Thursday, December 28, 2017

Ontario projection

Math based projection from the 4 most recent polls:

62 - PC
33 - LIB
28 - NDP
1 - GRN

62 seats for the Tories and 62 for the other parties combined.

edited to add:

Saturday, December 23, 2017

personal post

This past week has been the most emotionally difficult and draining week I've had in over a decade. I apologize for not making more posts. I will work to get one out over or after xmas.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

By-Election applied to country

I wanted to determine how the swing in the by-election would play out on a national scale. To do so, I equally weighted 3 factors.

First, the most recent poll (picked over a poll average as it had a higher NDP number, and I wanted to compensate for the NDP's poor showing)

Second, the popular vote change from the last election in all 4 of the ridings.

Third, the popular vote change from the last election in the region each riding was in, the Pacific, the Prairies, Central Canada, and Atlantic Canada.

The final step was simply applying that ratio to all ridings in Canada, which produced this projection.

Note that I presumed that Singh would win his seat, as, his running, changes the math, and that previous by-election victories are applied to replace last-election results, which is how the Liberals retain Lac Saint Jean.

With this we get national totals of:

195 Lib
115 Con
15 NDP
11 BQ
2 Grn

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Plan for December

Currently the plan for December is to make 7 back-to-back "large" posts.

I need 7 of these in order to do what I wish to achieve. I already know what 4 of them will be.

Introductions, and comparisons, of Canada, the US, the UK, and Australia.

In between each is going to be a total of 3 other posts. Currently I am trying to figure out what they will be. Suggestions are welcome.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Patreon Changes

Just a heads up, Patreon has made some changes recently. This will impact me negatively, my pledges will increase by 30% and those who donate to me will now be asked by patreon to donate more.

I have updated my goals to reflect this.

$6 will cover my patreon donations. It good piece of mind to not have to always worry about having a few dollars left in my bank when patreon comes for money

$43 will enable me to increase my donations to my fav creators tenfold, which I'd like to do but can not afford to do at this time.

$300 will enable me to double my daily cash budget, which I use to purchase things like groceries.

$1025 would replace my entire current non-patreon income with patreon income.

$5750 would, if my math is right, be $60,000 after tax, Canadian, after all fees.

None of this will impact my core mission of providing ad free content.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

PEI Greens could form next Official Opposition

As mentioned in my post yesterday, I have a new map and a new projection.

So it was an interesting delight to see a new CRA poll putting the Greens at 25%. The Poll has a margin of error of 4%, meaning the party is effectively tied with the PC Party, at 28%.

"Great" I thought, "The Greens doing this well in the polls after that by-election win really shows they could actually win multiple seats"

However, I was wrong. The polling dates were November 1st through November 30th.

Just as New Democratic Parties jumped (in poll numbers) across the nation after their Alberta victory, I expect this by-election to strongly boost Green poll numbers across PEI. The fact they are starting at 25% only makes the chances they can win the 6 ridings shown on the map more likely.

Long story short, everything noted above presents a strong case for a Green Party official opposition in the next election, if not a government. When you actually look at the numbers, you notice that Bevan-Baker is the only leader over 30% in "best leader" polling consistently, and has lead such polling in all but one polling period listed, it only makes it more clear.

Edited to add for further context:

This article is another reason why I'm more certain. Large groups of people who formerly held high ranks don't tend to join a party unless that party has momentum.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

PEI - new map and quick projection

The Green Party of PEI has won District 11 (where I ran in the 2003 provincial election) in a By-Election.

The new map comes pre-loaded with my projection for the 2019 election, and the assumptions under which I make it.

should the Greens fail to reach these levels in the polls, it is very likely that 4 seats would be a ceiling for them, and that between 1 and 3 seats is far far more likely.

Thursday, November 30, 2017


For today's post I thought I would share some of the resources I use; some of which I pointed to yesterday.

I visit this probably once a day. This website is extremely handy for easily finding past riding results without digging through pages on wikipedia. Additionally, it has poll by poll results for many recent elections, and, clearly shows exactly where riding boundaries are on a map. Results go back to the 50s in some cases.

Run by the University of Laval, this website contains the political platforms (manifestos) of federal and provincial parties for elections going back decades. It can be interesting to compare the platforms of the election winner to their actions once they get into office.

Want to know what is next? This is a great way to do so. From what I can tell, this evolved from a page I started in 2003 to keep track of all the various provincial elections in Canada.

The following pages are examples, and the true resource value is in looking for similar examples in your own searches.,_2017#Polling_4

Due to how very easy it is to both prove and disprove the numbers in question, wikipedia is an excellent source for polling information on elections.,_2017#Results

By a similar token, wikipedia also tends to have accurate election result figures. Trust the numbers more than the analysis however.

Sometimes it helps to go straight to the source. Most modern browsers will translate into english from nearly any language. On this page in particular, I'm waiting for the merger of the 3 various factions of the Democratic Party so I can report it.

I check this page once in a while to see if there is anything new or unusual going on. Most provinces have similar pages, and many other countries will as well.

Twitter is what you make of it. If you want a quality twitter, do not follow your friends. Follow those who you trust to give you the best information in the quickest and most accurate manner. Be that journalists, politicians, or random bloggers. Twitter can be a great resource for breaking the news, and most of the breaking news I see, I will read on twitter 5-15 minutes before I read anywhere else.

For large conflicts, Wikipedia tends to keep fairly up to date maps. Wikipedia's weakness - that anyone can update a page - is also its greatest strength. Just as anyone can edit in fake information, anyone can edit that information back out; and on pages like this with a following, there is always someone there to say "where is your evidence of that change"

Whenever there is an election somewhere in the world, going straight to the source can be your best ticket to information. A quick google of "_countryname_ election commission" can often get you started.

Where that fails, looking for the top TV channels and Newspapers in a country can help you find one that is covering the results.


Do not under-estimate the power of a simple search for "election" with the filter that the stream be live. It has saved my butt many times, and provided hours of entertainment.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Introduction to Ontario

Ontario is the largest province in Canada in terms of population and has been since Canada's founding in 1867. Population trends suggest this is unlikely to be changed any time in the next century.

Ontario contains 38.38% of the Canadian population. 29.3% is visibile minorities, with 8.7% of Ontario being South Asian, 5.7% being Chinese, 4.7% being Black, 2.4% Filipino, 1.8% First Nations, 1.6% Arab, and 1.5% from Latin America. In terms of Religion, roughly 1/3rd of Ontario identifies as Catholic, 1/3rd as Protestant, 2/9ths as Atheist, and 1/9th as a mix of various other religions including Islam (4.6% of total population), Hindu (2.9%), Jewish (1.5%), Sikh (1.4%), and Buddhist (1.3%).

Toronto is Ontario's Capital and largest city, containing 2,731,571 residents, and much starker demographics, with 51.5% identifying as visible minorities; including 12.6% South Asian, 11.1% Chinese, 8.9% Black, 5.7% Filipino, 2.9% Latin American, 2.2% West Asian*, 1.5% Southeast Asian, 1.5% Korean, and 1.3% Arab.
* in this context, mostly Iranian.

Toronto also contains concentrations of Ontario's non-christian population, including Islam at 8.2%, Hinduism at 5.6%, and Judaism at 3.8%.

Other municipalities near Toronto also contain concentrations of various visible minority groups; Markham is 45.1% Chinese, Brampton is 44.3% South Asian, Ajax is 16% Black, and Vaughan is 15% Jewish.

This all has impacts on the electoral map. For example, most of Ontario's Jewish population is concentrated along Bathurst Street, from Eglinton, into Vaughan. This means ridings such as Eglinton-Lawrence, York Centre, Willowdale, and Thornhill are especially sensitive to issues impacting this community.

