Thursday, October 31, 2019

Alberta vs British Columbia

The idea that Canada is split, west vs east, is misleading. To see this, one only needs to look at Alberta, and British Columbia.

One of the things I tried to do for a failed post was look at an alternate history of how Canada would look, using real Canadian elections, but treating Western Canada, and the rest of Canada, as two different countries. This failed for a number of reasons, but one was simply that it didn't show what it was supposed to; that there's a massive split between the two. The massive split simply didn't manifest in the way I expected. In fact, I got more mileage by simply removing Alberta. Without Alberta, Harper's 2011 majority becomes a minority. In 2006 the Liberals take the most seats instead of the Tories. Reform finishes behind the Bloc in 1997. Joe Clark's 1979 margin of victory is reduced to a single seat.

Additionally, part of my 'alternate history' project, included combing the vote of the left of centre parties in Western Canada. When you do that, you end up with the following maps:

Which works out to a centre-left Majority of one.

It may be unfair to do a 100% vote conversion of all 3 centre-left parties VS the various right-wing parties (CPC, PPC, CHP, Libertarians) but it does show something that I think a lot of people miss.

The major split isn't between Western Canada and the rest of Canada.

It is between Alberta and BC.

Lets look at federal popular vote for the Tories, Social Credit, Reform, Canadian Alliance in all elections, and the "proto-reform" Confederation of Regions party, in 1984, in the two provinces. Lets start in 1968, which is often a place I start as it is by this point that "national" media networks have taken hold in Canada, and the first one with a debate. Combining the vote for the above parties (in this case, just the Tories and Social Credit) gives us the following:

25.3% BC // AB 52.9% - 1968

Continuing we get results as follows:

35.6% BC // AB 62.1% - 1972
43.1% BC // AB 64.6% - 1974
44.5% BC // AB 66.6% - 1979
41.6% BC // AB 65.9% - 1980
46.6% BC // AB 68.8% - 1984
40.1% BC // AB 67.2% - 1988
49.9% BC // AB 66.9% - 1993
49.3% BC // AB 69.0% - 1997
56.7% BC // AB 72.4% - 2000
36.3% BC // AB 61.7% - 2004
37.3% BC // AB 65.0% - 2006
44.4% BC // AB 64.6% - 2008
45.5% BC // AB 66.8% - 2011
30.0% BC // AB 59.5% - 2015
34.1% BC // AB 69.2% - 2019

With this I've done additional math. I've taken the BC result and divided into the Alberta result to provide a percentage; it is a ratio showing the comparison between the two. For example, in 1968, the right-wing parties took 25.3% of the vote in BC vs 52.9% in Alberta. 235 is 47.83% of 529, hence our number. The results are as follows:

57.33% - 1972
66.72% - 1974
66.82% - 1979
63.13% - 1980
67.73% - 1984
59.67% - 1988
74.59% - 1993
71.45% - 1997
78.31% - 2000
58.83% - 2004
57.38% - 2006
68.73% - 2008
68.11% - 2011
50.42% - 2015
49.28% - 2019

You can see a clear trend here. First, note that when the Reform Alliance did well, from 1993 through 2000, BC was consistently hitting above 70%. Normally the ratio seemed to hover closer to 60%, popping out of that range from time to time, but staying usually within it.

Note the sudden and stark change in 2015.

Note how the gap only grew in 2019.

Lets also look at some provincial election results from BC, in particular, the popular vote totals for Social Credit.

47% - 1969
31% - 1972
49% - 1975
48% - 1979
50% - 1983
49% - 1986

Excepting their loss in 1972, these results are fairly consistent, and are similar to, if not better than, the federal 'right-wing' results in the province. 

In 1987, the BC Liberals elected Gordon Campbell as leader, and thus the party shifted to the right. The combined BCL/SC vote total was 57%, with 33% for the Liberals and 24% for Social Credit. The 1996 election would see a combined BCL+Reform vote total of 51%, with 42% for BCL and 9% for Reform. By 2001, although other right-wing parties continued to exist, the BC Liberals had become dominant, and they won 58% of the vote on their own. Tangent of a reminder, it was this government that introduced fixed election dates, now standard in nearly every province in Canada.

By 2005, things begun to change. BCL was down to 46%, while the combined NDP+Green total was 51%. By 2008, it was the BC Liberals themselves who introduced a carbon tax. The Environment simply was becoming a much more important topic of discussion and thought. The 2009 BC election saw the Liberals steady at 46% while the NDP and Greens combined to reach 50%. 2013 would see 44% for the Liberals, while 2017 would see them drop to 40%, but the combined NDP+Green vote increase to 57%

Simply put, the environment is important to BC Voters.

