Saturday, March 27, 2021

Newfoundland "Election" results

 Yesterday, we learned that elections officials are hiding ballots from scrutineers

I spelled out in this post that Canadian democracy is stronger than US democracy because we have scrutineers looking at each and every ballot.

Apparently, this does not apply in Newfoundland. 

Regardless, the so-called results, are as follows:

22 - LIB
13 - PC
2 - NDP
3 - IND

And that's it. No map for this farce. 

This this supposed "election" does not outage you, you are doing it wrong. The one key element that differentiates our healthy democracy from failed democracies is that each party/candidate is allowed to see each and every ballot.





Not some of them. All of them. Not one person trying desperately to look at two different piles, or worse, 10 different piles. One set of eyes, on each ballot. 

I'm not going to humor this process with any more coverage on my blog. Good day. When the lawsuits begin, I'll keep you up to date, and I'll cover the re-do of the election (if that is how the court rules) ina year or two. 

Edited to add - 

I've reviewed the results on twitter and found 6 ridings where I feel the results might be, could be, or perhaps even should be, in dispute. The solution I prefer is to start by looking at the margin of victory. IE the number of votes that the winner took, over the 2nd placed candidate. If the winner took 1000 votes, and the 2nd placed candidate took 900 votes, the margin is 100. Next, compare that, to the number of people who say they were unable to vote. If that number is greater than the margin (IE, lets say 101 people said they were unable to vote), then the losing candidate(s) could request a re-do. This would simply see by-elections called for these ridings, with the member elected today continuing to sit until the by-election results are declared.

As such, with that note in mind, I am willing to discuss the election in a bit more detail and will do so in the following days. 

Regardless, here is the results map:

Friday, March 26, 2021

Israel, two possibilities

 This will be a short post; my building was without power for much of the day. 

It seems two coalitions are potentially possible. I'll outline what they are and what the problems with them are


30 Bibi
16 Haredim
7 Bennett
5 Tkuma+Noam
4 Defectors

Total - 62

The 6 members elected under what I listed as "Otzma" actually make up 4 members of the party formerly known as Tkuma, one from Noam, and one from Otzma itself. Otzma is a racist party, that lies somewhere between parties like AfD and Golden Dawn. Tkuma and Noam are closer to the AfD, though, Noam is fanatically homophobic. 

The 4 defectors would be from the party lead by Gideon Sa'ar; New Hope. 

Such a coalition is likely not going to be all that much more stable than the last few, and would only give Bibi another year or two in office. 


17 Lapid
8 Gantz
7 Lieberman
7 Avoda
7 Bennett
6 Sa'ar
52 - Coalition Government
6 Arabs
5 Left
63 - With outside support

Supposedly, the way this would work is that Lapid would get the votes for PM when parliament opens; but Bennett would be the first to serve as PM. The government would sit for a year, and at the half-way mark, Bennett would hand over to Lapid. Somewhere before that, the Haredim parties would be invited in so that the government would not need the support of either the Arabs or the Left. 

Right now, this is the most likely option, but, it faces some big obstacles. Lieberman has made many enemies over the year, in particular, the Left, Haredim, and Arabs. The plan calls for all 3 to back this. 

Additionally, the existing government was based on a deal that Bibi would allow Gantz to become Prime Minister, only for Bibi to stab Gantz in the back. As such, whomever would serve second in any deal would have to worry about the honesty of their partner. 

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Newfoundland election

 The polls have closed in the NL election... sort of. 

As of 8pm local (IE the time this post goes live) the post offices in Newfoundland and Labrador close for regular business. As ballots must be received (or, if the rules changed, postmarked, by today) this means the "polls" have "closed". One could argue, "perhaps midnight is better", but, my point here is that we have no results.

And we will continue to have no results until noon on Saturday (40 hours from now)

To my knowledge, this is the first time in 100 years that a Canadian election is having its results held back, despite the fact that no one can vote as the polls have closed. This just "does not happen" here. In places like Ireland or the UK it is far more normal to wait until all results are counted to release the results. That, however, is not part of our political culture as Canadians. 

