Babel-on-the-Bay’s best bets.

Babel-on-the-Bay continues to have an almost perfect record when it comes to forecasting elections. People who used to make foolish bets with us either hold us to being within a few percentage points or have given up and save their money and pride. The latest win was our forecast for the ‘No’ side in Scotland’s referendum.

Only last week we were discussing the Scottish question with our barber. She was clipping away at our hair while explaining in her lovely Scots brogue why the ‘Yes’ side should win. Rather than lose an ear to an errant pair of scissors, we opted not to argue the case for the ‘No’ side.

There were more than a few who told us we were crazy earlier this year when we forecast the majority win for the Wynne government in Ontario. One of the Sun Media writers blithely stated that anyone who said they had forecast a Liberal majority was a bloody liar. We did not waste the time to threaten him with a slander suit.

It was a very different situation when Babel-on-the-Bay published the Morning Line for the Liberal Leadership with Sandra Pupatello of Windsor in the lead early in 2013. That was a delegated convention and the dynamics changed abruptly when Toronto MPP Glen Murray most improperly dumped his delegates into the undecided pool but then took his support to Wynne just before the delegate selection voting. While Pupatello would have won in an open convention, the corrupted contest in the old Maple Leaf Gardens gave the crown to Wynne.

The outcome of the election in Quebec was much easier to forecast. While Pierre-Karl Péladeau won Saint-Jerome riding, he lost the election for the PQ. It was easy to see why the Liberals would win that electoral contest.

Probably the most difficult elections to call are those in your local community. You get too many false readings unless you are actively involved in the campaign. Four years ago, we helped get a new mayor elected in Babel. That was hardly difficult to call. Running the ground campaign for him made it easy to see how the campaign was unfolding. Actually the operation was guilty of overkill. The campaign spent far more than necessary to win.

We are not involved this time around. Babel’s mayor will win re-election in any event. A local radio personality made the point on air the other morning. She said the mayor is boring. What he really is can best be described as a waste of talent. He is just a small town mayor, marking time. That is sad.


Copyright 2014 © Peter Lowry

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