Monday, December 26, 2016

26DEC2016 - Updates

Still no government (sigh)
The most recent news is the Progressives are trying to cobble one together; they are the scandal ridden former government heads who were resoundingly voted out.

New Zealand
Still no new polls, but a poll taken during the resignation suggests national may be down slightly, perhaps, after everything is taken into account, down from an average of near 47 to closer to 43.

At Home (Canada)
The Liberals have lost quite a few points in recent polling, but are still polling ahead of their election performance.

Things have not generally turned to violence, so that's good, but things are still chaotic. Looks like the entire election hinges on a single polling booth that had a re-vote, and has yet to be counted.

Turks and Caicos
December 15th election, opposition has won, and is forming a new government.

Ivory Coast
Existing government re-elected handedly, taking 50%+1 of the vote compared to the largest opposition party, which took 5.8%.

Future elections to look to
Western Australia in March
British Columbia in May
And Nationally;
Netherlands in March
France in April

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Crossbenchers Assemble

Today the Senate announced the reaction of an Independent Senate Group, in effect, a crossbencher club within the Senate. You can read more about it here.

I'm not going to talk in detail about it, because, in part, I've mentioned this sort of thing, in drips and drabs, before.

However, I did want to update the "Senate Graphic" I use. Note that the ISG is in lighter greys while the Senators remaining "Independent" are darker. I've still shaded them by political leaning however.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

2016 will be known for it's faithless electors.

When states like New Hampshire, Georgia, and Vermont produced results showing 0 faithless electors, it started to look like 2016 would be known as the year everyone worried about them, but that none showed up to vote.

In the end, there were numerous cases.

In Maine, Colorado, and Minnesota, one elector each tried to cast a a faithless ballot, but they were overturned in each state, and either replaced, or forced to cast a ballot that matches their states popular vote totals.

Washington cast 4 faithless ballots.

Texas cast two.

and Hawaii cast 1.

With a total of 7 faithless electors, from 3 states, and an attempt by 3 others, from 3, states, to join them, this clearly becomes "the" election of faithless electors. All previous faithless electors either had 'good reason', such as the death of a candidate, had their ballots cast under different circumstances, or were one-offs and aberrations in their elections.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Final Tally looking 305 Trump, 228 Clinton, 3 Powell, 1 Kasich, 1 Spotted Eagle

Voting continues, but we have a good idea of the final results. Trump has already won the 270 he needs, but there are other 'winners' as well.

Colin Powell is the surprise 'winner', taking 3 votes from Washington.

John Kasich is also a winner, taking the expected single vote from Texas.
Or possibly;
The John Kasich vote expected from Texas never materialized.
Texas is the state that put Trump over the top; without it, he would have failed to take a majority, and would have been left with 268 votes. 

But the surprise winner is Faith Spotted Eagle. You can see a video of her here from CNN.

As far as I know she's the first native person to win an electoral vote in US history.

There still could be faithless electors from states yet to declare such as California, Nevada, Hawaii, or the District of Columbia; which voted earlier but has yet to publish results. Even if all of them, and, the electors from Texas, voted for the same person, they would be unable to overtake Clinton. As well, if even 2 Texas electors vote for Trump (all signs are at least 37 will) it's all over, and Trump is the winner.

All of these votes will need to be read and certified in Congress, of course, but it's terribly unlikely that what was put into the envelope in the state capitol and what's read in Congress will be different.

Current map is as follows:

Electoral Vote rolls in

Just a quick update and current map.

In short, this mass of faithless electors has not appeared. I'm expecting a grand total of 2, possibly 3 by the end of the day, if that many.

You can watch "live" as the results come in here, at 270 to win.

The most interesting will be the texas vote. This should be where the livestream is. Not only will it put Trump over the top, but there's an expected faithless elector.

19DEC2016 - Elector Day

Today is the day electors from the US electoral college cast their ballots. Normally this day passes without notice, so I don't really have past memory of how all this goes. Theoretically the electors submit 6 envelopes. 1 to Congress, 1 as a backup to Congress, 1 as a backup to the backup, 1 to the State's Secretary of State (Who normally administers elections), 1 as a backup, and 1 to a local judge.

It's unclear when these are opened.
It's unclear if electors can, or should, talk about the results.

As such its quite possible that by the end of the day today we won't have any idea of how the electoral college voted.

Still no government

New Zealand:
No new polls since Key quit and English took over. I'll keep you updated when new stuff rolls in.

The elections have produced a near tie, and things are getting messy. I'll update when things become a bit more coherent.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Rural vs Urban

Statscan has a great table showing the rural VS urban split here in Ontario.

There's a problem with it though, it does not reflect "feeling".

That might sound stupid, or silly, but I think it's something we overlook when it comes to politics.

Statscan defines "urban" as anyone living in a population centre with over 1,000 people, and, anyone living outside these areas but in an area with over 400 persons per square kilometer.

This means the nearby settlement to me, of Wyevale, seen here on google maps, is an "urban area"

It's difficult to try to figure out exactly how many people live in areas above or below a certain point. Consider that even Toronto has farms within it's municipal limits.

I have tried to estimate levels of "feeling" in the various ridings in Ontario. I caution these are personal guesstimates, and there are no hard facts and figures. Red means fully Urban while a darker Green indicates fully Rural. Lighter shades indicate a slightly mixed feeling with one side favoured, while Orange/Yellow indicates a roughly equal mix of the two.

Again, no hard numbers, but from this, I would estimate that a good 40%-45% of Ontarians consider themselves to be "Rural", regardless of what the official statistics say.

This is one reason why "rural" arguments impact. You are not talking to the farmers who live between Goderich and Kincardine, you are talking to people who live in Stratford. Your arguments aren't only for those in Port Milford, they are for those in Cornwall.

In general, and it's not an exact science, and there are always nuances, but you can assume that a third of more of those people listed in the "urban" section would self-describe as "rural".

Using this formula, Ontario is 42.7% rural. Quebec is 46% rural, Alberta is 45%, BC is 42.6%,  and the closest to the borderline is Manitoba at 51% rural, with all other provinces showing up as more "Rural" than Urban using this formula, with PEI being the most "Rural" at 69%, which, having lived there, seems low.

I think that, in general, feeling is important to keep in mind. If you "feel" poor, arguments designed for the poor will impact you. If you "feel" ignored, arguments designed for the ignored will resonate. Even if the statistics say that you are not poor, or ignored, if you "feel" you are, these political arguments will have sway with you.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Electoral College Day - December 19th

A week from today, the Electoral College will select the next President of the United States. As you know, I've been trying to keep a map that details the current standings.

Currently there are 7 electors who, in some form, say they will become faithless. That is, vote for someone who did not win the popular vote in their state or district. Of those, in all likelihood, there's a very good chance that half or more will not act as claimed. They may vote for the person they were elected to vote for, or, they may simply abstain. Despite that, these electors have unofficially indicated their support for John Kasich.

Most of them are Democrats. The thinking is that by committing to vote for a "moderate" Republican, they can entice Republican electors into doing the same. Should no one candidate get 269 votes in the electoral college, the House of Representatives will have to pick from the top three candidates. These electors feel that should Trump be on the ballot facing a moderate Republican, that the Democrats in Congress will vote tactically for that moderate, and, that enough Republicans can be swayed to do the same, that Trump can be blocked from becoming President.

Legally this plan is sound. Strategically it's flawed.

I've taken every last rumor of any electors being even slightly irked and have developed this "Worst" case scenario map:

As you can see, there are many changes to the results as they were cast by the voters.

Two things to note from this map.

First, even with this most extreme of circumstances, Trump would be elected President by a majority of the Electoral College.

