Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Stacking the Senate

I'm going to be bold and start this post by claiming the Senate can be divided into 4 eras.

This wikipage I created will help guide you though this discussion. I made it when I was far more partisan and wanted to show off how "fair" Paul Martin was as Prime Minister.

The first era would last but a single day; the "Royal Proclamation" that created the Senate. Worked out, in part, though a sort of an all-party agreement, these would be the first Senators.

The second era would start rather quickly with the first government. In this period at least 80% of all Senators appointed were from the governing party; and in fact, in total, 95% of senators appointed were.

This era ends when Pierre Trudeau gets elected, and puts an age limit (mandatory retirement) on the Senate.

The third era is thus from his election to the end of Harpers term. Again we return to a time when, except for Paul Martin, at least 80% of Senators appointed are from the governing party. A total of 93% of senators in this era were from the government.

This would end when Justin Trudeau was elected.

Trudeau (Justin) has appointed a large number of Senators who would sit in the Independent Senators Group, or ISG. The ISG's mission statement outlines their intent to sit as an answer to the "Crossbench" found in the UK. As such, for the remainder of this post, I shall simply call them Crossbenchers.

To that end I'll dive straight into current caucus numbers:

Trudeau - 41
Harper - 7
Chretien - 2
Martin - 2

Harper - 30
Mulroney - 2

Chretien - 7
Martin - 3

Trudeau - 3
Harper - 1
Chretien - 1

Trudeau - 1
Martin - 1
Harper - 1

At this time, there are 52 Crossbench Senators, and 50 Non-Crossbench Senators. In effect, the Crossbenchers control the Senate.

Please note that this post is part of a larger series I plan to do on Senate Reform. My objective with this post was to show that

A - The two Trudeaus did more for "Senate Reform" than any other Prime Minister (with more of a focus on what Trudeau Sr did in a later post)

B - What Justin Trudeau has done potentially changes the very nature of the Senate itself.

and C - That as things currently stand, this can not last, and something will have to give (which I'll show using the points I highlighted as the 'why' in a later post)

For now, simply be aware of the ISG's role in controlling the Senate, and if this interests you, perhaps look at their website.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Hessian elections

Quick post about the results of the elections in the german state of Hesse, home of the city of Frankfurt.

40 - CDU
29 - GRN
29 - SPD
19 - AfD
11 - FDP
9 - LNK

Things might still change as final results come in; and the Greens and SPD are contesting for who finished second (right now the SPD has 570,166 votes, behind the Greens at 570,260)

This would be a 137 seat assembly, 69 needed for a majority.

40+29 is exactly 69. As such a CDU-SPD coalition may be possible; however part of the reason both parties dropped compared to last election is the current CDU-SPD national coalition is not terribly popular.

A coalition of the Greens and SPD would have 58 seats; adding FDP to this would bring them to their 69; however FDP and the Greens have had trouble working together in the past.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Penetanguishene election results

The election results in my town were as follows:

for Mayor:

2033 - Douglas Leroux
710 - Gerry Marshall

Marshall is the sitting mayor, but resigned a few weeks ago to become the CAO of Wasaga Beach. My understanding is that the CAO of a municipality is basically the Clerk of the Privy Council but for a municipality; and is the highest unelected position. The job became open when, ironically, George Vadeboncoeur resigned to run for Penetanguishene Council. Due to the date this happened it was too late for Marshall to withdraw; but he stated that he would not serve if elected. This all happened prior to the open of advance voting

For Deputy Mayor:

1402 - Anita Dubeau
1400 - Doug Rawson

I voted for Dubeau. She's the former Mayor here, defeated in 2006, and ran for and won the Deputy Mayor's job in 2010. (note to reader: it is at this point I literally stopped writing to walk the 90 or so seconds to the town hall to do some further research) Dubeau was mayor from 2000-2006. Interestingly, her deputy mayor for part of this time was Douglas Leroux. Dubeau was also deputy mayor from 1991-1997.

In terms of history, finding the past mayors of Penetanguishene online was not easy. I do however have a list.

