Saturday, September 30, 2006

Live leadership results, a good idea or a bad idea? Discuss

When I woke-up this morning (far too early for a weekend frankly) one of the first things I did was check the night’s delegate selection results on the Liberal Web site. While I was pleasantly surprised at the strength of my man Dion (second place baby!), I did wonder though: should this feature even be available?

I have to say I haven’t come down on either side yet. On the plus it certainly generates interest, excitement and buzz. It also serves to help counter some of the speculation, rumour and spin that would be circulating without this official but unofficial central results board with some unofficial not quite facts.


On the other hand, its results over the weekend will potentially be misleading because of any number of reasons, regional strengths being chief among them. They could change signifigantly. The many rural ridings voting by mail-in ballot won't be counted until late next week. Also, two days of voting remain. I worry, much like Elections Canada does during general elections, will someone who, say, sees their favoured candidate well back this morning switch their vote to a frontrunner?


I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts. One thing I think we can all agree on though: whether it’s a good idea or not, I think we’ll all be refreshing that page often this weekend.

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24 comments:

Steve V said...

I think they should wait until everyone votes, because these early returns could influence people. The buzz would be just as great if everyone had to wait until Sunday night for returns. The strangler voting might take a few more days, but the votes still have no point of reference. Anyways, I would have more to say but I should head over to the delegate site now ;)

Scott Tribe said...

It makes for good theatre... good "buzz"

I likes how they've chosen to do it as well - random results from across the country and not necessarily all ridings in one province voting at the same time. Therefore, you're left to winder where the trends are.. so no, I think its fine.

I could tell it was voting day.. there wasnt a Liberal blogger to be found anywhere on the Prog Blog site all last evening.

James Curran said...

This certainly helps the front runners. We got away from this stuff in the general elections with giving out the eastern results because the election was often over befor the west coast polls closed. I don't know what this party is thinking these days. It does quench the curiousity though, I have to admit.

The What Do I Know Grit.

Mark said...

It is impossible to keep this information secret once ballots are counted. At least this way there can be some accuracy and consistency rather than media being spun to report one camp's numbers or another.
I think it makes perfect sense to post the results. Better than having Bob Fife, Keith Boag, et al just making them up.

Walks With Coffee said...

Wait until the after press time the day of (in this case Saturday 2:00 Eastern)... so MSM press reports are not speculation based on partials. As for influencing... activist people make up their own minds.

Diana said...

I'll admit that I love it.
Sheesh, I tried to watch a movie last night, but kept hitting refresh. Of course, I shake all my Christmas gifts too.

Some info would leak out anyway, and we'd get a weekend of spin and nonsense. With Bob Fife, all giddy and breathless, reporting the latest gossip, complete with CPC talking points, fed to him by Jason Kenney.

The members voting this weekend are more committed than the average voter in a General election, so I’m not sure if many minds would be changed by reporting the early results.

A BCer in Toronto said...

Well, I hope Bob Fife doesn't read this thread, not a lot of love for the Bobby out there it seems.

The point about party activists being more committed then the average voter is a general election is a good one. We Liberals also tend to be bandwagoners though, and if it becomes clear a train is pulling out of the station I could see many clambering to get on board. Really, though, the results at this point aren't a major surprise for the most part, so I suspect those inclined to abandon their respective ships already have.

I think the best point is having real (well, as real as can be) numbers out there to counter the inevitable media and leadership camp spin and counterspin that would have resulted w/o the live results. Of course, I trust they'll still manage to do some spinning anyways. I'd be disapointed if they didn't...

UWHabs said...

I think it's better to have some official unofficial results out right away rather than having camps giving their own selective numbers. It might influence some people to switch to frontrunners, but it will also encourage those who finished lower than expected (Kennedy, Dryden, Volpe) to bring out their vote even more these last couple days.

Anonymous said...

Well, I've said before, if Rae wins as leader, I'm out. No more membership, no more donations and I will not vote Liberal while (if) he's leader.

I will also take into consideration which candidate goes over to Rae because that would tell me alot about that candidate.

I've heard that Dion will go over to Rae if necessary and for that reason (I question Dion's judgment) I cannot even side with Dion.

Robert said...

Personally, I think the live results ticker is great. It's mainly the junkies (myself included)that will be following it.

Will it influence results? I don't think so; I think most people, especially the junkies, are pretty firmly set on their candidates by now. What would it take to change someones vote? Even if my candidate isn't doing so well, I'm casting my vote for them, but then I'm a "it aint over 'til it's over" kind of person.

I find it interesting that the anti-Rae anonymous posters are active still, and ignoring the question at hand.

I say, good luck to all (except maybe Volpe).

Psychols said...

All I can do is speak for myself and say that early ballot results had zero impact on my vote today.

