Friday, March 28, 2008

Democratic Race

I did some number crunching on the confusing Democratic race. Even giving Clinton a 54-46% lead on the remaining regular delegates and 60-40% on superdelegates, it works out to something like this... an Obama win.

State Del. Count Clinton Obama diff Clinton Obama
22-Apr Penn 158 95 63 32 60% 40%
3-May Guam 4 2 2 0 50% 50%
6-May Indiana 72 40 32 8 55% 45%
6-May NC 115 54 61 -7 47% 53%
13-May WV 28 13 15 -2 47% 53%
20-May Kentucky 51 31 20 11 60% 40%
20-May Oregon 52 22 30 -8 42% 58%
3-Jun Montana 16 7 9 -2 42% 58%
3-Jun SD 15 6 9 -3 42% 58%
7-Jun Puerto Rico 55 33 22 11 60% 40%

Total Del 566 303 263 40 54% 46%

Remaining Super 350 210 140 70 60% 40.0%

Total All
513 403 110

So far (incl. Super)
1486 1625 -139

Grand Total
1999 2028 -29

Candidate needs 2024 delegates to win.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

My father said it best...

I haven't made many comments on the Canadian federal political scene in a while. Many Blogging Tories are already doing a good job of pointing out the foibles of Stephane Dion and the Liberal Party of Canada--their so-called opposition to the recent budget, the Afghanistan mission extension vote, and the omnibus crime bill (which finally passed in the Liberal-dominated Senate), among other things.

NDP leader Jack Layton even had some fun with putting forward five non-confidence motions, which, in order to pass and call an election, would require the Liberals to vote in favour of them.

But did the Liberals vote at all? Most didn't even show up for any of the votes. They let the budget pass, the Afghan mission to continue, crime bill now law, and still apparently have confidence in the government.

With the way things continue, I don't think they'll be an election until October 2009, which is a for-sure because Prime Minister Stephen Harper introduced and passed fixed election dates a while back.

To sum this all up... my father said it best..

"Harper's got the opposition spinning around so much they don't know what's going on!"
How very true.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Barack Obama's speech in Philadelphia

Let me tell you, being in Virginia and DC for the most part of this year has been somewhat inspirational from a political stand-point. A couple weeks ago, this Canadian libertarian-conservative attended a fun Barack Obama primary viewing party in Alexandria. You can't but help be caught up in his campaign and how he has conducted himself.

Today, I stumbled upon this speech by Senator Obama. With all the media pulling apart every ounce of racism in this presidential nomination race, there appears to be that single ray of hope emanating from his heart.

Video here..


This is where we are right now. It’s a racial stalemate we’ve been stuck in for years. Contrary to the claims of some of my critics, black and white, I have never been so na├»ve as to believe that we can get beyond our racial divisions in a single election cycle, or with a single candidacy – particularly a candidacy as imperfect as my own.

But I have asserted a firm conviction – a conviction rooted in my faith in God and my faith in the American people – that working together we can move beyond some of our old racial wounds, and that in fact we have no choice if we are to continue on the path of a more perfect union.

For the African-American community, that path means embracing the burdens of our past without becoming victims of our past. It means continuing to insist on a full measure of justice in every aspect of American life. But it also means binding our particular grievances – for better health care, and better schools, and better jobs - to the larger aspirations of all Americans -- the white woman struggling to break the glass ceiling, the white man who's been laid off, the immigrant trying to feed his family. And it means taking full responsibility for own lives – by demanding more from our fathers, and spending more time with our children, and reading to them, and teaching them that while they may face challenges and discrimination in their own lives, they must never succumb to despair or cynicism; they must always believe that they can write their own destiny.

Ironically, this quintessentially American – and yes, conservative – notion of self-help found frequent expression in Reverend Wright’s sermons. But what my former pastor too often failed to understand is that embarking on a program of self-help also requires a belief that society can change.

The profound mistake of Reverend Wright’s sermons is not that he spoke about racism in our society. It’s that he spoke as if our society was static; as if no progress has been made; as if this country – a country that has made it possible for one of his own members to run for the highest office in the land and build a coalition of white and black; Latino and Asian, rich and poor, young and old -- is still irrevocably bound to a tragic past. But what we know -- what we have seen – is that America can change. That is true genius of this nation. What we have already achieved gives us hope – the audacity to hope – for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.

In the white community, the path to a more perfect union means acknowledging that what ails the African-American community does not just exist in the minds of black people; that the legacy of discrimination - and current incidents of discrimination, while less overt than in the past - are real and must be addressed. Not just with words, but with deeds – by investing in our schools and our communities; by enforcing our civil rights laws and ensuring fairness in our criminal justice system; by providing this generation with ladders of opportunity that were unavailable for previous generations. It requires all Americans to realize that your dreams do not have to come at the expense of my dreams; that investing in the health, welfare, and education of black and brown and white children will ultimately help all of America prosper.