It is important to Canadian voters as a whole as well, but has yet to make similar inroads into Alberta's political culture.

We can see this across Canada. Lets look at the results for provincial Greens in the most recent provincial elections:

BC - 16.8%
AB - 0.4%
SK - 1.8%
MB - 6.4%
ON - 4.6%
QC - 1.7%
NB - 11.9%
NS - 2.8%
PE - 30.6%
NL - 0.0% (no provincial party)

Note that Quebec provincial parties tend to be more friendly towards the environment, though not always, and that this can explain the low number there. In Ontario, in past elections, the Greens have taken upwards of 8% of the vote, and, in the most recent election, gained a seat in the Legislature.

In the federal election, the Greens managed to take under 3% of the vote in both Alberta and Saskatchewan. Their next worst showing was in Newfoundland and Labrador, which, has a particular distaste of the party which goes back a decade to arguments about the seal hunt. Beyond this, the worst showing was Quebec at 4%, Manitoba at 5%, and Ontario at 6%. Results in British Columbia, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island, all topped 10% of the vote. In fact the Greens received more votes from New Brunswick alone than they did from Alberta and Saskatchewan combined.

What we are seeing thus is not a divide between Western Canada and "Eastern" or the rest of Canada. It is a divide between Alberta (and large parts of Saskatchewan, as well as Newfoundland) against the remainder of Canada, especially parts of British Columbia, and the environmentally conscious urban centres of Toronto and Montreal.

This is not an issue that can simply be fixed by tapping the policy dials. This is an issue that will only resolve itself when one side, the other side, or both sides, decide it is time to either give in, or to compromise.

It is quite likely that in an attempt to hold on to votes in the other provinces, the Tories will adopt a tone less friendly towards Alberta and Saskatchewan and their anti-environment stances. This would give a chance for a new anti-environment party to pop up, or, for an existing small party to take on and champion the cause (for example, the Peoples Party)

Given the trend issues like this tend to take, it is my guess that in time, Alberta and Saskatchewan will come around to the trend that prevails in the rest of the country. It's only a matter of when that happens and how stressful of a process it will be.

Why no new posts? Canada is not as divided as we think.

Over the past week I have tried no less than 9 times to make a new post, only for it to fail. Two of these are simply due to lack of information; international elections in particular. Switzerland, for example, is ruled by a 7-person Federal Council instead of a single "President" or "Prime Minister" and it is unclear if the recent election results, which I will present below, mean this council's political balance will change or not. Neighbouring Austria meanwhile continues negotiations, but it seems we are getting closer to a OVP-Green coalition. Israel continues talks, with Gantz trying to form a government. The UK is headed to an election, but is not there yet. None of these really could morph into a post on its own.

Seven times, however, I've failed to prove a theory I set out to prove, and thus, made any post I wanted to make moot. My PR example on Twitter failed to show what I thought it would for the simple reason that Ralph Goodale, and Lisa Raitt, two MPs I consider of high quality, lost their ridings very badly. Additionally, numerous posts I've tried to make about how "Canada has never been so divided" have fallen to simple math; Even in 1974 or 2011 we were more divided by many measures, not to mention 1980 or 1993, two elections often thought of as divided.

So let me try to summarize all of these things into a single post. First, lets get the Swiss results out of the way.

To understand Swiss politics you need to understand the traditional coalition that ruled for decades from 1959 to 2003, and how that coalition saw a single change and continue to the present day.

Switzerland, as mentioned earlier, is ruled by a 7 person council. For decades, it operated under the "Magic Formula" coalition. This would see the council consist of 2 Socialists, 2 Christian Democrats, 2 Liberals, and 1 Peoples Party member. In 2003, due to the Peoples Party, for the second time in a row, finished first in the popular vote. They thus demanded a second seat on the council, and after some negotiating, eventually took a seat from the Christian Democrats who consistently had been the least popular among the other 3 coalition parties for over a decade. This thus made for a council of 2 Socialists, 2 Peoples Party members, 2 Liberals, and 1 Christian Democrat. There was a brief interruption by the BDP, which broke off from the Peoples Party, and took their seats, but, that ended in 2015.

The reason this is all important is that the Greens have done well. Both of them.

