Sunday, 12 May 2019

WHAT TO MAKE OF THOSE CONFOUNDING POLLS

"Polls are for dogs" is an adage ascribed to Progressive Conservative John Diefenbaker, Canada's 13th Prime Minister. It is a view that voters ought to embrace, too, especially during election campaigns. Diefenbaker likely wasn't leading in the Polls when he made that quip, but there is still merit in the remark. 


Every hack loves Polls, as does the public. Who doesn't want to peer into the future? My advice: don't take them too seriously. There are many reasons why they will have no relationship with the outcome of the May 16th General Election. 

Context is found in the latest Poll from Abacus Data, giving the PCs five percentage points over the Liberals. A week earlier, an MQO Poll gave the Liberals a 12-point lead (among decided voters, 48% to 36%) with a 39% undecided factor.

In a campaign that is as dull as a debate over whether Dwight's or Ches' hair colour is darker, change hardly seems a disruptive influence. Yet a couple of days later, a third survey — the Forum Poll — gave the PCs a 2-point lead over the Liberals. Forum even went so far as to predict how many seats would be won by each Party despite offering no regional breakdown — hardly a nod to statistical science. Even if it were, in the world of statistical analysis, the “regional” breakdown of the number of eligible voters questioned (the sample size) would be too small to have a meaningful level of accuracy.

Why the big difference in the Abacus data vs. the MQO and Forum Polls? The proffered reason is that the Leaders' Debate was an intervening event.  If that is correct, then it is baffling that there was not a single moment when Aunt Bessie could be seen biting her nails down to the quick. 

The truth is that statistical basis of Polls is really the only constant in the survey process. The process of achieving statistical accuracy is actually very difficult. It relies as much on art as science. In particular, privacy issues; the reluctance, especially in urban areas, to share personal information (long a problem and getting worse); the reduction of land-lines in residential homes; and caller I.D., which enables the screening of nuisance calls, are reducing the probability that a survey sample of potential respondents is representative. 


MQO's VP, in providing a regional breakdown of his data results, urged “caution in some areas dues to limited samples available.” That was prudent because the margin of error that results when the sample is reduced to regional representation, as noted, can completely distort the result. A bigger question, I suggest, is whether the margin of error applied even to the whole sample fully reflects the challenges of modern-day polling practices. 

The public might also inquire if recognized Pollsters are associated with one political Party or another. For example, Wikipedia confirms Tim Powers, a Tory strategist and Nalcor Consultant, as Abacus Data's Managing Director. The evening before the Abacus Data Poll was released, he tweeted this comment to NTV's Michael Connors: “Our @abacusdata will be out tomorrow. Again watch for sample size, dates of polling, trends. MQO is a good firm don't question their data.”

Don't question their data? Shouldn't ostensibly independent Polls have a degree of separation or two from partisan hacks? (Tory Organizer John Laschinger should kick his ass for this!) Is there no difference between “our” and “their” data? Of course, Abacus has a foot in both Camps. Its Chair is Bruce Anderson, father of Liberal PM Justin Trudeau’s director of Communications.  Look deep enough and you'll likely find that at least some of the other Polling firms have similar relationships with the political Parties.

For those reasons and others, when pollsters and political analysts talk about Poll results as if they were the holy grail, people should take a deep breath and give a nod to John George Diefenbaker.

That is not to suggest that Polls are worthless. True, many given prominence in an election campaign are attached to the latest Campbell's Soup survey, gathering only limited data on voter intentions and leadership likability. They return a relatively superficial snapshot of current voter thinking. 

The real artistry of political polls — no differently than those conducted in other fields — is found in those that assist a political Party to define its support, taking into account gender and demography as well as geography when defining voter preoccupations and assessing trends. This deep-dive into the public's political preoccupations requires a lengthy and detailed questionnaire and extensive cross-referencing of  data — all of it overlain with traditional and current voting patterns, or some other set of statistics that helps produce an informed narrative describing voters' thinking.


In contrast, the “Poll Results” offered up for free from any of the commercial pollsters — all liberally broadcast by the media — are little more than titillation for the masses. During elections, they are intended to influence “outcomes” far more than to make a contribution to the democratic electoral process. For the larger analysis, the political Parties pay big bucks.