The majority of the population in Ontario is concentrated in the Golden Horseshoe, which includes the Greater Toronto Area. Most of Ontario's largest municipalities are included within this area, with the largest municipalities outside the area being Ottawa, London, and Windsor.

Ontario's first election, in 1867, was "won" by the Conservatives, over the Liberals. In reality, the Tories and Grits tied at 41 seats each, but the Conservative leader was able to convince some moderate Liberals to join with him in a coalition. The following election in 1871 was won by the Liberals, who held office until their 1905 defeat.

This began Ontario's longest, though interrupted, political dynasty.

In 1919 the United Farmers and their more urban Labour allies, won an election and governed for 4 years. In 1934 the Liberals won a majority, and governed until 1943. The 1943 victory of the Progressive Conservatives marked and unbroken string of victories that would last until 1985.

With the aforementioned governments lead by other parties as exceptions, and minority governments in the periods from 1943-1945, and 1975-1981, the Tories held government from 1905 to 1985.

The 1985 election would see the Tories win 52 seats, compared to 48 for the Liberals and 25 for the NDP. The Liberals, however, won the popular vote, 38% to 37% to the Tories, and 24% for the NDP. The NDP decided to support a minority Liberal government

That Liberal government would continue until 1987 when, the Liberals called an election and managed to win a large majority, 95 seats compared to 19 for the NDP and 16 for the Tories. When Peterson called a snap election just 3 years later, hoping to retain his large majority, the voters turned on him. The result was a majority for the NDP, a result unexpected even by top New Democrats, including incoming Premier, Bob Rae.

The elected Rae NDP government failed to properly deal with a minor recession, and in 1995, was defeated by Mike Harris and the Tories. Harris campaigned heavily on a very right-wing economic message of lower taxes and cuts to welfare, known as the Common Sense Revolution. (An aside, 31 different ridings voted for each of the past 3 governments)

In 1999 the number of ridings (constituencies) in Ontario was reduced to better match the Federal ridings. At the time, Ontario was seeing 4% growth, and Harris managed re-election, but by 2003 the Tories were suffering from unpopularity related to their steep cuts to government funding. The election saw a majority of seats go to Dalton McGuinty and the Liberals.

The 2007 election saw the Liberals enter while somewhat unpopular. Part of the reason for their victory, however, came in the fact that the PC leader managed to stick his foot in his mouth by committing to funding expanded religious education, a policy that proved unpopular among voters. 2011 saw more general mistakes by the PC Party leading to yet another Liberal Majority, despite strong polling for the Tories.

By 2014, Kathleen Wynne had become Premier and Liberal Leader. The PC Party managed to lose, in great part, due to their "1 million jobs plan" which called for the creation of a million jobs over a number of years, but the cutting of 100,000 jobs in the short term. Additionally the plan suffered from a massive math error.

This brings us to the next election, in 2018.

Three major parties are contesting the election, as well as two other parties of note.

Ontario Liberal Party

Lead by Kathleen Wynne, the Liberals have held government since 2003. The party has been slowly shifting from a more centrist position under McGuinty, to a more progressive track under Wynne. The party is generally centrist to left-of-centre, but is increasingly unpopular due to various scandals. The party currently holds 56 seats

The Liberals will be struggling to hold on after 15 years in government, and facing various scandals related to wasteful government spending.

Ontario Progressive Conservatives

Lead by Patrick Brown, the PC Party has struggled to win elections in the past decade and a half. Under Brown, the party has been moving towards the centre, and been gathering a large number of star candidates over the past year or two. The party currently holds 29 seats.

Most of the polls for the past number of months and years have shown the PC party leading, and there is a good chance that they can win the election.

Ontario New Democratic Party

Lead by Andrew Horwath, the NDP is a left-wing pro-Labour party. The party has been fairly moderate under Horwath. The NDP has struggled to gain traction since the disastrous Rae government, and remains somewhat unpopular, especially when voters consider the usual Liberal Vs Tory race for the top. The party currently holds 19 seats.

The NDP's best chances come from a collapse of the Liberals. Many of the ridings where the NDP does best are places where the Liberals present the largest challenge. A strong PC campaign means these ridings only become more, not less safe. This handy resource can help you see that.

Green Party of Ontario

Part of the worldwide Green movement, the Green Party of Ontario is a sister party, on a provincial level, to the federal Green Party of Canada. The GPO in particular, in Canada, was known for being much more Eco-Capitalist, or Blue-Green, than the GPC. For a time, the GPO and GPC had bad relations due to that, and both are seperate parties.

The best chance for the Greens comes in Guelph, where the party has some base of support. The leader ran there last election and some political insiders (even in other parties) have heard that there is a good chance for a victory there in 2018

Trillium Party of Ontario

This is a small right-wing party that currently holds 1 seat in the Legislature due to a defection. This is not unknown in Canada. In 2005 DRBC was in this position, as well as WCC in Saskatchewan in 1985, the Progressives in Manitoba in 1981, or Reform in Alberta in 1982. None of these parties managed to win any seats, even though the latter two were actually founded by their defecting MPs (these parties tend to do far better, but, even then, they have not come close to winning re-election)

The main narrative of this campaign for political junkies is if the PC Party can manage an entire campaign without making a major mistake. To that end the party has released its platform early. The 80 page document (the platform itself begins on page 31) spells out what a Patrick Brown lead PC Majority would do in office.

The platform does not or even imply cuts to Ontario's welfare system, something most previous platforms have done. (to view previous platforms, go to this website from the university of laval)

The platform is extremely moderate, and after a careful look, there is almost nothing that the other parties can attack, the only thing being near the bottom of page 76, their budget.

These two lines are where the bulk of the money will come from to pay for the remaining PC promises. What I've noticed from this is twofold.

First: The "Value for Money Audit" is their way of saying they will simply 'find the money' by saving money in operation of current programs.

Second, the "Cap-and-Trade" fund. From this they expect to gain 2 billion dollars. The plan for the Tories is to cancel Cap-and-Trade and replace it with a Carbon Tax. Part of the problem here is that according to the (Liberal) Government, Cap-and-Trade won't cost 1.9 Billion, but will bring in 1.9 Billion in revenue. Additionally, the Carbon tax is nowhere in this document.

I therefore do not understand exactly where this money will actually be coming from, and it is possible that some of this is yet another embarrassing math error.

Despite that, I do think that releasing such a moderate platform so early before the election, especially one this detailed* will help the party.

*The 2018 platform is 80 pages long, compared to 26 for 2014, 44 for 2011, 61 for 2007, 123 in 2003, 54 in 1999, and 23 in 1995. It should be noted that the 2018 "platform" starts 30 pages in, but, due to text size, does retain its status as '2nd longest' even compared to 2007 or 1999.

At current, my projection is for a PC victory. Using a math based projection, I have the following results:

This would be a disaster for the Liberals, who, despite finishing 2nd in popular vote, would finish 3rd in terms of seats.

This is assuming the PC Party can and will retain its strong polling position, but that the Liberals will drop a few points as it becomes clear they will not win.

The Greens also win a seat in this projection simply based on the math.

So what can change? There are two simple ways that the Liberals can win.

1 - Screw Ups.

This would fit in with 'tradition' in recent elections. There are a number of ways this could happen.

A - Math Error
That 'error' I found in the budget could turns out to be a real error and not just my misunderstanding.

B - Brown Mistake
In this we would see Patrick Brown make a mistake. I've watched his convention speech and he seemed nervous and anxious, it is possible he could crack under the pressure.

C - Bozo Eruption
This has PC Candidates saying or doing stupid things that make voters fear that the party is still right-wing and "scary"

2 - Liberal Boldness.

For this the options are much, much more limited. In fact, as I see it, there is only one.

A - Basic Income.
The Liberal Party comes out in support of a Basic Income for all of Ontario.