In December, Leroux will take over as Mayor.
2006-2018 Gerry Marshall
2000-2006 Anita Dubeau
1989-2000 Bob Klug
1981-1989 Ron Bellisle
1979-1981 Gil H Robillard
1960-1971 Vince Moreau

Sadly I was unable to find information from before this.

The council election was perhaps more interesting.

Penetanguishene uses an at-large system where all 7 councillors are elected using a block vote system. Every voter is given 7 votes and votes for the at-large councillors. The results were as follows:

1871 - Jill M. ST. AMANT
1453 - Jessica KLUG
1334 x Michel MAYOTTE
1287 x George VADEBONCOEUR
1098 - Dan LAROSE
1097 x Debbie LEVY
983 - Brian CUMMINGS
921 x Brad SAUNDERS
866 x Mike LAUDER
743 - Ron LEPAGE
742 - Kristyn TINNEY
658 - James DALZELL
657 - Michael CADIEUX
449 - Tom GUTHRIE
416 x Robert J. CONTOIS
413 - Peter GRAHAM
357 - Jasen CRONIN
348 x Jason MALOTT
134 - John STAMP

I've included an X for those candidates I voted for to help show how someones vote may relate to the results. 

I learned earlier today that LaRose has been a councillor for over a decade, and that St. Amant, and Klug both have family (I assume fathers?) that were former councillors, that Cummings is a former councillor, and that Vadeboncoeur was the CAO of Penetang. Had I known some of these things it may have impacted how I voted. 

My priority in voting was to elect a council that is majority pro-bus. I have no car, and my town is somewhat small; but our neighbouring town has the major malls. As a result my #1 priority is making sure I can access those malls. I believe this new council is pro-bus and will keep the bus service. In fact, it is the bus that caused me to vote for Dubeau over Rawson, without that, the vote would have been a tie!

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Unique way of looking at the Toronto election

A map showing the winner in each ward of the Mayoral election would be terribly boring as it would be a single colour. Therefore, I've artificially boosted both Jennifer Keesmaat (by a factor of 2.5, meaning for every 1 vote she received, I counted it as 2.5 votes) and Faith Goldy (by a factor of 15) so we can better compare where the candidates did and did not do well.

The Keesmaat vote pretty much does what is expected, concentrates in the core of the city. What's more interesting is how the vote patterns of Faith Goldy do not actually match that of other right-wing candidates perfectly. While she does well in Etobicoke, she actually does quite poorly in the eastern half of Scarborough, an area Doug Ford did very well.

Ontario municipal elections; Toronto, Brampton and others

I've updated the Toronto map to be a lot less friendly to John Tory. It's the same map, and I've intentionally left the lossey bits around the candidate name the 'red' of John Tory to help them pop when compared to those committed to Ford; but it shows very well the fact that the progressive middle, by holding the balance of power, is what really won the election in Toronto.

In Brampton, parachute candidate Patrick Brown managed to win, 44.4% compared to 40.7% for the sitting mayor.

In my area alone the following cities, towns, and townships, have had to delay voting for another day due to issues with online voting:

Muskoka Lakes
Georgian Bay
Bradford West Gwillimbury
Owen Sound
Town of Blue Mountains
Lake of Bays

This does not even include places like Sudbury, where elections were also delayed, but since it is not within my local area, it does not appear on this list.

Beyond that there is not much to say today. Without a standardized set of political parties, telling the story of the election in each various municipality would require a post onto itself, and with over 400 municipalities in Ontario alone (remember BC voted the other day, and Manitoba and PEI both vote soon in their own municipal elections) this is not really something that's possible for me to do.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Toronto "final" results

Still unclear if these are the final results (I'm trying to follow dozens of municipalities and may be missing something)

toronto election - early counting

Why online voting is a terrible idea, part 1

My own town of Penetanguishene has extended voting by a full day, they have confirmed on twitter.

I'll be doing quite a bit more about why online voting is a very, very bad idea, but lets say that this is a good place to start.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Toronto election, what will happen?