In the end, then, what is called for is nothing more, and nothing less, than what all the world’s great religions demand – that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us. Let us be our brother’s keeper, Scripture tells us. Let us be our sister’s keeper. Let us find that common stake we all have in one another, and let our politics reflect that spirit as well.

For we have a choice in this country. We can accept a politics that breeds division, and conflict, and cynicism. We can tackle race only as spectacle – as we did in the OJ trial – or in the wake of tragedy, as we did in the aftermath of Katrina - or as fodder for the nightly news. We can play Reverend Wright’s sermons on every channel, every day and talk about them from now until the election, and make the only question in this campaign whether or not the American people think that I somehow believe or sympathize with his most offensive words. We can pounce on some gaffe by a Hillary supporter as evidence that she’s playing the race card, or we can speculate on whether white men will all flock to John McCain in the general election regardless of his policies.

We can do that.

But if we do, I can tell you that in the next election, we’ll be talking about some other distraction. And then another one. And then another one. And nothing will change.

That is one option. Or, at this moment, in this election, we can come together and say, “Not this time.” This time we want to talk about the crumbling schools that are stealing the future of black children and white children and Asian children and Hispanic children and Native American children. This time we want to reject the cynicism that tells us that these kids can’t learn; that those kids who don’t look like us are somebody else’s problem. The children of America are not those kids, they are our kids, and we will not let them fall behind in a 21st century economy. Not this time.

h/t Cosmic Variance
Photo acknowledgement.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Alberta Election 2008 prediction

I voted in an advance poll on March 1st as I'm in Alexandria/DC for the next few weeks and would miss voting on March 3rd. Knowing which person to put an X to was a difficult decision for me. I looked at all the party policies, noted the candidates running for MLA in my riding, thought about who I wanted as premier, and a new thought I had regarding the disparaging anti-Ed campaign going on.

I don't agree with several major Alberta Liberal policies regarding reregulation of power, economy-killing environmental policies, and vast spending promises. I do like some of the fiscal policy, as far as saving for the future, but they don't get specific on tax policy. Kevin Taft is too left for me--not something I think truly represents Alberta. In my riding of Edmonton-Centre, Liberal Laurie Blakeman has been the MLA for many years and her socialist husband, Ben Henderson, is now the city councilor for the same area. How convenient! I think she's a good MLA, but I don't agree with her party's policies.

The Wildrose Alliance has many policies which I agree with, but being that it's a renamed party, I also question the internal politics of that party and the motives of Link Byfeld who started the Wildrose Party then merged it. What was the point? I voted for the Alberta Alliance last election as they had a credible candidate (who's now an Edmonton city councilor), but this year's candidate running in my riding does not appear to have the experience or any visible campaign whatsoever.

Now the Alberta PCs have been in power for 37 years and is on its fourth leader/premier. There has certainly been stark differences between each of them in personality and management style.

So what's changed since Ed Stelmach took the leadership and premiership? I think he's still cleaning up a lot of the mess left behind by Ralph Klein since the last election. There's a lot of ads attacking Ed about having no plan. Well, I think it was Ralph who had no plan last election and that's why I walked out of his campaign kick-off rally. Since Ed's been in, the oil royalties were redone, road projects have started (although still too slow), and there's probably other internal things that are being done differently. Bill Donohue is the PC candidate with an good record in volunteer and public life and I've met him. I don't think he's going to win as Laurie Blakeman is more known in the community.

But the disparaging thing I hinted at was an apparent anti-Ed sentiment emanating from Calgary. Anti-Ed Stelmach and anti-Edmonton. It started right when he won the leadership. I really think now that Ralph is no longer batting for Calgary, Calgarians will punish the PC party and I think some in the business community there is behind some of this.

So I found myself behind the voting booth and placed an X next to Bill Donohue for the Progressive Conservatives.

So now the prediction background...

Party standings at 2004 election (dissolution):
62 (60) PC
16 Liberal
1 Independent
1 vacant

I think the stronger Liberal campaign and weak NDP campaign will cause the Liberals to pick up a few more seats, possibly in Calgary where unknown weak PC candidates are. But I think the PCs might pick up Liberal seats in Edmonton now with some Liberal/NDP vote splitting and that Ed is premier in a Greater Edmonton-area riding getting the conservative vote out.

But the barrage of anti-Ed TV ads will have an effect on people, so the Liberals will gain, but not much. I don't feel a break through. Kevin Taft is still unknown to Albertans and I think people still trust Ed Stelmach.

2008 prediction:
(-2) 58 PC
(+5) 21 Liberal
(-1) 3 NDP
(--) 1 Wildrose Alliance
I also predict that Kevin Taft wins his riding but not by much.

So I think Albertans are going to give Ed a chance, Edmontonians in particular.

My next prediction... Liberal leadership race ensues and Calgary Mayor Dave Bronconnier runs and easily wins, takes the party to the right, and the next Alberta election turns into an Edmonton vs. Calgary classic battle of Alberta.