Wednesday, May 24, 2017

UK Projection update, and Terrorism and Elections

I spent some time yesterday digging into historic polls in relation to terrorist attacks and elections. I was able to look at polls in various countries including Spain, Australia, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, France, and even Turkey.

My conclusion is that terrorist attacks during an election do not amplify right-wing parties; they amplify the existing biases and opinions regarding terrorism.

Countries known for a more left approach to dealing with islamic extremism and other forms of terrorism actually saw the left parties have a boost in the polls following a terrorist attack. Terrorist attacks bring issues regarding terrorism to the fore, and thus boost parties seen as having the "right" stance to "solve" the problem; be that tolerance or security.

Given polls in the UK that show most brits want a strong hand when dealing with terrorism, it is likely that this will boost the Conservative vote. This is especially true as Corbyn has been attacked for being "weak" on terrorism.

As such, I've updated my projection for the UK:

You may wonder why the Tories have gained so much in the popular vote in Scotland. The answer is they have not. There are a large number of seats that are tipped by a very small number of votes, and with the comparatively tiny increase in popular vote I expect from the Tories here, they would gain a number of seats, including that of Angus Robertson, whose seat is just too vulnerable to withstand gains of this strength.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Manchester Bomb

The Bomb in Manchester will have an impact on the UK election; but now is not the time to talk about it.

I wanted to simply present my latest projection, and leave the words for another time.

Monday, May 22, 2017

UK Projection update

I've added a small model house of commons to the display.

In short, Labour is trending up, while the LibDems are trending down.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Alberta merger and BC Map

I've created a new map for BC elections

Currently it shows the election night results, but this map will be used in future BC elections for making predictions and projections.

Also big news out of Alberta.

The PC Party and Wildrose are merging. This has been in the works for quite some time and we do have a mathematical model of the merged parties ready to go and to make projections with.

Here is the current prediction

As you can see, there are a large number of ridings that are "battleground" ridings between the two parties. As we near the election, I will refine the map and the numbers.

Official party status in the Senate

A recent CBC news article has explained how the rules for official party status in the Senate have now changed.

This has been in the works for a while, with the creation of the ISG Crossbencher group, and the granting of additional power to Independent Senators.

The former rule stated that your party needed one of two things.

1 - To already be an official party in the Senate.
2 - To have 5 Senators in your party, and, have a party that ran in the last election.

This meant that only the Liberals and Tories were ever official caucuses in the Senate, as no other party qualified. Theoretically, had the PC Party maintained an unbroken line from 2003 with more than 5 Senators, they too would have qualified; but the party dipped below this number.

The new rules are simple, you need 9 Senators.

This is much more in line with Commons rules that state 12 members are needed for official party status, regardless of what that party is. 12 Independents could group up to form a caucus even if they have no official party.

9, however, is a fairly high number. As a share of seats, the same number in the Commons would be 29, not 12. The number seems to have been set as 1/12th of the seats in the Senate, which, makes sense, as, being an official party gets you a lot on committee, and many committees have 12 members. 1/12th of the Commons would be 29.

This also prohibits certain things from happening. Only 4 provinces have more than 6 Senators, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia; so none of the remaining provinces, on their own, could create a provincial caucus, however regional caucuses could be formed.

We could also see caucuses created for other purposes. For example, an "Amendment Caucus" could be formed by those senators who feel the main purpose of the Senate is to amend Commons bills to be, in their minds, better. We could see an "Urban Caucus" formed to represent the cities, and, a "Rural Caucus" for the rural areas; these are cross-province issues.

In the short term, this will officially give full recognition to the ISG, but in the longer term we may see more political movements that cross party lines, such as the formation of a general-left "Progressive Caucus"

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Live Podcasts

If you follow my youtube channel, you'll know that yesterday I tried something new, a livestream ramble.

The permalink to my livestreams is here:

What I decided to do was take a video game without voice-over, and record a "podcast" against it, where I discuss various political topics.

Episode 0 helped to teach me what I did wrong and what I did right, and, it was successful enough in my mind, that I will be recording an Episode 1 at some point soon; today, or perhaps tomorrow, that will cover many of the same issues. The key difference will be one of structure, in that I will be pre-planning what I say, rather than randomly rambling.

The topics to be discussed will mirror that of episode 0.

Overall comparisons between the 4 main countries

Presidential systems VS Westminster systems

Parliaments compared (including election methods for all offices)

Parties compared

And terminology compared

You don't need to watch live, and at this time, I don't plan on pre-scheduling episodes. The key reason I livestream is the reduction in steps needed. While it does mean I can't edit things, it makes a fully un-edited video much faster to post online. Otherwise I'd have to record audio, export it to my desktop, merge it with a video, export that, upload it, and wait for it to process. With a livestream, I hit the "go" button, and when I hit "stop" everything is done.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Social Media's impact on Resignations

There are three candidates who have been dropped by their parties in the Nova Scotia election. One Liberal, one NDP, and one PC. The story links (where available) are here:

The actual content of what was said, especially in the third case, is rather tame compared to one might see on the internet.

None of these candidates were in particularly winnable ridings, but it never looks good to drop a candidate.

Regardless, while we do see more and more of this, I am also seeing more and more backlash against it. People who use Twitter as a personal platform will have said many things similar (perhaps, though, not so racist) and will not think that such comments are so extreme. With the stuff Trump says and his use of Twitter, I also think that we will begin to see a growing unwillingness to toss candidates based on statements that are not extreme, and as such, this kind of thing is actually on the way out. Within 20-30 years, it will simply be expected that every candidate running has said something stupid at some point in the past on social media, and no one will care.