John Tory will win. Sorry to spoil it so early, but all the signs point to a fairly easy victory. My prediction would see something like this:

56.97% - John Tory
32.32% - Jennifer Keesmaat

Why those exact numbers? That's what David Miller and Jane Pitfield got in 2006, when the general feeling was the same between the Left, Right, and Swing voters. "We sort of like the current Mayor and want to keep them, but they really have not build as wide a consensus as we'd prefer, and will vote for an opposition candidate strong enough to ensure the Mayor actually has to campaign"

I've been attacked before for suggesting that Jennifer Keesmaat is like Jane Pitfield because both are female. As I said then and as I say now, their gender has nothing to do with it. Both are simply "fillers" for a 'side' (left or right) that needs a 'candidate' to vote for. Had the left put up a candidate in 2000 against Mel Lastman, I'd have expected a 56.97%-vs-32.32% split, or something similar. The numbers "56.97%-vs-32.32%" are simply a representation of what happens when swing voters are happy enough with the current Mayor, but people on the opposite end of the political spectrum are not.

As for how council turns out, that's another story.

Polls are rare, if not outright non-existent, and, as such any prediction is an outright guess. Regardless, here is my guess:

A larger council would likely have provided for more councillors who are friendly to the mayor.

While not terribly effective, this situation is not ungovernable. Tory has straddled the middle before, and if he can use the Left against the Premier, and the pro-Ford councillors against the Left, he can govern effectively. In fact, doing so would probably lead to a third term for him. Tory's problem is that the Left really does not like him, and he may find them unwilling to help him in battles with the Premier and the Ford-allies on council. Such a scenario would likely result in the "Ford Squad" on council organizing, and if that happens, Toronto will be more dysfunctional than it was with 44 councillors.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Bhutan election, 2018

Little Bhutan went to the polls earlier this month. The small kingdom is sandwiched between India and China, and is near to both Nepal and Bangladesh, with both being under 100KM across the Indian border from Bhutan. (Click here for a link to Google Maps)

It is an interesting country. In 2016 the sitting Prime Minister, Tshering Tobgay, gave a Ted Talk, about how the country is carbon negative. The country also judges itself by its "Gross National Happiness"

In terms of electoral politics, the modern history began on December 9th 2006, when Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck rose to the throne of the absolute monarchy. With Totalitarian power, the King could have taken Bhutan in any direction he wanted, and he did just that; by implementing a Democratic system, and an elected Parliament.

In 2008, Bhutan held its first ever election, using a unique voting system. This system was trialed in a mock nationwide election in 2007, to help voters understand how "voting" would work. In the 2007 mock election, the government put forward 4 mock parties.

In order to simplify things, I will not directly translate the names of the parties, but instead, name them based on the mock policies each party supported.

In the first round of voting, the results were as follows:

44.3% - Tradition Party
20.4% - Progress Party
20.3% - Accountability Party
15.0% - Environment Party

Where things get unique is what happens next.

Only the top two parties go on to the second around, and anything else that happened in the first round is simply discounted.

Next, in each of the 47 constituencies (I will use the Canadian term "riding" but beware that this is not used outside Canada) each of the two parties puts up their candidates, and voters choose between the two.

The results of the mock election were 46 seats to the Tradition Party, and 1 to the Progress Party.

2008 saw the first real election.

The BNP, a pro-business party, was disqualified from running. "Why" is not exactly clear, but it seems they did fully and properly not register in time. In order to qualify a party must not only follow the standard procedures found in any random western democracy, but also must have a certain share of their party membership be university graduates, and only those with various degrees may run for office. Not unreasonable for a brand new democracy. As such 2008 only saw two parties, and thus, did not have the first round of voting. The second round result was as follows:

67% - DPT - 45 seats (Conservative)
33% - PDP - 2 seats (Liberal and Royalist)

There were some accusations of civil servants pushing for a DPT victory, but things were mostly calm. DPT leader, Jigme Thinley thus became Prime Minister.

2013 saw the second election.

Joining the two existing parties was the DNT, and DCT. Both left-wing parties, the DNT could be described as somewhat "social democratic" while the DCT was in some ways "socialist". First round results were as follows:

44.5% DPT (Conservative) [Incumbent]
32.5% PDP (Liberal and Royalist)
17.1% DNT (Social Democratic?)
5.9% DCT (Socialist?)

