Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Recall Campaigns

So it starts, the first recall campaign will be against Ida Chong.  I really do not like the use of recall for partisan political reasons and there is nothing about this recall that does not look and feel like an attempt to rerun the 2009 election.  

I dislike the partisan use of recall enough that I have still have some reservations about Kevin Falcon because of his Total Recall campaign against the NDP.   Recall should be there to get rid of an MLA that is clearly no fit for the job and needs to be removed as was done with Paul Reitsma.

That said, what are the odds of getting a recall in Oak Bay Gordon Head?   Slim and none comes to mind.   The Anti-HST petition did not as well there as it did elsewhere, it was slow in getting the signatures to come in and did not have a dramatically large number of people sign.   The ability to reach 15,283 people signing the petition will be hard, it is more than twice the signatures achieved for the anti-HST campaign.

Realistically the organizers will have to aim to get about 270 signatures a day for the whole 60 period.   Keeping in mind that Christmas and New Years fall into this time frame, the number of effective days that people can get signatures is more like 55 days at most and this means the campaign has to achieve something closer to 300 signatures per day.  

Given that "the low hanging fruit" will fall first, the campaign needs to have 75% of their total signatures in the first four weeks - this is about 425 signatures a day.

The next problem is that there is no easy way to reach the people in the riding, there is no obvious place where the public congregates.   In Victoria the Anti-HST petition could get people to sign for any of the local ridings anywhere in the region, this does not work in the recall.

With 600 canvassers, the recall campaign should be able to reach each doorstep in the riding so it will become clear quickly if the campaign is going to meet their targets within the first week or two.

The canvassers will have to deal with fact that Ida Chong has done nothing wrong other than being a Liberal.   A lot of people were willing to sign the anti-HST petition because it is not a partisan act.   The recall is a very partisan act and people will resist.

The recall campaign will have to get all of the people who did not vote for Ida Chong and 2200 more people to sign the recall petition for it succeed.   There is still a lot of people that do not like the idea of an NDP government and are not going to make easier for the NDP to get someone elected.  There will be a lot of reluctant supporters of Ida Chong.  

Oak Bay Gordon Head is such a clearly NDP favourable location to choose that this alone will convince many people that they are defacto supporting the NDP.   There is no measurable Conservative support in Oak Bay Gordon Head, a group that might have tipped the balance in favour of recall.

All in all, Oak Bay Gordon Head was a bone headed choice by the recall campaign.   The chances of success are non-existent.   The first recall has to succeed, if it does not, all the rest will lose heart and people will drift away and no longer take part in this process.   The riding that should have been chosen was one of the interior ones where the Anti-HST campaign managed to get a decent level of support.

No one has every accused Chris Delaney or Bill Vander Zalm of being politically smart, it was only a matter of time till their ability to screw up came to the fore.
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