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Babel-on-the-Bay: But what if FPTP isn’t broke?

You almost hate to ask the question. What is wrong with the way Canadians vote? There seems to be an assumption by some people that first-past-the-post (FPTP) voting is a failure. Does that mean you have to dump FPTP and take a flier on some other theoretically improved voting system? And why is it better? […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: But what if FPTP isn’t broke?

Cowichan Conversations: Welcome Back To Canada- The Sun Is Shining Brighter!

It’s a beautiful day in the neighbourhood.

This post should write itself. I should be able to rest my fingers on the keyboard and have them automatically write of the defeat of Conservative PM

Read more…

Accidental Deliberations: #elxn42 – Election Day Resources

For all the time spent on Canada’s federal election, it’s now time for voters to have their say. And anybody looking for basic information on where and how to vote should start with Elections Canada or a trusted local campaign.

For anybody wanting to read up on the factors which may help determine how to . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: #elxn42 – Election Day Resources

Writings of J. Todd Ring: Election 2015 and Strategic Voting: Madness, or Practical Necessity?

An economic and political analysis of Canada, neoliberalism, and the world Get a cup of coffee or tea, or a glass of wine, and settle in – this is not sound-bite commentary. We are going to dig deep. “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson It pains me to . . . → Read More: Writings of J. Todd Ring: Election 2015 and Strategic Voting: Madness, or Practical Necessity?

Writings of J. Todd Ring: Election 2015 and Strategic Voting: Madness, or Practical Necessity?

An economic and political analysis of Canada, neoliberalism, and the world Get a cup of coffee or tea, or a glass of wine, and settle in – this is not sound-bite commentary. We are going to dig deep. “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson It pains me to . . . → Read More: Writings of J. Todd Ring: Election 2015 and Strategic Voting: Madness, or Practical Necessity?

Bouquets of Gray: Strategic voting in Nipissing—Timiskaming: vote Liberal

The riding of Nipissing—Timiskaming was one of the closest in the country in 2011. The Conservative Jay Aspin defeated the Liberal Anthony Rota by a mere 18 votes.  The NDP received 8,781 and the Greens 2,518.

Clearly this is a riding where strategic voting is desired.  Nor is it difficult to see that strategic voters should line up . . . → Read More: Bouquets of Gray: Strategic voting in Nipissing—Timiskaming: vote Liberal

Bouquets of Gray: Strategic voting in Nipissing—Timiskaming: vote Liberal

The riding of Nipissing—Timiskaming was one of the closest in the country in 2011. The Conservative Jay Aspin defeated the Liberal Anthony Rota by a mere 18 votes.  The NDP received 8,781 and the Greens 2,518.

Strategic voting in Nipissing—Timiskaming

Clearly this is a riding where strategic voting is desired.  Nor is it difficult to see that strategic voters should line up behind the Liberal.

If there were any doubt about that, a local opinion poll conducted by CTV should remove it:

Strategic voting in Nipissing—Timiskaming

. . . → Read More: Bouquets of Gray: Strategic voting in Nipissing—Timiskaming: vote Liberal

Bouquets of Gray: Strategic voting in Perth-Wellington: vote Liberal

If polls are to be believed, the Liberals are dominating in Ontario. Grenier’s poll tracker projects the Liberal support in Ontario at 43% and the Conservatives down to 31%:

Polls and Strategic voting Perth-Wellington
Ontario Polls from Poll Tracker
This shift against Harper is showing up on the ground in ridings that one would normally assume are fairly safe, such as Perth-Wellington, where a local poll conducted by Mainstreet Research for Postmedia, which found a neck-and-neck race between the Conservatives and Liberals:
Polling in Perth-Wellington
If this poll is correct, strategic voters in Perth-Wellington should vote for the Liberals.

The riding includes such towns as Stratford, St. Marys, Elora, Fergus, and Minto.

