Monday, August 18, 2008

Just the facts please

There's been a lot of talk lately, and spin, about all the Liberal candidates/MPs supposedly “jumping ship” and what not. The best antidote for such Tom Foolery is the facts. And here are the facts according to Pundits' Guide:

*Liberals: 23 24 candidates resigned or stepped down, 8 9 of whom have been replaced or have nomination meetings scheduled. Add this to 9 incumbents already retired, and 10 who have announced they will not seek re-election.

*NDP: 21 candidates resigned or stepped down, 12 of whom have been replaced (in 5 cases by themselves after running provincially) or have nomination meetings scheduled. Add this to 3 incumbents who have announced they will not seek re-election.

*Conservatives: 10 candidates resigned or stepped down, 5 of whom have been replaced. Add this to 10 incumbents who have announced they will not seek re-election.

*Greens: 5 candidates resigned or stepped down, 4 of whom have been replaced.

*Bloc Québécois: No record of any candidates resigned or stepped down. However, 1 incumbent is deceased, 3 have already retired, and 1 other has announced she will not seek re-election.

The facts, as we see, tell a different story than the spin. Yes, more sitting Liberals have resigned. Various reasons for that, ie.an older, longer-served caucus. On the candidate front though, just two more candidates have left the Liberals than the NDP. The Cons have also lost five, although in fairness they canned five of them. And 10 Conservative incumbents aren't running again. Are they just ready to move on, or it proof Stephen Harper is Not a Leader? Only the shadow knows. And Ryan Sparrow.

You can try to read whatever you want into candidate comings and goings. Conspiracy theories are fun. Doesn't make them accurate though, and I'm fairly certain no one outside the Ottawa belt cares much anyway.

Oh, and I came to the Pundit Guide post from National Newswatch.

NN's headline link to the story:

List of Liberal candidates that have stepped down

And here's the actual headline of the linked article, which contains an exhaustive list of candidates form ALL parties, and as you've seen its a reasonably balanced list at that:

List of Candidates who have stepped down

Is National Newswatch going down the tourqed-headline road of Bourque? I certainty hope not, but this isn't the first indicator I've seen. If they want to that's their perogative, but I liked this site for the just the facts approach of its headlines, faithfully producing the header of the linked article without editorial comment. Ah, well.


UPDATE: The folks at NN tell me the headline was a simple mistake, and wasn't intentionally changed/tourqued. That's good to hear.

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3 comments:

The Pundits' Guide said...

Hi Jeff, and thanks for the citation. Just to let you know that, based on a few items of information I've received from readers today, those numbers have changed slightly tonight (see here).

Your general point still stands, however, and I do appreciate the vote of confidence.

Thanks for reading!

Wilson said...

The best anecdote for such Tom Foolery is the facts.

Um, did you mean antidote?

A BCer in Toronto said...

That too.