Second, a heck of a lot of stretching has to happen for this to even become possible. At absolute maximum, I've heard of 3 texan electors who are unhappy. Of those, 1 has said nothing in a while. 1 has resigned and been replaced with a pro-Trump elector. And the last is part of the group I spoke of above. To take 1 confirmed elector and expand it to 9 is lunacy, yet that's how far I need to go to make this map even possible.

Note as well that for this to happen Kasich would need to sway strong Pence voters from Indiana, who have shown 0 sign of any desire to switch. As well he'd need to tap into supposed discontent within Michigan, Iowa, and Georgia. Again, all these reports were "iffy" at best. Lastly, he'd need to sweep Ohio, which will be difficult to do when he is explicitly telling people to knock this nonsense off.

I even had to make similar sized assumptions for the Democrats. Minnesota in particular has lost 2 electors, not due to any rumors, but because "That's the sort of thing Minnesota would do." - very weak grounds for suggesting such an unprecedented change in electors. Outside of New Hampshire, which seems united in it's desire to flip the result, only one Democratic elector from RI, and one from Maryland, seem committed to this. Meanwhile, 3 electors, total, in Washington are debating doing 'something' but that 'something' may include voting for Bernie Sanders, or, as mentioned above, abstaining.

Regardless, I present the above map as a "possibility" alongside Justin Trudeau announcing that he has secretly been Frank McKenna all along, and Gerry Adams being installed as the new King of England.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Somalia and Twitter

Just now I posted a "twitter thread" that you can read here.

It started with a tweet from CNN's Breaking News that read

The death toll from a car bomb in Mogadishu, Somalia, has risen to at least 20 people, an official says.

I said that was good news and explained why. I'll post the thread here.

despite the deaths, this sort of news story is great news, and I'll explain why in this thread
next I tweeted

Somalia has, for years, been a den of anarchy and fighting. In ~2014 the state started to stabilize.

last year my prediction for this year was that Somalia would become a far more stable, recognizable, and normal state

that seems, for the most part, to have happened. Replace Mogadishu in this tweet with any other city, and it still works.

Previously, a car bombing in an area of anarchy where no country has rule wouldn't be tweet worthy, nobody would notice in the larger world

Now, not only is this pushed to the front, but "officials" are making comment. It's simple but there's someone there to BE an official.

And while I hope this is the last car bombing I ever read about from Mogadishu, I truly hope to see Somalia continue its recovery.

The more news stories I see out of Somalia that 'could happen anywhere' the better. Somalia; my hopes are with you.

In effect, it's a mini blog.
I wanted to give all my readers a heads up; that one of the best ways to keep up with my thoughts is through twitter.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Ghana Election

Elections were held this week in Ghana.

The NPP's Akufo-Addo Dankwa, after two unsuccessful runs at the top job, now appears set to take the Presidency, from incumbent John Mahama of the NDC.

Dankwa leads with 54.7% of the vote, compared to Mahama's 43.6%.

In Parliament, the NPP is winning 119 seats, with the NDC sitting on 65. Both parties have won at least one seat in every province, though most provinces vote heavily for one party or the other. Ashanti, for example, currently is returning 25 NPP seats, to 3 for the NDC, while Volta is returning only a single NPP member, but 15 for the NDC. 91 seats have yet to declare, but all signs point to an NPP victory.

Some background.

The NDC is a left-wing party that is a member of Socialist International. They use Green as their colour, and their symbol is an umbrella with an eagle head on top; the logo has the colours Green, White, Red, and Black.

The NPP is a right-wing party that is a member of the IDC; the same organization of the Conservative Party of Canada. They use Blue as their colour, and their symbol is a flag that is Red, White, and Blue, with a Blue elephant in the centre.

The current democratic history of Ghana started in 1992.

Ghana achieved independence from the UK in 1960. Kwame Nkrumah became President and had a controversial rule. To skip a lot of somewhat repetitive history, between 1960 and 1992, a series of civilian and military dictatorships ruled the country, alternating between the armed forces, and various incarnations of Nkumah's party. Finally, in 1992, Ghana was faced with a free democratic election.

It is a sad reality that in much of sub-saharan africa, free democratic elections will only happen a few times in a row, before a dictator settles in. In the cases where this does not happen, the democratically elected government does terrible things, south as in South Africa. As such, I personally have a lot of respect and interest in Ghana for it's ability to foster a spirit of political stability in a region where this is uncommon.

In 1992, Jerry Rawlings, the candidate from the NDC, won the Presidential election. Observers said the election was free and fair, but the NPP claimed otherwise. The margin of victory was approximately 60%-30%. After the Presidential ballot, the NPP boycotted the Parliamentary vote, and all seats were won by the NDC's lead alliance.

Rather than use this term to install a new dictatorship, the NDC made changes to the electoral act that had been demanded by the NPP.

1996 saw the Rawlings re-elected over NPP candidate John Kufuor with 57% compared to 40%. In Parliament the NDC took 133 seats, compared to 61 for the NPP, and 6 for all other parties combined.

2000 saw the first peaceful transition of power from one elected government to another in the history of Ghana. In the first round, Kufuor took 48% of the vote to NDC candidate John Atta Mills' 45%. The second round produced a victory for John Kufuor, 57% to 43%. The NPP won 99 Parliamentary seats to the NDC's 92, with 9 seats being held by others.

2004 saw Kufuor re-elected over Mills, 52% to 45%, and the NPP win an outright majority in Parliament of 128 seats to the 94 won by the NDC and the 8 won by other parties.

2008 saw power change again as Mills took 48% in the first round compared to Addo's 49%, and Mills beat Akufo-Addo in the final round 50.2% to 49.8%. The NDC also won Parliament with 116 seats compared to the NPP's 107, and 7 for the other parties. Despite this, the NDC won fewer votes in the Parliamentary election.

If there was any one time to put democracy in Ghana in danger, this wast it. The NPP had won more votes for Parliament, and had lost the Presidential election by 40K votes with over 9M cast. Beyond that, polls suggested they were headed for a victory, and they were the sitting government. Despite this, the NPP accepted the result, and power was handed over.

Mills would die in office in the summer of 2012. John Mahama would take over the Presidency.

In the 2012 elections, Mahama won a narrow first round victory of 50.7% over  Akufo-Addo's 47.7%. Parliament also gave the NDC a win with 148 seats, to the NPP's 123, and 5 for all others.

This election marks a return to power for the NPP, and the 3rd peaceful handover of power in Ghana's history.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

PEI polls

I recently responded to a tweet regarding some headlines over recent polls in PEI by saying that both headline options - one saying the Liberals maintain their lead, the other saying they've dropped significantly, are useless. Since twitter has a very limited amount of space in which to make an argument, I wanted to do so here.

The answer is simple really. The Greens are doing extraordinarily well.

I want to start by contrasting the current Green numbers with NDP numbers from the past.

Now I have access to polls going back to 2006. I also lived in PEI and ran for the PEI NDP in the 2003 provincial election. I therefore have a good idea of what sorts of things polls said prior to 2006. In short, taking over 20% of the vote in a poll was rare for a party like the NDP, and while it did happen, it was both difficult to sustain, and short term.

The best poll numbers for the PEI NDP came between 1995 and 2000, starting with the Liberal decision to cut back on the wages of government workers, and ending with the loss of the NDP's only seat in the legislature.

The second period of strong NDP numbers came during the PC Party's troubles, as I noted in a blogpost I wrote over on Blunt Objects.

During this period the PEI NDP rose as high as 32% in the polls, mostly fueled by dissatisfaction with the PC Party. Once PC numbers recovered, the NDP dropped back down below 20%.

More context is that the NDP has formed governments in Nova Scotia, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia, as well as the Yukon Territory. Outside of these areas, the NDP has managed, to form the official opposition Federally, to obtain 3rd party status in New Brunswick, and Newfoundland, and to elect members to the legislature in Quebec, as the CCF.

