10 October 2007

LiveBlogging the 2007 Ontario Provincial Election

Yes, it's the night of nights you've all been waiting for. The night of destiny. The night of danger. The night the CBC Election Desk will call the result less than an hour into the ballot counting.

That's right. It's election night in Ontario. If you are in the province and eligible to vote, do it now! I'll be liveblogging the results throughout the evening, if anybody's interested...

8:07pm- Polling has apparently been light across the province - the weather probably hasn't helped (it's 11C and raining here in Davenport) but the zombie-like tenor of the election campaign is likely more to blame. WIth recent polls showing the centre-right Progressive Conservatives under John Tory plummeting thanks to Tory's ill-advised decision to support the funding of religious schools, Dalton McGuinty's centrist Liberal party is probably going to win another majority. Probably, but not likely: what with the bad weather and aparent voter disconnect, there might be a few surprises along the way.

8:34pm- If voter turnout is low, the party that stands to benefiit most may be the centre-left New Democratic Party. NDP voters may have an additional motivation to vote as they're generally more likely to support a referendum being run in conjunction with the election that asks Ontarians to choose between the current modified British parliamentary electoral system and a new system, a form of proportional representation. Voters are likely to reject the new system, victim of an aneamic PR campaign and lack of endorsement by media, political and business elites.

8:50pmTuned in to the CBC, and was confronted by a number of cold, scared-looking duffers about to do something drastic off a boat in what looks to be freezing water. A fate worse than having breakfast with the Progressive Conservative caucus tomorrow morning. In fact, a situation that probably fits PC fortunes at the moment - off the deep end.

8:58pm- CBC is now showing people in scuba gear swimming with sharks. I don't think I need to exp bother explicating how perfect this is as a political reference.

9:00pm- And we're on! And...Diana Swain is the host? Man, talk about the CBC B-list!

9:03pm- Oh no. Allen Gregg is a panelist? Alright - the first results are in - ten ridings reporting, and the PCs are in the lead. In six. Apparently the riding of Haldemand-Norfolk has 156 separate hamlets within it. I think I need a drink.

9:21pm- In the early going, the PC vote seems slightly higher than predicted. Of course, when your analysis is based on one poll with 47 votes in it, that's not saying much.

Biggest peeve so far: why isn't the CBC counting the Green vote in a separate category from "Other"? It's neglect bordering on conspiracy. Out of the 7.8% of votes the CBC (and all the major networks, in fact) are lumping as "Other," the Greens have 6.2% of them.

9:35pm- Allen Gregg just called the NDP a "minor party." Someone get the hook - even Chantal Hebert would be preferable.

9:38pm- The CBC Election desk calls a majority for the Liberals, 38 minutes after the polls close. This is always a depressing moment. Never mind that the NDP and the Greens have 10% more vote than in 2003. Allen Gregg continues to insult the NDP. I really need that drink.

9:53pm- The NDP is three seats up despite being behind in several Toronto ridings it currently holds. Hold on to your hats - several seats will probably bounce back and force all night.

10:01pm On CTV, Olivia Chow is getting aggressive flack from an anchor that seems personally offended that the New Democrat vote has increased 4%. I'm going to get that beer.

10:16pm- CBC is interviewing David McGuinty, MP for Ottawa South, and the Premier's brother. "We manage our relationship well," said McGuinty. "My brother the Premier is a disciplined person." Meanwhile, the Green Party has 8.3% of the vote...and no seats. Not to mention no little green bar.

10:25pm- Randy Hillier is appaling. You have no idea.

10:29pm- The Elections Ontario website is currently down due to a "high volume of traffic." It's nice to see that the bureaucrats are hip with this "interweb" doohickey.