As such the two parties already holding seats, DPT and PDP, progressed to the second around.

The second around saw the following:

54.9% PDP 32 seats (Liberal and Royalist)
45.1% DPT 15 seats (Conservative) [Incumbent]

As such Bhutan defeated its first government and elected a replacement. Tshering Tobgay thus became Prime Minister.

This brings us to 2018 and the most recent elections.

In September, the first round of elections was held. A new party was running, BKP, which some have implied is downright Communist. The party is lead by a woman, rare in a country with only three female MPs.

The first round was a shocker to many.

DNT - 31.9% (Social Democratic?)
DPT - 30.9% (Conservative)
PDP - 27.4% (Liberal and Royalist) [Incumbent]
BKP - 9.8% (Communist??)

As such the governing PDP would not even advance to the second around.

This past Thursday (October 18th) the second round was held and produced the following result:

DNT - 30 (Social Democratic?)
DPT - 17 (Conservative)

Popular vote figures are not tallied yet (I may do this myself as its only 47 seats) but the margin of victory in the seats suggests a similar 55-45 vote split as in the previous election.

It is not all rainbows and roses for Bhutan however. Even though there are parties with policies that might be seen as "Communist", they would not dare say so in public, for "Communist" parties are banned in Bhutan. In large part because of their support among the ethnic Nepalese community within Bhutan, who have faced widespread and outright ethnic cleansing from the Bhutanese government.

Regardless, Bhutan is progressing more and more towards a free society, and is growing economically. It will be interesting to see how the new government deals with the issues that confront Bhutan.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Bavarian Election

The election sort of snuck up on me; apologies. Results seem to be as follows:

85 CSU (christian democrat)
38 GRN (green)
26 FW (bavarian unique; centrist, no strong whip)
24 AfD (neo-nationalist)
23 SDP (social democratic)
11 FDP (liberal)

analysis in a following post

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Quebec, recounts and Proportional Representation

I've made a special map of Quebec that shows not only the 3 ridings likely to undergo recounts, but what things may look like with Proportional Representation.

Remember the map shows the current state of the Assembly, and not the election results.

You'll notice the 20 extra hexes on the map. This shows what a Parallel system would produce with 20 seats, coloured by party.

I am a big fan of parallel systems, and Legault would be well advised to look into one. I've included this here due to its ease of calculation and to quickly show an example of how this might work using Japan as a template.

Japan uses an interesting method to figure out who wins these seats. Instead of a list, which most countries use, Japan ranks the local (riding) candidates. A list still does exist for candidates with no riding, but it is not over-used. For example in 2017 in the Hokkaido region, 4 of the winning candidates ran locally, while 3 were on the list only.

So how is this decided? Using Sekiharititsu. Or, ratio of margin of defeat. Now that word "ratio" may look familiar to regular readers of this blog. All of my projections are done using ratios. As such, I am well set up to calculate the Sekiharititsu of any election. Simply divide two numbers; the number of votes taken by the winner and the number of votes taken by the candidate you are looking at. If, for example, someone takes 10,000 votes in a riding, and wins it, someone who lost and took 9,900 votes, would have a ratio of 99%, a very high number.

In fact, by using the Japanese method, we know who would win in the Quebec election. The candidates from the following ridings:





You'll notice some extras, riding names in brackets. These are the extra seats that could be won if the party manages to win a recount or two.

The downside of using this method - a single province-wide district, is that it allows regional imbalances to continue; the CAQ for example gains no extra seats on the Island of Montreal. It is quite likely if some sort of parallel system is adopted, it would be regional in nature, at least, as a part or feature of the system. This would allow the CAQ to win additional ridings. As well, as mentioned, in Japan you can have list-only candidates who are preferred when it comes time to dole out the seats. The CAQ in particular would be very likely to have an Anglophone from Montreal on such a list, probably joined with a Francophone from the downtown core.