Switzerland has two Green parties. A traditional "Green Party" that is socialist in nature and leans heavily to the left, and a "Green Liberal" party, that is eco-capitalist in outlook. Combined, the two parties have taken 21.0% of the vote, up from a combined 11.7% last election. Importantly is that the Greens (the traditional left leaning party) have finished ahead of the Christian Democrats in the election. Results are as follows.

53 - Peoples Party - 25.6%
39 - Social Democrats - 16.8%
29 - Liberals - 15.1% (see note below)
28 - Green Party - 13.2%
25 - Christian Democrats - 11.4%
16 - Green Liberals - 7.8%
10 - others

(Cautionary note for some readers: the "Liberals" in this context are in the vein of mainland european "liberal parties", and are much more 'pro-business' than a 'liberal' from Canada, the UK, or the US would be expected to be)

As such, the Greens are looking to take a seat in the council, but the question arises, take a seat from whom? If they take the one Christian Democrat seat, not only will they remove a party that has been on the council since 1891, but it would mark a shift in the overall political leaning of the council, the first since 1959, by adding another "left" seat at the expense of a "right" party. Additionally, there may be questions as to why a party with 13% of the vote 'deserves' a seat, while one with 11% does not? Those questions could also, however, ask why a party with 8% then also does not 'deserve' a seat. It may then be from the Liberals whom the Greens would demand the seat, however the party finished closer to the Social Democrats than to the Greens, and may feel they 'deserve' two seats.

It is quite likely that this will be decided in time with a lot of negotiation, perhaps months from now. As such, there's nothing 'new' to really report.

As for Canada, in the process of writing all of the above, I've actually hit upon something I can do a blogpost on; I can show how we are not nearly as divided as we think - in the way we think - and show where the real divide actually is. That blogpost will be ready to go later today (I won't make you wait until tomorrow if I can at all help it)

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Electoral Reform

I won't go over exactly what each system does, why they are used, or how we can use them, as I've done that before
and here
but I will give a quick summary explanation.

There are two ways I can do these examples.

One is to find the result from each polling box; there are 700,000-1,000,000 of these across Canada. I would then need to note those results for each party. Then, after consulting with Canadians from coast to coast to coast, I'd need to re-draw the electoral boundaries to create 287 ridings across the country. This way, when my additional Proportional ridings are added, the final end total is the same 338 we have now. This would not add any MPs. This entire process would take me 8 hours a day working for probably a month, and cost thousands upon thousands in advertising and transportation. If Canada were to adopt my proposals, this is what Canada would do. As such, no MPs are added.

Two, is to take fifteen minutes to simply add a few more MPs to make the calculation easier. I've opted for the latter. I want to make clear, however, that my proposal does not increase the number of MPs, only that I'm doing so in this example to save myself from going insane.

Lets start with our current results.

157 L
121 C
32 B
24 N
3 G
1 O

This gives us 338 MPs, the actual number of MPs we have.

My examples, however, all represent a house with 400 MPs. As such, we need to inflate this number. I've done so, and a 400 MP house with FPTP might roughly look as follows:

186 L
144 C
38 B
28 N
3 G
1 O

As such, keep these figures in mind, not the 338 figures, as it will make comparison easier.

First off, lets assume straight up simple MMP PR as is often proposed. What would that have resulted in? The answer:

141 C
136 L
65 N
31 B
26 G
1 O

This is a radically different Parliament. While the Tories and the Bloc end up roughly where they are in our above 400 seat example, the Liberals, NDP, and Greens move quite a bit. A Liberal+NDP coalition would barely obtain the 201 seats they'd need for a majority.

As I've mentioned before, in the posts linked to above, this is not what Canadians want. Canadians want stable government, majorities. The Pro MMP campaign likes to call this "False Majorities". Then so be it, Canadians demand "False Majorities". So, lets see what we can do to give that to them.

One way to achieve this is to simply lower the number of proportional seats compared to the number of single-member seats. Germany splits this in half. New Zealand has 71 single-member seats and 49 proportional seats. I propose 338 single-member seats and 62 proportional seats; or at least, that's what I am using in my example (see my rant about how this does not add any MPs above)

Why 62? Simple; I want 0.175 proportional seats for every riding in each area. Our proportional areas, where the math will happen, would be Ontario, Quebec, BC, Alberta, Atlantic Canada, and the Prairies + The Territories. Pretty much the same as how I divide my maps. In fact, if not for the additional math it would involve, I would split Ontario and Quebec as my maps are as well, as doing so will help make the PR system work better.