10:39pm- More on Randy Hillier. I was once at a press conference featuring Randy Hillier, Jamie Kennedy, and a farmer who advocated drinking unpasteurized milk for health. Hillier, who was President of the Ontario Landowners Association at the time, rambled incoherently about Ayn Rand and the tyranny of government. The OLA, in protest of an Ontario law increasing protection for endangered species, later instructed its members to destroy protected woodlands and wetlands they owned so that the government couldn't, theoretically, confiscate them. That's right: the OLA advocates proactive destruction of the environment.

Randy Hillier is the new MPP for Frontenac-Lanark. Look out, bunnies.

10:44pm- The crowd at Liberal headquarters is chanting "Four more years." Better make it four more beers. Dalton looks cheery, which is hardly surprising, given the result.

10:48pm- Dalton desperately needs a new speechwriter. " We Ontarians have come together with conviction, and we have said: we are Ontario." I am not making this up.

Also, apparently there's a Dalton, Jr. Suddenly those sharks from earlier are looking good.

10:53pm- "We are parents who love our children, and children who need your love." Did I mention four more beers? McGuinty's speech is one of the worst I've ever heard. Ontario Liberal Party, I'd be happy to come on as a speechwriter. You can make it worth my while, I'm sure.

10:57pm- A Hoboken Group colleague has pointed out that Kathleen Wynne's victory in Don Valley West is partially a result of NDP voters rallying behind the LIberals to ensure John Tory's defeat. Why else would the Green Party be in third place?

11:01pm- John Tory looks like he's going to cry.

11:16pm- Allen Gregg continues to make things up about the NDP, which have gained four seats from their result in 2003 (though only one, so far, from the Legislature's dissolution). A bigger windbag has never existed in the annals of Canadian politics.

11:22pm- Howard Hampton looks like he might be drunk. But the CBC has just cut away to talk to the Premier...who can't hear the CBC. And now Allen Gregg is talking...again.

11:24pm- I actually helped write some of the propaganda points that the Premier is spewing in his "interview" with Diana Swain, who would have been more hardhitting if she'd been blowing cotton balls through a straw.

11:30pm- Allen Gregg is outrageous. Apparently taking pictures with Enza "Supermodel" Anderson is a sign of the NDP's weakness? Why? Cause "real" political parties only fraternize with "real" men? The CBC should be ashamed for dredging up a man who's not only biased, but bigoted as well.

11:41pm- I wonder how Peter Shurman, who strikes me as an upright, articulate, principled and reasonable Progressive Conservative and who looks to be elected in Thornhill, will get along with the Randy Hilliers of the PC caucus. I wish the CBC would ask him about that.

11:45pm- Howard Hampton seems to be signalling that he'll resign the leadership of the NDP within the year. I'm all for Cheri DiNovo for Premier in 2011.

11:48pm- So Canada's finished with proportional representation, eh Allen Gregg? It's nice to know that's been decided for us.

12:00am- And the CBC signs off.


Aldous said...

Hey! You stole my speculation!

John said...

LiveBlogging! Between this and the CBC's live streaming, we are IT indeed. Too bad all employees of the CBC who can string together a grammatical sentence without a teleprompter seem to be on holiday.

Luke said...

Diana Swain is terrible. Allen Gregg is terrible. But CTV is worse.

Aldous said...


Folksy? Down home? TERRIFYING?

Ontario Landowner's Association?

John said...

Aldous, you beat me to it! I also came to post that Randy Hillier is officially awesome.

Aldous said...

Jamie Kennedy is a decent man and a fine chef. Which goes to show that reasonable people can share opinions with basically ANYBODY when it comes to milk.

Matthew said...

1) The Elections Ontario site disappointed me bitterly, as I was trying to find out which five ridings had voted in favour of MMP.

2) The real question, Luke, is why you were watching CBC instead of TVO. Steve Paiken doesn't argue with his guests, and, best of all? They don't have stupid simultaneous translation when the leaders veer into speaking in French.

3) Yes, our Premier's speech was appalling. What astonished me was that, despite its awfulness--and yes, please, start writing for him!--it was the best of the three (I missed DeJong).