Outside of these, I see the PC Party winning the next election with a majority.

Of course, the election is June 7th, which is more than 7 months away, and things can change.

Later post on Ontario and Update on Iceland, Germany, and Ireland

Iceland has, somewhat surprisingly, a new government. The Left-Greens will lead a government coalition including the conservative Independence party, and the liberal Progressives. The 3 parties meet today with their own memberships to finalize the agreement.

Germany wont even begin talks until the new year, which means any rejection wont be known for weeks, and a risk of an election is thus weeks away.

Ireland solved its political dispute by having the deputy PM (tanaiste) step aside, quashing the chance for a snap election.

As such, I will look at Ontario, the largest province of Canada and home to Teddy, author of this blog.

This post will come out in only a few hours. Since it is planned to be an introduction post, one I can reference for years to come, I will separate it from the above.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Lack of Government? Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland has lacked a government for some months after Stormont collapsed.

However, there is no total and complete lack of government. In fact, local councils (comparable to Municipalities or County level in Canada and the USA) continue to operate.

Here is a map of the councils and their political makeup.

As you can see, the map is colour coded.

Here is another map showing the party that finished in first in each DEA

The DEAs are generally similar in size, but not exactly. Armagh (district 6 on the upper map) would need an extra DEA for their DEAs to be similar in size to the others, while Belfast, the Capital, would need three more. Regardless, you could consider this a fun experiment in "what if Northern Ireland had FPTP elections" in which case you would see the following:

40 DUP
26 SF

Meaning the DUP won exactly half the DEAs in Northern Ireland.

Despite this, none of the 11 councils are controlled by a single party.

Control of local councils, Unionist vs Nationalist, can be seen in the upper right. Belfast is balanced, and as such, neither 'side' has control. For reference, the Westminster result is shown in the upper left.

The "long story short" of all of this is that local government does, in fact, continue in Northern Ireland, even if Stormont is shut down. Westminster itself also continues. In the Canadian context, it is like both Toronto City Hall and the Federal government operating while the Provincial level is not.

Prior to 1972, Stormont, and local government, was dominated by Protestants, mostly due to the design of the system.

From then to 1998, despite repeated attempts at a working assembly, local councils remained the only stable local governance.

In short; Northern Ireland has been through all of this before.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Queensland, and week update

I've taken a look at the ABC's election projections, and wish to detail what is going on.

Aspley, Bonney, Burdekin, Gaven, Pumicestone, and Townsville, are all tight 2 way races between the ALP and LNP

Maiwar may have the wrong 2PP. In fact, this is the problem that I've noticed more than the ABC has, where preference flows mean the current 2PP count could be simply wrong as the wrong candidate was chosen. Because of that, this seat could go LNP, ALP, or GRN.

Hintchbrook (KAP, LNP) may also have the wrong 2PP, however, due to the positioning of the parties, even if it does, neither ALP or ONP can win.

Rockhambton is more of a mess with an Independent involved. Strelow, a local Mayor, was a former Labor member who is seen as moderate, is currently shown in the lead; but preference flows in the right direction could position other parties well; however, as odd as it sounds, only Strelow is positioned to win, as she would defeat any opponent in a head to head competition, and is transfer-friendly enough to guarantee a position on the final ballot, meaning I'm marking this seat as a clear victory for the Independent.

Using these numbers, the projection would see 48 ALP members elected, 40 LNP, and 5 others, 1 ONP, 3 KAP, and 1 IND.

However, some of the seats ABC is certain about, I am not so certain.

In Macalister I dug into Hetty Johnston, the Independent. Looked at her 2004 Senate preference flows (it should be noted that her 2004 Senate run is not even mentioned on Wikipedia) and after concluding that while she might gain some Green preferences, it was more likely she'd gain right-wing preferences, I concluded the LNP candidate would probably be able to beat her to the final round, which means an ALP victory here, as the ABC says.

In Buderim, its quite possible that ALP not ONP will advance to the final round; but LNP's lead likely means they beat both.

Cairns has a strong Independent, but again, his views would not enable him to get the transfers he needs, and an ALP victory here is likely.

Southern Downs is a similar story; the Independent here needs Green transfers but has posted support of ONP as a #2 vote on his Facebook, and thus won't be getting Green transfers anytime soon, meaning an LNP victory here is correct.

Callide has no major Independent, but rather it is ALP who needs KAP preferences; but KAP has preferenced ONP #2, and thus, LNP will win here as well.

Lastly, Cook and Thuringowa, where had KAP gone LNP, the LNP would likely have won these seats, but with ONP heading to the final round against ALP, both are ALP victories.

As such, my research has shown no change from the ABC projection.

48 ALP - 35.9%
40 LNP - 33.6%
3 KAP - 2.3%
1 ONP - 13.7%
0 GRN - 9.7%
1 OTH - 4.9%

In other news, I am going to try to push out one post a day for this week as I was encouraged to do so by a reader. Tomorrow will see a post on Northern Ireland, followed by the Republic of Ireland on Wednesday. Thursday will see an update on Germany, with Friday seeing an update on Iceland. Both of those latter two depend on both not yet finishing coalition negotiations and on elections being likely; if elections become unlikely, I will instead focus on an area where an election will occur within the next year or two.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Elections; Queensland, and update on Germany/Iceland

Queensland goes to the polls tomorrow. Polls close around sunrise here in the eastern time zone. Most polls indicate a narrow Labor victory, but polls prior to the last election indicated a LNP victory and Labor won. It should also be noted that One Nation (often described as "the racist party") is doing well and could win a handful of seats; it may be enough to force either Labor or the LNP to a minority.

Germany's coalition negotiations have failed after the Liberals pulled out. Another election is likely, with polls showing only minor changes from the results of the last election.

Iceland is looking at a coalition between Independence, the Left-Greens, and the Progressives. Polls show if another election is held, the Social Democrats would likely swap places with the Left-Greens as the largest left party.

Lastly a personal update; I've become an election administrator for that CMHoC sim I've spoken about, and this is consuming some of my time as we are having a by-election for a vacant seat. New players are always welcome, but be prepared for high-school level memes.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Timing comparisons, Canada VS other nations

I wanted to go through the process of readying for an election, having an election, voting, counting the ballots, preparing for government, installing a new government, and starting the process of governing; for Canada and compare this to some select other countries.

For this example we will be assuming the sitting government is defeated.


In Canada, at least until a few years ago when "fixed election dates" became common, the sitting Government can call the election whenever it pleases. Nova Scotia, without fixed election dates, still operates this way.

At some point, the Premier of Nova Scotia will decide to call an election. Usually when this happens there is between a few days and a few weeks of lead time. This is after the decision has been made, in private, but before the election has been announced publicly. In Nova Scotia elections must be on a Tuesday, and, the election period (also known as the writ) must be at least 30 days long. If an election is called on a Sunday, the writ period is exactly 30 days long as minimum, but if called on a Saturday, because of the Tuesday rule, the period would be 31 days long. For this reason it is usually decided a few days before an election is called, as there is a need to wait for the proper "day of the week" to make the call if, as is usual, the shortest possible election period is to be used.

This period of a few days can unofficially be thought of, in the context of some other nations, as the start of the caretaker period.

Once the writ is dropped, the election act comes into full force, and an election officially begins.

Election day will see no campaigning, and ballot booths are open for, usually, roughly 12 hours, closing somewhere around 8pm. Once the booths close, election results coverage begins. Ballots are counted in place, with each polling location locking the doors and physically counting the ballots. As there can be hundreds of polling booths in each constituency, they will report their results at different times, as such, the results slowly roll in over the course of hours with more and more of the results becoming available. Generally by midnight, the results are clear; but this is midnight local to the count, which can be 4:30am in some parts of Canada federally as Canada consists of multiple time zones.

