By Aaron Wherry - Monday, May 13, 2013 - 0 Comments
With 84 of 91 polls reporting, Liberal Yvonne Jones leads Peter Penashue 51.2% o 28.5%. Turnout is already at 53.5%, slightly above the 2011 election.
All things considered, the Liberals should have won here: a traditionally Liberal riding and a Conservative incumbent forced to resign amid election-spending unpleasantness. But the Liberals gain a new voice and the Conservatives suffer another bit of bad news. The real test for Justin Trudeau will come if, as expected, Denis Coderre resigns and a by-election in Bourassa is called. That would put in play a Montreal riding where the New Democrats finished a strong second in 2011.
Update 10:59pm. A statement from the Conservative party, celebrating a victory in Labrador.
As we know, majority governments do not usually win by-elections.
In fact, Liberals have won the riding of Labrador in every election in history except for two, so we are not surprised with these results.
What is surprising is the collapse of the Liberal support during this by-election. When this by-election was called the Liberals had a 43-point lead in the polls. Since electing Justin Trudeau as leader and having him personally campaign there, they have dropped 20 points in Labrador. That’s a significant drop in only a few weeks. Labradorians were able to see firsthand how Justin Trudeau is in over his head.
I’m not sure how the Conservatives can claim the Liberals dropped 20 points in the riding. The final count gives Yvonne Jones 48.2% of vote, which is about 15 points off what Abacus gave her a month ago.
In terms of actual votes, Mr. Penashue lost 334 votes between election day in 2011 and today, this despite Stephen Harper’s assessment that Mr. Penashue was “the best member of Parliament Labrador has ever had.” Yvonne Jones, conversely, received 1,637 more votes than Todd Russell did in 2011.
Total turnout increased by 1,315 votes.
One possible explanation for tonight’s vote: a decent number of Liberal voters who stayed home in 2011 came back to the party tonight.
Update 11:58pm. Of course, given their previous comments on this by-election, Stephen Harper and Pierre Poilievre will be terribly disappointed in the Conservative party’s response.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, May 13, 2013 at 9:52 AM - 0 Comments
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, April 16, 2013 at 11:04 AM - 0 Comments
Despite his boast that he held up funding for elsewhere in the province for the benefit of Labrador and in spite of government assurances that he “delivered” for his riding, Peter Penashue seems to trail badly in Labrador.
Abacus: Yvonne Jones 63%, Peter Penashue 20%, Harry Borlase 17% Sample: 399
Forum: Yvonne Jones 57%, Harry Borlase 21%, Peter Penashue 20% Sample: 260
Meanwhile, the former Liberal MP in Labrador is, in his new capacity, is praising the NDP candidate.
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, April 12, 2013 at 10:20 AM - 0 Comments
“I attained and pushed for managed to get $85 million for the road, on the Trans-Labrador Highway. I will tell you this. If I was not there, that road, that money would not be spent there. The money would be spent somewhere else,” Penashue said. “I will tell you a secret. I did not sign the approvals in Newfoundland until I had my $85 million for the road in Labrador, and I held their project for six months,” Penashue told a cheering crowd.
Alas, his campaign manager and the Conservative party weren’t willing to explain which project he held for ransom.
Newfoundland Premier Kathy Dunderale is unimpressed.
Premier Kathy Dunderdale says if Peter Penashue had been a member of her cabinet, he would be ejected for comments this week in which he boasted about holding up a project in Newfoundland to help his own constituents in Labrador … Dunderdale said Penashue was supposed to have represented all of Newfoundland and Labrador, and not just his own riding. “You’re not just a minister for a certain region of the province. You’re a minister for Newfoundland and Labrador, and you have to represent all of our interests fairly,” she said.
By Aaron Wherry - Saturday, March 23, 2013 at 1:16 PM - 0 Comments
Elizabeth May announces that the Greens will not field a candidate in the Labrador by-election.
Elizabeth May announced today that the Green Party of Canada has decided not to field a candidate in the upcoming Labrador by-election and challenged the NDP to do the same…
The Federal Council of the Green Party of Canada has made the decision to step out ahead of nominating meetings of other parties to call for cooperation in Labrador. Peyton Barrett, Campaign Manager for George Barrett, the Green Candidate in the 2011 election, concurred, “At the grassroots level, we agree that cooperation can work in exceptional circumstances and when it is in the best interest of voters.”