Why 0.175? Also simple; in my system I hope to limit list candidates to those who are running in a riding. This will thus ensure that at least roughly 1/7th of MPs come from a party different from the party that has swept the area. I hope each province adopts my system and we have seen, in PEI, in Alberta, and rarely elsewhere, (BC 2001 for example) massive majorities elected with little to no opposition in the Legislature. This would stop that, permanently.

Why 1/7th? That's more a gut thing. My gut says that's "enough" of a "minimum" for an opposition to "be heard"

Regardless, back to the math.

First, I want to divert from my proposal to an alternative; which is to use these limited PR seat numbers, but use standard MMP. Doing so produces an interesting result.

164 L
130 C
54 N
32 B
19 G
1 O

This is not nearly as drastic a change from the FPTP result as the pure MMP result would see. The Liberals are only 37 seats short of a Majority here, enough for the Bloc and the Greens to bridge.

This, however, is still to radical of a change for my tastes, and for the tastes of many Canadians. As such, I'd like to go over my proposal.

Lets start in Alberta, where we get to use my "riding candidates are list candidates" rule. The Tories, who should win 5 seats, win only 1, being unable to fill the other 4 seats. As such, they are assigned to the other parties. This means the Liberals win 3 Alberta seats, and the NDP win 2. This is above and beyond what they've won in the ridings; meaning the NDP gets a grand total of 3 NDP MPs from Alberta. Likely meaning an NDP MP from Calgary, and perhaps one from the Rural regions. The Liberals too would be able to have MPs from Edmonton, Calgary, and the Rural parts of Alberta. Not only does this allow for NDPers and Liberals in those areas to have their voices heard in Parliament, but allows those voters to have their voices heard in Caucus. There is now a voice from Rural Alberta in each Liberal or NDP caucus meeting.

Next, is the Atlantic, which also elects 6 Proportional members. The Tories get 2, the Liberals 3, and the NDP 1. The Tories could thus put George Canyon in the house, or choose to have MPs for both PEI and Newfoundland. The Greens narrowly miss a seat here, but that narrowness is important in demonstrating that this system is not designed to radically change elections, but rather to smooth over the rough edges that FPTP can produce.

In the vast Manitoba+Saskatchewan+Territories region, the Tories, who have a massive vote lead, get a whopping 4 list MPs. The Liberals and NDP both get one, which means Ralph Goodale would stay in the house, for better or for worse. The NDP too would be likely to have a Saskatchewan MP selected, meaning Saskatchewan goes from being a shut out, to having voices from three parties.

British Columbia takes us to 8 PR seats. 3 of those would go to the Tories, 2 to the Liberals, 2 to the NDP, and 1 to the Greens. Tories in Vancouver, and interior Liberals, are likely to sit in the House as a result.

Quebec leaps up to 14 PR seats. 6 of these go to the Liberals, and 5 to the Bloc. Given how well the Liberals did in Montreal, and how poorly they did outside of it, and how the Bloc mirrored this in reverse, it is not hard to guess how these MPs would be distributed. The Tories get 2 seats, likely meaning a Montreal Tory as an MP. The NDP meanwhile gets 1, likely meaning Ruth-Ellen Brosseau keeps her seat.

Finally, Ontario, gets 22 PR seats. 8 of these are Tories, more than enough room for Lisa Raitt to remain an MP. 9 are Liberals. 4 are NDP. And 1 is a Green, likely Gord Miller.

Our end result is thus as follows:

181 L
141 C
37 B
35 N
5 G
1 O

Similar to the Parliament we just elected, yet, with some important differences. All 3 large parties now find themselves with MPs from all, or nearly all, of the provinces. You now have Montreal and Toronto Tories. You now have rural Albertan Liberals and NDPers. As is common in PR systems, you have more women elected, more ethnic and religious minorities. You end up with numbers that show some similarity to FPTP with all its potential to elect stable majorities, but without the yawning chasms of lacking representation that FPTP can create over geographical areas. You also get to keep quality MPs, like Ralph Goodale, Lisa Raitt, and Ruth-Ellen Brosseau, even if the regions they happen to represent see wild partisan swings. The end result is simply a better, stronger Parliament, that can create a better, stronger Canada.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019


There were a lot of errors. I want to go through each one and why.

Acadie Bathurst and Halifax
As outlined in my post, I relied on what other projections had, and many had the NDP winning here. My error was not realizing that this, like their egmont projections, was based on last-time math that no longer applied.

Saint Johns South and Avalon
I presumed the Liberals would not do as well in Newfoundland and Labrador; this was an error.

Cardigan, Saint John, Central Nova, and Miramichi
These errors all come from under-estimating Liberal strength and over-estimating Tory strength.