Following this, results are officially validated. Federally this can take up to 2 weeks, roughly. It should be noted that of all the elections since the end of WW2, never has the total whole result of a general election (as in who has 'won' the government) changed during this period. The closest is in 1972 when two ridings in BC were showing leads by the Tories (that is, the polling booths that had been counted indicated more votes for the PC Party) but by sunrise the next morning, both had, in fact, been won by the Liberals.

If a government is defeated, a "transition" period begins. The government that was defeated remains in office during this time. Generally, this period takes roughly 2 weeks, but can be longer or shorter pending the wishes of the incoming leader.

While coalitions are rare in Canada, if there were to be a coalition, it would be negotiated during this transition period. Canadians would generally expect that within 3 or so weeks of the election, the new government would be fully in place.

On that date, the new Premier/Prime Minister is sworn in alongside his or her cabinet, which has been chosen during that 2 week transition period.

Parliament, or the Legislature as the case may be, will then meet and government will begin. How long this takes can vary wildly. Generally, houses only meet during the spring and fall, so a summer election may see months go by without such a meeting. Federally this usually is about a month after the new government is in place, or longer for out of season elections.


This, of course, is not the only way to do things.

In the Australia and New Zealand, the "caretaker" period of government is much more codified, and the UK concept of Purdah, also applies. Generally this encompasses the 6 weeks prior to an election, which is much much longer than in Canada.

The election period itself is typically a week or so shorter outside of Canada, but can be longer or shorter as well. The US in particular has no concept of a "writ period" and thus has no campaign length, with campaigning occurring nearly 24/7

Election day is similar in developed countries around the world, with polls being open for 12 hours, give or take a few hours, and closing at around 8pm, give or take a few hours. Results then generally come out quickly. The US, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan, for example, all count ballot booths individually, meaning results slowly roll in throughout the night, with the final result in each seat not being known for quite some time. The UK and Ireland however, use centralized counts. This means all ballot boxes are physically re-located to a central location within each seat, and counted as one. For this reason results in these countries only come out once per seat (compared to hundreds of times with more and more being known, in Canada etc) but are final once released. For this reason, elections in the UK are generally not "finished" counting until sunrise the next morning, whereas in the US/Australia/etc they are, as in Canada, generally "finished" by midnight local. Irish counts take a particularly long time, due to STV, with results of each round slowly rolling in over the following day or two, with no "election night results" in the same way as is done in the other countries named. 

Validation is wildly variant. In the UK and Ireland, validation takes place before results are announced, and any recounts happen on the night of the election. Announced results are final. In New Zealand, parties will wait sometimes for valid results before even beginning coalition negotiations, and this can take weeks. Additionally, unlike the UK, where postal ballots need to be received by election day to count, in NZ those sent by election day count, and thus more and more ballots can come in during the following weeks. In the US, for Presidential elections in particular, the schedule for validation of electoral votes is set in the constitution. 

In most countries, a transition period after the election but before the government is sworn in, is common. The United States has such a period written in to the constitution, and is roughly 10-11 weeks long, give or take a few days. The UK has no such period, and by sunrise the next morning, a new Prime Minister is generally expected to take office, with the 5 day coalition negotiation period after the 2010 election being seen as exceptionally long. Normally a UK PM is sworn in alone and appoints their cabinet in the following few days. This contrasts wildly with parts of Europe. Belgium has taken over 540 days to transition to a new government, though this was an unusually long period of time, in Germany this period can be a month or longer as a standard matter of course, whereas in the Netherlands, a transition period of 3-4 months is not unusual. 

Parliament then meets for the first time. In the UK this can happen as little as one week after the election, and while language barriers make this information difficult to find in some countries, it appears a 1-3 weeks after a new government being sworn in, is common, with Canada actually having one of the longer periods. 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Australia votes for gay marriage

Australia held a non-binding referendum on same sex marriage and the results are in. 61.6% have voted in favour.

The result was overwhelming with only 17 divisions (ridings) voting a majority against. Of those 17, 3 were in Queensland, 2 in the Melbourne area of Victoria, and 12 in the Sydney area of New South Wales. The 14 outside Queensland are dominated by immigrant populations, while the 3 in Queensland are majority white australian.

More details can be found on the wikipedia page for the event.

The government is now expected to introduce legislation allowing for same sex marriage.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Winter Doldrums

We've entered what is effectively the winter break for politics. For the next few weeks I'll likely be gearing down, posting 2 entries per week, sometimes 1, but I plan to ramp that up in December to cover in detail all the various places holding elections in 2018.

I will however continue to update on various things.

Japan: The Democrats are still re-organizing. The CDP is officially down to 16 while the DP is officially up to 28. In the end the party should have a united 70 or so MPs.

Iceland: The Progressives and Centre Party have been in talks to mend their differences. This would enable both to sit in a government, important after the Progressives rejected the earlier proposed alliance for being too narrow a majority. It is thus now possible that the Centre Party and Progressives, which old a combined 15 seats, would be willing to sit in coalition together. This would enable a few new coalition options, including with the Left Greens and Social Democrats (33 seats) or with Independence and Reform (35 seats); Pending on how well the talks went, the two might try to form their own government, likely with the Progressive leader as PM

Upcoming: Queensland goes to the polls at the end of this month, and Catalonia votes on the 21st of December. I also may look in on the Nepalese elections occurring on the 26th of this month and 7th of next month.

In Queensland, Labor is expected to win again, but One Nation may act as a spoiler preventing a majority.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Updates - Japan, Iceland, Germany

Apologies to those who saw the following post on Japan a few minutes ago; I decided it was better to group the updates rather than spread them out.


The parties are starting to form up more solidly, as the Democratic members are deciding what to do. CDP leader, Yukio Edano is now the opposition leader, and it is likely he will lead a re-unified Democratic party for the next term.

In the house of representatives:

LDP - 313*
DEM - 72**
KIB - 51
JCP - 12
ISH - 11
OTH - 2

* Combined LDP and Komeito

** 60 CDP supporters, 54 official CDP, plus 12 DP members. (many unofficial are, for example, SDP, or other small parties)

And in the house of councillors:

LDP - 151*
Dem - 57**
JCP - 14
ISH - 11
KIB - 3
OTH - 3

* Combined LDP and Komeito

** 9 CDP, 48 DP.


Negotiations continue between the conservative CDU, the liberal FDP, and the Greens. They are expected to successfully conclude in the next week or two.


Negotiations have begun on forming a left wing government lead by the Left-Greens, and joined by the Social Democrats, Pirates, and Progressives.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Iceland coalition options.

There are a number of coalitions possible in Iceland. A reminder of the party labels:

16 - D - Independence - Conservative
11 - V - Left-Green -  Green
8 - B - Progressive - Rural Liberal
7 - S - Social Democrat - Social Democrat
7 - M - Centre Party - Moderate
6 - P - Pirate Party - Pirate
4 - C - Reform Party - Right-wing reformist
4 - F - Populist Party - Populist

Coalition options generally break down into the following:


It thus seems likely the Progressives will end up in Government. However, the Moderates are unlikely to thus get in due to the problems between the leaders of these parties, and a few other options present their own difficulties; As such the most likely options are as follows:

DVB (Grand Coalition)
VBSP (Left Liberal)
DBFC (Right Populist)

At the moment my money is on Left Liberal, but the other options remain possible.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Iceland results

As with last time, I expect it will take some time for coalitions to become clear.

16 - D - Independence
11 - V - Left-Green
8 - B - Progressive
7 - S - Social Democrat
7 - M - Centre
6 - P - Pirate
4 - C - Reform
4 - F - Peoples

Some controversy over proportionality. The Social Democrats took 12.1% of the vote but only win 7 seats. Contrast with the Progressives on 10.7% and 8 seats, and the Centre Party on 10.8% and 7 seats.