This is what Ms. May suggested the Greens would do if a by-election had been called in Etobicoke Centre as a result of the dispute between Ted Opitz and Borys Wrzesnewskyj. As I noted at the time, there’s not really any precedent for such a move.
Via Twitter, Ms. May says the Labrador Greens wanted to do this and, as in Etobicoke Centre, points to questions about the integrity of the election as a reason for doing so. She also says she offered “cooperation” in the Calgary and Victoria by-elections.
The Greens took 1.3% of the vote in Labrador in 2011 (although, if those votes had gone to Liberal Todd Russell, he’d still be the MP right now).
Update 1:54pm. In a release from her Liberal leadership campaign, Joyce Murray says she approached Ms. May and proposed the idea.
“When news broke that a by-election was imminent following the resignation of Peter Penashue, the Harper Conservative MP forced to resign last week due to an election financing scandal, and in light of the 2011 results in Labrador and Stephen Harper’s attempt to stack the deck in Penashue’s favour, I called Green Party Leader Elizabeth May and asked her to consider having the Green Party EDA not run a candidate when the by-election is called. She immediately agreed to discuss the unique circumstances of this riding with the Green Party’s Executive Council and today we see the result: the Green Party has announced that it will not run a candidate in the Labrador by-election,” said MP Murray. “I am solidly on the record supporting local level electoral cooperation to elect progressives and defeat the Harper Conservatives. In this instance it is abundantly clear that the progressive candidate with the greatest ability to do that would be the Liberal candidate and not the Green Party candidate.”
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at 12:31 PM - 0 Comments
With his last campaign’s ineligible donations paid off on March 4 and his resignation announced on March 14, but before a by-election has officially been called, Peter Penashue has begun his re-election campaign.
Kady O’Malley notes that Mr. Penashue’s campaign website was registered on March 11.
Interestingly, the deliveringforlabrador.ca domain was registered on March 11, 2013. Not only was that four days before Penashue’s resignation was ostensibly submitted, but it was also the very same day that he was in North West River to present $1.35 million in new federal funding for “broadband improvements,” which would turn out to be his final appearance before stepping down.
Whatever Mr. Penashue’s campaign does before the writ is dropped won’t be subject to spending limits. A source tells the Canadian Press that the Prime Minister will officially call a by-election in the the next two weeks.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 11:55 AM - 0 Comments
Some of the Green party leader’s comments to reporters after QP yesterday.
Remember, this was a byelection. So there was no—I think people get panicked about vote splitting. Whether it is another Conservative, whether all the three ridings had gone Conservative, it wouldn’t have changed the dynamic in the House of Commons one bit. So in a general election, you have a different set of concerns and I think the Liberals, the NDP, need to start talking to each other. I’ve said that for some time. The Green Party at our convention actually had the members pass a resolution calling for me and our federal council to seek cooperation with the other parties so that in the 2015 election, we—I don’t know what form or shape that would take, but at least have discussions with a goal of after the 2015 election, getting rid of first past the post. The only reason we have all these panics about vote splitting and strategic [voting] is because we have one of the most bizarre voting systems that remains in any modern industrialized democracy. We’ve got a situation where the minority of voters can elect the majority of seats and where people worry needlessly. In the case of Victoria, we would have won in my view if the NDP hadn’t launched a last-minute fear campaign to tell supporters that if they voted green the Conservative would come up in the middle. Well the Conservative was stuck at 12% and wasn’t going to budge and it was very clear.