West Nova
I ignored a strong Tory candidate here, and should not have. This riding is traditionally Liberal, I found it odd thus that it could go CPC before any other NS riding; I should have known a strong candidate could make that happen.

I did know the Greens were strong here and thus, unlike the above, I do not count this one as a mistake of judgement, simply 'part of the job' as some ridings will be on the "knife's edge" and its hard to guess which way it will come down.

Le Moyne, La Prairie, Laurier Saint Marie, and Hochelaga
The pattern and play of the Bloc vote was always a bit unclear, this is not exactly the same Bloc that has run in previous elections. As such, like with Fredericton, I count these as simple 'part of the job'

Abitibi Temiscamingue, Berthier Maskinonge, Sherbrooke, Rimouski
I wanted the NDP to win these ridings. As such I let that bias creep into my projections. It is very hard to avoid, but I should have done better.

Saint Maurice
As I mentioned in my (s)election post, I want this riding to stop acting strangely. It did so again regardless.

Quebec, Compton, Chicoutimi, Trois-Rivières
These ridings all fell to that pattern of Bloc vote, and thus are 'part of the job'

Hamilton East, Kitchener Conestoga, Cambridge, Toronto Danforth, Davenport, Parkdale High Park, Whitby, Richmond Hill, King Vaughan, Newmarket Aurora
All of these ridings, all in the GTA-GHA, all went Liberal, and all were projected by me not to; yet all could have been projected to go Liberal if I'd held back my final projection for a few days. I simply guessed these ones prematurely

Kenora, Essex, Rainy River, Nickel Belt, Windsor West, Windsor Tecumseh
All 'part of the job'

Peterborough, Northumberland
I don't like Monsef. I still hold her partly responsible for the defeat of electoral reform. I wanted her to lose, and so, simply swapped a liberal win in the area for a win in another riding. This was foolish.

Elmwood Transcona, St. Boniface, Desenethe-Churchill River, Saskatoon West, Regina Lewvan, Regina Wascana
Here I failed to note how strong the Tories were in SK compared to MB. This is hard to see with the kind of polls we get here in Canada, and as such, I'm counting this as well as 'part of the job'

Similar to above, we just don't have proper polling to do this.

(Note, Alberta was called 100% correctly by me and many others)

I wanted the Greens to win here.

Port Moody, Coquitlam, Kootenay, Burnaby North, Langley City
More 'part of the job' ridings

Ridings that I failed: 15 (IE, I made a mistake/bias)

Ridings guessed prematurely: 13 (IE guessed too early)

Ridings "the model" failed: 27 (IE 'part of the job')

As such if I'd done a better job with my guesses, I'd have only 27 errors, or, 311 correct calls. If I'd simply not gone early, I'd have had 40 errors, or 298 correct calls. As such I'm going to stick with the gut system for the time being and try to better my calls.

Results!! (counting continues)

counting is winding down, but here are the results as of just after Blanchet's speech

Sunday, October 20, 2019

My (S)election

For fun - as, it is fun to make and colour in maps (if it was not, my maps would not exist!) - I've decided to do something that I sometimes do after elections; change the results.

Instead of using the election result, I'm going to use my last projection. These are changes that I, if I were God-Emperor of the Universe, would make to the election. I'll explain the changes in each region as I post.

The Atlantic:
I've weakened the Liberals here. I've also made PEI go Green, and added Tories in NL. Three of the provinces now have MPs from three different parties, NB has four. This is healthy for democracy. PEI however, goes 100% Green. This is because, having grown up there, I know what sort of impact this would have. PEI becomes a healthy proportion of the Green caucus, and thus, has greater influence than otherwise. It also makes the other parties sit up and take notice, meaning they will need additional efforts to win it back.

Tories! This area has lacked tories for quite some time and that is not healthy for democracy. It is good when a large number of viewpoints can be heard, and the views of Montreal area Tories deserve to be heard. I've also added an additional NDP seat for similar reasons.

Minor changes, I've never liked how Saint Maurice does really weird things at times, so I made it stop doing that by making it vote how it 'otherwise should' I've also slightly boosted the Bloc in rural Quebec.

Again, more tories; but also more Liberals in places. I've basically shuffled support around a bit, making the "borderline" between Tory and Liberal support much less clear and stark. As a result, the ridings in the area get more competitive.
More Liberals. Additionally, my riding goes Green. I figured if I'm voting Green it would be weird for me to not make them win my own riding.

