Canadian Federal Election – 1 day to go

The results for the three English-speaking party leaders are shown below. I have not tried to track Duceppe because we don’t fully understand how to move the deception model across languages. I think there’s a fair amount of confidence that the same (types of words) are significant in other languages, but the details are difficult. In the case of French, the pronoun “on” sometimes plays the role of “I” and sometimes not, and the differences are hard to pick out, and might perhaps be especially significant as a distancing mechanism.

The Canadian federal party leaders have all tried to run presidential style campaigns (Vote the man, rather than the party, or the local member). But they can’t bring themselves to talk about themselves, so the speeches they all give are extremely abstract blue-skies policy speeches, with hardly an “I” to be seen. Relative to the U.S. election, all of the speeches would rank as high spin. This may be partly a perception (probably accurate IMHO) that Canadians are not ready for prime minister = president and so the leaders are trying to be the face of their party, but not the single leading figure. This middle-ground approach seems to be a bit clunky, and produces some odd speeches. Can you imagine an American politician at any level giving a speech titled “New Support for Apprentices”?

Here is the spin ranking for the speeches available up to today:

Spin rankings over the entire election campaign

Spin rankings over the entire election campaign

The pattern has been reasonable consistent over the campaign. Stephen Harper’s (blue) speeches tend to be high-spin; Stephane Dion’s (red) speeches are more moderate in spin, but much more variable; and Jack Layton’s speeches (such as they are) (magenta) are relatively low spin. This would indicate that Stephen Harper will tend to do better than the other two, but these speeches play such a small role in the campaign that not much should be read into this prediction.


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