UI Political Markets Cited

Investors who aren't satisfied with wagering on the prospects of Nortel Networks Corp. or gold bullion can now make bets on the hour-by-hour prospects of the Canadian federal political parties, courtesy of the Shorcan Index Election Indicator. Launched yesterday by a Toronto-based bond brokerage house that's trying to raise money for charity, the index allows punters to make money, or lose their shirts, based on the percentage of the popular vote won by each of the five major parties in the June 28 election. Money that Shorcan makes from running the contest will be donated to the Boys and Girls Club of Canada, and the company is asking clients to do the same. The Shorcan index picks up on a political futures market that's been run on world events such as U.S. presidential elections since 1988 at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA. The school has proven a better indicator of where the voters will go than national polls. The newspaper is based in Toronto.