Lastly, the NDP's member in PEI's legislature, Herb Dickieson, did indeed reach 3rd party status. He was also fairly popular island wide, and managed to take 38.4%, and 37.5% in his riding in 1996 and 2000 respectively, winning in 1996 and losing in 2000.

Now compare this to the PEI Greens.

The party's only member of the legislature is Peter Bevan-Baker. He's not yet been tested for re-election, and currently sits as the MLA.

In 2015, when he won his seat, he won with 54.8% of the vote. He is popular province-wide. He holds status as the 3rd party on PEI.

The Greens currently have single MLAs in New Brunswick, and BC, and serve as the 3rd party in both. The Greens also have a single federal MP, and have had up to two MPs at one time if counting defections.

Prior to the most recent poll, the highest the Greens ever reached was 16%, polled this past May. The party was only registered in 2006, and has no PEI polling history prior to this.

Taking both into perspective, we have a party that can and does win across Canada, VS one without such a history. We have a party that's proven it's unable to keep up momentum within PEI, VS one that has yet to prove this. We have a party with a popular leader who was defeated by the vote splits in his own riding, VS a party with a popular leader who won his riding by a majority. We also have a party that's currently 5th in the House of Commons, VS and NDP, which, during their 'bump' in 2013, were serving as the Federal Official Opposition.

In short, the Green 22% is far more significant than the NDP's 32% in August of 2013, and yet, in August of 2013, that was what the news was.

PC and Liberal support has jumped and fallen at various points over time without any long-term lasting implications. Sure, one party may overtake the other for first, but both parties seem to have a floor that is close to the ceiling of the smaller parties. Most people in PEI today expect that if the Liberals lose the next election, it will be to the PC Party.

The only notable thing about this poll is what it says about the Green Party. None of the rest of it really matters. "Liberals maintain lead" and "Liberals suffer largest recorded* drop" are equal in weight, and making only one your headline is just plain silly

*recorded on the polls below

Below is a full list of all CRA polls that I've been able to find.

Date - Lib - PC - NDP - Grn
Nov 2016 - 46 - 25 - 7 - 22
Aug 2016 - 64 - 19 - 8 - 9
May 2016 - 58 - 20 - 7 - 16
Feb 2016 - 61 - 19 - 9 - 11
Nov 2015 - 61 - 18 - 9 - 11
Aug 2015 - 46 - 22 - 18 - 14
Apr 2015 - 44 - 35 - 15 - 6
Feb 2015 - 58 - 26 - 12 - 4
Nov 2014 - 50 - 23 - 15 - 11
Aug 2014 - 48 - 26 - 16 - 7
May 2014 - 53 - 23 - 21 - 3
Feb 2014 - 53 - 17 - 22 - 7
Nov 2013 - 49 - 17 - 26 - 7
Aug 2013 - 42 - 23 - 32 - 3
May 2013 - 52 - 22 - 21 - 5
Feb 2013 - 51 - 16 - 26 - 7
Nov 2012 - 45 - 28 - 22 - 5
Aug 2012 - 42 - 32 - 18 - 8
May 2012 - 47 - 26 - 18 - 8
Feb 2012 - 50 - 33 - 11 - 5
Nov 2011 - 53 - 34 - 9 - 4
Aug 2011 - 59 - 31 - 7 - 3
May 2011 - 51 - 35 - 13 - 2
Feb 2011 - 62 - 25 - 11 - 2
Nov 2010 - 53 - 34 - 4 - 8
Aug 2010 - 61 - 30 - 6 - 2
May 2010 - 61 - 27 - 8 - 3
Feb 2010 - 64 - 26 - 6 - 4
Nov 2009 - 57 - 31 - 9 - 3
Aug 2009 - 62 - 27 - 6 - 5
May 2009 - 57 - 32 - 7 - 4
Feb 2009 - 64 - 28 - 6 - 2
Nov 2008 - 55 - 31 - 8 - 5
Aug 2008 - 63 - 25 - 6 - 6
May 2008 - 61 - 27 - 7 - 4
Feb 2008 - 68 - 22 - 6 - 4
Nov 2007 - 65 - 25 - 5 - 5
Aug 2007 - 64 - 25 - 7 - 3
May 2007 - 52 - 42 - 3 - 4
Feb 2007 - 44 - 48 - 6 - 2
Nov 2006 - 45 - 43 - 8 - 4
Aug 2006 - 48 - 44 - 7 - 1
May 2006 - 46 - 44 - 8 - 2
Feb 2006 - 41 - 51 - 4 - 3

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

06DEC2016 - Update

An election in Italy is looking unlikely in the short term.

Iceland is still deciding on a government.

The US has an interesting development though.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

04DEC2016 - Updates

Austria has voted for Van der Bellen, the Green, as President.
Italy meanwhile voted No on it's referendum, and the Prime Minister has resigned. There is not yet an official call for an election, but it's expected to occur.

And breaking, within the last few minutes, John Key has resigned as the Prime Minister of New Zealand. Bill English will take over. English is perhaps best known for leading the governing National party to it's worst defeat ever in 2002. I'll add New Zealand to the countries to watch list, as, this changes everything.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

03DEC2016 Update - Austria and Italy

A housekeeping note. These "update" posts are due to the nature of politics in the off season. There are frequently many little stories VS fewer bigger stories which is more common in the spring or the fall.


Austria has been trying to elect a President for most of the year. Austria elects its President with a nationwide vote in a two-round system where the top two candidates continue to the final round. Austria uses a Parliamentary system, however, and the President has limited powers.

From 1951 to 1974, the Presidential elections all saw the main two parties, the Social Democrats and the Peoples Party, have their candidates make it to the run off, or, win in the first round. This includes times when people backed by one of the parties ran officially as an Independent. In 1980, both parties backed the same person, who won on the first round.

This trend would continue, with various footnotes and 'kinda' and 'sorta' qualifications until and including 2010.

2016, as it so often does, shattered the norm. The Social Democratic candidate finished 4th, and the candidate from the Peoples Party, behind him in 5th. The top two candidates were an Independent backed by the Greens, Alexander Van der Bellen, and a member of the Freedom Party, Norbert Hofer. The Freedom Party may be familiar, as it's one of Europe's "far right" parties that has tried to moderate it's viewpoints. The first round saw Hofer beat Van der Bellen by 35.1% to 21.3%, while Irmgard Griss, an Independent who was formerly on the supreme court, took 18.9% and finished 3rd.

This was in April and in May a 2nd round was held. On election night, counting showed a very close race, with both candidates taking over 49.5% of the vote. Hofer lead all night. When postal ballots were counted, however, Van der Bellen was declared the winner, having won 50.3% to 49.7%, a margin of victory of under 31,000 from a total of near 4.5 million ballots cast.

The Freedom Party brought an appeal to court, claiming irregularities such as opening ballot boxes (to count the ballots) prior to the closing of polls, and having ballots being handled by those not authorized. The court found that over 77K votes had irregularities, and since that was greater than the victory margin, cancelled the result, forcing a new election.

Elections were then set for the 2nd of October, however, problems with the glue on postal votes, caused another delay.

Finally we get to tomorrow, December 4th, where the vote will be taken again.

Most polls taken within the past month show Hofer with a very slight lead, but the most recent poll shows Van der Bellen with a very slight lead.

My personal money is on Hofer edging out a victory.


Since Austria's president has limited powers, a more impactful election might be considered the events in next door neighbour, Italy.

A referendum on the constitution is to be held.

Some background on Italy.