Coalition options are too numerous to realistically list, and none of them will be easy or obvious. I will update when it becomes more clear which parties are willing to coalition with which other parties.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Final Iceland Update

16 - D - Independence
12 - S - Social Democrats
12 - V - Green-Left
7 - M - Centre Party
6 - P - Pirates
5 - B - Progressives
5 - C - Reform

Iceland election tomorrow.


16 - D - Independence
14 - V - Green-Left
11 - S - Social Democrats
7 - M - Centre Party
6 - P - Pirates
5 - B - Progressives
4 - C - Reform

A trend towards the Social Democrats, and the peoples party falling short of the threshold are the current projection assumptions. 

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Iceland update - 3 days out

3 days remain to the election. 

15 - D - Independence
15 - V - Green-Left
9 - S - Social Democrats
7 - M - Centre Party
6 - P - Pirates
5 - B - Progressives
3 - C - Reform
3 - F - Peoples Party

32 needed for majority

More to come

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Parallel PR, PEI: a Japan example

Japan uses a system of Parallel Proportional Representation. This is a proportional system that is non compensatory. For example, if a country had 200 seats in Parliament, and 100 ridings, with 100 PR seats, and a party in this country won 40% of the vote, they would win 40 PR seats. It would not matter if they won 0 ridings or 100 ridings.

Japan in particular uses a form of this that allows the closest losing candidates to advance to the proportional list. In short, if the winner took 3000 votes and the runner up took 2500 votes, then that runner up has taken 83.33% of the winners vote total, and is ranked based on that 83.33%. This ensures that areas with a divided electorate will end up with both voices in Parliament. Additionally, it prevents parties from simply stacking the proportional list, as it only elects candidates who are popular with the voters.

I want to take a look at the kind of PR Japan uses.

For the sake of example, lets assume PEI used this kind of system in 2015. In this context, this would result in 16 additional seats. This is 0.6 multiplied by the number of ridings (27) which is the average number of proportional seats in relation to ridings seats used in Japan.

Note that in the event of an actual move to Proportional Representation, the ridings are likely to be redrawn, and so this is not a perfect nor exact comparison. Adding 16 extra seats to the existing riding map simply makes this easy to compare and understand. In reality, the legislature would not grow so much so quickly.

In the real PEI election, 46.4% of all votes cast were cast for winning candidates. The other 53.6% of voters did not have their candidate win, and their choice of MLA was not sent to the legislature. Keep that in mind.

Due to popular vote, the Liberals would win 7 of the 16 PR seats. The Tories win 6. The NDP wins 2, and the Greens win 1. Since the Japanese system of the closest loser allows us to know exactly who would win, we can determine that, and I've done so below.

As the Green with the highest loss ratio (47.75% of the votes of the winner in her riding) district 12 candidate, Darcie Lanthier, would become an MLA.

The top two NDP vote getters are, in order, Gord McNeilly and Michael Redmond, and thus both would join the Legislature.

The 6 Tories, in order, are: Mary Ellen McInnis, Rob Lantz, Brian Ramsay, Linda Clements, Major Stewart, and Daniel MacDonald.

The 7 Liberals are: Charlie McGeoghegan, Russel Stewart, Tommy Kickham, Dan MacDonald, Bertha Campbell, Ramona Roberts, and David Dunphy.

This allows 66.96% of people to have voted for an MLA in the legislature. Most districts also end up represented by more than one party, allowing for voters in these areas to have both a government and a opposition voice in the legislature. Since those elected on the list are not beholden to their original area, they can also represent larger swaths of voters.

The end results are as follows

25 - Liberal
12 - PC
2 - NDP
2 - Green

Not only does the NDP enter the legislature, but the Greens grow as well. The opposition Tories now have a caucus made up of members from across the province, and the Liberals have an MLA from all but 2 of the ridings. Unlike a pure PR system, the government is not turned into a minority.

There are many reasons to want Proportional Representation and many reasons to oppose it. Two key reasons are as follows.

1 - It allows more voices to be heard in the legislature, and ensures that the opposition is strong enough to counter the government.

2 - It ensures that only governments elected by a majority of voters are allowed to govern.

Opposition to each would say that some voices are extreme and should not be heard, and that people want stable government and are fine with governments elected with, say, 45% support.

In Canada, there are many more people who worry about the loss of stable government than worry about parties like the NDP or Greens getting elected.

Parallel systems do very well at getting a multitude of voices heard, but do not tend to result in the overturning of a majority government elected with a minority of voters.

As such, and given the worries Canadians have about PR, I feel (and have for a long time) that a Parallel system is the only path to a later and fuller form of PR that Canadians will be willing to stomach.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Updates on recent elections.

The most likely coalition at this point in time is Conservative and Nationalist, with the Socialists preparing for opposition.

A Conservative-Liberal-Green coalition is still the most likely outcome.

The Conservatives have ruled out a coalition with ANO, and ANO is having talks with their current coalition partners.

Final results are as follows:

party - constituencies - PR seats - (total seats)

LDP - 218 - 66 - (284)
CDP - 18 - 37 - (55)
KNT - 18 - 32 - (50)
NKP - 8 - 21 - (29)
JCP - 1 - 11 - (12)
INO - 3 - 8 - (11)
SDP - 1 - 1 - (2)
IND - 22 - 0 - (22)

By Unofficial Coalitions:
313 - Government
69 - Liberal
61 - Conservative
22 - Other

After expected defections*:

313 - Government
85 - Democrats
46 - Conservatives
14 - Left (JCP+SDP)
7 - Other

Compared to 2014:

326 - Government
73 - Democrats
41 - Conservatives
23 - Left
12 - Other

* = assuming that of the 25 people who may leave the KNT, only 15 do so; but that all Independents who may join, will do so. The 25 people from the KNT in question are former Democrats who hold left-wing views on issues such as the Constitution, and who generally were Democrats prior to the mergers with Innovation. The Independents were judged on the same basic rule set, but, most of them are left by default. There is no guarantee they will join the CDP, however, given that the "original plan" when the party was split was to rejoin its parts, it does make a certain logical sense. The CDP has outright ruled out merging back into the old party, and given their massive win over the other former democrats (who make up roughly 4/5ths of KNT) this also makes sense.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Japan, results

Results are nearly complete, and with the possibility of one or two seats changing, the results are as indicated in this table:

The Government has won the majority they need. The LDP has a majority in the chamber, and has a large enough majority to guarantee chairmanship of the committees. As well with their allies in the NKP they command the 310 seats needed to amend the constitution.

The LDP however has been expected to win by a large margin for a while as even without a 310 majority, parties like KNT by in large support the amendment which would allow Japan to re-arm and militarize.

Abe's victory was expected. As such the 'winners' of the election are the CDP. Originally projected to get a dozen seats, they've beat the KNT in total seat count. The Democrats split in three with the party leadership joining the KNT for the election with the plan to re-unite the party after the election. Many members decided to run as Independents to protest this, and some on the left created the CDP, which, has been wildly successful.

After a few hours of searching through wikipedia, I've divided up the Independent candidates and KNT candidates by weather or not I feel it is likely they would join the CDP after the election. This is a maximum estimate. As such the CDP can be expected to have up to 96 seats when parliament holds its first session, and may well end with 80 or less.

In the end, Prime Minister Abe gets what he wants, he can amend the constitution, and can continue his policies for another 4 years.

You can click here for the introduction to the election, as this helps provide context for who these parties are.

