« The Bank of Canada and the dollar in the short and long term | Main | Why we need more Canadian academic economics bloggers »


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

We must always keep in mind that Canada's most well-known economist is mainly know for being a satirist...

Yep. There's a lesson in that somewhere, but I'm not sure what it is.

The lesson is "To the victor go the spoils".
I don't see what the big issue is here, the Liberals had over a decade to get their constituents to the trough.

I live in a Liberal riding and my parents in the city next door live in a Conservative riding, I can't see how they can limit the externalities at the border between our cities.

What irks me the most, is that the Feds still provide stimulus to a city like Toronto where there are no Conservative constituents, to me its a waste of money, it could be better spent in other areas.


It may surprise you to hear that 25% of Toronto's popular vote went to the CPC, which is only slightly lower than their national average.

Wonderful! More Leacock! Just enough dead-pan but not too much.

Once upon a time I might have said that the old Reformers read Leacock, made their own interpretation, got really worked up and incensed, and then vowed to put an end to side-payment politics. Now I'm not so sure; maybe the old Reformers (predecessors to the current Conservative government) were simply posturing and telling their constituency what it what wanted to hear at that particular time?

A third possible reaction is to question the accuracy of the intial statement that Ontario has been allocated $1.1 billion and the allegation that certain ridings are underfunded, since the initial source of that number, former Liberal MP Omar Alghabra (and judging by his website, he's a man who hopes to regain that position), couldn't be bothered to actually provide a source for the numbers he throws around. Indeed, the fact (which he acknowledges) that $600 million worth of spending in Ontario has yet to be announced would raise questions about his conclusion. Moreover, the fact that the Gerard Kennedy's report (which he cites, and which, I presume is the basis for his numbers) only includes data for 900 odd projects out of 1600 plus that have been announced raises serious questions about the accuracy of these numbers.

As an aside, I don't know why Gerard Kennedy's study hasn't been ripped to shreds by both the media and the Tories (although innumeracy and statistical illiteracy comes to mind). He publishes a report which is based on a sample of 900 of 1600 plus projects, without explaning the basis for selecting that sample and it get's gobbled up. It apparently never dawns on anyone that, gee, he might have an incentive to cherry pick what the projects he reports and which he doesn't. Moreover, even if he's not cherry-picking, you just don't know if there's a systematic problem with his selection. For instance, if you look at his dataset, it mysteriously excludes announced projects in places like Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal (which account for, what, half of the Liberal caucus, and in the case of Toronto and Montreal account for exactly zero Tory MPs)). Pretty easy to conclude the Tories are cooking the books when you exclude all the projects in your strongest ridings. Mind you, it may just be that Kennedy's selection process tends to exclude large urban municipaties (which would be stupid, but not dishonest), but since riding in those cities tend to be held by the Liberals, it skewers his conclusions.

Take the Toronto numbers. Gerard Kennedy knows full well what is being spend there because he's criticized it as being inadequate. But for some reason, he excludes 500+ projects worth approximately $200 million from his dataset. Then he publishes a chart which lists ridings by the number of projects (which is a debatable metric to begin with, but anyhow) and points out that Tory-held ridings are all at the top. True, but if you include the Toronto ridings (which, on average have 25 projects per riding), the top ridings by number of Projects in Ontario would be Liberal red. Or he publishes a chart which lists Ontario ridings by spending and is appalled to learn that 6 of the top 10 ridings are held by the Tories, which would be a shocking statistic if the Tories didn't hold roughly half the ridings in the Province (so that 6 out of 10 is more or less what you'd expect).

The comments to this entry are closed.

Search this site

  • Google

Blog powered by Typepad