A final point. Even more than the relatively high disapproval rating ascribed to the Party leaders, voters should be concerned about the huge “undecided” factor — which, i n addition to voter turnout, threatens a far larger impact on the election outcome than the results of any highly questionable Poll.

So, if you are tearing your hair out over whether the biggest Polling guru is MQO, CRA, Abacus, Forum or one of the others that will likely vy for your attention in the coming days, relax. Treat all of them with a larger-than-average level of scepticism. 

And if you have been counting on Polls to help you avoid “losing” your vote — a matter over which a select group always seems preoccupied — be content that you exercised a cherished right. Any sense of post-election loss will disappear the next morning in the amount of time it takes to down your first cup of Tim’s!

48 comments:

  1. On the subject of perceived bias, is Tim Powers a relative of Ches Crosbie?

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    1. You know it's damn-well true tho...

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  3. Dull and political fatigue. The population of NL can’t trust either popular party. I am a Christian and a not so known writer and commentator with my own blog. I recently published my first book oriented on politic and religion in Newfoundland and nationally. We both agree that whether red or blue in our political affiliation, the result is the same... losing our national and provincial sovereignty. I would like to share with you my latest articles on my blog. My views are from a biblical perspective. God Bless

    https://www.simplicityinthegospel.com/2019/02/canadian-charter-of-rights-and-freedoms.html

    https://www.simplicityinthegospel.com/2018/12/deceptive-ruse-thesis-antithesis_20.html

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  4. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/nl-piling-provincial-personal-debt-1.5133120

    This story may even be more concerning and alarming than biased pre-election polls! This does not include Muskrat Falls project debt.

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    1. It doesn't include billions in deferred maintenance of our roads and buildings either. You can't delay maintenance for decades unless you want roads and hospitals to be like the ancient jail - e.g. 3rd world facilities.

      Muskrat Falls isn't on-line yet either and there will be billions more in costs related to Holyrood, spare parts and things we have to rework because they were ill conceived.

      Meanwhile our population is declining and there has been a sharp drop in the birth rate. We have an aging population that will require far more healthcare. If the new birth rate holds, we are heading towards a population of 250,000. Everything points to insolvency somewhere down the road.

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    2. For those not familiar with or province, our jail was built in 1859! It will likely be rebuild as a public-private partnership.

      The province is full of things that we cannot afford to maintain. Many things have been neglected for so long that it is cheaper to rebuild then repair. Unfortunately we would have to borrow the money to pay for it so P3 will be presented as the solution. Sort of like rent-to-own or payday loans - desperate solutions that make things worse in the long run.

      https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/hmp-budget-planning-1.4596894

      https://www.thetelegram.com/news/local/special-report-the-prison-is-like-a-dungeon-corrections-officers-say-her-majestys-penitentiarys-outdated-space-makes-jobs-difficult-226647/

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  5. Nick Turnasky (sp?)

    Witness is confused WHO Nick worked for ! So was everyone ! Did he work for Nalcor, Did he work for Valard? Did he work for a Valard sister co? Did he work for Valard parent company ? Someone should take a VERY close look ....

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  6. I love iconoclasts like John Diefenbaker. I agree that polls are only fit for dogs. They distort the vote, influence behaviour by manipulation by hacks like Power with their voodoo pseudo science.

    Polls distort democracy and should be banned. In the meantime lie early and often to pollsters and join our canine best friends!

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    1. But what about voters who want to back a "Winner", and vote first past the post, Bruno?

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    2. A racetrack is the place to handicap a winner, not elections!

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  7. EY......I din't think it would be of much interest. man oh man.
    As to the Oversight Committee.....
    Am i wrong that they colluded with Nalcor and govn?
    Did they conspire to keep information from the public that should have been public?
    They too with risk assessment expertise, like Jason Kean, and shows Jason was not doing his job for 2 years or more, am I wrong?
    Risk updates should have been done by Jason Kean at least every 6 months, but after 2012......what was he doing except not doing his job as a risk expert?
    Is this criminal? EY from the start worried about reputation damage by just playing along it seems, and got more contracts, but should have had a backbone and bailed out. Jellyfish?
    Winston Adams