Japan early results

Japan's election rolls on as counting continues. Current results suggest the following:

308 GOV


277 LDP (Shinzo Abe)
31 NKP (Social Conservative)

56 CDP (Left Liberal)
13 JCP (Communist)
2 SDP (Social Democrat)

49 KNT (Tokyo, Conservative)
11 INO (Osaka, Conservative)

26 IND (Others)

Many of the Independents are DP members. It's difficult to get an exact count but I would personally suspect 34 KNT members and 20 of the Independents are as well. These 49 members would thus join with the 56 CDP members for a 105 seat merged caucus. However it is unclear if they will, in fact, re-join into a single party or not. If they did, and if NKP continues to work with LDP as close as in the past, and if KNT goes the way of INO and becomes a small regional conservative party based on one city, then, what we could be looking at as a final result is as follows:

308 GOV
110 DP

This would put the LDP just short of the 310 they need for 2/3rds majority to change the constitution on war issues, however, the city parties support the move and would easily put them over the top.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Czechia election results

Nearly 100% count in, and the results are as follows:

78 ANO (liberal)
25 ODS (conservative)
22 Pirate
22 SPD (nationalist)
15 KSCM (communist)
15 CSSD (social democrat)
11 KDU (christian democrat)
6 TOP (liberal)
6 STAN (centre right)

With these numbers an ANO-ODS coalition could be very likely. While they do not control a majority in the Senate, the Czech Senate is very weak.

However, with such a commanding result, 78 seats, 101 required for a majority (23 additional seats needed) ANO could pick some other combination of parties to sit with

Friday, October 20, 2017

Czechia votes today

Czechia, also known as the Czech Republic, is voting today and tomorrow in their national elections.

I won't do a full post but will get you up to speed on the basics.

The most recent election projections from within the country suggest ANO is headed for a massive win. ANO is difficult to classify politically, but is perhaps one of the closest parties to our Liberal Party in the world, with a key difference being the fact ANO is "outsider" and not "insider"

ANO is set to win 67 seats according to projections from the 16th, the last legal day to make projections in the country due to election blackout laws.

CSSD, the Social Democrats, are on 29, while KSCM (the Communists) are behind on 27 seats. SPD the Nationalist party (think Marine Le Pen) is on 20 seats, as is ODS the Conservatives. The Pirates could take 17 seats, while the KDU (Christian Democrats) take 11 and TOP 09 takes 11. TOP 09 is also hard to explain, but basically is a right-liberal party.

The current government of CSSD-ANO-KDU fell apart over scandal with the ANO leader, but ANO did not suffer in the polls, in fact, CSSD did if anything.

CSSD, KDU, and TOP all want to adopt the euro ASAP while, KSCM, and SPD do not want the euro at all. ANO and ODS only want the euro at a later date when all the instability currently in Europe has been worked out.

With all of this in mind, there are some coalitions that pop out as possible.

ANO-ODS-KDU-TOP could happen if the Euro issue can be solved. These parties also hold enough seats in the Senate to pass bills with support from some of the Independent members, or, from the 'alliance of Mayors' members, which whom KDU has good relations.

ANO-CSSD-KDU is possible, but unlikely given they were the current government, and CSSD suffered heavily.

Pending exact seat totals, CSSD might try to form a coalition with the Pirates, and Communists, probably also bringing TOP and KDU along. The problem is that this would be an unstable coalition, and, the Communists have never taken part in a coalition government since the collapse of communism.

Voting will end tomorrow, and hopefully results will be out shortly thereafter.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Quick Iceland Update

A quick update to Iceland.

Reform has edged up, towards the threshold. Additionally I've decided to include the official letter of each party for clarity. 

The two number totals are if Reform does, and does not, pass the threshold.

17-18    V    Green-Left
14-15    D    Independence
8-8    S    Social Democrats
7-7    P    Pirates
6-6    M    Centre Party
4-5    B    Progressives
4-4    F    Peoples Party
3-0    C    Reform

Monday, October 16, 2017

Quick Japan update

An update to Japan.

Due to strong polling for the Constitutional Democrats, I've updated my projection as follows:

280 - Gov
100 - Right
75 - Left
10 - Others

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Austria early results

Counting is wrapping up in Austria. My earlier post can be found here.

Early results are as follows:

62 - OVP
52 - SPO
51 - FPO
10 - NEOS
8 - PILZ

Compared to the projection, it seems a number of Greens switched to the SPO.

A more complete write up will come in the following days (or weeks) as it becomes clear what kind of government coalition will be formed. OVP has the option of either SPO or FPO.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

CMHoC 9th election

Results are in from the fictional CMHoC snap election, which I mentioned previously.

CMHoC, which I've posted about before, is a political simulation (a game) called the Canadian Model House of Commons. This election featured the 3 major parties from the real world, plus parties such as the Socialists, Radicals, and Pirates on the left, many of the right-wing alternative parties having died off during the last term.

A good summary of the results is this:

The results map is as follows:

As you can see, I combined the left parties into the NDP for the table. This is because the NDP, Radicals, and Pirates all ran on a co-endorsement deal, meaning none of the 3 parties ran against one another, and each party endorsed the candidates of the others.

A video recap can be found here:

Unfortunately the original livestream has been lost.

There are three possible coalitions that would command a majority. CPC-NDP. CPC-LIB. and NDP-LIB-PIR. The Radicals have already ruled out a coalition involving the Liberals.

As the strategist behind the Liberal campaign, I spent quite a lot of time on the election, and now that it is over will hopefully have more time to blog and do other things I enjoy.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


Iceland goes to the polls at the end of this month. I've done a post before looking at some history. I wanted to introduce the current situation.

This map shows the results of the last election and, thus, the current Parliament. As you can see my projection is included on the map, I will go into greater detail about it at the bottom of this post.

Iceland has a number of parties, and the turnover in new parties since the economic crisis has increased. The most recent government collapsed causing this snap election. Exactly why is a bit complicated as it's rooted in certain legal and civil procedures related to Icelandic culture. In short, the father of the Prime Minister supported a convicted pedophile in trying to clear his record. When revealed Bright Future withdrew from the Government, and a snap election was called as a result.

The parties are a bit complicated, so I will explain.

This is the current Government. They are generally right-wing and seen as conservative. They are one of the two historic largest parties. They are current suffering from the scandal listed above, but are still polling rather well.

This party was new and formed before the last election. They had been polling well, but this has changed since the snap election. The party was formed by defectors from Independence, and their main plank is supporting clean government.

Bright Future
The party has been polling rather poorly for the past while now, rendering their decision questionable politically; however the party's main plank is clean government, and in that context their decision does make sense.

In 2009 they were the jr partner in a Social Democrat lead coalition. The party is polling very well right now, and potentially can lead the next government. If so, I think this will be the first time a party so far to the left has lead a government in a nordic country.

This is your standard and default pirate party, that support an open internet, and copyright reform. The party is generally left but due to being a supposed "single issue" party, also has members on the right.

Formerly one of the two major parties, the party is Liberal, but has most of its support from Rural areas. It was their leader and then PM, Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, who was involved in with the Panama Papers scandal. Needless to say, he was removed as leader.

Social Democrats
This party won the 2009 election, and their leader, Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, became the first lesbian Prime Minister. Their inability to turn around the financial crisis lead to them suffering heavily in the polls in both 2013 and 2016. Policywise, they are a pretty standard social democratic party.

Peoples Party
This populist party is generally left, but as with all modern populist movements in 2017, has anti-immigration policies. Their main policy is to help the poor and disabled. The party ran in 2016, but did not meet the threshold.

Centre Party
The home of the return of our friend Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson. The TLDR version of this party, is a copy of the Progressives, and as such, it can be expected to split the vote with them. The party is brand new (as in it was formed 3 weeks ago) so its policies are not nailed down yet.