After WW2 three main parties formed to contest elections. The Christian Democrats, the Communists, and the Socialists. Italy's communist party was seen as, by far, the most pro-soviet of the "western" Communist parties, with leaders that continued to praise Stalin years after his crimes had come to light.

while there were elections in 1946, Europe was generally in chaos at the time. Thus, the 1948 election may be the first you can consider truly to have seen the sort of political considerations we can relate to. In that election the Christian Democrats (DC) took  48.5% of the vote while a united front of Communists and Socialists took 31%. Due to the use of regional lists, and effective thresholds, DC won a majority, as well as a majority in the Senate. Despite this, they governed in coalition with a few other centrist parties. The 1953 elections would see DC take 40.1%, the Communists (PCI) take 22.6%, and the Socialists (PSI) take 12.7%. This general trend continued throughout the entire cold war. In 1987 DC took 34.3%, PCI took 26.6%, and PSI took 14.3%.

1992 saw a shift. DC taking 29.7%, PCI's successor party taking 16.1%, and PSI taking 13.6%. Notable is that Lega Nord, a semi-separatist party that has been accused of far-right tendencies, took over 8% of the vote.
Everything changed during the period known as Mani Pulite. The long and the short of it was that corruption accusations and investigations caused all the major parties to disintegrate. As a result, the next election was fought between alliances of parties and not parties. As well the electoral system was changed so that 3/4ths of seats were now elected using FPTP.

In 1994, the alliance lead by Silvio Berlusconi beat the alliance of left-wing parties to form a government. While defeated in 1996, Berlusconi returned in 2001. While in office a new electoral system was designed that guaranteed the winning alliance 55% of the seats, regardless of the number of votes they took. As such, the 2006 election saw Berlusconi lose and his opponents take a majority. In 2008, Berlusconi was able to return, winning a majority due to the electoral system.

2013 saw perhaps the most egregious result of this electoral formula. The winning alliance took 29.5% of the vote, but, 55% of the seats in the house. This meant that parties like the South Tyrolean People's Party, a small regional party with 0.43% of the vote, elected 5 members. Important was that 2013 saw the rise of M5S, a new party that is very difficult to classify. Italy has it's own unique politics, and M5S fits into that grid, and as such, it's difficult to understand from outside the system. While it has right-wing tendencies, it's most known for it's stances towards "degrowth".

After the court found part of the election law unconstitutional, a new election method was drawn up. Part of this referendum focuses on getting the courts to review the new law and certify it as constitutional, or throw it out, and not to wait after a series of elections to do so.

The new election law will divide the countries into a number of proportional electoral districts. Parties passing a 3% threshold nationwide are able to elect members in these districts. In reality, however, unless a party is regional in nature, these districts will put an effective threshold of closer 10%.

Should a party be able to win 40% of the vote nationwide, it will qualify for the majority bonus, and be given 54% of the total seats. If no party achieves the 40% mark, the top two parties are subject to a nationwide runoff where voters choose which of the two they want to obtain a majority.

The new constitutional proposals would also see the Senate weakened, as well as other various changes.

These reforms are opposed by M5S, as well as both Forza Italia, Berlusconi's Party, and Lega Nord, Berlusconi's main ally.

Polls suggest the referendum is headed for a defeat, and the Prime Minister has suggested that if this happens there will be snap elections.

Friday, December 2, 2016

02DEC2016 Update

The Tories (or rather an Independent-Tory) lost an important by-election in the UK today. It's significance is that remain voters decided to back the Liberal Democrats. As such I've updated my projection for the next election:

345 - Tories
200 - Labour
50 - SNP
30 - LibDem
25 - Others

Tomorrow I will be posting more on some important upcoming elections in european nations.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

29NOV2016 Updates and Thoughts


There are 4 main pipeline proposals to get Alberta oil to customers. 1 of them has just been nixed, while 2 have been approved.

Keystone, the "south" route, ends on the Gulf of Mexico. Since the political impact of that pipeline would mostly happen in the US, and the US has approval power over the line, I will skip it.

Northern Gateway, the "north" route, ends on the north coast of BC. It's highly controversial as it travels through environmentally sensitive land. This is the pipeline that Trudeau has nixed.

Line 3, the "east" route, ends at the Great Lakes. It runs through many unpopulated areas and is less controversial. It does technically end in the United States.

Trans Mountain, the "west" route, ends in Vancouver. This pipeline already exists, but this plan would see it expanded greatly. It is unpopular in the Vancouver area.

East and West were both approved.

My thoughts? This will make it much more difficult for Trudeau to hold on to his current BC seats. No guarantee that it means massive losses however.


The most recent news is that the two largest parties, the right-wing Independence and left-wing Left-Greens, are looking at a possible grand coalition. These parties would still need an additional seat for a majority, and so, would need a 3rd party to join them. It's possible that one of the very first ideas put forth for a possible post-election coalition, might come true; that would see a Pirate Prime Minister with Left-Green and Independence cabinet ministers in a coalition.


I don't follow scandals much, so don't know the full details, but the President has been deep in a huge scandal for some time now. She's recently asked Parliament to find a way for her to step down. The Opposition controls Parliament so exactly how this plays out remains to be seen.

Monday, November 28, 2016


Just a few updates to politics around the world (europe in particular)

Fillon has been elected as candidate for the Republicans in France. He is known as a bit of a radical in terms of being further to the right than most other candidates from that party. He will likely face Le Pen in the final round of the Presidential election, where Fillon may have the edge due to his strong right-wing credentials.

Iceland remains without a new government. The conservative Independence Party has failed to form a government, and so the Left-Greens, second placed finishers, were asked to do so. They also failed, and so the President turned to the Pirate Party. Alas, these negotiations also failed, and so the President has told Parliament to just hurry up and pick someone to be Prime Minister already.

In the Australian seat of Orange, in the state of NSW Parliament (similar to a provincial MLA in Canada) a smaller party has won a by-election. The "Shooters, Fishers, and Farmers" party has managed to edge out a 50 vote victory over the National party. National, the "rural party", was accused by many of abandoning this rural area and other rural areas; as a result, the SFF now has a seat in the state assembly. This is fairly rare in Australian politics, as normally, "small parties" only win seats if they are organized on multiple levels, and lead by known quantities; examples include Bob Katter and Clive Palmer.

Italy is going to the polls December 4th to vote on a constitutional referendum. The politics is that the proposal is backed by the government but opposed by M5S, which polls suggest is the largest opposition party. Currently the "no" side is leading in the polls.

Austria goes to the polls on the same day (December 4th) to pick a new president. The same two candidates have been running for nearly a year due to botched elections, a further post will be made about this within the week.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

US Election: Update on projection

Yea, this stuff never ends, does it.

My current projection for elector counts on December 19th is as follows:

You'll notice a lot more boxes. Some of these are based on hard evidence of electors who are debating becoming faithless, while others are just preparing for stuff there's no evidence for.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Prediction: Michelle Rempel will be next Tory PM

A bold prediction;
Michelle Rempel will be the next Conservative to become Prime Minister.

It might happen because of a shift in seat balance between elections, or maybe even as part of some coalition deal we currently can not fathom, but likely, it will be because she's lead her party to victory in an election.

Whomever wins the current leadership race will find themselves leading a party unable to form a government. They will lose elections, but may well force the Liberals into minority territory. Regardless, whomever wins the leadership will not win the election.

Rather it is the person who wins the next leadership, or perhaps even the one after that, Michelle Rempel, who will be the next Conservative to be Prime Minister.

Again, I'm not putting dates on any of this. I'm not saying that there will be another leadership election in the Conservative party before the 2019 election, nor am I saying that Rempel will defeat Trudeau. We could see a decade of Liberal rule, or even two decades, and there could be two, three, four, or more Liberal Prime Ministers in that period of time.

But the next time someone with a Conservative party membership walks into 24 Sussex as it's new resident, her name will be Michelle Rempel.

Edited to add:

This is going to be one of my "Pumpernickel Predictions" so called because that's a fairly rare word, and so, will make this prediction easy to find in the future.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Working Class, Poor, and other such things

A somewhat short and perhaps disjointed post.

First, the working class. I had a dispute with someone on twitter about this. Here is my view.

