Introducing the "RevMod Gaffe-o-meter". Few of us will admit it, of course, but some election coverage comes from the same place as motor sports coverage - sure, it's fun to watch the candidates circle around, and I guess there's some sort of race involved, but wouldn't it be exciting to watch a huge crash? Wasn't the highlight of the 1993 federal election hearing Kim Campbell declare that a campaign was no time to talk about policy? Didn't we all titter at hearing Stockwell Day send the Niagara River's water flowing upstream? And who didn't love Gilles Duceppe's little hairnet-thingy? It's time to predict just how huge the screw-ups will be from the people who want nothing more than love and respect (and perhaps a nice job in Ottawa).
"But how do I play?", you ask.
1) The scoring will begin on the day the writ is dropped for the Federal election - entries will be cut off midnight that day. Entries will include the predicted score for each party. For example:Enter by e-mail, and I'll post the page of predictions once the contest closes. Return e-mail addresses will not be published, but if you want some name other than your own published to the web, let me know.Conservative: 152) Two numbers determine the score - the quality of the gaffe ("sig") and the rank of the gaffemaker ("prom"). Both scales will score on a range from one to three. GaffePoints ("GP") for an individual gaffe will be calculated by multiplying "sig" by "prom". Party scores will accumulate by adding the GPs of each gaffe.
3) Contest entries will be scored by measuring the distance (plus or minus) between the prediction and the score for each party - lowest total score wins.
4) I am the final and only arbiter of the quality of the gaffe ("sig") and the rank of the gaffemaker ("prom").
5) Scoring will close at 0800 MDT on the day following election day. SPECIAL PARIZEAU RULE: Scoring will double for gaffes made on election day, including acceptance and concession speeches.
6) For the purpose of the contest, "gaffe" is defined as an unplanned error in fact or judgement. It might be a mistake for the NDP to release a platform paper advocating gender segregation of schools, to the derision of the Canadian electorate, but it's not a "gaffe". On the other hand, if Jack Layton explains the policy by making an aside about "hot and dirty high school girls" (as Don mines the Google hits), that would be a "gaffe".
7) Prize TBA, but political hacks will love it - promise. Others may be less thrilled.
Without further ado, the RevMod Gaffe-o-meter:
(I searched for the goofiest pictures I could of each leader, but I'm open to improvements. No Photoshop!)
(yes, some of this is lifted from Friday - I wanted it all in one place)
Did I mention Enter here?