So that vote spitting argument works on all sides. It can motivate people to vote, not for what they want, but against what they’re afraid of and in a set of byelections, we went into them thinking that this was an opportunity certainly to make sure that people could see the Green Party was viable in different kinds of ridings across the country and certainly you know, the fact … that parties that are larger than us, that were in what were presumed to be safe seats, when they won by over 50% just 18 months ago and I refer to both the Calgary Conservatives and the Victoria New Democratics, they eked out victories by very narrow margins and I think that’s a sign that really the politics of Canada is different. The Green Party is a force electorally across the country…
Again, I can’t stress it enough. Byelections do not put in place a government in power. So there’s much less to fear and the fact that people play on this, you know, you’ve got to vote for one party over the other because you’ve got to be afraid of a Conservative additional seat: that’s not going to change the dynamic in the House of Commons. In byelections, I felt much less pressure, but as I said, our party has a policy. Our membership has passed a resolution calling on us to seek cooperation. I did attempt to see, cooperation with one of the major parties before these byelections. I’m not going to go into details, but they weren’t interested.
So you know, we’re just in a position when in byelections, you want to do the best you can to ensure that a different voice is heard on the federal landscape and I think we did remarkably well and I’m very pleased that—you know, people wrote off Victoria as a place where, because Denise Savoie had last been elected there with over 50% of the vote, there was the assumption that it was such a safe NDP seat, that at least nationally, nobody really bothered to cover the fact that our momentum was huge. If the election campaign had been one week longer, we would have taken Victoria. In the meantime, Calgary Centre, I think that … who would have imagined before these byelections that you would even be asking me about a strong showing by the Green Party in Calgary Centre.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 9:36 AM - 0 Comments
Reviewing the by-elections, Alice Funke focuses on the Green vote.
But, if you look more closely at the right-hand side of the second graph above, and examine the parties’ historic vote-shares in the three by-election ridings, you are immediately struck by what became in many ways the most unexpected story of the evening. And this has big implications for all those trying to “unite the progressive vote” like LeadNow.ca, 1CalgaryCentre.com, and authors like Paul Adams of PowerTrap.ca … The Green Party cut into the Conservative vote in Western Canada. Substantially.
… What this suggests to me is that strategies aimed at causing parties to withdraw from certain ridings may have quite different outcomes than their proponents predict. And the one riding that was the most beset with endless clumsy tactical manipulation and cross-party griping about who was splitting whose vote, also wound up (perhaps coincidentally, perhaps not) being the riding with the lowest voter turnout.
Meanwhile, the Greens have clearly delivered a scare to the three other political parties in english Canada in this round of by-elections, and have finally understood the importance of a beach-head versus rising tide strategy to a small party, especially during by-elections. But their continued existence is also in greater jeopardy from the cuts to the public subsidy, as they are not raising nearly enough just yet to replace it and be able to run a substantial enough national campaign to keep beach-head seats in the fold. Also, they have yet to be able to sustain an eye-popping performance from one campaign into the next, as the history of London North Centre, ON, Central Nova, NS,Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound, ON, and Guelph, ON amongst others amply demonstrates.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 9:28 AM - 0 Comments
The by-election results with changes from the 2011 election in brackets
Conservatives 50.7 (-3.9)
NDP 26.3 (+5.2)
Liberals 17.3 (-0.6)
Greens 4.1 (-1.3)
Conservatives 36.9 (-20.8)
Liberals 32.7 (+15.2)
Greens 25.6 (+15.7)
NDP 3.8 (-11.1)
NDP 37.2 (-13.6)
Greens 34.3 (+22.7)
Conservatives 14.4 (-9.2)
Liberals 13.1 (-0.9)
Overall, the Conservatives won the night, but lost a chunk of their vote share in the process.
Conservatives 32.9 (-11.4)
NDP 24.4 (-5.6)
Greens 21.7 (+12.7)
Liberals 19.9 (+3.5)
By Colby Cosh - Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 9:20 AM - 0 Comments
Last night’s Calgary Centre by-election, won by media personality and former newspaper editor Joan Crockatt, was held in the most pro-Naheed Nenshi part of what is now a very pro-Nenshi city. Like Crockatt last night, Nenshi exploited a split opposition to win the Calgary mayoralty in 2010. But Calgary’s civic Ward 8, which makes up about two-thirds of the Calgary Centre riding, is a place where the mayor dominated all other contestants combined, taking 58% of the vote. The Green Party’s Chris Turner has close ties to Nenshi (though the mayor didn’t endorse anybody), and Turner was clearly hoping to capitalize on that success, employing Nenshi campaign staffers and Nenshian social-media tactics.
