Monday, November 14, 2005

Kinsella's "Predictions"

Kinsella's latest musing (November 14th) sees him bragging about an end of year prediction, namely: "1.The Martin government will fall in 2005."

Otherwise, no mention of other predictions, or even a link to his archives for December 2004 for further context. It's a slow Monday morning following the long weekend, so why not look closer? A quick Google search revealed the full text of his predictions, with odds and commentary provided. A few thoughts on our budding Nostradamus's accuracy.

1. The Martin government will fall in 2005, likely over missile “defence.”
Interesting how the last four words were conveniently omitted from today's braggadocio.
2. It is not a given that an election will immediately take place. Adrienne Clarkson, who the Martinites have done their level best to defame and demean, may ask Stephen Harper if he has the confidence of the House. He just might, too (cf. his Belgian love letter to Gilles Duceppe).
This certainly doesn't sound like a prediction from someone anticipating the fall of the government in the dying months of the year. Safe to say this one's a bust, although in the face of the recent "compromise", it is surprising that the opposition parties never really looked into it. To make Parliament work without the Liberals actually running the show?
3. If an election results, the Liberals will not – repeat not – win a majority. If Ralph Klein and Tory caucus kooks (cf. White, Gallant, ad nauseum) can be persuaded to shut up, Stephen Harper will be Prime Minister in a minority Parliament. He will do a surprisingly okay job.
Certainly a probable result on the current evidence, though only Cherniak seems to be predicting against it. The Harper minority remains the distinctly underdog position, for now.
4. Paul Martin will count himself lucky to win 70 per cent support for his leadership at the March Liberal convention. If he gets more than that, it means (a) a rigged convention and/or (b) that every real Liberal stayed away due to (a).
Actual result: 88% at a convention attended by Kinsella himself.
7. Approaching mid-term, thinking legacy, George W. Bush will start to look and sound more moderate. All of us will be surprised, including those of us who have predicted it.
While no one could have predicted Katrina enhancing the fall to historic popularity lows, the President spent all his political capital in a losing fight to privatize social security, came out against torture, backtracked on Miers, and remains defiant on the War. That be not moderation.

All in all, not the type of predictions I would be especially proud to have made. But there you go.


Blogger Jason Cherniak said...

Yeah. I'm a bit surprised that he would be tooting his horn on those ones.

I also note that Paul Wells did some research and was surprised by how unfixed the Martin leadership vote was.

Finally, the GG cannot ask the opposition to form a government unless the PM recommends it. At least, not when this Parliament has been going for a year and a half and the PM's party has the most seats.

11:45 AM  
Blogger James MacDuff said...

King-Byng, my friend. From wikipedia:

"Facing a third vote on the question of government corruption, and having already lost two previous votes on questions of procedure, King went to the Governor-General seeking a dissolution of Parliament. Byng used his reserve power to refuse the request, thus igniting the crisis. King requested that before any decision was made, Byng consult the British government, which he represented. Byng again refused, citing non-interference in Canadian affairs.

The next day, King presented Byng with an Order-in-Council seeking the dissolution of Parliament, which Byng refused to sign. King resigned and, as a result, Canada was left temporarily without a Prime Minister and government, until the Governor-General invited Arthur Meighen to form a government. Meighen did so, but within a week lost a non-confidence vote in the House of Commons. Meighen requested a dissolution of Parliament, which was granted by Byng, and an election was called."

Granted, it would be controversial and an audacious move by a GG to take, especially one just appointed. But certainly at least a remote possibility.

12:07 PM  
Blogger The Tiger said...

The GG most certainly could -- esp. given that it's been less than two years since the last election.

I would've favoured it -- I'd have liked to see the NDP and the CPC hammer out a compromise between their two ethics packages and get one through, then call an election.

But we can't always get what we want...

7:58 PM  
Blogger Jason Cherniak said...

I am talking about what she could do with Constitutional authority on her side. The problem with King was that he actually had less seats than Meighen. Byng probably would have been wrong to grant the dissolution. In this case, the Liberal leader has a clear mandate to call a new election.

4:48 PM  
Blogger The Tiger said...

A clear mandate to call an election?

Where'd you get that interesting constitutional theory, Truffles? The same place that Martin got his plan to ignore the votes in mid-May?

The PM can ask for a dissolution, and he'll probably get it. But it wouldn't have to happen that way if the opposition cobbled together a coalition that had majority support in Parliament.

8:00 AM  

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