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  8. Have to agree pollsters serve no useful purpose, except to distort elections, win elections for those who should never be in office, and often decide who wins the election. People should be left to their own devices of how they want to vote. Pollsters influence people's voting decisions too much. As soon as I recognize it is a robocall I hang up. I have had two calls from the major parties, their words are, can we count on your support in the election? My response is always, have you not heard, " this is a secret ballot election". They are stopped cold in their tracks, and then try and come up with a response. It's like if I tell you, then you will tell me in advance who is going to win the election, which I don't need to know, until the ballots are counted, or I might want to join in a popularity contest, as most don't like loosing, or as we sometimes say after, " guess you lost your vote". Well no votes are lost unless you are voting for Putin or others where the election results are like 99 percent to 1 percent. In addition to pollsters, there are too many party faithfuls trying to influence the votes of others. They put their party ahead of their province or country. I know in a democracy polling, influencing others, campaigning and election signs could not be banned, but they should be fround upon, if our system is based purely on one person one vote. Yes parties can put forward their plan, and leave it at that, and let the people decide. If I set out with the intention of influencing as many people as I can in how to vote, then I may be in fact voting thousand of times, rather than just once as an individual. But maybe in the end that is the democratic system, as Churchill said, democracy is the worst kind of government, but it is the best we have. Joe blow.

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  9. The Inquiry: The Premier stated that EY would not get info required from Nalcor, so was this Ball by this time?
    Damming ........so called an election early fearing fallout from this inquiry, i wonder
    Winston

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  10. Ball would have been screwed if he had to be questioned on the stand prior to election !

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    1. I hope you don't think the timing of Ball's appearance is an accident!

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  11. Maybe few followed EY at the Inquiry yesterday?
    Who got their hands in your wallet, as one of the ads on TV says.
    EY, brought in to assist the oversight committee.
    Internal emails: EY see Nfld as a business opportunity, maybe they can get 10 million going forward long term,( info was displace quickly, not sure of the number is correct, if someone can confirm )
    EY gets their foot in the door with just a 25,000 dollar contract.
    They are prevented from doing effective work, even directions by Ball to hinder them. They feel used, unable to perform, and want to keep their name off documents by govn.
    They are provided names of mid level people at Nalcor for discussions, but not top brass or directors. At meetings with Paul Harrington, Paul doesn't like the questions, and walks out taking his team with them. Ths rebuff is encounted more than once. Under questioning from Budden , EY says Nalcor were being obstructive instead of cooperating.
    Proper risk assessments unable to be done, yet EY stays on for years, more and more contracts,.....in the end 2.4 million billed.
    For risk assessment: we had Jason Kean, and his superiors and Board of Directors....all not doing their job properly... by the time Marshall come in, suddenly costs jump 4-5 million, so this did not happen overnight , and was being buried by Nalcor.
    Then the Oversight Committee set up.........not qualified for oversight and to risk assessment.
    So then EY brought in.....they too stymied from doing oversight.
    So about 5 levels do do oversight and none doing it.
    Compare: TD Bank annual report has about 20 pages on risk management. Their's is a pyramid structure, with the top responsibility with the Board of Directors, then risk committees,then CEO, then executive committees, the others further down , eventually to the retail level. They show 10 major risk categories.
    They have 13 directors, all with various skills/expertise. Of the 13 , 10 has key skills including risk management. All this internal to the bank.
    Here with Nalcor, 5 levels including internal and external, and billions of risk hidden until Ed Martin goes and Marshall soon announces the boondoggle, billions involved yet kept from the public, whose money us being wasted.
    Even EY with their hand in the till, as to a business opportunity, no backbone to walk away when Nalcor and govn obstructing their work.
    Who got their hand in your wallet? The govn wallet is your and my wallet, and 12.7 billion wasted. Nalcor and consultants galore all doing the same, no real independence, reports being manipulated or edited or just using Nalcor faulty data,... but if you go along , as a consultant, you get more business.
    That's my take. Almost no media coverage of this yesterday, and no comments on UG.......all asleep, or caught up in politics and elections, or I have it wrong? EY: the blind leading the blind. No heroes there.
    Winston Adams

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    1. WA @ 09:20:

      I am into the nuances - the disclaimers used provide me as much usable info as the report itself. My take, in 2015 EM and PD knew MF was off the rails but didn't want to advise the public of the same - trying to get re-elected and finish something that never should have started.

      Though I don't necessarily think much is DBs doing, and don't think much of him anyway - but EY was brought in under PD and most of the initial reports and presentation were based on the pre-2015 election period. This EY info directly lead to the ousting of EM and this Inquiry.