It earned him 26% of the vote. That’s still an amazing figure for a Green Party-labelled candidate in Calgary—especially an unknown one with essentially no pre-existing local political apparatus to exploit. From a standing start, Turner earned 20 votes for every three cast for the NDP’s Dan Meades.
The more meaningful pre-election data, however, may have come not from 2010 but from this year’s provincial election, in which Calgary Centre covers about the same area as three downtown constituencies: Calgary-Elbow, home base of both Ralph Klein and Alison Redford; Calgary-Buffalo, the city’s Liberal stronghold; and Calgary-Currie. The right-wing Wildrose Party got 12,694 votes there in April, and one would have to think that many of them were among the 10,201 who made it out to vote for Conservative Crockatt last night. (Her campaign was as Wildrose-heavy as Turner’s was Nenshi-heavy.) The Liberals had 8,449 provincial votes in the zone, and federal Liberal Harvey Locke got 9,034 last night.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, November 26, 2012 at 9:18 PM - 0 Comments
Welcome to live coverage of tonight’s by-elections in Victoria, Calgary Centre and Durham. Results should start coming in after 10pm when polls close in Victoria. We’ll be here all night (or at least as long as it takes to exhaust whatever drama can be found).
Some numbers by which to measure the night. First, the vote percentages from the 2011 election in each riding.
If you combine the 2011 results for those three ridings, the cumulative total divides like so.
9:45pm. Beyond the obvious (who wins?), some questions for tonight. How low does the Conservative vote go in Calgary Centre? How well does the NDP vote from 2011 hold up? Can the Liberals show improvement? Can the Greens make significant gains? Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, November 26, 2012 at 8:00 AM - 0 Comments
Polls close at 9:30 p.m. EST in Calgary Centre and Durham and 10pm EST in Victoria. We’ll have live coverage here tonight starting around 9 p.m.
By Aaron Wherry - Sunday, November 25, 2012 at 1:41 PM - 0 Comments
A day after the Conservative candidate in Victoria warned against sending “another MP to Ottawa who will be shut down,” Joan Crockatt suggests that opposition MPs are somehow barred from Diane Ablonczy‘s office.
She emphasized a number of times that voting for a government MP has its benefits. “If you’re in Mexico and you lose your passport, do you want to call an opposition member of Parliament? Or do you want to call someone who can walk across to the minister’s office?” said Crockatt.
For the record, if you do lose your passport while outside Canada, the official Passport Canada website advises you to “report the loss or theft to the nearest Government of Canada office abroad and to the local police.”
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, November 23, 2012 at 3:36 PM - 0 Comments
An interesting pitch from the Conservative candidate in Victoria (a riding that hasn’t elected a Conservative since 1984).
The closing argument is “Lets (sic) not send another MP to Ottawa who will be shut down,” which seems a rather negative assessment of the Harper government’s treatment of opposition MPs.
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, November 23, 2012 at 8:00 AM - 0 Comments
A new poll, this time from Return on Insight, gives the Conservatives a five-point lead over the Liberals in Calgary Centre.
Here are the top numbers in the four public polls over the last month.
November 20-21. Return on Insight. Sample: 293.
Conservatives 37%, Liberals 32%, Greens 17%, NDP 12%
November 17. Forum. Sample: 374.
Conservatives 35%, Liberals 30%, Greens 25%. NDP 8%
November 12. Forum. Sample: 354.
Conservatives 32%, Liberals 30%, Green 23%, NDP 12%
October 26. Forum. Sample: 343.
Conservatives 48%, Liberals 28%, Green 11%, NDP 8%
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 6:23 PM - 0 Comments
The Scene. Jason Kenney walked out into the foyer, towards the appointed microphone, perhaps appearing not quite as ashen as he was supposed to look.
“Why are you smiling, Mr. Kenney?” a TV reporter quipped.
“Because it’s lovely outside,” the Immigration Minister responded cheerfully. “And I’m always glad to see you, Bob.”
Then it was time to get very serious.
“I’m very disturbed to see comments that were made by Liberal leadership candidate Justin Trudeau two years ago that have just come to light and completely contradict his criticism of his Liberal colleague Dalton McGuinty’s attack on Alberta and Albertans.”