I will speak more on Proportional Representation in Quebec in a future post (hopefully tomorrow)

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Quebec, Left vs Right

I saw this poll earlier. In particular this graph from it. While the PLQ and PQ were over 80% supportive/opposing sovereignty, both the CAQ and QS had at least a third of people from either side of that divide.

My read of this is that CAQ and QS voters were and are more likely to vote on issues - such as being left or right wing - than simply based on their position on sovereignty.

As such, it gave me an opportunity to make a good left vs right divide map for Quebec using the CAQ and QS vote patterns.

This is the resulting map:

QS actually wins more votes but CAQ more seats. Given how far QS had to be boosted (2.6) its unlikely this is "realistic" especially as both CAQ and QS are new to being at the level they are at now (that being "potential government" and "serious province-wide party") and those patterns tend to change in the 2nd such election.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Update - New Computer

Thanks to the donations of friends, I've been able to get back up and running. My first new article, coming later today or tomorrow, will be from an ideal I stole from Eric Grenier.

He looked at advance polling and compared it to the final results. You can see it here. I'd like to do this for a large set of elections to see how they compare.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Quebec, in more detail

Lets start with maps, and then explain all of them!!

Our first map

This map shows weather the PQ or QS candidate preformed better in the election. If only PQ and QS candidates ran, and they took the same vote they did in the past election, this would be the results map. As you can see QS wins more seats (67 if I'm counting correctly)

This is very good news for QS and bad for the PQ. It basically means QS can serve as a PQ replacement in sort of a similar way that the Canadian Alliance served as a Progressive Conservative replacement Federally.

This map shows a boosted CAQ. It does not win many additional seats, in large part due to just how well it did in this past election; however it does make important gains in Laval.

This map shows a stronger Liberal vote. the party regains some territory it lost in the election, but this shows the areas it has truly lost out to the CAQ in with massive swings.

The PLQ problem was not, as I thought earlier, weak anglophone showings, but rather very weak showings in some of the most francophone ridings in the centre of Quebec. Rural voters really swung very heavily to the CAQ and the Liberals will have to work very hard to get those voters back.

Remember the PLQ was founded in the 1840s as a party of and for Anglo Quebecois. It may be able to retain those voters, but if it continues to do so poorly among Francohpone voters (it may well have finished not third but fourth among them) it will have a hard time getting back into office.

This map does not look very different from the actual outcome but it shows areas QS could win with a vote boost. QS did very well this election, and in general, where they performed well in a riding, they won that riding. This could present potential roadblocks to growth, but at the same time by simply showing they can win off island, the vote pattern of QS can be expected to change, meaning they could actually win far more than what is shown with a similar vote boost in the next election.

What is perhaps the most sad for the PQ is how minor a vote boost they need to gain extra ridings. A lot of the CAQs most drastic swings were against the Liberals and not the PQ. The party is in great shape to return to party status in the next election.

More than just 4 parties ran candidates. On this map I've given the Conservatives a massive vote boost, over tenfold, to get them above the marker for party status. Due to the overwhelming size of the vote swing, this is not an exact science. Regardless, these are the kinds of seats the party wins at those levels. Quebec City and area, known for leaning a bit to the right, is home to half of the seats, but the party is also able to win in the far North (chances are simply because of how divided the vote was up here) and in more Anglophone ridings. The party's strength in St. Laurent in particular mirrors what I saw in Calgary a decade ago for the Liberals. There are truly parts of Montreal becoming right-wing and pro-Tory, but it may take a number of elections for the party to win seats here even on a federal level.

Lastly, I did the same for the Greens. The NDP vote was too small to do this with. When you do this for the Greens you see how extremely biased towards Anglophone ridings the party is. I've often said the Greens in Quebec, provincially, are an Anglo party, and that they are where Anglos turn when they want to cast a protest vote. This is why. While the party does take ridings in the core of Montreal, the Franco core, it is in large swaths of the west island that they gain the bulk of their ridings.

There will be more posts digging into the math in Quebec.