Too bad the list is so preliminary, there are some interesting early results there.

Zac said...

I can't even open this stupid thing but I do think that you have a point - people could switch their votes last minute based on what the ticker says.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said:

I've heard that Dion will go over to Rae if necessary and for that reason (I question Dion's judgment) I cannot even side with Dion.

That is the spin coming out of the Ignatieff camp. Precisely because of the negative reaction it would cause.

They have also been spinning, right up until yesterday, that Dion is in 4th.

The fact is, Dion is in this thing to win. I can't imagine that grassroots Liberals would give Rae enough votes to be on the final ballot.

It is going to be Dion vs. Iggy on the last ballot.

No way Dion would go to Rae. It's "academic", as they say, any way.

NappyGuy said...

Hearing chatter about a KenneDion ticket ... not only is it an attractive combination on paper, it makes sense for political reasons:

- If the trends continue and Kennedy keeps crashing in Quebec and ends up fourth, then his support to Dion does two things: puts Dion high enought to eliminate one of Iggy or Rae; and makes Kennedy Dion's most important guy in Ontario.
- If Dion wins, then next time will be an Anglo and this positions Kennedy to be the Next One.
- If Kennedy went to one of the other Ontarians and they were to win, he would be a bit player, and then the Next leader would almost certainly be from Quebec. A good way for Kennedy to effectively tube his future aspirations.
- If Kennedy were to pull ahead of Dion, then the converse of most of the above is true. Dion would almost certainly be the "brains" in a Kennedy-led party and set him up for the next run.

Plus, these two guys are long time Liberals, and haven't taken a membership card or a Canadian address for the conveniece of running in this race.

So, I am rooting for a KenneDion victory!

A BCer in Toronto said...

Really, anon 121, is that what you heard? lol I did say I'd be disapointed if there wasn't spin, so thank-you for playing. But perhaps I should have made a point of askign for quality spin, not lame and transperant spin. My bad.

I heard every other candidate except for Dion is going to go over to Volpe, so I could never support anyone but Dion...Pass it on... :)

UWHabs said...

To add more to the live results, I absoluetely love the real-time standings. It's gonna suck for trying to do work tomorrow, but it will be awesome to watch.

Prairie Fire said...

I think it is a issue worth exploring with respect to live results reporting. The argument that "Liberal activists" are somehow too noble a creature to be influanced by polls is hogwash, to be blunt. Obviously having last nights results avaliable live is going to impact those ridings voting today, and even more so for those voting Sunday. On the flip-side, I have no problem with full transparency (and as a political junkie, I like the quick fix this gives). Even if you held all the results back, it would start leaking out and there would be random speculation all weekend (which may be more damaging than hard fact).

The real issue/solution that no one has mentioned yet is why is the voting taking place over 3 days? Is this the 19th centuary? Why don't we, like for every other election that happens in Canadian politics, have everyone in every riding vote at the same time on the same day?

A BCer in Toronto said...

In any case, with any luck it will all become moot for the next time. Hopefully, when it is considered in Montreal in a few months, the delegates will vote to have the LPC join the rest of the world in the 21st century with a weighted one member, one vote system, and do away with the traditional delegated convention.

Jason Bo Green said...

I'm really disgusted that Martha Hall Findlay is behind Volpe and Brison and, far as I can see, "Undecided". ARGH!

Anyway, tag, you're it - you tagged Zac on the Five Feminism Things, so I've tagged you back on my blog regarding "What I've Done For Feminism".

It's for Cameron and Joanne, I just thought you might have something interesting of your own to say - feel free to ignore it.

Red Tory said...

It's a great idea and one that's been well implemented.

New King of Kensington said...

Good debate. I don't think these results should be available. It can influence voting patterns as a stimulus. This is the same reason there is supposed to be a media blackout on polls in the final 48 hours of general elections, and is also the same reason Elections Canada tries (increasingly impossible in the internet world) to suppress Atlantic Canada and Ontario/Quebec results while folks are still voting in Alberta or B.C.

At the same time, of course there is an "info will travel" disclosure argument, and, even if Liberal.ca were not posting results, what, exactly, would stop all the bloggers and campaign websites from actively posting results beneficial to their "momentum" spin? Er, nothing.

So, I guess, at the end of the day, it is more of a personal opinion. I think Liberals anywhere across the country are capable of making their own assessments locally without having been clued to results and voting behaviours elsewhere.

And, looking to the left as I write my comment, I see a good comment from Scott Tribe: it does make for good "buzz" and it gets the journos looking at an LPC logo, and drives traffic to the national LPC web site. I think those are good things.

Jason Bo Green said...

It's obviously exciting, yeah - fun to hit Refresh. But we don't hear election polls til they've closed for a reason - I think there's a legit reason for that. Just my thoughts.

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