Some recent posts:

. . . → Read More: Bouquets of Gray: Strategic voting in Perth-Wellington: vote Liberal

Bouquets of Gray: Strategic voting in Perth-Wellington: vote Liberal

If polls are to be believed, the Liberals are dominating in Ontario. Grenier’s poll tracker projects the Liberal support in Ontario at 43% and the Conservatives down to 31%: Ontario Polls from Poll Tracker This shift against Harper is showing up on the ground in ridings that one would normally assume are fairly safe, such as Perth-Wellington, . . . → Read More: Bouquets of Gray: Strategic voting in Perth-Wellington: vote Liberal

Bouquets of Gray: Calgary Confederation, Skyview, and Centre: strategic voters should support the Liberals

Calgary Conferation,Calgary Skyview,Calgary Centre

This election has a few more surprises than most, and the fracturing of the Conservatives’ fortress in Calgary might be one of them.

A news story from the CBC reports that three Calgary ridings are surprisingly competitive: Calgary Centre, Calgary Confederation, and Calgary Skyview.

This is also the interpretation of Eric Grenier . . . → Read More: Bouquets of Gray: Calgary Confederation, Skyview, and Centre: strategic voters should support the Liberals

Bouquets of Gray: Calgary Confederation, Skyview, and Centre: strategic voters should support the Liberals

Update, Oct. 17.   A new poll in Calgary Centre has the Liberals and Conservatives neck-and-neck.  Strategic voters could make the difference.

Strategic voting in Calgary Confederation, Skyview, and Centre
Calgary Conferation,
Calgary Skyview,
Calgary Centre

This election has a few more surprises than most, and the fracturing of the Conservatives’ fortress in Calgary might be one of them.

news story from the CBC reports that three Calgary ridings are surprisingly competitive: Calgary Centre, Calgary Confederation, and Calgary Skyview.

This is also the interpretation of Eric Grenier over at threehundredeight.com.  His current projections for the Calgary ridings paint three ridings red: Calgary Centre, Calgary Confederation, and Calgary Skyview

Strategic voting in Calgary Confederation, Skyview, and Centre
Calgary projections from threehundredeight.com

The striking thing is not merely that Grenier’s a projecting these three seat for the Liberals.  It is also seeing weakness in other ridings such as Signal Hill and Forest Lawn.

For Calgary voters who want to vote strategically to defeat Harper, however, the message is clear.  Vote Liberal.

. . . → Read More: Bouquets of Gray: Calgary Confederation, Skyview, and Centre: strategic voters should support the Liberals

Bouquets of Gray: Strategic voting in Edmonton Mill Woods: vote Liberal

Strategic voting inEdmonton Mill Woods

Recent local polls are bringing up some more opportunities for strategic voters, one of them is Edmonton Millwoods.

Edmonton Millwoods is a new riding located in south-east Edmonton. It was formed from the previous riding of Edmonton-Millwoods-Beaumont, which was once represented by Liberal David Kilgour.

A new poll conducted by MainStreet . . . → Read More: Bouquets of Gray: Strategic voting in Edmonton Mill Woods: vote Liberal

Bouquets of Gray: Strategic voting in Edmonton Mill Woods: vote Liberal

Strategic voting in Edmonton Mill Woods
Strategic voting in
Edmonton Mill Woods

Recent local polls are bringing up some more opportunities for strategic voters, one of them is Edmonton Millwoods.

Edmonton Millwoods is a new riding located in south-east Edmonton. It was formed from the previous riding of Edmonton-Millwoods-Beaumont, which was once represented by Liberal David Kilgour.

A new poll conducted by MainStreet Research for the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting suggests that the riding could be in play:

Strategic voting in Edmonton Mill Woods
New Poll in Edmonton Mill Woods

Some recent posts:

. . . → Read More: Bouquets of Gray: Strategic voting in Edmonton Mill Woods: vote Liberal

Bouquets of Gray: Strategic Voting in Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas: vote Liberal

Update, Oct. 17: the votetogether.ca team has endorsed Tassi, the Liberal candidate in Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas, as the best positioned to defeat the Conservatives.

Strategic Tactical Voting in Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas
Strategic Voting in Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas

Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas (HWAD) is a new riding made up of the urban and suburban parts of what used to be Ancaster-Dundas-Flamorough-Westdale.  Its formation resulted in the rural polls of Flamborough being joined with Glanborough to form a new largely rural riding.

HWAD should now be a three-way race, with Conservative voters from upscale Ancaster and Dundas, NDP voters from Hamilton, and Liberals from both.  And it should be an active riding for all parties, because the McMaster student base should become active in all three parties.