Territories all go Green. I feel that this is "logical"; climate change impacts them the most, hence, they vote for the party strongest on climate issues. Like Rural Ontario, I've also strengthened the Liberals slightly.

Peoples Party!! More NDP, and more Liberals. Alberta, under FPTP, does not well represent its people. The 60-40 split can make for for a 100-0 split in seats. The Liberals get a boost here as well; this is to offset tory boosts elsewhere, and to make the entire country as a whole more competitive. The Peoples party also gain 2 seats, as their voices deserve to be heard.
British Columbia:
Greens! Wins off the Island will help strengthen the party. Also, I quite like the CPC candidate in Skenna, so, I made her win. She could well win on her own. Outside this, and beyond some Green strength, this is basically the actual gut projection for BC.

The result is a Liberal-Green coalition, with issue-by-issue support from either the NDP or Bloc as needed. Parties will find they have representatives from all across the country, with each and every province represented by at least three parties (except PEI) and some, represented by four.

Early in the term JRW will join the Green Party, and in a year or two, end up back in Cabinet. The Liberal-Green coalition would then turn into an outright party merger. As part of the deal, the new Green Liberal Party, which people call the "Grits" and which uses Green as its main colour, will hold a leadership election, as the merger agreement stipulates, which JRW will win over Trudeau on the final ballot, surprising many. She will then win a majority in 2023.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

How I've done my gut projections

Many likely are wondering exactly how I've done my projections without math. As you know, I've already released my final projection. I can do this due to the method.

First, I begin by looking at other projections. qc125, or more accurately,, whose projection map, is delightful. His projections are the anchor this entire election as I see it. Next, I go to Canadian Election Watcher, and other people who make projections like Rhea Donsman (twitter),, Kyle J Hutton (twitter),, and others.

This gives me a "sanity check" baseline. It means anything I do will not be so far from reality as to question my sanity.

From there I read. I read news stories, I read tweets, I even ask people to send me their opinions.

Following this, I go over my maps, and, using both the projections, what I've been told, and, importantly, what my gut says, I change the maps.

This is why I can make a projection days before the election. My gut is telling me how things will unfold over the final weekend. It tells me the NDP will outperform expectations. It tells me Scheer isn't gaining traction and people will abandon him for other options. It tells me Singh and Trudeau will probably agree to a coalition. It tells me that Canadians want a "Progressive Government" and will get just that, even if in minority.

The Liberal-NDP coalition will have 169 seats, exactly half. After the speaker is chosen - probably the current Speaker, a Liberal (Geoff Regan) this puts them at 168 VS 169 for all other parties. One of those 169 opposition members, however, will be Jody Raybould-Wilson, who is a progressive. Added to that will be 3 Greens who are also progressive. Beyond this will be a large Bloc caucus that also leans towards the progressive end of the spectrum.

If Trudeau proves he can behave (IE, does not have more scandals like JRW, or, break promises like electoral reform) he will likely be headed for a majority at the next election. As to when that election will be, my current thinking is May 2022 after a 30 month deal with the NDP expires. Just long enough to get some larger projects started, but not long enough to get them finished (therefore, "we need to be re-elected to finish this")

I hope that clarifies things. The only math I've done has been for the atlantic, both in the post I made, and 4 days ago as an additional sanity check. I'm convinced the projectonators do not have the atlantic down pat. The 2015 region-to-province vote distribution will not be repeated in 2019, at least, not to the same degree. The Tories will do better in NL and NS and as a result, worse in NB.

Regardless. This is how I've done my projections for this election, and, very likely, will continue doing projections for the foreseeable future.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Does most seats = Government? No. And yes.

There's been a bit of a debate on Twitter as of late about if winning the most seats entitles you to form the next government. The simple answer to that is "no." Not just a no, but "no, not at all, this is not how this works, this is not how any of this works."

The complex answer, however, is "yes, absolutely it does." How can that be. How can the simple answer and complex answer be different. And more, which answer is right.

They both are.

That might sound absurd - in fact, in a way, it is absurd - but it is true. How? Simple; it matters in what context you ask the question and give the answer. It matters "when" said government would form. It matters "how" said government would form.

Let me give you two examples from our past. One 100% real. One fictional, based on real election results, but showing you what could happen if you take the argument to the extreme.


In 1972, the Election result was not clear on election day.
E-day results had the Liberals ahead by one. The following day, the Tories were ahead by one. It was only after recounts that it became clear the Liberals had won more seats.

Even while the PC party lead, the PC leader made it clear that the government gets the first chance to govern.

Why is this?
Simple; it is true.

The sitting government gets the first chance to govern.