He meant David, of course.
A generous member of the Conservative staff had just been by to hand out copies of Mr. Trudeau’s remarks—in the original French and helpfully translated into English—but in case anyone was unable to read, Mr. Kenney proceeded to reenact the instantly infamous exchange. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 12:03 PM - 0 Comments
Williams told me an Ontario MP’s far-away musings typically wouldn’t make much difference—except that this is a hard-fought three-way race, in which even a marginal shift in voter preferences might matter.
“The Conservatives are going to try to milk it for all it’s worth,” she said. “If this does cost the Liberals votes, would those votes by more likely to go to Joan Crockatt or Chris Turner? I’d have to say Chris Turner.” Her reasoning: “Turner has a lot in common with Locke. They’re both strong environmentalists.” As well, Williams doubts centrist voters—some of whom have swung from Conservative voting in the past to leaning Liberal this time—won’t see going Green as all that jarring a transition. “The Green party isn’t particularly left, it’s more centre.”
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 12:24 PM - 0 Comments
So it is significant – though impossible to criticize – that a Green Party organizer emailed committed supporters a note headed “There is another poll tonight – be sure to pick up,” not long before the latest survey. “Word from Chris Turner’s Head Quarters is that another poll is being conducted at this very moment,” said the email from Green Party Volunteer Co-ordinator Natalie Odd to committed Turner supporters. “Please be sure to pick up any calls your receive this evening!”
The emails were followed up with phone calls to supporters, although the pollster actually appears to have called a day later than the party expected. In addition to such emails and calls, Mr. Turner’s supporters posted similar messages on Facebook and some people distributed the call-display number the polling company was using.
This bit of gamesmanship seems to involve two assumptions: that it’s possible to manipulate a poll and that a good showing in a poll can precipitate a good showing on election day. The sample sizes used so far in Calgary Centre have been relatively small, but I’m not sure what the relative odds are that something like this could be pulled off. I can imagine that poll numbers could influence turnout and the result, but what are the odds that alerting supporters to the possibility of a poll would result in enough people responding to a survey who normally wouldn’t to significantly impact the results of that poll? I invite any and all mathematicians in the crowd to sort that out.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, November 19, 2012 at 11:08 AM - 0 Comments
A poll released Sunday by Forum Research in Calgary Centre found 35 per cent in the riding plan to vote for Ms. Crockatt, while Liberal Harvey Locke had 30-per-cent support, the Green Party’s Chris Turner, 25 per cent, and the NDP’s Dan Meades, 8 per cent. Those numbers have not changed, given the margin of error of five percentage points, since a similar poll for a week ago. But it’s a 13-point drop for Ms. Crockatt, who stood at 48-per-cent support in a similar poll conducted a few weeks earlier.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, November 19, 2012 at 10:00 AM - 0 Comments
@Nenshi - Hope you give the Conservative Party credit tomorrow for giving cities stable, predictable funding through the $2 B gas tax!
.@Crockatteer or … You could come and tell people yourself! Invitation open. When did it become my role to do the candidate’s job for her?
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, November 16, 2012 at 10:56 AM - 0 Comments
The mayor’s office is helping to organize the Cities Matter Calgary Centre forum at the central public library on Sunday. Nenshi said Crockatt is the one candidate who hasn’t confirmed her attendance. “I can’t imagine why she would want to miss this opportunity to discuss the government’s commitment to Calgary,” said Nenshi, who doesn’t align himself with any political party.
In an interview, Crockatt said she will attend a different community forum on Saturday, but it will be difficult to participate in the Sunday debate because her schedule is jam-packed. Her campaign has focused on meeting voters one on one — she has been door-knocking since the summer. But she noted the riding covers City Hall and other important Calgary organizations. Her team is trying to reorganize her schedule so she can attend, but Crockatt said she only received the invitation this week.
Here is Mayor Nenshi’s op-ed in its entirety.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 11:21 AM - 0 Comments
It’s just one poll and the sample is small and the margin of error is high and the riding has never been anything other than Conservative… but for the sake of finding some excitement in this fall’s by-elections, you could imagine that Calgary Centre might be a race.