At this point, a reminder. I am Canadian. I therefore write from the Canadian perspective to a Canadian audience. I always try to keep things accessible, but there may be things unique to Canada that do not apply elsewhere that I'm missing. Despite that, I strongly feel that this issue is one where Canada, the US, and the UK are all in the same boat. I'm less sure if this applies in Australia and NZ however.

Here is an interesting image from EKOS.

Notice how stable numbers were up until the great recession. Sadly, I can't find numbers from before this, but in general, the people I've spoken to say the same thing.

There wasn't really a "working class" here the same way there was in Britain, for example.

Important is that this is self-rated. Why is that important?
Frankly, it's an income thing.

15 years ago the general view of the income classes in canada was that there was a large "lower middle" class. Nowadays, that class is tiny, if not outright gone.

According to statscan, with the most recent data I could find
You can divide Canada into 10 groups each containing 10% of the population.

The poorest 10% have a family income, every year, of $9,300 - 98% of their income 4 years ago
Second is $21,800 - 104% of their income 4 years ago
Third is $31,100 - 103%
Fourth is $40,200 - 103%
Fifth is $50,000 - 105%
Sixth is $61,300 - 106%
Seventh is $74,300 - 105%
Eight is $90,900 - 105%
Ninth is $114,400 - 105%
Tenth is $186,500 - 104%

You may also notice a massive gap between the married, or, those with children (economic families) and single people (non-economic families)
The average married/children income went up by 106%
The average unmarried/single income went up by 101%

You can also adjust the table with advance options.
Some 'fun' facts:
Between 1976 and 2014 the total increase in average income for all groups combined was 121.65%
Between 1991 and 2014 the increase was 131.02%, as, incomes had fallen between 1976 and 1991.

Here is where it gets interesting.
Since 1991 the change for the lowest decile has been 96.88%. They've been getting poorer. The biggest cut came between 1991 and 1998, and again after 2008.
The second decile has only change 117.84% since 1991. Every richer group changed by at least 121.48% in the same period.
They also changed 120.44% since 1998, while every richer group changed at least 122.19%.
We see the same in 2003, with 110.66% vs 112.29%.

There's another jump between the fourth and fifth, with groups 4th or below gaining by a smaller amount. 121.82% vs 122.85% since 1991, 122.19% vs 124.38% in 1998, 112.29% vs 113.90% in 2003, and 103.34% vs 104.17% in 2008.
It is this critical and growing gap that is causing the current "problems" we are seeing.

Ontario numbers are even more stark.

Between 1991 and 2014 the changed by 82.7%, literally becoming poorer. (I note that these numbers do not seem to include inflation?? they might, but if they don't that's daming)
Gains by the 4th and lower maxed out at 113.9% while the 5th and above were at least 116.2%


What does all that mean?

Put simply, that 33% to 40% of Canadians are in a bad way economically.

Groups that once thought of themselves as middle class are seeing the remainder of the middle class pull away from them financially. It's becoming more and more clear that this group is being ignored.

Here is the single key fact I want you all to take away from this.
Trudeau pledged to cut taxes for those making more than $44,700.

The upper limit for income of this 40% group - meaning if you make less than this you are in that group - is as follows

$44,100 in Atlantic Canada
$43,800 in Quebec
$51,200 in Ontario ($39,500 for the 3rd decile)
$62,000 in the Prairies ($46,600 for the 3rd decile)
$47,400 in BC ($36,500 for the 3rd decile)
$49,600 Canada Wide ($38,500 for the 3rd decile)

This means that this tax cut does not even touch the 35% of Canadians too poor to qualify.

There was a time where almost anyone could get a job if they tried hard enough. Today that's not the case.
There are, literally, people who are, today, unemployable. They were born with low levels of energy, and so are seen as "lazy". They were not gifted with intelligence, and so are seen as "stupid". They are uncoordinated, make mistakes, and may suffer from mental illness like depression.
Employers don't want these people, and with the labour market the way it is in most cities, they don't need to hire any of them.
They are not unemployed, they are unemployable.
This is something that, while it has existed for some time, has been getting worse since the great recession.
These people make upwards of 10% of the population.
There is another group, who make 20% to 30% of the population who lack skills, who lack experience, who lack training, and who lack, in some cases, the ability to do more complex tasks. These are people who are not only stuck in "dead end jobs", but who truly feel like they will always be stuck in "dead end jobs" and don't have the power to do anything about it.

I don't have exact numbers, but these two groups combined make up between 1/3rd and 2/5ths of the population in Canada, and similar numbers in the USA. These are people who have little to no hope for the future. They look at the changing workforce and see every single job that they are capable of doing being replaced with automation. At the same time they look at people who have stable jobs. Most of these people are older. The median age in Canada is near 40. The last time most of the folks who have the "good jobs" had to apply for a job was prior to the great recession. They lived in a time where if you tried hard enough you could get a job, and therefore, they think this is still the case.

This is no longer the case.

As such, we are currently in, and headed for, a showdown between the 40% who are effectively unemployable, and the 60% who think that if this is the case, it must be the fault of that 40%.

Remember too that this comes at the same time as the shift to new-right and new-left.
If you've read my posts on the New-Right and New-Left before, I uurge you to do so again, as I fix the links and add more detail to some of them.

Politics is changing, and there's now a large minority of the population who, if they are not already, will be becoming enraged that 'the system' is failing them.

Politics is headed to a place it's not between since between WW1 and WW2.
If something is not done within the new few years, in both Canada and the USA, events like this may become commonplace.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

One possible story of what might happen to Doland Trump

I'd recommend a read of this article
the governorship section in particular, to see just one of many ways the Trump presidency could turn out. Here are a few highlights.

" Mecham faced difficulties during much of his term. Because he had run as a political outsider, other Republicans only had party loyalty as a reason to follow the new governor. This lack of strong loyalty made it easy for his support to fall as a series of political gaffes damaged Mecham's popularity."

"Mecham was on poor terms with state lawmakers. He repeatedly asserted that he was under no obligation to cooperate with the legislature, that he was answerable only to the United States Constitution—which, he believed, had been divinely revealed.[31] Several of Mecham's appointments to key executive positions—submitted without consultation with legislative leaders—were found to have highly questionable credentials. Examples included Alberto Rodriguez, his choice to head the Department of Liquor Licenses and Control, who was under investigation for murder;[32] the director of the Department of Revenue, whose company was in arrears by $25,000 on employment compensation payments;[21] the proposed supervisor of prison construction, who had served prison time for armed robbery;[33] and a former Marine, nominated as a state investigator, who had been court-martialled twice."

"Mecham made an issue of his relationship with the press. Claiming that many of his problems were caused by media enemies "

"Based on this report, the House began hearings into possible impeachment proceedings on January 19.[48] These resulted in the passing of House Resolution 2002 on February 8 by a vote of 46 to 14"

"arguably, the testimony most damaging to Mecham was his own, during which he repeated his assertion that the Legislature had no authority over him, and berated individual legislators.[31] On April 4, the Senate convicted Mecham on obstruction of justice by a vote of 21 to 9"

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Gearing down for the winter

Summer and Winter are the political "off seasons" in many ways. The news slows down, and the number of elections does as well.

In short, there is less to react to. This is a great time to make pro-active posts with ideas, suggestions, and deep analysis. I do plan some of that, but right now I'm still coming to terms with the Trump victory, and how to properly analyze things in a post-Trump world.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Quick and Dirty electoral reform proposals

These are for Canada and the United States.

In the United States, separation of powers has caused the Presidency to absorb all of the attention during election time. This is the key aspect that needs fixing. As a result, the simple proposal I have is to replace the Electoral College with Congress.

This means the total number of Senators and House Representatives each party gets will determine which party's candidate wins the Presidency.

It will force the parties to have a consistent policy and to pick someone they can work with.