      My comment 2yrs ago that the time frame of the Inquiry being short and that the report submission date isn't really political is looking better everyday - despite most deriding me for it.

      PENG2

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    2. Should XYK and GRK talk to MLK about JTS and DBC??

      Stop your lazy(at best) comments that are indecipherable, Troll PENG0!

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    3. Winston it was good you were paying attention yesterday. I was attending several medical appointments.

      The 2.4 million in contracts doled out to EY for years keeps them quiet did it not Winston??? It is a disgusting demonstration of the real COLLUSION that lets a project that should never have been sanctioned go ahead, balloon the costs (and demonstrate the results of the shitfights with SNC Lavalin, EY, Astaldi etc.). The pattern is fight with and fire competent professionals (both technical and financial) and replace them with incompetent Nalcor insiders or placated with contracts who will do what is required.

      Expect another several billion jump in the MF price shortly after the election. Nalcor is still up to the same tricks and they still have unhindered access to the treasury (aka your kids futures). When will the cesspool finally get turned upside down and deposited in the dustbin?

      By the way is there better indication that PENG2 troll is a political hack in sheeps clothing than his incoherent defence that Ball's appearance date is all just a coincidence?

      It is both polite and technically proper to use the full name the first time it is used in a string and subsequently the initials are used. PEG0 loves to dazzle you with his bullshit.

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  12. Seems the inquiry is diving fairly deeply into 'some' of the engineering, consulting, procurement/contracting award processes, etc. --- which is all well and good and will help flesh out why costs increased.

    However, early on I questioned, in the first place, the 'need' for this MF boondoggle and argued that a deep dive into the demand forecast and CPW process was essential if the built in flaws/biases of the carefully crafted CPW cost comparison process was to be identified and to thereby expose what I thought was a purposefully crafted deception --- DESIGNED to ensure an output that would always show MF as having and maintaining a relative $2.4 billion advantage.

    While the resultant cost overruns (how and why they occurred) are important, they pale in comparison to what I considered to be a grossly flawed, inappropriate and unfair 2-option comparison process, and in my opinion, DESIGNED to confuse and ultimately hoodwink any and all that might wish to see through what was from the beginning, a boondoggle.

    The inquiry was not designed to expose the underlying, purposefully designed, foundational mechanisms that could only inevitably lead us to where we are now.

    The inquiry is looking deeply into the results, the outcomes (and how they occurred) of these largely glossed over and/or ignored 'underlying, purposefully designed, foundational mechanisms'.

    The inquiry is looking at the symptoms of this purposely designed fiasco, and not much else.

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    1. When I see how pathetic the cross examination I am struck by how by the design of the "inquiry", the intervenors are so underfunded and participation by knowledgeable insiders like you Maurice are not welcomed.

      We know the foundational design and mechanisms point back to the megalomaniacal urges of a past Premier. The mechanism, Nalcor's unhindered savaging of the treasury, continues unhindered, to this day.

      You are correct Maurice that the symptoms only are being explored, BY DESIGN.

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  13. When Ches takes the wheel after election, will Stan resign, or be fired with a fat cheque? We shall all be dead when Ces's ship comes in!

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  14. Leblanc said he wanted to tell the story of the boondoggle, and guess that's what he is doing, similar to Muller, and let others pick it up from there, if they so desire. I never expected any real fraud as SNC did in Libya, with millions being handed over to get the contract, or even the shannigians that went on in Montreal. Muskrat will just prove that maga projects normally double in cost, think Hebron is another example of that, but that was private business, so we are not that much concerned. But with public money we are. Of course lots of incompetency and learning on the job by top management adapting from the oil industry to hydro and power lines. But the biggest travecy is that nalcor and govt. convinced themselves and the public that they could bring the power from Labrador, that we didn't need, to the island for 5$ billion rather than for 10$ billion. Did Kennedy of GT not quote Meany and Sterge yesterday as saying money to complete muskrat was no problem, the govt. was good for it? So the story will be told of how the cost doubled but not much that will warrant criminal charges. The main contractor Astaldi cost basically doubled and every other contractor and sub contractor price doubled, plus oversight and under sight companies such as GT and MHI doubled or tripled as nalcor struggled and kept it from govt. and the people that they were coming in on budget and schedule until the chickens started to come home to roost says Joe blow.