As reported by the Globe & Mail, the November survey of 376 randomly selected residents in Calgary-Centre showed Ms. Crockatt with 32% to 30% for Mr. Locke and 23% for Mr. Turner. New Democrat Dan Meades was in fourth place with 12%. The survey is considered to be accurate by plus or minus five percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
If this new survey is to be believed, then the November 26 vote could be much more exciting than most political watchers, including myself, had previously predicted. A similar survey conducted by Forum Research in October found Ms. Crockatt with 48% to 28% for Mr. Locke, 11% for Mr. Turner, and 8% for Mr. Meades. Another survey from Forum Research conducted in August found the Conservatives with 44% to 21% for the Liberals, 14% for the NDP, and 12% for the Greens. It appears that within a matter of months, the 40% margin of victory earned by former Conservative MP Lee Richardson in the 2011 federal election and 23% margin for the Conservatives found in the September survey may have completely evaporated.
By Aaron Wherry - Sunday, October 21, 2012 at 1:11 PM - 0 Comments
In a release this morning, the Prime Minister announced byelections in Victoria, Calgary Centre and Durham. (A fourth byelection could be necessitated by the Supreme Court’s ruling on Etobicoke Centre this Thursday.) Bob Rae thinks the Prime Minister should’ve waited for the Supreme Court and added Labrador (Peter Penashue’s riding).
As Kady O’Malley notes, the Conservative party’s early line that “majority governments don’t win by-elections” is mostly nonsense. Two years ago, we did the math on the last thirty years of byelections—see here and here—and came to a similar conclusion.
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, September 7, 2012 at 9:00 AM - 0 Comments
The Liberals are reportedly considering a motion on the Clarity Act for the purposes of making trouble for the NDP, which gives Christian Paradis a chance to express his disappointment in both the Liberals and New Democrats.
Industry Minister Christian Paradis, a Conservative MP who represents a Quebec riding, denounced both parties for using sovereignty as a political football. ”It’s deplorable and terribly irresponsible to see the two opposition parties playing petty politics with such an important issue,” Paradis said in a statement. ”Quebecers were clear: they don’t want to revisit old constitutional squabbles and we should all respect their will. Rather, they want us to address the real issues facing their families, such as the economy and job creation.”
The Ontario Liberals apparently turned this Clarity Act debate into a by-election handout in Kitchener-Waterloo yesterday (where the NDP candidate upset both the Liberal and Progressive Conservatives candidates).
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, July 19, 2012 at 1:00 PM - 0 Comments
Adam Goldenberg doesn’t like Elizabeth May’s suggestion to the Green and New Democrat candidates in Etobicoke Centre.
If the election results were tainted, and the Supreme Court tosses out the result, then every one of those votes will be voided … As I argued here last week, the result of an election is not the same as its outcome; the result is the final vote tally, the outcome is the identity of the winner. The question for the Supreme Court, under a truly democratic interpretation of the Canada Elections Act, is not who should or should not have won, but rather whether the result – that is, the number of votes cast for each candidate – was affected by Election Day irregularities. Votes for Mr. Optiz and Mr. Wrzesnewskyj are not the only ones that matter. Why count every vote unless every vote counts?
As I noted yesterday, there’s some precedent for parties sitting out a by-election, but I’m not sure there’s any precedent for doing so in these circumstances.
Since 1949, five results have been declared void: Annapolis-Kings in 1949, Yukon in 1957, St. John’s West in 1962, Comox-Alberni in 1968 and York North in 1988. In the case of York North, all the parties that participated in the original vote fielded candidates in the by-election. In Annapolis-Kings and Yukon, only two parties were represented in the first place. In St. John’s West, the NDP was represented in the by-election, despite finishing a distant third in the original vote. The 1968 vote in Comox-Alberni resulted in a nine-vote win for the Liberal over the New Democrat, but the Progressive Conservative still ran in the subsequent by-election—though the Social Credit Party and the Communist Party seem to have sat out after finishing a distant fourth and fifth respectively in the original vote.
Mind you, the official records don’t indicate why the Socreds and Communists declined—and the reason for sitting out would seem important here.