The polls suggest the following is a likely result (these are slightly different than shown on the map due to additional poll data being available now)

18 - Left-Greens
16 - Independence
7 - Pirates
7 - Social Democrats
6 - Populists
5 - Centre
4 - Progressives

Polls are very good for the Left-Greens, and they are increasing in the polls. If trends continue (and they probably will) the Left-Greens will be leading the government in all likelihood. Likely coalition partners include the Pirates and Social Democrats. The latter, in particular, lead a coalition with the Left-Greens from 2009-2012

Both Bright Future and Reform have been polling below the 5% threshold, and thus, are unlikely to return to Parliament at this term.

Sunday, October 8, 2017


The situation in Japan is finally stable enough to analyze.

Our last major look at Japan introduced some of the larger parties. Importantly, it introduced us to the fluid nature of politics in Japan.

Unfortunately, due to that, any introduction will not last more than one general election cycle. As such, lets get right down to business.

Government Coalition

Liberal Democratic Party
The LDP has been governing Japan nearly nonstop since the end of WW2. A small break of a year in 1993-1994 from government at the behest of an 7 party alliance was beat by an outright election loss in 2009 to the Democratic Party of Japan, which removed the LDP from government for a full 3 years. The party is generally Conservative in nature but has what we would consider a "red tory" philosophy on certain issues.

New Party Komeito
Oddly, the party is the "political wing" of the Soka Gakkai buddhist religion. The party has evolved over the decades and currently is generally conservative. Officially the party stands up for the "little guy" and it is known for various anti-corruption stances, but in the context of politics in modern japan, it is seen as a potentially permanent jr partner to the LDP.

Right Opposition

Evolving from the Democratic Party (different name in Japanese) this party recently decided to plunge into the right opposition coalition. The Democratic Party itself is a mish-mash of various old parties that manged to win in 1993. Of the 7 parties that formed a short lived coalition, 5 eventually joined into the Democrats in some form. That alliance, and the party, are the only forces to defeat the LDP since the end of WW2.

This is the successor to the Restoration party, a right-wing alternative started in 2012 by a Tokyo Governor. The party quickly grew popular in Osaka after merging with the mayor's party there. Osaka and Tokyo are among the largest urban areas in Japan, and contain many seats. The party remains popular in the Osaka region.

Party of Hope
Formed by current Tokyo governor, Yuriko Koike, the party has the support of Komeito on the Municipal level. Two thirds of the Democrats in Parliament have joined the party for this election, and the entire legal Democrat Party will be fighting under this banner

Left Opposition

Constitutional Democrats
This splinter group contains a third of the Democrats in Parliament. Many of them were rejected as being too 'left' wing for the Party of Hope, and others refused to work with a right-wing party. The party now finds itself in an working with other left parties due to its opposition to moves by the Prime Minister to increase the military.

Social Democratic Party
Once known as the Socialists, this party was the main opposition to the LDP for decades from the end of WW2 to the 1993 election. It, along with Komeito, were among the 7 parties to form a coalition government that year. The SDP however was able to work out a deal with the LDP that saw it head a coalition government from 1994 to 1996. The party has grown very small in recent years, and can only be expected to take a small handful of seats.

Japanese Communist Party
The JCP has been on the upswing in recent years due to moves by the Prime Minister to change the Constitution of Japan, as well as various trade and economic policies. The JCP now unofficially leads the left opposition coalition in the election and can be counted on to keep its two dozen or so seats, if not increase that number.

Current polls suggest the following:

300 - Gov
120 - Right
35 - Left
10 - Others

The main battle will be between Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister, and Yuriko Koike, the Governor of Tokyo. While Koike has rejected suggestions she will become the first female PM of Japan should her alliance win, she currently has momentum and is popular with the voters.

While the parties have shifted around quite a bit in the past few years, the general split between the government, the centre and right opposition and the left opposition has not. One of the LDP's key strengths is its ability to win single member seats. Japan uses a parallel proportional system where parties are assigned seats from the proportional list based on their vote totals. Should the LDP win 50% of the vote in any particular region, they will get 50% of the list seats, irregardless of if they've won every single member seat in that region or no single member seats in that region.

The Right has a possibility of causing problems due to support in the major cities, however it remains to be seen if this is enough to defeat the LDP.

Saturday, October 7, 2017


Austria goes to the polls on the 15th. In past decades, Austria has had very routine and boring politics. After WW2 an "all party coalition" was formed between the OVP (the Conservatives), the SPO (the Socialists) and the KPO (the Communists). After dropping the Communists from this arrangement, the OVP-SPO kept in coalition until 1966, when the OVP formed a single party government, which was replaced by a single party SPO government in 1970 which ran until 1983.

At that time the Socialists decided to coalition with the FPO, or Freedom Party. At the time the FPO was more centrist and Liberal, however Jorg Haider rose up in the party and turned the FPO into a vehicle for nationalism.

Finally, in 1986, the coalition was restored, and was maintained until 1999, when OVP formed a coalition with FPO. While Haider himself was not included in government, EU countries imposed some sanctions on Austria. When it became clear FPO was not a threat to democracy, those sanctions were lifted.

In 2006 the traditional SPO-OVP coalition was restored, and has been governing austria since.

In the last election, in 2013, the SPO took 52 of the 183 seats, compared to 47 for the OVP and 40 for the FPO.

Until this spring, polls indicated the FPO on course for victory with the SPO in second, however the election of a new OVP leader over the summer, Sebastian Kurz, has changed that. Polls have shown a very consistent and nearly flat line for the OVP at 33% support, ahead of the SPO at 23% and FPO at 25%.

OVP - Austrian Peoples Party.
This is the "Conservative" party in Austria and has strong christian democratic roots, it is often compared to the CDU in Germany. It is a moderate right party with a long history in government and is expected to win the election.

SPO - Socialist Party of Austria
This is Austria's answer to Germany's SPD. It is the main left-wing party in the country and is currently leading the government. Polls indicate it will do poorly, perhaps even finishing third overall.

FPO - Freedom Party of Austria
This party has become more anti-immigration and anti-islam over the years and now presents an extreme viewpoint on the issue. It is in line with people like Marine Le Pen and far exceeds Donald Trump on opposing immigration.

The current President of Austria was Green leader for many years, but the party has fallen on rough times as one of its members has quit to create a splinter party. This party is like any other common 'default' Green party that can be found in Europe

Peter Pilz List
Started by a former Green, this party focuses on corruption issues and democratic reform. Its main planks are support for transparency and opposition to unethical behavior.

NEOS - New Austria Liberal Forum
This party polled well in 2014 but has since fallen in the polls and is now at or near 5% as are the two other "smaller" parties in Austria at the current time. They are a Liberal and pro-europe party.

Current polls, which are mostly stable, suggest the following result:

63 - OVP
50 - FPO
43 - SPO
9 - Green
9 - Pilz
9 - NEOS

It is unknown, however, if OVP will chose FPO or SPO for their coalition partner, as both comes with their own risks.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Catalonia developments

The recent referendum is reported to have been a massively oversized landslide for the yes side, on roughly 40% turnout. This matches the previous referendum 3 years ago.

I recommend following the BBC which has semi-regular updates on the situation.

In short, Catalan leaders have indicated they will declare independence, but Spain insists they will not recognize such a move. Europe is to debate this, but some countries have already come down on the side of Spain such as Ireland.

Italy faces its own separatists who seem emboldened by this, and the reactions of governments like the UK may cause flair ups in Scotland, for example. The political reality means the EU is unlikely to back this drive for Independence at this time.


I'm very eager to start writing about Iceland and Japan but the situation in both countries remains chaotic with new parties being formed and not many polls showing how well said parties are doing. As such I will wait until the situation calms down before doing my intro.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Singh first round victory

As mentioned in my post earlier today, the best result for the NDP was a first round victory. Singh, unlike Angus, does not have a seat, but with 55% of the party behind him on the first ballot, it puts significant energy behind the NDP and makes for a strong star for Jagmeet Singh as leader.