Canada is a Constitutional Monarchy. We share a monarch with the United Kingdom, from where our political system originated. We do have a written constitution, but many things, such as the relationship between monarch and government, are left unwritten. That part of the constitution is thus based on tradition and on precedent.

That tradition and precedent clearly outlines the following: The Prime Minister remains the Prime Minister until they resign (or die)

There is another tradition, that is much less explicit, that a Prime Minister will resign when they no longer command the confidence of a majority of the house. This, however, is often bent. This is why actual Votes Of Non-Confidence (VONC) happen and pass. Generally, a Prime Minister is expected to act in good faith, and, if they know they could not pass a VONC, to resign in advance. Mid-term, the actual vote often happens. After an election, however, this is especially true. A Prime Minister who has just lost an election is expected to resign.

So, what of 1972. Did Trudeau lose the election? Simply, no. Even at 108 seats vs the 109 seat PC Party, there were two other parties in the Commons. Social Credit with 15 seats, and the NDP with 31. Two independents were also elected. Simple math, however, tells us only the NDP matters. Lets take the actual final results, 109-107. There is a 2 seat lead (109-107=2). This deals with the Liberals and Tories. Now that we've done that, we deal with all non-NDP members. 15 Social Credit plus 2 Independents. Add the 2 seat lead to that; 19. Lets assume that somehow we end up with a Tory speaker, that would increase the lead from 2 to 3, bringing our 19 to 20. Now lets add another seat to ensure there are no tricky ties; 21. 21 is less than 31, the number of seats the NDP has. As such, so long as party votes are whipped, the only party that matters in this situation (the situation of deciding who has a majority, the Liberals or the Tories) is the NDP.

The NDP did end up, in that term, offering soft support to Trudeau and the Liberals, only to bring them down in a VONC in 1974.

For all of these reasons, we end up with (what was thought at the time to be) a party with fewer seats, still holding on to government.

We've even seen this recently in New Brunswick, and a similar if more muddled example from BC.


Now we go on to fiction. Our actual election results will not change, the Liberals have just won a majority. The governing PC party, under Prime Minister Kim Campbell, have gone from 196 seats in the last election, to a grand total of 2 seats after this election. Campbell herself lost her seat.

So, what if we apply the rule we learned about above to this election. Could Campbell have stayed on as Prime Minister?


That's probably shocking to hear, but, legally, yes. She absolutely could have.

Our election happens on October 25th 1993. The last sitting day for Parliament was September 7th 1993. The Constitution (actually the Charter of Rights and Freedoms if you want to be specific, section 5) clearly says that Parliament must meet once every "twelve months" As such, the latest meeting date therefore is Friday September 30th 1994.

What happens next is a bit clouded, there is some argument that because the government controls the sitting calendar for the House, it could use this to significantly delay as well. Arguing against this, is the fact that the Speaker elected during that first meeting would most certainly use all of their power to block such a move. As such I've decided simply that said House would have an extended "thanksgiving break", it would debate the Throne Speech for the 6 days it is debated on the 16th, 17th, and 18th, as well as the 23rd, 24th, and 25th of October. Finally, a vote on it would very clearly show the government does not have the Confidence of the house.

So, what now?

Well according to the current UK Prime Minister, Campbell would be within her right to simply call another election, remain PM, wait another full year, and do this all over even. In fact, there seems little to stop her from doing so a third time; save the fact that all of this means no Federal Budgets are being passed the whole time, and thus, the country is likely spiralling into chaos.

Even without Johnson's absurd idea, we still face the fact that, legally, Campbell could have remained Prime Minister for a full year, even after losing such a massive election. So.

Why didn't she?

Because its not right.

That's it. Simple as that. It's not right.

According to whom?

The voters.

Yup. According to what the voters think is "right"

There is a 3rd player in this story. You. You, and me, and all the other Canadians out there.

Imagine for a moment if Campbell had tried to do this. Imagine the outrage from voters. Not just opposition voters, but people within her own party wouldn't stand for it. It would destroy the party far more than it just has been. Jean Charest, the sitting Deputy Prime Minister, almost certainly would have contacted the Governor General himself and requested he dismiss Campbell on the grounds of insanity. Frankly, if such a situation ever did occur, I would not be surprised to see mobs of protesters storm Parliament, carrying opposition MPs. Hell, even the Military might get involved to show Campbell that nobody will put up with this nonsense.

But, what then, of 1972? Or the recent New Brunswick election? Why were there no riots then? No military coup d'etat?

Simple: It was right to give them a shot to govern.