In Canada, we sort of need the opposite. So much attention is paid to the Prime Minister, we should be electing them directly. Therefore, added to a proportionally elected house, would be a "slate" of candidates.

Each slate would be lead by a candidate for Prime Minister. Each slate would have 34 other members in it, chosen by the party.

All 45 of these candidates would also be running in individual ridings. Like the Montreal system, each of these people would have a "co-candidate" or "running mate" who will take the seat should the person be elected to the Slate and not the Riding.

Canadians would vote not only for MP, but also for which slate they feel should win. The slate elections would be preferential, and whichever slate (and Prime Minister candidate) wins 50%+1 of the vote, gets elected to Parliament in addition to all the MPs.

As a quick and dirty example, lets presume the last election, proportionally, elected 147 Liberals, 118 Tories, and 73 New Democrats. Now lets presume Trudeau's slate wins.

This produces 192 Liberals, 118 Tories, and 73 New Democrats, a very narrow majority.

In effect, if the Prime Minister is able to get 40% of the country to vote for him, he can get a majority in the house. Canadians main concerns about PR is that it would mean endless minority governments; this helps fix that.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

A few quick notes

A few point-form thoughts from the last few days.

1 - Marine LePen is likely to win the Presidential elections in France. Not because Trump won, but because the polls said he would not win. I feel the polls in France are also "wrong" and by the same degree; about 4 or 5 points, and that is often all she needs to win.

2 - The AfD in Germany, for the same reasons, could top 20% in the election, or more. They still won't win, but they could push the sitting coalition to a minority. The problem for them, is the only way to push them into a minority is by failing to knock the Liberals out (IE below the threshold) and if that happens, the Liberals are simply likely to sit in the coalition, or, at least, support a good chunk of it from outside the official coalition.

3 - I've always added a personal "gut correction" to the polls, and it's one reason I'm more accurate than others who do projections. I will now add a "trump correction" to properly account for poor working class voters who feel they can't honestly say who they are voting for". This will be applied across the western world.

4 - There are likely to be challenges to Trump's win. People are already suggesting hacking of voting machines. I've taken a look at the results, and the results better match demographics than they do whether or not the county uses voting machines or paper ballots. Regardless, I don't expect any of these challenges to be successful, and, even if they somehow are, it would only push the election to the house, which, given the real election results, is very likely to back Trump.

5 - Similar to points 1 and 2, I expect other "European" elections, like the Netherlands, to see an increase in the vote for "far-right" parties.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Trump and the Working Class

In 1976, voters under $30K income ($8K income after inflation)
split 63-38 for the Democrat.

In 1980, 10,000 becomes the inflation adjusted mark.
The split was 52% for the democrat, 42% for the Republican, and 6% for Anderson. This race saw Reagan win by a 10 point margin nationwide.

1984 has our mark move to 12,500
Regan, who won a 60-40 popular vote split nationwide, took 46% among this group, to Mondale's 54%. Remember, this is with a 20 point victory nationwide.

In 1988, $12,500 = $25,000 after inflation, so, that's not exact, but it's as close as we can get with the poll
With a 7 point margin nationwide, the split in our test case group is 63-37 for the Democrat

In 1992, $15K is $25K, and as close as we are going to get.
The split was 58% for Clinton, 23% for Bush, and 19% for Perot.

1996 is really bad for inflation adjustments.
$15K = $23K, while $30K = $46K.
The margin in the first group was 60% for the Democrat, 29% for the Republican, and 9% for Perot, while the second group breaks 49%, 41%, and 10%, in the same order.

The infamous 2000 election
still has our inflation problem. $15K=$21K and $30K=$41K
(feel free to check for yourself )
The splits are 58% for Gore and 38% for bush for the first group, and $49%-48% for the second.
Bush actually did somewhat well among the working class. I remember detailed polls from the era showing W. Bush won socially conservative and economically liberal voters, as well as economically conservative and socially liberal voters. This is one reason W. Bush won elections.

In his re-election in 2004
Inflation says $15K=19K, and $30K=38K
The splits are 57-42 and 50-49, both won by the Democrats.
Notice that in both W. Bush elections, while he did well among the "upper" working class, he heavily lost the poorer sectors.

Entering the Obama era in 2008
We see a massive win for Obama among the poorest, 73-25, and a win among the next group, at 60-37. By this point, inflation becomes less of a concern. $30K then  = $34K now.

In 2012, Obama also won these groups.
The problem is it all gets lumped in with "under $50K". Despite that, we see a 60-38 victory.

Now we are in 2016.
While this:
is currently a dead link, I'm sure in a few months it won't be.
What we can see is this:
and this:
The under $30K vote split as follows:
for Clinton.
Trump's strong showing among this group is less important than Clinton's weakness. There is no exact math, due to inflation, national vote margins, and differing groups being polled, but in short, this is the worst the Democrats have done in this group. This is a huge region the Democrats failed to take the Presidency.

If we had seen a more traditional vote split in this group, Clinton would have won Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and the Election.

Trump didn't "Win" this group, but the Democrats certainly "Lost" it. While fighting for reproductive rights, gender equality, transgender rights, gay marriage, racial equity, and undocumented immigrants, the Democrats forgot to fight for the working class. Don't get me wrong, these are all laudable goals, and all things I support. My Twitter avatar - an avatar I use everywhere - currently is from the old "it gets better" campaign, combating suicides by gay teens. This has been my avatar, everywhere, for about 6 years now. I fully support helping all these disadvantaged groups. That does not mean we should stop helping "poor white people", and it is these people who switched from Democrat to Republican and gave Trump that final margin of victory.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Where I went wrong

I've made a post over on my personal blog as it fits better over there, but it does relate to why my projections have been so far off as of late.

More on the New Left vs the New Right

While I touched on some of the important points here, I don't think I explained things very well.

A few important things to note:
The Culture War was perhaps the first warning sign of a change.
Liberalism, 150 years ago, was much more associated with "big business" and "rich capitalists" than Conservatism was.
What was "Left Wing" 150 years ago was not "Left Wing" 80 years ago. That changed.
What was "Right Wing" 150 years ago was not "Right Wing" 80 years ago. That changed.
Definitions change.
What is Left and Right now (and has been for the better portion of 70-80 years) will no longer be Left and Right in a few decades.
We are in the middle of a transition of the entire meaning of "Left" and "Right"
Some things, like more Free Trade agreements, will become "Left Wing" ideas.
Some things, like supporting the Working Class, will become "Right Wing" ideas.
Socialism, came out of "nowhere" because it arose among a class of people who did not exist.
You and I are almost certainly in the same 'class' of person in our outlook and our position within the "new" right/left split.

With that in mind.

We are seeing the rise of the New Right, and the New Left. Donald Trump, the Front Nationale, even Vladimir Putin, are all on the New Right. The New Left meanwhile is still forming, but people like Justin Trudeau are on it's forefront.

200 years ago the cleve in society was based around who is a person.
80 years ago that cleve was one of class, ownership, wealth, and property.

In the new cleve, the main divide is global vs local.

Global is the new Left.
Local is the new Right.

It will take another 15-25 years before we are fully in this new Left and new Right; but we are going there, and going there fast.

With that in mind, I'm changing the way I do projections and the math I use, to properly account for the New Right and it's organization.

With any luck, the New Left will organize quickly.

Local races

I've been looking through the local races.

Two big issues were marijuana and minimum wages.

Arizona rejected legal pot, but California, Nevada, Maine, and Massachusetts, all approved it.
Arkansas, Montana, North Dakota, and Florida, either introduced or expanded medical marijuana.

In South Dakota, voters rejected lowering the minimum wage, while in Maine, Arizona, Washington, and Colorado, voters all increased the minimum wage.