Update - October

Catalonia is "voting" today; at least where the police are not smashing down doors to grab ballot boxes. It's safe to say regardless of the result, few will view it as legitimate.

The NDP is voting as well. Mathematically, given the controversial stances of some candidates, the best result for the NDP may be 33.4% of the vote for both Angus and Singh, and 16.6% for Ashton and Caron. Don't get me wrong, I like Caron and would be tempted to vote NDP if he were leader, but I don't think he is appealing to the wider party, and Ashton turns people away due to her far left stances. If both were dropped on this ballot and the race became head to head between Singh and Angus, I think it would serve the NDP well.

There are a number of elections that I simply won't be following. Portugal's municipal elections today, for example, or the local and regional votes and referenda in Luxembourg, Austria, Venezuela, Italy, Kosovo, and the Philippines. It is also unlikely I will follow national elections in Liberia, Kyrgyzstan, Slovenia, or Kenya, mostly due to them either having unstable democracies, or, being for positions without much real power.

On the 15th Austria votes in Parliamentary elections. The Conservatives appear set for a win, with their new leadership being rather popular. They've pushed both the Socialists and the Nationalists down in the polls. Austria has a strong and long history of Conservative-Socialist coalition government, and that is likely to continue.

On the same day is regional (AKA provincial) elections in Lower Saxony in Germany, where electors will send members to the legislature in Hanover. In the federal election, the CDU took 35%, and the Greens 9%. Both parties are polling at the same numbers provincially, but Die Linke took 7% federally and is only at 5% at the state level, while the FDP took 9% and is at 8%. AfD, which I'm keeping an eye on was at 9% but is polling at 6%. The big gain is for the SPD which only took 27% of the vote here last week, but is sitting on 34% of the vote for the Landtag.

Czechia, formerly known as the Czech Republic, votes on the 20th and 21st. ANO2011 is the leading party in the polls. The party is interesting as it is probably the closest analogy to the Liberal Party of Canada in the world, being big-tent, pragmatic, and willing to use working ideas from across the spectrum.

On the 22nd is the election in Japan, which is still fluid. I've decided to report the entire alliance which the opposition Democrats is participating in as DP, or the Democratic Party. While not entirely accurate, it helps with understanding and simplicity. I've also gone over some historic results to help me understand the results of this coming election, as such I have a projection update:

245 LDP
30 NKP
265 GOV

150 DP
25 JCP
15 OTH

While this still gives the LDP a majority of their own, the DP becomes a very strong opposition force and one that will need to be dealt with properly if the LDP plans to continue winning elections. Part of the reason the DP has gained so much since my last projection is the system Japan uses, Parallel. A 5% change in vote will only gain you 5% of those proportional seats. The DP's alliance partner has done very well in Tokyo and I project 20 'ridings' that they can win, hence the sudden jump. Add to that the new poll that shows the DP at 18% "approval" (which translates into around 38% at the polls) and you begin to see where the remainder of the gain comes from.

On the same day is elections in Argentina. I'm not certain I'll cover these fully. Argentina is still a somewhat "new" democracy, only a few decades of stable democratic rule, and its parties are still somewhat fluid making a quality analysis difficult. Additionally, many countries that do not speak english have data that is hard to find; while in cases like Japan I can reference history to help me understand things, with newer democracies this is all the more difficult.

Lastly on the 28th is the election in Iceland which I plan to do a full post about in the coming days.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Update - Catalonia, Kurdistan, and more

The Spanish Government is moving to block the referendum in Catalonia.

Iraqi Kurdistan voted heavily for independence, as expected, but Iraq is rejecting the results, as are Turkey and Iran. More to come.

Iceland will get its own update. Election on the 28th. The old Prime Minister (the Progressive one, tossed for corruption, not the most recent one) is trying to start his own party. The current government is sitting on a potential 15 seats in the polls as are the left-greens. The Pirates are closer to 7 as are the Progressives, while the Peoples Party are on 6, the Socialists are on 5, Reform is on 3, and Bright Future is on 2.

Japan is in a state of flux. They got o the polls on the 22nd. I'll do a far more detailed post once news becomes more clear.

And lastly, fictional CMHoC, which I've mentioned before, is also holding a snap election; a great time to join and campaign for your fav party.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Shake up in Japan

As reported earlier, Japan is headed to the polls.

What's suddenly changed is not only the creation of a new Tokyo based party, but it's merger with the Democratic Party.

This has the potential to make a large change to my earlier projection, and as such, I present an updated projection:

265 LDP
35 NKP
300 GOV

115 KnT
25 IO
25 JCP
10 OTH

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

German election results maps and data

Having some writers block as of late, but I thought I would share the maps I've made showing some data. Interesting numbers between West and East germany.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Japan calls snap election

Shinzo Abe has called a snap election.

current projection:

295 LDP
35 NKP
330 GOV

70 DP
30 IO
30 JCP
15 OTH

More to come, as always.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

German Election

Sorry for the late post, the NZ election has a way of ruining a sleep schedule.

seems to be a good english livestream.

My last minute projection is as such:

224 - CDU
131 - SPD
76 - AfD
60 - FPD
58 - LNK
49 - GRN

95% chance of a grand coalition (CDU/SPD) and 5% of a Jamaica coalition (CDU/FPD/GRN)

Saturday, September 23, 2017

NZ election results

Counting continues, and NZ is infamous for taking forever to count. Final results, in fact, will not be in for nearly a month! Unlike political parties in Canada, of the UK elections agency, any postal ballots only need to be sent by, not received by, the date of the election.

As such, my post that explains the results in greater detail will be a few days away.

However, the results we have are somewhat clear.

At current, expected seats are as follows:

58 - National
45 - Labour
9 - NZ First
7 - Green
1 - ACT
0 - Maori

National has clearly won the election, but the coalitions are not yet formed and Labour could still find a way in to government.

Chances are, however, that Winston Peters of NZ First will choose to go with National; but will leverage the possibility of going with Labour to get the best deal possible.

Friday, September 22, 2017

New Zealand - What to expect

Exactly 24 hours from now we should be getting a good idea of what the new government will look like as the results come in. What kind of results can we expect?

The most recent polls show Labour falling behind. It is unclear if this is simply due to the margin of error, or a swing back to National. Due to the general lack of polling it is difficult to tell what kind of results are most likely.

My current projection is as follows.

53 - National
48 - Labour
9 - New Zealand First
8 - Green
2 - Maori
1 - ACT

121 seats; 1 overhang.

It is likely that National and New Zealand First would form a government in this scenario.

Keep in mind that we could still see a 10 seat variance on either of the top two parties, and it is, in fact, possible for New Zealand First, or the Greens, to take 0 seats due to failing to meet the threshold.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Friday, September 15, 2017

Emergency Update - Europe

There are enough small stories going on in Europe I decided for an emergency update.

First off, more of a public service announcement, the UK terror level has been raised. Trump has tweeted about related events, and May has attacked him for it (as usual) but this does have the potential to change views politically.

A politician in Sweden was raped for being a leftist. The details of his attack are outlined in the article. It's very very rare to hear about something like this, and hopefully it remains that way.

The government in Iceland has collapsed. It fell apart due to accusations of pedophilia and links to the Prime Minister through his father's support of a convict.

And the Spanish government is making threats to take over effective operation of one of its states, Catalonia, which wants Independence.

Not Europe, but in the neighbourhood, Iraqi Kurdistan will vote on Independence. It is always difficult to get news from non-english nations. Lebanon, for example, was supposed to have an election this year, but, just, didn't. Details on the election being called, and on it being cancelled, are scant at best; so confirmation of a poll (like this article) is always great.

I'll be reporting on the latter of these 5 when the vote occurs on the 25th and results come in, and almost certainly will cover the Spanish situation as well. Given previous coverage of Iceland, its safe to say I will also be covering any election in that nation.