Thursday, December 16, 2010

Recall in Oak Bay Gordon Head

According to this story in the Saanich News, the recall campaign against Ida Chong collected 2041 signatures in their first week.  I am honestly stunned at how low the numbers are, I had thought they would get 3000 to 4000 in the first week.   I believe they needed to achieve 6000 in the first week to have a realistic chance of success.

In the article, recall coordinator Colin Nielsen says they have done an initial canvas of 1/4 of the riding.   That, along with their fixed stations collecting signatures, says to me they are they are in serious trouble.

 There are only 60 days for the recall campaign but because of the Christmas and New Years break there will be more like 50 to 55 effective campaign days.   Based on 55 days and needing to get at least a bit of a cushion over 15,368, something like 16,000, the campaign needs to average 290 signatures a day or 2030 for the first week.   They are barely on target for the bare minimum numbers they need to achieve their target if they can keep up this pace for the whole period.

If you look at the signature numbers in the Anti-HST initiative, the bulk of the signatures came early in the campaign.   Each and every day further into the campaign there are fewer and fewer people willing to sign the petition.   All the most gung-ho to recall Ida Chong will have signed the petition by now.   It is the first week or two in which the bulk of the signature will arrive and will tell us if there are any realistic odds of success.  

I would expect the first week to be about 1/3 of the total signatures that the campaign will collect.   The number collected. 2041, would point to about 6120 total signatures at the end of the campaign.   This means the recall campaign could possibly do worse than the Anti-HST petition in terms of total signatures.

Some people may say that the first week was just the start, but this recall campaign is better prepared and organized than the Anti-HST campaign and the counter petition on the Johnson Street Bridge.   The fact they managed to canvas 1/4 of the riding and have had a lot of media attention means the 2041 signatures reflects the highest energy of the campaign and when they are best prepared.    The odds of them improving on that numbers from this week in future weeks is remote.  

There is a chance that there could be a desperation push in the last week and there may be more signatures in that week, but I only see that realistic if they are at more 12,000 signatures by January 20th.

Another measure of the relative level of popularity of the campaign against Ida Chong is to look to the Recall Ida Chong Facebook Page - there are only 553 people that like this page.   The Pro Ida Chong Facebook page is doing worse though with only 129 'likes'.   There is no ground swell going on that I can see.

Oak Bay Gordon Head was the wrong target to start with and the wrong timing to go forward with recall.   A failure here will most likely be the effective end to the whole recall movement.
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