"We can't allow things that are inaccurate to stand." — The Word of Our Dan, February 19, 2008.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The quadrennial Summers of Love

Meeker had another brainfart the other day, too:

Also, it would take just an hour or two to wade back through the last four years of government news releases, to see if there are similar orgies of announcements at this – or any – time of the year. If spending until recently has been tight, that might indicate that government has been salting away these little gifts for months and possibly years (which, in turn, could raise questions about the propriety of holding back life saving equipment for reasons of political opportunism).
Good idea. So, herewith, the total number of press releases issued by the provincial government of the day, between June 28 and July 27 (both dates inclusive) in each year:
The chart is cleverly colour-coded to reflect the change in government during the time period under consideration, and within the PC era, the dark blue columns represent the June-July time frame in the pre-writ period of election years (E), as contrasted with non-election (non-E) years.

A few important methodological notes:

- Mere media advisories, or advisories to the public on health, safety, or government operational matters, have been excluded from the count.

- Also excluded are Environmental Assessment Bulletins, joint releases (Council of Atlantic Premiers, Council of the Federation, Council of Eastern Premiers and New England Governors, etc.), and all press releases circulated by a provincial communications shop on behalf of another agency (it used to be common for the province to circulate releases on behalf of Marine Atlantic.

- Releases by officers of the legislature (such as the Chief Electoral Officer, Auditor General, or Privacy Commissioner), or of arms-length bodies (Petroleum Products Pricing Commission, High School Sports Federation, etc.) are also excluded.

- Joint funding or policy releases with a federal government department or minister are, however, included.
This leaves press releases which are both substantial in nature, and regarding which there may have been local political considerations which influenced both the announcement and its timing.

There is a significant upward swing in announciness in recent years. This may not be particular to the June-July period, as the provincial government has just plain been cranking out more stuff all year long.

However, the two spikes in 2007 and 2011 are quite noticeable.

And in the post-1995 internet era in provincial government communications, there has never been a four weeks even remotely like the past four weeks for Super Happy Fun And Often Money-Related Provincial Government Announcements Which Are Totally Unconnected To The Election That Premier Dunderdale Is Going To Call On September 19th (Nothing Could Be Further From The Truth).



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