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  15. " I never expected any real fraud as SNC did in Libya, with millions being handed over to get the contract, or even the shannigians that went on in Montreal." Are you certain of this Joe or are you just happy that the issue, inexplicably, has never been explored at MF?

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    1. Never certain of anything Bruno, from my simple perch. But when I said, let others pick it up if they desire, then I mean by the contractors, subs etc. where they felt they were wronged or did not get paid etc. That is exactly what Astaldi is doing in court now having taken nalcor to court for kicking them off the site without just cause, and employees not being paid etc. So the courts will decide that along with other parties who choose to do so. Now as for other smaller contractors or companies that had their fingers in the pie that may get away with some money they were not entitled to, but suspect that will be in the hundreds of thousands rather than in the millions. Like I don't think JK was an employee of nalcor but contracted his company to do work for nalcor, and was a pretty big wheel in the overall scheme of things. Could guys like that wheeling so much power not half fill their pockets where millions were being thrown around with man hours of work etc.? It is possible if they so desired, but will not be easy to chase down unless some one in cahoots with them blows the roast. And that kind of money will not break or make a 12$ billion project, but can easily fill a couple guys pockets. Or that's my take on it, with no knowledge or inside scoop. We all know about EM's take, dismissal, resignation with or without cause, etc. but that was in a way legal if not ethical. But I am not dismissing the boondoggle as much to do about nothing, as it may bankrupt a province or become insolvent down the road, and that is the real travecy of politicisns and little idiots that want to serve them. Joe blow.

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  16. Leblanc is identifying and describing the symptoms/outcomes, not the underlying cause (and the terms of reference is designed that way).

    When the car is spitting out blue smoke, one does not waste the time and money checking the plugs, kicking the tires, changing the air filter, checking the door locks, and radiator/windshield washer fluid, etc., etc., etc,...........

    However, that is where the bulk of the inquiry is, and the terms of reference was designed by government (public servants and politicians) so that the commissioner, counsel and parties could only look at, investigate and check the the plugs, the tires, the air filter, the door locks, radiator/windshield washer fluid, etc., etc., etc,............

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    1. Just as EY was used by government to give credibility to the MF Project, and was then prevented from accessing information from Nalcor, so too is the inquiry prevented by the TOR from diving deep into the core, underlying ego/legacy and financially driven, party associated agenda that pushed Muskrat Falls through --- NO MATTER WHAT.

      The Liberal government took over the MF agenda, lock, stock and barrel, and did nothing more that change horses (from Martin to Marshall).

      The inquiry TOR was designed to help shine light everywhere except at the core, underlying rot ---- and especially away from the premier's office/cabinet and senior public servants.

      The more things change.....

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    2. It's looking more and more like we are getting set up to accept the outcome. The residents of NL were not raped---we were gang raped by a bunch of sleeveens who are going to be allowed to get away with it. Surely there is someone with balls enough to do what is crying out to be done.The outright lies and withholding of information with unfettered access to the public treasury surely must give reason for a criminal investigation. Start with DW and work the way down. Find out the names behind the numbered companies is an obvious place to start.
      To think that DW, KD, EM, GB, PH et al are chuckling about how this is going, makes my stomach churn.

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    3. Wayne @ 13:32 (and MA):

      Not sure why you think those people are chuckling - Id say the opposite.

      The Inquiry had 4 questions to answer (3 of which are already definitively answered):
      1) did Nalcor use good judgment in recommending MF - the answer demonstrated by the evidence is no
      2) why did costs escalate - this is being determined now, but looks like poor practice, incompetence and a general application of poor practices
      3) was the government knowledgeable of the risks associated with MF - the answer demonstrated by the evidence is no
      4) what was the effect of excluding the PUB - this is a bit tricky, but considering what the PUB has previously issued and a statement by CH there seems to be little doubt that it was poor governance.

      Maybe best to move past manusha type points - I suspect the final report (while rushed because the public demanded that at an inopportune time) wont be kind to MF instigators.