An update to the computer situation: thanks to donations from friends, I've been able to get a new computer. It is in the mail and should arrive any time between now and a week from now. Until then the laptop still works, but is painfully slow online. This has significantly slowed down my ability to do this sort of work, but rest assured, I do continue working.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Quebec Results

Election results are as follows:

74 - CAQ - 37.44%
32 - PLQ - 24.79%
10 - QS - 16.07%
9 - PQ - 17.07%
0 - PVQ - 1.69%
0 - PCQ - 1.47%
0 - NPDQ - 0.57%
0 - OTH - 0.90%


Map with a PQS - a merged PQ-QS party. Note CAQ loses its majority:

Map of Montreal (and area) showing the largest non-liberal party:

Distinct split between the urban core and more suburban fringes.

Interesting things to note:

The Conservative Party beat the NDP, but the Greens beat both of them.

QS beat the PQ in seat count.

QS was only 1% behind the PQ in vote count.

PQ did manage to hold on in Eastern Quebec

QS did manage to break out of Montreal, 4 of its 10 seats are outside of Montreal.

Liberals did not manage to hold on in the Eastern Townships. They went CAQ, save Sherbrooke, which went QS.

Shocker: CAQ did very well in Western Quebec winning 3 of the 5 Outaouais ridings.

And, of course, the CAQ won a majority government, beating the polls and taking 37% of the vote.

Why were the polls wrong?

My suspicion is low Anglophone turnout. If they were expected to make up, for example 20% of voters but only actually made up 15% of voters, it could explain the gap between the expected and seen PLQ numbers; which in turn explains the CAQ numbers. The numbers, however, don't seem to fully support that, with Anglophone ridings only have 10% less turnout than the rest of the province.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Quebec, Interesting Regions

Caveat: my computer died and I'm writing this from memory. If some of these region names are "weird" or "wrong" I apologize.

Eastern Townships
Sherbrooke, and its neighbour riding ridings (Richmond, St. Francois, Megantic, Orford) are all polling stronger for the PLQ than they are "supposed to". Additionally, the PQ and QS are not as strong her as the math suggests they are "supposed to be" either. Will this turn into PLQ seats stopping the CAQ, or CAQ seats enabling a Majority? We'll have to see.

Far-East Montreal
The CAQ has a potential to take two ridings on the eastern tip of Montreal. In fact my previous tests show the Pointe riding (at the very eastern tip) is the balance-point riding. It is riding number 63, if the CAQ wins it they get a majority. I'm thinking they fail here, but should they get this riding, and the neighboring Bourget riding, the CAQ could not only end up with a majority, but one with MNAs from Montreal

Centre-East Montreal
QS is sitting on 3 seats right now, but is easily on a position to pick up two more in Hochelaga, and Laurier.  The question is if this will be all for them from Montreal. Rosemont - the riding of Lisee, the PQ leader, is within their grasp, and ridings like Maurice-Richard, and others are possible surprise wins.

Quebec City
Some polls have suggested CAQ weakness here. Taschereau, in the core of Quebec City, is all but certain to go QS and elect Catherine Dorion, who, being roughly my age, could well be an MNA for decades to come. QS could even pick up a second seat in Jean-Lesage, while the PLQ is polling well in Jean-Talon. Exactly how many seats the CAQ wins here will go a long way to determining if they take a Majority or nor.

Eastern Quebec
North-Shore ridings like Duplessis and Rene-Levesque combined with south-shore ridings like Gaspe, Bonaventure, and Matane, may be the only stronghold the PQ has left in the province. With the CAQ nipping at their heels in Rimouski and Jonquiere, the PQ could well be limited to a half dozen seats or worse. If so, this would likely be the last bastion of PQ support.

This three-riding region has been hard to pin down, and all 3 major parties (CAQ, PLQ, PQ) could do well here. If someone can win all 3 seats it speaks well to their performance this election.

The Holdouts.
Labelle (PQ), Joliette (PQ), Huntingdon (PLQ), and Sainte-Rose (PLQ) are all seats that the CAQ wants, but are difficult to take according to local polling. The CAQ could get a majority without any of them, but a victory in all 4 would go a long way towards solidifying a CAQ majority government.

In Summary:
"Will the CAQ win a majority" is the main question of this election. Should the PLQ win it will be viewed as a bit of a fluke.