December 27, 2005

I's the Byes that raises the boats ... Legal Prostitution? Political Polling & 'Open source methodology'

A Rising Tide Raises All Boats ... in Atlantic Canada

The Liberal Government: Encouraging Research and Innovation in Atlantic Canada
December 21, 2005

Rising Tide document including the Atlantic Innovation Fund (AIF). [Is this administered by MP Greg Byrne or Minister Scott?]

We initially launched this initiative as a $300 million dollar fund in 2000 and in Budget 2004 it was replenished with an additional $300 million, as part of the $708 million – Atlantic Investment Partnership “the Second Wave”.

[. . . . ] approximately 100 R&D projects in Atlantic Canada

For every dollar invested by the fund, $1.14 has been leveraged by the private sector, universities and other research organizations, national programs and provincial governments.

[. . . . ] Atlantic Canadians, the region’s Knowledge-Based Economy has broadened and deepened with the development of emerging industries such as life sciences and ocean technologies, aerospace and information technology.

Atlantic Canada is also continuing to diversify its traditional economic base with the expansion of value-added activities in the food, and wood and paper industries, while a new oil and gas industry has emerged and is helping to drive economic growth in the region.

Ready for the election ...

Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network suggests "Legalizing prostitution — why now?" Arthur Weinreb, Associate Editor, Monday, December 19, 2005

[. . . . ] Last week, Toronto City Council agreed to issue "safe crack kits" to those who partake of the illegal drug and are considering setting up safe injection sites where those who take illegal drugs can safely break the law. These measures were praised by the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network. There is no doubt that this current "mature" council doesn’t give a damn about what takes place on the streets of the city or what effect the homeless, prostitutes and drug users have on the law abiding residents or businesses in Toronto. They couldn’t care less that children will be playing in yards littered with used crack pipes that will soon be emblazed with the City of Toronto logo.

So inclusive. Should the rest of us get out our guilt complexes and dust them off? Should communities not be able to have a referendum on what they want to do about a group of activities which tend to intermesh and affect their neighbourhoods? Do women go into prostitution to support a drug habit or is it one of the few job opportunities requiring no education and a limited set of skills? Is it not part of the human smuggling problem? Should we legalize it and then the prostitutes may stay in Canada? So many questions ...

Desmarais roots in area go back to '60s -- Canada Steamship owned estate Mark Cardwell, Dec.24, 05

According to people around Sagard, Paul Desmarais Sr. has been a regular visitor to the area since taking control of Power Corp. in 1968.

[. . . . ] Chief among the companies Power Corp. controlled was Canada Steamship Lines, which was a major landowner in the Charlevoix region.

Search: sold the 21,000-acre lot to Power Corp for $1.

Middle East Progress Amid Global Gains in Freedom New York,December 19, 2005, Belmont Incorporated ( )


[. . . . ] The global survey, "Freedom in the World," shows that although the Middle East continues to lag behind other regions, a measurable improvement can be seen in freedom in several key Arab countries, as well as the Palestinian Authority. In another key finding, the number of countries rated by Freedom House as Not Free declined from 49 in 2004 to 45 for the year 2005, the lowest number of Not Free societies identified by the survey in over a decade. In noteworthy country developments, Ukraine and Indonesia saw their status improve from Partly Free to Free; Afghanistan moved from Not Free to Partly Free; and the Philippines saw its status decline from Free to Partly Free. [. . . . ]

Complete survey results, including a package of charts and graphs, and an explanatory essay are available online. The Ratings reflect global events from December 1, 2004 through November 30, 2005. Country narratives will be released in book form in summer 2006. [. . . . ]

There are two worst-rated territories: Tibet (under Chinese jurisdiction) and Chechnya, where an indigenous Islamic population is engaged in a brutal guerrilla war for independence from Russia.

Search: "The eight worst-rated countries represent a narrow range of systems and cultures."

Political Polling: “open source” as a metaphor to describe the notion of full disclosure of all methodological details

Demystifying the Science and Art of Political Polling - By Mark Blumenthal, December 23, 2005, MP in POQ -- TrackBack URL for this entry:

Finally (for today) I have a surprise and something of a holiday gift from the editors of Public Opinion Quarterly.

As a personal venture, this blog has paid some truly gratifying and utterly unexpected dividends. Topping the list during 2005 was an invitation I received from the editors of Public Opinion Quarterly (POQ) to submit an article for their special issue on the polls, the media and the 2004 campaign. That issue is out this week, and the editors POQ have consented to allow MP readers to access my article -- "Toward an Open-Source Methodology: What We Can Learn from the Blogosphere" -- free of charge. There are two versions, a PDF replica of the printed article and an HTML version with live links to footnotes and sources.

For years I have turned to POQ for the latest gold standard research and commentary on survey methodology from the most noted authorities in the field. [. . . . ]

Any discussion of methodology leads into the next post.

Having read the above, what do you think of this? -- mentions poll conducted by Ipsos Reid -- "Election race dead heat as party leaders stand down for holiday break" by Mark Kennedy CanWest, Dec. 24, 05

I have a jpeg on public opinion research. What is the methodology used by Ipsos Reid?

Why is it that, every election I remember, the poll results up until election day always sound as if it a horse race, that the parties are neck and neck? Is this good for selling 'news'? Then, we get the negative poll ... when? Oh, just before people vote, perhaps, help them to decide to vote for the "winning side" -- That's a Cynic's Assessment--pure NJC.

Why might Ipsos Reid president Darrell Bricker report this?

``Nobody has seized the agenda in this campaign,'' said Bricker. ``Whatever attachments people have to their voting support, they're not running with glee to the voting both.''

Then, there is The Star's Chantal Hebert, Dec. 23, 2005: delivering strictly opinion -- or is it cold-weather planting ... of an idea? Decide for yourself.


I felt that Hebert's ending was strong, but I see Quebeckers waking up and absolutely livid about the Liberal Party (and the corruption) that has used them in order to emphasize the differences between Quebeckers and the rest, to use this in order to win election. I found again an article that highlights Jean Lapierre's cynicism in the service of overcoming the Gomery fallout and getting Quebec votes. ***

[. . . . ] Two decades after patriation of the Constitution, the federal Liberal party is a spent force in Quebec. The days when it competed fiercely with the sovereignist movement for the best and brightest of Quebecers are behind it.

And that means that, in the not-so-distant future, Canadians will have to tap other sources than the dried-out Quebec reservoir for national leadership.

*** "Equalization is not vote-buying .... Lapierre's speech to the Quebec wing included several references to deals struck between Ottawa and Quebec City over the past year, outlining what appeared to be a battle-plan to overcome Gomery fallout." Jonathan Montpetit, Nov. 11, 05


additional money
using an old formula
revamped by a committee
Finance Minister Ralph Goodale


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