      PENG2

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    4. As to 5 layers of failed risk management I mentioned leading up to EY, we can add 2 more: I missed GT (Grant Thomston) and now too this Leblanc Inquiry, so that is 7 layers. If there was criminal activity, the police would be layer 8.
      PENG2 notes the disclaimers by these crafty consultants, legal protection, which says all of what we tell you and our opinions may be false, because we depend on info that may be false or incomplete, so you can't blame us or sue us, if you depend on what our report says. This the craft of the lawyers to protect the crooked ones,protecting them from being honest and forthright.
      So , previous PENG2 cites Tom Marshall as better than a few others, and true, TM did have a better reputation than many. But yesterday, evidence showed Tom citing EY's name as proof that "Robust " oversight was being provided.......which of course was false of Tom Marshall.
      Bruno gets a pass, awol, but for medical issues, so I encourage others to keep posting, for the Shadow Inquiry as Robert says. I with reasons like Bruno, miss more than I wish.
      As to MA,(Maurice) and the deep dive into the symptoms of a cooked up boondoggle:
      Yes, Leblanc essentially skipped over the issue: Do we need the power, is it lowest cost, is it reliable? He brushed by this like a rock from space, 200,000 miles off, passes by earth, so no disturbance, no deep dive by this Inquiry.
      Leblanc skipped over what should, I submit, be no more than 2 billion to meet our power needs, by alternatives not considered at all, or not properly assessed. Leblanc jumps from 2 billion to 6.2 billion, avoiding to look at that 4.2 billion. And now the deep dive so how we went from 6.2 to 10.1 billion, not including interest during construction.
      Terms of reference crafted to permit that fly by and not looking at the 4.2 billion gap. Say decision making was based on best available information. That is a crock of BS.
      And now it is coming back to haunt us. MFs is not reliable to permit decommissioning Holyrood. Holyrood is old and questionable reliability. So more generation needed, and PUB and Nalcor now assessing options that should have been assesses before. Much more money to be spent for avoiding the reasonable alternatives originally.
      A sham if Leblanc avoids a deep dive into that 4.2 billion, leading to over 10 billion waste. Is that why Kate left, to avoid such a deep dive, assuming she was even capable to dive deep?
      A scandal in itself, I suggest, how our vast wind resource got short changed in this process, and not even a high level ( a small peep under the covers) of that issue by this Inquiry.
      Winston Adams

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    5. The whole inquiry is manusha (when compared to the underlying/core problem).

      Also, Nalcor had nothing to do with recommending Muskrat ---- Nalcor's so-called recommendation was little more than window dressing.

      Nalcor was merely the means/tool used by the premier, cabinet and public servants to put a non-political face on a politician decision.

      The so-called options analysis was designed to produce a predetermined (politically determined) outcome ---- and a hoax on ratepayers/citizens.

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    6. WA, MA etc:

      MWH said that Nalcors power demand projection methodology was flawed from the start, I don't remember much opposition to this. The FLG said 'good utility practice' - I don't think good practice was applied, rather a practice was adopted to get the desired end result.

      If we assume MF was a political decision (as Ma says, I don't disagree) - doesn't that then mean that faulty analysis at Nalcor isn't the real problem, rather governance is?

      The problem was the public bought the 'energy warehouse' scheme and allowed a political group too much leeway - again we allowed MF to happen.

      PENG2

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    7. MF being a political decision does not let Nalcor off the hook for professional project planning and management/analyses, best practice, realistic vision re a future decentralized energy paradigm, etc,. etc.

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    8. MA @ 14:36:

      Maybe its a bit of an academic exercise, but probably important especially since we are dealing with an Inquriy:
      1) public elects government
      2) government appoints Nalcor exec
      3) Nalcor HR hires staff
      4) Nalcor exec appoints MF PMT seniors
      5) Nalcor probably has some input into the MF PMT

      I have trouble with the chain of duty - does Nalcor and the MF PMT actually have a duty to the people? Practically, probably not but morally yes - but how to reconcile this?


      No doubt there is an idealized responsibility to the people - but do the people give up some of this when electing MHAs to run government?
      PENG2

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    9. Troubling other than the politics of this boondoggle, is as to engineering failure.
      Engineers and geoscientists are to "uphold the values of truth, honesty, and trustworthiness and safeguard human life and welfare and the environment", These are basic tenets of the profession, and only give advise and services where they have competence to practise in a careful manner, otherwise is it professionally incompetent.
      Have/are the values cited ( human life and welfare and the environment) being safeguarded, given the evidence of this Inquiry?
      Winston Adams

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    10. One small point Maurice. "The Liberal government took over the MF agenda, lock, stock and barrel, and did nothing more that change horses (from Martin to Marshall)" It appears the Liberals changed from a horse to a mule.