Strategic tactical voting in Hamilton West Ancaster Dundas
Strategic voting in HWAD

If the 2011 are redistributed into the new riding (see here), the result would have been CPC 40%, NDP 28%, Liberal 25%.  But in this election, most polls are showing the Liberals have strengthened in Ontario at the expense of both other parties.

Threehundredeight.com projects a Liberal victory here, with the lower bounds of their expected tally above the upper limit of the Conservative.

Now there is a new local poll that confirms that result. Mainstreet Research conducted a poll of the riding for Friends of Canadian Broadcasting.  It found the Liberals in the lead:

Strategic voting Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas
Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas

. . . → Read More: Bouquets of Gray: Strategic Voting in Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas: vote Liberal

Bouquets of Gray: Strategic Voting in Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas: New poll show Liberal lead

Strategic Voting in Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas

Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas (HWAD) is a new riding made up of the urban and suburban parts of what used to be Ancaster-Dundas-Flamorough-Westdale.  Its formation resulted in the rural polls of Flamborough being joined with Glanborough to form a new largely rural riding.

HWAD should now be a three-way race, with . . . → Read More: Bouquets of Gray: Strategic Voting in Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas: New poll show Liberal lead

The Canadian Progressive: 8 Ridings Where Voters Can Defeat Harper by Strategically Voting NDP

A Vancouver-based data scientist recently identified 8 riding where voters can move a step closer to defeating Stephen Harper – and installing Thomas Mulcair as Canada’s next prime minister – by strategically voting NDP on Oct. 19.

The post 8 Ridings Where Voters Can Defeat Harper by Strategically Voting NDP appeared first on The Canadian . . . → Read More: The Canadian Progressive: 8 Ridings Where Voters Can Defeat Harper by Strategically Voting NDP

Bouquets of Gray: Strategic voting in Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound: vote Liberal

Strategic tactical voting in Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound
Strategic voting in Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound

A new local poll reveals another riding that is surprisingly competitive: Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, which includes the city of Owen Sound and towns such as Port Elgin, Southampton, Walkerton, Wiarton, Lucknow, Hanover, and Meaford.

The riding has been reliably Conservative since 2004, sending Larry Miller to Ottawa with ever increasing margins.

The voters of Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, however, may have had enough of the Conservatives.

A poll in the riding in September showed some weakness and a new poll released today confirms that:

Strategic voting in Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound

To judge from today’s poll, the Liberals may be within striking distance if a few more Greens and NDP back them.

Some recent posts:

. . . → Read More: Bouquets of Gray: Strategic voting in Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound: vote Liberal

Bouquets of Gray: Strategic voting in Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound: vote Liberal

Strategic voting in Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound

A new local poll reveals another riding that is surprisingly competitive: Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, which includes the city of Owen Sound and towns such as Port Elgin, Southampton, Walkerton, Wiarton, Lucknow, Hanover, and Meaford.

The riding has been reliably Conservative since 2004, sending Larry Miller to Ottawa with ever increasing margins.

. . . → Read More: Bouquets of Gray: Strategic voting in Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound: vote Liberal

Bouquets of Gray: Strategic voting in Cariboo-Prince George: vote NDP

Strategic voting in Cariboo-Prince George
Strategic voting in Cariboo-Prince George

Cariboo-Prince George is large and remote, making up some 80,000 sq. km. of central BC and includes the cities of Quesnel and Williams Lake.

Cariboo-Prince George is not a place that one would expect the Conservatives to be vulnerable—it has been reliably Conservative since the late 70s.

Recent polls, however, show that the NDP could defeat them here:

Strategic voting in Cariboo-Prince George poll

The key is that anti-Harper voters support the NDP.

Some recent posts:

. . . → Read More: Bouquets of Gray: Strategic voting in Cariboo-Prince George: vote NDP

Bouquets of Gray: Strategic voting in Cariboo-Prince George: vote NDP

Strategic voting in Cariboo-Prince George

Cariboo-Prince George is large and remote, making up some 80,000 sq. km. of central BC and includes the cities of Quesnel and Williams Lake.

Cariboo-Prince George is not a place that one would expect the Conservatives to be vulnerable—it has been reliably Conservative since the late 70s.

