Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Four Women (or, how I narrowly lost my election pool)

If I were really creative, I would write this entry as a parody of the lovely Nina Simone's song by the same title. But I'm wiped this morning, and will content myself by saying that four women stood between me and victory over my good friend in our election pool.

To win the pool, you get one point for every individual seat called correctly. The most points wins. I correctly predicted 277 of the 308 seats - only a few seats short of victory. While I could peg this to any number of factors, I will remember this as the election where I bet on two high-profile women who I didn't feel strongly about winning, and against two high-profile women that I wanted to win, but feared they wouldn't. Betting on disappointment will sometimes save you, but it didn't this time for me.

Who are these women? Well, I ended up betting that Anne McLellan would eke out another victory, against my better judgement, and that Liza Frulla would benefit from the usual election-day surge of Liberal support in Montreal. Both lost by over 3000 votes.

I should have bet on Belinda Stronach and Olivia Chow, but I figured that Toronto was going to disappoint me. I'm actually quite pleased to see both of them decisively win, even if it cost me money.

While I'm at it, I'll throw in the pair of tight races that I also miscalled - Eleni Bakopanos in Ahuntsic and Peggy Nash in Parkdale High-Park.

Overall, while I didn't win the pool, I'm pretty happy with my overall success rate of 90% plus. My final seat predictions were L-109, C-114, N-29, B-55, I-1. As I noted in my last entry, I expected the Conservative numbers to be 5-10 seats higher, but I didn't know which specific seats. I was bang on the money - although I thought those seats would be in Ontario and the Maritimes, and not quite so many in Quebec.

Just for my own records, here are my regional scores:
North: 3/3
BC: 32/36
Prairies: 52/56
Ontario: 95/106
Quebec: 65/75
Atlantic: 30/32

How do I feel the morning after? A bit relieved, to be honest. I'm very glad that Martin is stepping down, and hope that this will mean that the Liberals go through a serious renewal process. With 124 seats, the Conservatives are limited in what they can push through the Commons - which doesn't mean that I am not at all worried about how they might govern, just that I know there are more checks in place. It will be interesting to see how soon the media sharks decide to go for blood.

In terms of individual candidates, I'm thrilled that Tony Valeri (aka The Muppet) is gone, ditto for so-con Roger Gallaway. Pierre Pettigrew has long been an albatross for ministries he has headed (ever notice that about a year after he is rotated, something bad is discovered in that ministry - that happened on his watch). I'm actually sad to see Blocquiste Richard Marceau be defeated - he gave one of the most eloquent and coherent defences of same-sex marriage on the day of the Supreme Court decision. Fluently bilingual and very intelligent, I'd vote for him if he weren't a separatist. Too many of the Liberal god squad got back in - the benefit of safe Toronto-area ridings. But I think that it won't be enough to imperil same-sex marriage, even in the formality of a free House vote.

And so it begins...

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