      Marshall is stubbornly clinging to his "lets get her done" mantra we have been hearing without pause for reflection, on the mission. The mule has never wondered does this plan (MF) make any sense.

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    11. You are wrong as usual PEGzero. I put the flawed forecasting methodology on the record at the JRP. Manitoba Hydro (MHI) pointed that out to Nalcor. Why rewrite the history PEGzero??

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    12. Interesting issue PENG2, and I would probably need a cart load of business, engineering, ethics, management, etc. PhD's to provide an informed opinion on that one.

      But off the cuff, it seems to me that some would have a direct, some indirect, and some both direct and indirect duty that would normally be achieved by fulfilling his or her obligations in as most of a professional manner as possible (and as a minimum to the standard specified by their respective professional organizations, best practices and their duty to the appropriate job requirements specified by their employer/reporting entity).

      The people electing a government does not (in my view) diminish the appropriately applicable level, degree and manner of duty of that government, Nalcor execs, Nalcor HR staff, PMT seniors, or Nalcor's imput into MF PMT) as appropriate for each group/individual level.

      I would hesitate to say any more on that.






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    13. Good one Bruno !!

      I agree, and I should have thought of that.

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    14. Forecasting power needs is very difficult.Fred Wilcox, an occasional commentator on UG worked in planning, and I think forecasting, and might comment?
      Problems and best practices were also identified during the PUB hearings. At the start of this Inquiry, after Straton, I mentioned issues of econmetric, end-use, technology factor, interactive effects that capture most items. Based on that Nalcor missed a lot as to best practices. Also trends is important, especially for heating. April issue of Plumbing+HVAC shows technology trends in Canada: Heat pump trends is 3 times that of electric heat,and 7 times that of oil (Straton betting on continuing electric heat), and trends were known prior to sanction.
      To assess all of this requires considerable analysis, was not done , and the Inquiry has done no deep dive to show the errors.
      Anyone can say the forecast will be wrong,and certain to be right. But wrong by how much? To end up with negative growth was possible and likely. P50s is 50/50 , so how to get high reliability on forecasting is the key.
      I wonder what models and arithmetic Bruno used to arrive at his conclusion? Did he state what the nforecast would be over 5/10/20 years?
      I have not seen his input on forecasting mentioned as to the JPR, if anyone can clarify the method used?
      We know Straton took no forecasting update courses in his prior 15 years or so, if I recall correctly, and I suggest was unqualified for this task. If required to safeguard our welfare, dooes mean he was incompetent and guilty of malpractice, or that a bridge too far? 12.7 billion, wasted, can cover a lot of welfare, due to a wrong power forecast.
      Winston Adams

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    15. I see MA on his blog Vison 2041 questioned the faulty rationale of Nalcor forecasting as early as Dec 2011 with considerable common sense data,(some published in the Telegram) much from Nalcor's own historical information, and good charts, all of course ignored by the so called experts. But how could this expect to stand up against the assurances of MHI etc. Can't fault the average ratepayer for not being able to forecast if the power companies couldn't do it.
      WA

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    16. I was quoting the MHI report to Nalcor. They pointed out that current best practice looked forward at technological changes (heat pumps for eg.) population trends etc. and not only backwards as Nalcor had done. What did you include in the PUB submission?

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    17. MHI did NOT assure us that Nalcor had the forecast right Winston. For a report about Nalcor practices MHI were remarkably honest in calling out Nalcor deficiencies.

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  17. Independent review of the North Spur?

    http://vocm.com/news/three-parties-show-interest-in-panel-assessing-muskrat-falls-north-spur/

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    1. Interesting, all parties except Ball and the Liberals will order a panel to assess this.
      WA

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    2. It is very revealing that the PC party that championed and sanctioned this boondoggle support the fact that the engineering and project management on the project could even be worse than we already know from the inquiry!!

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    3. Most of the "engineering and project management on the project" voted PC, and are about ready to give them back the big stick of majority government. Those poor souls who gave Ball the big stick last time, were misguided into thinking that getting rid of a few gold diggers of the "Integrated management team", would bring inner peace and pity on the ratepayers, were delusional, and cheated.

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