Monday, January 23, 2006

Election Coverage: A Few Observations

It's flip flip flip time, when it's too early to really see how one's riding is going (election observations below), and the only sure results are so far in the Maritimes. So my attention wandered to the TV coverage itself.

I started with Global. The graphics, as usual, are a bit hard to discern. I can see the big numbers, but the ticker tape requires too much concentration. The pace is fast. Kevin Newman's deft handling adds excitement to the proceedings. But the panel headed by Troy Reeb is, well, a bit gender deficient. Yes, Leah Casselman is the token female, but it's interesting how the men talk around her, and the camera is the only reason why we even know she's there. I flip to CBC.

Great graphics. Lovely on the eyes. Interesting swoosh effect at the bottom. But a bunch of suits on the panel. Yawn. Flip to CityTV.

Ahhh....now we have true gender parity on the all-important panel -- headed by the female co-anchor of CityNews -- and bonus, a real variety of people ethnically, regionally, and politically. And any panel that has Deborah Grey with Bif Naked on it has my attention. Unfortunately, as usual City is wedded to this tiny window in a window design with graphics to the right and below. One needs a GIANT TV to properly see the "action."

CTV, as I noted earlier, I'm ignoring.

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Updates:

Tony Valeri defeated: Justice!

Belinda Stronach elected: I like this result for the sole reason that MPs have crossed the floor many times before, and those men were not nearly vilified as much as she was.

Michael Ignatieff elected: Huh? My fellow Torontonians are sheep!!!

Carolyn Bennett: A totally lame, bland politician, and those apparently well-educated St. Paulians like their reps that way.

Back to Ignatieff: OK, gotta give the guy credit -- he is a charismatic speaker and a quick learner. However, I still think it was too soon to elect him. He needed time to resettle in Canada first; I am fundamentally uncomfortable with an MP sitting in the House who has not lived in Canada for decades.

Back to Stronach: She has grown considerably in confidence and ease in public speaking. She sounds more like a credible MP today than 18 months ago.

The provincial results are interesting. Most of them stayed essentially the same, except for Quebec, Ontario, and BC (and relatively speaking the North). Only in those provinces are there big changes. Conservative wins in Quebec means that the Conservative party represents the entire country. In Ontario, Adam Vaughan of CityTV noted that rural voters elected Conservatives and suburban and urban voters Liberals, with the NDP acting as spoilers.

The predicted conflict between 905 blue and 416 red has not materialized. We are not as dissimilar as the pundits would like to make us out to be. It seems too that although most Torontonians still fear anything other than Liberal, many have decided to vote NDP as being the party that best represents -- under Layton's leadership -- urban needs. They have finally realised that they won't get the government they want if they keep voting Liberal. Too bad the riding of Beaches-East York voted the no-name Minna in again instead of the crackerjack Churley, who, if nothing else, can grab media attention and force issues into the light. What a lost opportunity! Bill Carroll had an interesting observation: staying mostly red in Toronto (and I think Ontario) means that Harper will come a-courting. He will earn our respect by listening to us and meeting our long-neglected needs. That's how he'll improve Conservative fortunes in Toronto in the next election, 18 months from now (well, 18 is a rough guess). We'll see.

Olivia Chow: She won! Yes!!! Jack and Olivia will certainly enliven the House. And it's good for them personally that they will finally be able to work and live together again.

Svend Robinson: The disingenuous crook is defeated! Layton is probably relieved.

It's just 12:06 am, and I'm packing it in. I shall join the bleary-eyed hordes of Torontonians tomorrow. It's going to be a long day. Westerners are lucky. They get all the excitement of seeing the final results and still get a good night's sleep!

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