Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Wha Happened, and Whas It All Mean?

Well, not much, but if you had to summarize in a few lines:

The governing Conservatives and opposition Liberals each narrowly picked up a seat from their next weakest opponent in Monday's by-elections, in a set of results that confounded many pundits, took the pressure off Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff, and will be sending NDP strategists back to the drawing board.

There's more there, but nothing I can really contest. Most confounded among the pundits was clearly John Ibbotson, whose piece on the topic sounds like it was written days ago and then hastily revised as last night's results came in. But, make no mistake, while the quantity of Michael Ignatieff's "woes" didn't change much in either direction with these by-elections, they certainly did not--as per Mr. Ibbotson-- increase. And the results are neither a sign of an impending, GTA based Tory majority or a Western breakthrough by the Libs. They are, more or less, random shit that happened.

The Vaughan story is probably the most interesting. PG offers these thoughts on that unusually close race:

Mr. Fantino was not as « imbattabile » as first thought, or was limited in his growth potential by the controversies surrounding Caledonia, his non-participation in an all-candidates meeting, and his refusal to grant media interviews to the CBC and Toronto Star...

Probably a bit of all those things accounted for Fantino's relatively poor performance. It was certainly an interesting fact that the Tories ran a guy that many Tory partisans were uncomfortable with. For example, this Conservative blogger demanded they be pulled from the BT blogroll to protest the Fantino candidacy.

It was also interesting that they were able to win without the support of their hard-cores.


Steve V said...

"Most confounded among the pundits was clearly John Ibbitson, whose piece on the topic sounds like it was written days ago and then hastily revised as last night's results came in"

That's exactly how that column reads. What a crap piece, that completely misses the mark.

The Pundits' Guide said...

Thanks for the mention, BCL, and hopefully it did show that I didn't start writing the post until the results were completely in.

On the other hand, while I will be the first to criticize journos who buy into the Ottawa consensus without picking up the phone to speak with anyone outside of it or reading the regional and local papers, the process of assembling my website and writing my own blog has made me a tiny bit more forgiving of them.

The papers give columnists ridiculously early deadlines to meet, which practically require them to write ahead of time. And unlike me, John Ibbitson couldn't stay up until 5 AM to write a blogpost and update the database, and then sleep in until 10:30 AM. For one thing, I don't have an editor who's waiting on me to file so they can get to bed as well.

So, I'm a tad more forgiving now than I was before, is all I'm saying. But, your criticisms of his muddled analysis are still very much on-point.