Put another way, it did not make voters "mad enough" to "do something about it"

That is what is key.

That is all that matters.

That is why this debate can get nonsensical.

The only thing that matters is if the voters will "put up with it" and, more importantly, if the people involved think the voters will "put up with it"

Trudeau will not try to cling to power if he does not think the voters will "put up with it". If he does not think so.

It goes beyond simply asking the electorate if they will or will not put up with it, it rests in the judgement of the Prime Minister.

And, what does the Prime Minister think?

I don't know, but I can make reasoned, thought out, educated guesses, based both on his past behavior, and on the traditions and precedents that surround these events.

10 seats is not enough. Even if Scheer wins 10 more seats than Trudeau, as my last gutomatic projection showed, (132-122), Trudeau will decide (so says I) that he can stay PM and test the confidence of the house.

40 seats though? (147-107) Trudeau will decide that he can not stay PM and will inform the GG that Scheer has a mandate to test the confidence of the house.

How about 25?
Now we get into the weeds. This is a tricky thing, based on what I, and you, and everyone else talking about this, think Trudeau will do. Hell, even I'm not convinced Trudeau would step aside at 40 if the other parties are making friendly noises.

This is a complex, complicated, nuanced issue, one that is not well suited to discussion on Twitter with its character limits. The true answer is we do not know what Trudeau will do until he does it, and until then, we can only guess.

Gutomatic projection - Coalition

I'm currently projecting that the Liberals and NDP will form a coalition.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Poland election results - PiS loses Senate majority

I've compared the current (2019) election to the last (2015) election

As you can see, the election is not nearly as good for the ruling PiS as they'd have hoped.

Despite 2 million extra votes, and a 6% increase in popular vote, the party has only just matched its 2015 performance in the house by winning a narrow majority. The PiS has also lost its majority in the Senate, but the Polish Senate is not as strong as some other Senates, and as such, it can still govern without Senate support. Even then, Senators from the PSL and the various Other senators can could still offer it ways to get support in that chamber.

The election sends the message that while voters are willing to re-elect PiS, they will need to see some improvement, or they are quite willing to replace them with another party.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Gutomatic update, tory minority

Signs of parties willing to form a coalition may be forming; Until that solidifies, the following can be expected:

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Polish Election - Exit polls

PiS appears to have won with a narrow majority after the Confederation manages to meet the threshold for a party at 5%. Media projections, by TVN24 in particular, are as follows:

239 - PiS
130 - KO
43 - Left
34 - PSL
13 - Confederation
1 - Minority

PiS is thus ahead of the 231 they need for a majority, but behind the 307 they need to amend the constitution.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Polish election

Tomorrow, Poland goes to the polls. I want to share my current projection, and I want to give some simple background to help the results, when they come, to be understood.

The 2015 election resulted in the following:

235 - PiS - Law and Justice - Hard Conservative
138 - PO - Civic Platform - Moderate, Liberal, Christian Democrat
42 - K'15 - Kukiz - Populist Right
28 - N. - Modern - Centrist
16 - PSL - Peoples Party - Rural Conservative
0 - ZL - United Left - Left Coalition
0 - KORWiN - Liberty - Right Libertarian
1 - MN - Minority - German

This election, most parties are running in coalitions. Putting the seats won last-election into said electoral coalitions, and you get the following:

235 - ZP - United Right - Hard Conservative (PiS)
166 - KO - Civic Coalition - Moderate Liberal (PO, N.)
58 - KP - Polish Coalition - Rural Conservative (PSL, K'15)
0 - Lweica - The Left - Left Coalition (ZL)
0 - Wolnosc - Confederation - Right Libertarian (KORWiN)
1 - MN - Minority - German

Coalitions require a higher vote (8% vs 5%) to pass the threshold.

Thus leads us to the current election.

This projection has been calculated simply using polls and and adjustment factor to account for the electoral system.

264 - ZP (+29)
138 - KO (-35)
64 - Lweica (+64)
0 - KP (-58) [polling at 7.5%)
0 - Wolnosc (+-0) [polling at 5%]
1 - MN (+-0)

KP will likely not make the threshold, however, should they manage, the results could look as follows:

247 - ZP (+12)
122 - KO (-44)
60 - Lweica (+60)
30 - KP (-28)
1 - MN (+-0)

Regardless, PiS, the current majority government, is expected to win a majority government.

Friday, October 11, 2019

gutomatic update - with trendline

Given the current direction of the election; this is how I expect things to play out when we reach the finish line in a little over a week.