Recent polls, . . . → Read More: Bouquets of Gray: Strategic voting in Cariboo-Prince George: vote NDP

Bouquets of Gray: Strategic Voting in Central Nova: vote Liberal

Strategic voting in Central Nova

The riding of Central Nova in Nova Scotia is a riding where strategic voting could make a difference.  Its long-time MP, Peter MacKay, is not standing for re-election. MacKay had won with over 50% of the vote, and his decision to retire from politics hurts the Conservatives in Nova . . . → Read More: Bouquets of Gray: Strategic Voting in Central Nova: vote Liberal

Bouquets of Gray: Strategic Voting in Central Nova: vote Liberal

Strategic voting in Central Nova
Strategic voting in Central Nova

The riding of Central Nova in Nova Scotia is a riding where strategic voting could make a difference.  Its long-time MP, Peter MacKay, is not standing for re-election.

MacKay had won with over 50% of the vote, and his decision to retire from politics hurts the Conservatives in Nova Scotia.

How much it has hurt can be seen in the new figures, where Eric Grenier sees 40% as the high estimate for Conservative support.
Some local polling also suggest the Cons are vulnerable here:
Polls in Central Nova
Given that the polls were taken only a few days apart, but have quite different results, the results should probably be interpreted as a sign of Conservative vulnerability rather than a basis for confidence.  
Nevertheless, there is every possibility that Central Nova is a riding that is ripe for the picking if a handful of NDP and Green voters support the Liberals.

. . . → Read More: Bouquets of Gray: Strategic Voting in Central Nova: vote Liberal

CuriosityCat: Forum Poll: Why Stephen Harper has only 7 days left as prime minister

The Great Canadian 2015 Revolution

The Harper government has, during its four years of majority government, managed to persuade millions of Canadians that they have to vote in a different way in this election. Harper managed to grab power by cementing his conservative base, and using wedge politics to open the gap between the . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Forum Poll: Why Stephen Harper has only 7 days left as prime minister

CuriosityCat: Vive la revolution: Why Liberal and NDP supporters will decide how to vote despite their leaders

The Great Canadian 2015 Revolution

The Harper government has, during its four years of majority government, managed to persuade millions of Canadians that they have to vote in a different way in this election. Harper managed to grab power by cementing his conservative base, and using wedge politics to open the gap between the split opposition groups.

