. Because Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca is vacant, there is no opposition MP to recommend to voters.
In Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, the Catch 22 Campaign team changed our initial recommendation of support for Liberal Party candidate Lillian Szpak to "too close to call" which is the current status. The discussion continues. If you want to participate in the discussion and decision-making, you will need to join this online group.
April 25 - Note - Catch 22 is recommending the NDP's Randall Garrison in E-JdF.
I beg your pardon, but there is no local riding polling from that riding, and 308.com is by his own admission not a pollster, nor a statistician, but a writer. His methodology is to start with the political party which placed second last time, and then apply regional breakouts of *national* poll results to the previous party results.
Nik Nanos has called this methodology "a photocopy of a photocopy of a photocopy" earlier today.
The problem lies in lack of knowledge of local circumstances. Dr. Martin was first elected as a Reform Party member, defeating New Democrat (and former premier) Dave Barrett in 1993. He subsequently resigned from the Canadian Alliance caucus, and later joined the Liberals. Most independent observers believe that his support crossed party lines, and there is no history of voting Liberal in that riding, either federally or provincially. Notably, Jack Layton has been to the riding twice to campaign with his NDP candidate Randall Garrison, and Conservative leader Stephen Harper has been out to campaign with his candidate, but Michael Ignatieff has yet to visit the riding. Also perhaps relevant is the fact that the provincial ridings are all NDP-held as well.
It is thus an open question as to who is better placed in the contest against Conservative candidate Troy de Souza, and FAR too early for an outsider from Toronto to make such a call.
Regardless, it is factually inaccurate to say that there has been any local polling, and you should withdraw that comment now.
Point taken but I don't think we mentioned anything about local polls - just the projection made by 308. Is that what you're referring to? I'll take your comments back to our group for re-consideration. And as I said, this was a recommendation for discussion, not a final decision by any means. Thanks.
It was certainly the impression that was left by the first version of your post.
Regardless, the methodology of always starting with the second place finisher is very vulnerable to missing a potentially stronger candidate, and risks (assuming this is your intention) electing the person you don't want.
In fact, I'm very critical of all these endeavours because I believe they create entirely the wrong incentives for the politicians they elect (all they need to do to win your vote is look like winners, and they've been given no other mandate to take to Ottawa other than to win).
But they're also based on a methodology that leads people to believe that local polling has been done. It hasn't. And it's really questionable how well even the provincial polling applies to ridings in such diverse parts of the province.
I haven't been able to talk people out of these kinds of foolhardy projects, but at least could you get your facts right.
The only "riding data" available at this point are unreliable. Without reliable local polling, there is no way to know who is running third. And even the regional polling data for BC (which is not much help in this riding) is bouncing up and down in the last week.
You are hurting your group by giving 308 any credibility at all. His projections are interesting but not credible to pollsters. Hopefully interest in his projections will fizzle out.
This riding reminds me so much of what happened in 2008 in St. Margaret's - South Shore, where Vote for Environment and other groups picked the Liberal to endorse, helping to elect a Conservative -- since the NDP's margin of loss was close enough that the endorsements may have made the difference.
I'd guess the NDP is ahead of the Liberal based on Pundit's Guide's points: "there is no history of voting Liberal in that riding, either federally or provincially. Notably, Jack Layton has been to the riding twice to campaign with his NDP candidate Randall Garrison, and Conservative leader Stephen Harper has been out to campaign with his candidate, but Michael Ignatieff has yet to visit the riding." I would add: he was nominated Jan. 23 and is a second-time candidate. Lillian Szpak was nominated Feb. 22 and is, outside of Langford (19% of the riding), an unknown quantity.
But that's guesswork. I just don't have real data. I could well be wrong. Don't guess wrong. Don't guess, period.
I'm not sure a blog post by an unknown writer carries much weight. I live in Esquimalt and I have never heard of the "Esquimalt Review". Given that the blog only covers Esquimalt news, it's not surprising that they are promoting the candidate from Esquimalt.
Are you a resident of southern Vancouver Island? Guy Dauncey does not have a national profile like a David Suzuki, but he is quite well known in these parts. He publishes EcoNews, which a number of my work colleagues subscribe to (I work in the Information Technology industry).
He is also a writer and president of the BC Sustainable Energy Association. A quick Google search will turn up a large number of hits, including articles he has written for the Georgia Straight and The Tyee.
From your own webpage: "If the discussion over the next two days can help point the way to a single candidate with the best chance to unite the anti-Harper votes, we will make a recommendation. If not, we will drop that riding from the list as it wades too closely into partisan territory. Our goal has always been to provide voters with clear recommendations with a reasonable chance for success."
After reading the discussion, users have commented on how close this riding is (i.e. Gus B: I sure hope a reliable poll gets released before voting day, because it's not obvious to me who has the best chance of defeating the Conservative candidate.) Furthermore, Swing33.ca (a similar site) pulled their initial support of Lillian Szpak after realizing that it was too close to call. I do not know where you are getting your information on making this call. 308 is not a credible source of polling data, and I cannot find where it supports Lillian. The users in the discussion are all clearly very biased; one especially vocal one even mentioning she is volunteering for Lillian Szpak. Even still, another website favours Randall (http://www.electionprediction.org/2009_fed/riding/59008.php). This "recommendation" could have detrimental effects if it happens that Randall is the leading candidate.
Please do take these comments back to the group.
"and problems with national pollers"
*Neither* democraticSpace nor 308 are pollsters. Please get this basic fact correct.
At least the former has some academic credentials, and in fact now refuses to advocate strategic voting, which he argues not only doesn't work but often achieves the opposite effect to that intended.
The latter is a blog-writer, with no background in either the polling industry or statistics, no political experience at a senior level, and very little knowledge of the country outside of Ottawa and Quebec.
Neither one has conducted any national or regional or local riding-level polls. AT ALL.
I think that it's important to note that the person behind Pundit's Guide, Alice Funke, is a former NDP campaign manager. Here resume is posted at http://www.travel-net.com/~efunke/resume.htm
" If not, we will drop that riding from the list as it wades too closely into partisan territory."
That comment was specifically related to three other ridings (Essex, Nunavut & Kenora) where we opened up discussions today.
We were looking at 308's latest projection on their website that advances the following numbers:
Liberal - 39.5
Conservative - 32.1
NDP - 20.8
Green - 7.6