There were a few other measures that caught my eye.
Alabama approved "right to work" laws, which limit the power of labour unions.
South Dakota rejected a non-partisan election commission.
Nevada approved expanding gun background checks.
And Oklahoma approved perhaps the most poorly worded option, Allow Any Execution Method. I don't expect any "executions by nuclear bomb" any time soon, as the measure specifically prevents the deaths from being "cruel or unusual" but the wording of this ballot measure could have been better.

One thing that was quite clear from the local races was the blue states got bluer while the red states got redder. This map is still a work in progress, but:

You'll also notice that this seems to be the definition of "blue state" and "red state"

Which highlights the problem Democrats face in the long term.

I'll be posting tomorrow about how this will impact things in Europe.

What happened.

After my last post, I decided to lie down and watch the coverage a bit.

It hit me what happened. And why. And how.

I harken back to my earlier post and this section in particular:

How could this happen? Well to answer that, and why common sense makes no sense, we need to look at who is voting for Trump, and who we are.
Who is "we"? Well I am Teddy. I'm 32, and I spend, in an average day, at least 14 hours online. I do most of my socializing online, get most of my entertainment online, and get most of my news from online sources. I am 'very' connected to the internet. I am a progressive, who is very socially tolerant. I also live in poverty.
Who are you? Well I don't know for sure, I don't have specific demographics of my readers, but I do have a guess. You are 28. You are male, and live in the Greater Toronto area. You make less than $40,000 a year, but more than $20,000 a year. You spend at least 6 hours every day online, and get the plurality of your news, socializing, and entertainment online as well. You, like me, are very socially tolerant, and are likely more left-wing than I am.
While no one specific reader will hit all those marks, my general guess is that you are not too far off from this person.
You and I have a few things in common.
1 - Due to our age, neither of us are heads of our own large families.
2 - Due to our income levels, neither of us tend to socialize with those who make many times more than we do
3 - Due to our interests (the internet) we have a very high tendency to meet others who are equally connected to the online world.
So what does all of this mean?
In short, there is a group of people who we are disconnected with. They are older, at least 40, white men, who have children, are married, are conservative, and are likely religious. They are concerned about immigration (in large part because they don't know any immigrants personally, and any they see professionally, are almost certainly in the lower part of the working class, and as such, much less likely to be fluent in english) and these are people who, when all is said and done, are less educated than 'our' group.
They are, to boil it down to (perhaps offensive and) simple terms, old men who are afraid of change.
The problem (for our group) is that there are a lot of people like this out there, and they live a life that's almost as different from ours as is possible within the same culture.
In past elections, this has not been a huge issue. These people, and their concerns, split them among the candidates. Sure they were always going to favour the right-wing candidate, but that was always taken into account. The problem, it seems, is that rather than splitting 2-3, or 3-5, they are going overwhelmingly for the same candidate. They are also bringing their friends along; social groups they are not fully in, but are connected to.
Due to their nature of being offline folk, their arguments never get to us, and ours never get to them.
These are the 'uneducated working class whites' we've heard so much about.
There is a real possibility that due to their previous candidate splitting and low turnout, that we are not properly counting them in the polls.

I've spoken from time to time on this idea of a "New Left" and "New Right". Here is one place I speak about it. Here is another.

Edited, the proper links, (both link to the same article), the second is:

Also here is a post I made in 2012 on a forum on this topic

Between 1900 and 1940 there was a great shift in what Left and Right meant for the political spectrum.
Prior to this, Left was allowing women the vote, allowing non-property owners to vote, allowing non-Christians to vote even, while Right was standing up for the powers that existed.
After this, Left was for Socialism, redistribution of wealth, giving money to the poor, larger governments with larger supports, so on and so forth.
Left and Right is changing again. The old left-right argument is over. We found a balance that works. There is a new left-right argument out there.
In the old Left, the Green Party of Canada is moderate and somewhat centrist. In the new Left, the Greens are firmly left-wing. The new Left is about a Global unity of ideology, doing for others, working for the world and the community, thinking universally, ignoring national boundaries, and so forth. The new Right is perfectly exemplified by the things Harper stands for. His stances on Kyoto, Abestos, the Environment at large, the Gun Registry, etc, are all firmly in the new right, even if they fit the old right as well.
Our system is changing. Look at Canadian elections and UK elections for example. From 1960 to 1990 both countries had instances where we only had 3 parties in the chamber. Compare this to elections in both countries from both 1930's and today, and you'll see the growth in parties and ideologies, etc. Our entire worldwide political system is changing, and that is why there is so much apparent chaos. The Tea Party VS Occupy debates are not just last vestiges of the old system; they are the founding sparks of the new system, and this will be the new left-right debate.


The short of it is this.

110 years ago, we had a left wing and a right wing.

The Right Wing was conservative and Conservative. The Left Wing was liberal and Liberal. Big issues were things like prohibition, women's suffrage, alms for the poor, and other 'turn of the century' issues.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, a new group came. The Socialists. Labour.

They wanted public ownership, abolition of poverty, and redistribution of wealth.

Many socialists were labourers, who worked in factories.

If you were an "everyday" person back in 1906, you would be baffled by this new movement. It does not fit into anything that you understand in politics. Sure it seems left-wing, but it is just odd.

Within 20 years, everything had changed.

The Liberals were gone, or, had gobbled up a lot of these crazy socialist ideas. The Conservatives were now for all those things the old Liberal party wanted, while remaining conservative in nature.

The old left and old right had been replaced by the new left and new right.

People like Justin Trudeau are on the new left. For quite some time now I've been trying to outline exactly what the new left is. For one thing, it's pro-trade, and seemingly is pro-big-business. I've understood the new left pretty well as I see it all around me in my social circle.

That's when it hit me.

Who were all these people who voted for Trump?
Who are all these folks who wanted Brexit?
Who keeps voting for the "far-right" nationalistic parties in Europe?

The New Right.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Donald Trump to win

I literally have to debate if I've lost faith in democracy. I might well have done so.

Regardless, Trump will win. I'm not sure how, not sure what states he will take, or if he will even win 270 or 269; but when a new president is sworn in on January 20th 2017, I'm saying that the new President will be Donald Trump.

I may need some days off.



Mid-early update

USA: Early Projection Update

Disclaimer: this is no guarantee of future updates throughout the night.

Senate: To go Democrat

House: Democrats will gain seats

Yukon - A unique look at electoral reform

With only 19 ridings, and under 40K residents, the Yukon is an excellent (read: small and easy) area to examine.

This may be a series of posts due to my attention being segmented on today, US election day, but lets begin with proportional representation.

Somehow, for reasons I don't fully understand, people assume that proportional representation means one proportional district including everything. This is terribly uncommon on the national, and even some subnational levels.

The Yukon in particular is divided between "Rural" and "Whitehorse" areas. I've taken care to look at the vote by poll, and taken the Whitehorse polls. This basically means all "Whitehorse Ridings" plus 1 poll in an otherwise "Rural Riding".

As such I'm keeping the current split in Yukon ridings, 11 Whitehorse seats and 8 Rural seats. I do, however, note that even in 2 of these 8 seats, Whitehorse is within the commutershed; meaning the area where you can drive in to town every day and home every day. It's generally intended for working folk, but it can apply to people in schools or even just shopping. It means that roughly 25% of the "rural" area is so close to Whitehorse that one could argue it should be included within it; but, I am going to keep the boundary as close to the official municipal boundaries as possible.

I've decided to use the same thresholding method with largest remainders I've used before, as that's easiest to calculate.

RURAL BALLOTS CAST (8 ridings) 6,320 votes (703 threshold)
2447 LP (3) 2109
2216 YP (3) 2109
1570 ND (2) 1406
49 GP
38 IND


WHITEHORSE BALLOTS CAST (11 ridings) 12,467 votes (1134 threshold)
4957 LP (4) 4536
4056 YP (3) 3402
3358 ND (2) 2268
96 GP

Remainders (2)
421 LP
654 YP (1)
1090 ND (1)
96 GP


As such the new Legislature would look like this:

7 Liberals
7 Yukon Party
5 New Democrats

More posts to come!

