Monthly Archives: March 2007

The exciting results, live! (as soon as I see them on TV)

Tonight’s election liveblog, in a nutshell:

  • Liberals win, ADQ becomes the official opposition after posting huge gains in Quebec City, the Laurentians and the Eastern townships.
  • Strong second-place showings in two ridings by Québec solidaire and three by the Greens, all on the island of Montreal.
  • The CBC blows a big election call (Jean Charest’s riding) and has to retract itself with a pathetic excuse

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And so it begins

The polls have closed, and results are already trickling in from four ridings.

The predictions: Liberals have a small chance of forming a majority, and the PQ has a moderate chance of forming a minority, but the most likely scenario sees a Liberal minority with the PQ in opposition.

The coverage:


  • CTV, CBC, Radio-Canada, TVA, RDI, CPAC, LCN and CTV NewsNet have non-stop election coverage.
  • TQS is starting its coverage at 9:30, and is showing a documentary on Valery Fabrikant right now.
  • Télé-Quebec is incorporating election coverage into regular programming, with Bazzo on right now and the seat projections on the screen.
  • Global is running regular programming and giving updates during commercials and having actual coverage only at 11.
  • The National Assembly channel is dead air.
  • CNN is updating us on Anna Nicole Smith.


  • CBC Radio One, Radio Canada (première chaîne), CJAD, 940 News, Info 690 and 98.5 are running election coverage.
  • CKAC has regular programming with updates.


  • The Gazette has abdicated its live coverage to Canadian Press, whose servers appear to be crashing under the load.
  • Ditto Globe and Mail.
  •, as usual, has its comprehensive online election section, though I can’t find riding-by-riding results. Riding-by-riding results are under “riding profiles”. Hardly intuitive.
  • Cyberpresse has CP covering the riding results, but is running regular story updates and blog posts.
  • Quebecor’s Canoe (Journal, TVA) has an excellent elections website, with easy-to-find riding-by-riding results.
  • CTV Montreal has no online coverage whatsoever. links to CP’s flash results.


The boring life of a photographer

I feel for professional photographers. Today’s cameras have automatic focus, automatic exposure, automatic white balance, and basically do everything by themselves. News photographers can’t play around in Photoshop to be creative, and there’s just so many angles you can use to take a portrait of a guy in a suit.

So every now and then, these people try experiments. They set the exposure very low, taking photos that look dark and mysterious, except for the politician’s face captured in the bright light of a television camera. They set the shutter very slow, to show a sense of movement.

But Marie-France Coallier’s shot in today’s business section just looks bad, like someone accidentally smudged the photo by wiping it down:


Where are the platforms?

So voting is today in the big election. Having not finalized who I’m going to vote for, I decide to head to the media websites to find their analyses of the parties’ platforms.

Unfortunately, this is nowhere to be found.

The newspapers have actually increased coverage of this election. Every day there are pages and pages of original reporting, combined with the kind of web coverage we’ve never seen before. There are profiles of the party leaders, endless stories about poll results and missteps, riding profiles, behind-the-scenes videos, election blogs, galleries of editorial cartoons, discussion of whether “election” should be pluralized, even analyses of media coverage.

But not a single website I visited had issues analysis or party platforms in some obvious place.

The closest thing I found was this independent vote-selection wizard. Wikipedia’s French entry on the election isn’t too bad, but still no detailed information on platforms.


Where are the semis?

Today in the Gazette, Maureen Marovitch, who lives on Hillcrest Ave. on the Ville-Saint-Pierre side of the VSP-Montreal-West border, makes the same point through anecdotal evidence that I made previously: the so-called “traffic problem” on Broughton St. / rue des Erables simply does not exist, and there are no trucks or semis barrelling down there. In fact, it’s quite safe for pedestrians:

I walk almost daily along these streets with my two children, ages 3 1/2 and 1. I’ve watched boys play street hockey complete with nets right in the middle of the road with few, if any, cars in sight.

She also challenges the “it’s only a 29-second detour” Mtl-West talking point response to Lachine’s “think of the ambulances” talking point:

This claim was so hard to believe that my husband, a former Urgences sante paramedic and firefighter, timed the detour at 6 p.m. on a weekday. It actually takes nearly two additional minutes to do the two-kilometre detour. That doesn’t sound like much, but if your child is suffering an allergic reaction, your spouse is having a heart attack or your dinner companion is choking, it could mean the difference between life and death.

Meanwhile, my $20 challenge is so far still unmet.