The Law of Unintended Consequences then stepped in. Men propose, the gods dispose …
Voters watched in dismay as the Harper regime proceeded in a very systematic way to implement their hidden agenda of removing any vestige of liberal thought or action from Canadian public life. Many such steps were taken stealthily, out of sight of the public; but many were upfront and clearly visible to all.
Harper decided to concentrate on his core supporters and rule that way, disregarding the 60% plus who had different political views and values. His core-only-and-damn-the-torpedoes strategy worked brilliantly, but then something unexpected happened.
When the leading elite of the two main opposition parties refused to be serious about doing something to mend the divisions between them, and to cooperate electorally before the coming election, millions of Canadians decided to do what their party leaders would not do.
It started with a few voices in the wilderness crying out for something new to be tried in the 2015 election, to prevent Harper governing for another four years and damaging our fragile democracy even more.
Soon these voices were joined by others, and now they have become the dominant chorus in Canadian life. Those who wanted a different outcome in the 2015 election hit upon a framing of the public debate which is proving to be the dominant one in the election: Change. Supporters of both the NDP and Liberal Party could agree that a change of government – anybody but Harper – was better than Harper remaining as prime minister.
That settled the Ballot Box question, which is: It was Time for a Change.
The past nine months or so have been devoted to discussions amongst LPC and NDP supporters – in social media, in the mainstream media, and amongst their friends and family members – about HOW to effect such Change.
At first mainstream media and political commentators participated in the dominant public discussion taking place, but they did so through the prisms of past experience. This meant that most of them spoke of conventional responses (coalition agreement between the two parties, allowing MPs from both to share cabinet posts in a combined government). Mulcair was in favour of such a formal coalition and publicly indicated willingness to consider it, even before the campaign began.
Justin Trudeau and his core advisors also considered the question of a pre-election electoral cooperation and discussion of a formal coalition. Despite the overwhelming desire of the vast majority of LPC supporters for such an agreement, Trudeau decided to throw the dice and nix it.
But the pressure for a Change was irresistible, and this led Trudeau, followed by Mulcair, to announce publicly that if Harper won a minority government, they would not prop him up. Never, ever. That sealed Harper’s fate, Mulcair and Trudeau thought.
But millions of ordinary voters were not sure.
There was – and still is – a possibility that Harper could win a majority government. His strength lies in his greater support amongst older voters, 75% of whom actually go to the polling booths to vote. The LPC and NDP have more support among younger voters, but these supporters do not take the time to actually vote in anything like the same proportions.
So the public discourse of How to effect The Change continued, much to Harper’s dismay and the surprise of both Mulcair and Trudeau.
And in the past two months a collective decision was made by millions of voters: they would take the election into their own hands, and Make it Happen. The 2015 election morphed into a public uprising – a very Canadian, muted and respectful revolution. The People decided to march to their own drums.
In doing this, the mass march brushed aside the leaders of the three major parties. On October 19 the People will decide How to effect The Change. A huge proportion (40%!) of supporters of the LPC and the NDP have decided to ignore their party leaders and vote so as to ensure that The Change takes place on October 19.
The People have decided to remedy the split between the NDP and LPC that the leaders of those two parties were unable or unwilling to remedy. The victory in the October 19 election will therefore belong to The People, more than to the leaders and leadership elites of the NDP and LPC.
Vox Populi will be heard, loud and clear, across the country, around 7pm October 19.
The recent Forum poll illustrates just how successful this vox populi has been, as these quotes show:
One fifth of past Conservatives now voting Liberal
One fifth of those who voted Conservative in 2011 will vote Liberal this time (18%), while one quarter of 2011 New Democrats will also vote Liberal (25%).
One-in-six past Liberals will vote NDP (15%). This represents a shift from previous polls, where past Liberals voting NDP exceeded those voting the other way.
Very few past Liberals or New Democrats will vote for the Conservatives this time.
Core Conservatives most committed, switching Liberals and New Democrats less so
Close to 8-in-10 Conservative voters say they are strong supporters of their party (78%), but this is only characteristic of about 6-in-10 Liberals (58%) or New Democrats (60%).
This is because many of these voters come from each other’s parties.
3-in-10 says vote could change before election
Three-in-ten voters have not yet made their choice final (29%) and these are much more likely to be Liberals (33%) and New Democrats (34%) than Conservatives (14%). This confirms the remaining core of Conservative voters is a very committed group, while Liberal and New Democratic voters are open to voting strategically.
4-in-10 Liberals, New Democrats are voting strategically
In total, just more than a quarter of voters say they are voting for “the party that can defeat the government” (28%), rather than voting for “the party they believe in” (64%), but this increases to 4-in-10 among Liberals (39%) and New Democrats (41%).
Liberals, Conservatives equally likely to be seen as victors
Both the Liberals and the Conservatives are expected to win the election (35% each) while the NDP is no longer a contender (15%). While this tends to be a trailing measure, it may be an indication of potential growth in the Liberal vote.
So, the primary Ballot Box Question (Time for a Change) will be answered by a huge majority voting Yes; and the secondary Ballot Box Question (How to Effect The Change), will be decided in some 30 to 40 ridings, by supporters of the two opposition parties, deciding to put country ahead of party just this once.
And the vast bulk of the Canadian electorate agree with the public commitments of Mulcair and Trudeau that this will be the last election in Canada to be held on the first past the post (FPTP) system. And they will expect, within 18 months (that is, by April 2017), that the new government will have passed legislation to Make it Happen.
A very Canadian revolution, driven by collective disgust at Harper’s tactics, and ending with a result that is in the interests of the greater number of Canadians.
Vive la révolution!

. . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Vive la revolution: Why Liberal and NDP supporters will decide how to vote despite their leaders

Bouquets of Gray: Strategic voting in Haldimand-Norfolk: vote Liberal

Eric Grenier’s threehundredeight.com is a great resource for strategic voters, as this map illustrates. Strategic voting in Haldimand-Norfolk

The riding in question is Haldimand-Norfolk on the shores of Lake Erie, which includes  Caledonia, Dunnville, Hagersville, Jarvis and Cayuga in Haldimand and  Simcoe and Port Dover in Norfolk.

Grenier’s figures are helpful because they project what he estimates on the . . . → Read More: Bouquets of Gray: Strategic voting in Haldimand-Norfolk: vote Liberal