USA: Election Day - Projection

This is the most likely outcome. Why? Well that's actually a bit more difficult to explain, but in short, because I really hope it is.

For Trump to win we would need to make a few core assumptions about America, and the average voter. Assumptions that go beyond the borders of the US, and impact voters in most developed democracies around the world. Many of these assumptions are very discomforting.

1 - That voters don't really care about how good or bad of a job that a particular candidate can do, they simply want someone who will "stand up" for them, even if that person destroys the country in the process.

2 - That voters are far, far more racist than we think. It goes beyond race even to culture. It implies that people feel that the culture of others is something to be "defeated" rather than empathized with.

3 - That voters are just plain stupid idiots who can be easily fooled by flash and panache, and that they care more that a policy 'feels' like it 'should' work, and less if the evidence says it does.

4 - That voters are willing to let people get away with disgusting behavior so long as the person in question is someone with whom they agree.

5 - And that voters are simply unwilling to listen to evidence, no matter how strong that evidence is.

Lets tackle some of these.

#5 alone can outright kill people. Crime policy, level of social funding, and health administration.

#2 and #4 in conjunction can explain why real dictators can and do manage levels of popular support.

#1, #3, and #5 together imply Democracy does not work, at all.

#3, and #4 imply that people can easily be fooled by those with the know-how and resources

#1 and #5 show that voters can willingly and purposefully harm another group in society, on purpose, because of refusal to accept facts (this partly explains the holocaust) 

#2, #3, and #5 are how the various "reign of terror" periods in world history begin

#1 and #4 explain corruption

And #1, #2, #3, #4, and #5 in combination, say one simple thing:
Your fellow human being is a disgusting dangerous idiot who could easily and purposefully hurt you if you upset them, and there's not a damned thing you can do to stop it.

This is a very, very horrible world to live in, and it's certainly not one I want to live in. I also don't believe it is the world we live in.

For that reason, I an projecting a Clinton victory.

PS - If any Trump state is wrong on this map, it's Ohio, and if any Clinton state is wrong, it's Florida.

Yukon Election - Results

Results are in the map

Liberal Majority. Premier unseated in his own riding.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Morning post time

It's come to my attention that polls can open as early as 6am (local to me) in some parts of the US. As such, I'm going to update my morning post time to 5:59am.

Final Update (sort of)

This will be the final update, in a way. Tomorrow morning prior to the vote I will not be presenting a new map. Rather, I will be reposting one of the many maps I am about to post, and arguing why I've chosen that one.

There are, in fact, 3 different maps I have, and I will be showing why each makes sense.

First, Common Sense:

Based on common sense, and no math, this will be the results of the election. Of course, the math says something far different.

Common sense tells us that an openly racist candidate, who openly admits to abusing their own power (grab her by the pussy), who tells lies at every rally, and who is a warmonger, should do very poorly.

Instead, most Republicans hate Clinton because they think *she* is someone who abuses her own power, tells lies at every rally, and is a warmonger.

It boggles the mind and makes little sense, hence the above projection. What's notable is that every election until now in the US could be easily explained by common sense. There have been a few elections in Europe that were unexplainable using common sense, Poland's most recent election is one of them, and the simple level of support the far-right parties get is another issue.

It seems in the past few years all around the world, common sense has gone out the window, and has been replaced with hatred and racism.

As such, the above, will not happen.

So what will happen?
One of two things.

First, Trump may win:

How could this happen? Well to answer that, and why common sense makes no sense, we need to look at who is voting for Trump, and who we are.

Who is "we"? Well I am Teddy. I'm 32, and I spend, in an average day, at least 14 hours online. I do most of my socializing online, get most of my entertainment online, and get most of my news from online sources. I am 'very' connected to the internet. I am a progressive, who is very socially tolerant. I also live in poverty.

Who are you? Well I don't know for sure, I don't have specific demographics of my readers, but I do have a guess. You are 28. You are male, and live in the Greater Toronto area. You make less than $40,000 a year, but more than $20,000 a year. You spend at least 6 hours every day online, and get the plurality of your news, socializing, and entertainment online as well. You, like me, are very socially tolerant, and are likely more left-wing than I am.

While no one specific reader will hit all those marks, my general guess is that you are not too far off from this person.

You and I have a few things in common.

1 - Due to our age, neither of us are heads of our own large families.
2 - Due to our income levels, neither of us tend to socialize with those who make many times more than we do
3 - Due to our interests (the internet) we have a very high tendency to meet others who are equally connected to the online world.

So what does all of this mean?
In short, there is a group of people who we are disconnected with. They are older, at least 40, white men, who have children, are married, are conservative, and are likely religious. They are concerned about immigration (in large part because they don't know any immigrants personally, and any they see professionally, are almost certainly in the lower part of the working class, and as such, much less likely to be fluent in english) and these are people who, when all is said and done, are less educated than 'our' group.

They are, to boil it down to (perhaps offensive and) simple terms, old men who are afraid of change.

The problem (for our group) is that there are a lot of people like this out there, and they live a life that's almost as different from ours as is possible within the same culture.

In past elections, this has not been a huge issue. These people, and their concerns, split them among the candidates. Sure they were always going to favour the right-wing candidate, but that was always taken into account. The problem, it seems, is that rather than splitting 2-3, or 3-5, they are going overwhelmingly for the same candidate. They are also bringing their friends along; social groups they are not fully in, but are connected to.

Due to their nature of being offline folk, their arguments never get to us, and ours never get to them.

These are the 'uneducated working class whites' we've heard so much about.

There is a real possibility that due to their previous candidate splitting and low turnout, that we are not properly counting them in the polls.

The final possibility is that these people are not as split as we think. In short, the venom spewed at Clinton is so great, that it's suppressing her real numbers; and the polls somewhat agree with this as odd as it sounds. As such, our final possibility is a Clinton win:

The exact margin is still unclear. Nevada, North Carolina, and Florida are all very close contests. New Hampshire, Maine's 2nd district, Ohio, Iowa, and Arizona are all much more safe. Utah is also somewhat safe, having swung back to Trump as voters started to weigh McMullin, Trump, and Clinton, and consider it a 3-party race.

This scenario bears out what we've been seeing in early voting. A much higher turnout among hispanics, and a strong turnout among registered Democrats. Unlike the groups that back Trump, groups that back Clinton are far more likely to be completely disconnected from pollsters, neither having a landline telephone, nor being a heavy user of the english speaking internet.

This projection basically assumes the polls are right. As a base assumption that's not always such a bad guess.

Clinton has lead in the poll averages for just about the entire election, and was expected to win far in advance of the election itself. The Republican Party is divided against itself, and the Republicans in the Senate have already started planning for a possible Clinton Presidency.

This projection is much easier to explain because it makes more sense. It's even possible that if the polls are over-estimating Trump, that we could see victories in places like Georgia, South Carolina, Nebraska's 2nd district, and Texas; this is, however, unlikely.

Lastly you may have noticed I've left lots of space for recording electoral votes for people who may not even be on the ballot. This is because I fully expect post-election absurdity, as that many electors may try to single-handedly change the result of the election itself. If nobody wins a majority of electoral votes, this would force the vote to the new House and new Senate, and in the latter, the Democrats may have a majority.

It's also possible that with two candidates who are, or are almost 70, that one or both of them may pass away between the popular vote tomorrow and the casting of electoral ballots on December 19th.

Or, something else could happen between then and the counting of the ballots on January 6th.

As such, this map is designed to help get us through that period of time should something unexpected happen.

Tomorrow morning at 7:30am, I will post which of these I feel is the most likely, and why.