Remember that the original election date was February 13th. We are now 40 days out from that mark. Results are still 2 days away. The move to the 27th (as results day) marks the 5th change, after it was changed to the 1st, then the 5th, the 12th, the 25th, and finally to the 27th. 

Beyond that, 20 people are counting the ballots, when roughly 2400 people would normally do so in the province. 

Beyond that, the election itself was cancelled with under 24 hours notice. At the time of its cancelation, anyone with covid would have been barred from voting. 

Apparently, despite having been in a pandemic for 10 months, none of the members of the minority legislature thought it wise to update the election act to ensure that there would be procedures to deal with the situation. 

The opposition parties are demanding meetings with election officials, but are being refused. Only the government party, it seems, gets to bypass this by having its leader as sitting Premier. 

If it was not for the fact that polls agreed that the government would be re-elected easily, a liberal victory would likely have lead to a massive constitutional crisis in the country. 

In short, the management of this election has been offensive. 

Reports that some voters were told to vote illegally are perhaps the icing on the cake.

This election has been run with extreme incompetence. Only the lack of malice makes any of this in any way acceptable in Canada. 

We should not be relying on the goodness of our officials to ensure a healthy democracy. Things need to change. Now. 

After debating with myself for weeks on if I want to associate myself with this farce by covering the results, I've decided that I will, for the same reason outlined above - lack of malice on the part of the administrators of the election. As such, expect a short post on Saturday with the results. 

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Israeli Elections - Bad news for bibi

 With 88% of votes counted, Bibi's main path to victory has been closed

30 Bibi
16 Haredim
6 Otzma
52 - Core Bibi

17 Lapid
8 Gantz
7 Lieberman
7 Avoda
6 Sa'ar
45 - Core anti-Bibi

7 Bennett
Swing; 59 with bibi, 52 with anti-bibi.

6 Arabs
5 Left
5 Ra'am

~88% of ballots counted

Things can, of course, still change. The formula (Bibi + Bennett = Majority) has been swinging between "YES" and "NO" through the entire count. Ra'am currently sits at 4.02%, above the 3.25% threshold. With so many ballots counted, it would be difficult, but not impossible, for them to plunge back below that number. Given the other results, the most realistic way for Bibi+Bennett to get a majority, is if Ra'am plunges back below the threshold. 

This then leaves open the question of Ra'am itself. 

Ra'am ran its own independent campaign (outside the Joint List of other Arab parties) explicitly because it hoped that a Bibi government would work with it. It now looks like the numbers may have put Ra'am in the exact position it hoped for. The question then becomes; is Bibi willing to work with them, and if so, are Bibi's allies willing to stomach that. 

I will update/edit this post if any new releveling information comes out today, or even tomorrow before sunset (when another post goes up) Such edits will appear below. 

Thursday Morning update:

30 Bibi
16 Haredim
6 Otzma
52 - Core Bibi

17 Lapid
8 Gantz
7 Lieberman
7 Avoda
6 Sa'ar
45 - Core anti-Bibi

7 Bennett
Swing; 59 with bibi, 52 with anti-bibi.

6 Arabs
6 Left
4 Ra'am

~96% of ballots counted

So long as Ra'am remains above the threshold, there is no simple way for Bibi to get his majority. Bibi's allies are unwilling to work with them, at least, enough of them have expressed reservations that make such an alliance all but impossible. 

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Israeli election - good news for Bibi

 Exit polls suggest the following:

32 Bibi
17 Lapid
16 Haredim
8 Arabs
7 Bennett
7 Gantz
7 Lieberman
7 Avoda
7 Otzma
6 Left
6 Sa'ar
0 Ra'am

These are good numbers for Bibi.

Bibi, plus Haredim, plus Otzma has 55 seats. This means any of the other parties can put them over the mark for a majority. 

The TLDR is that this is good news for Bibi, but not great news. 

Right now, I'd say the odds suggest that Bennett can be brought on board and will support Bibi in government in return for something he dearly wants. 

Remember though, these are exit polls. Things can, and will, change as votes come in. As such, I will make another post tomorrow showing where things stand.

midnight edit - 

Results as of 6:21am in Israel:

31 Bibi
19 Haredim
6 Otzma
56 - Core Bibi

17 Lapid
8 Gantz
7 Lieberman
7 Avoda
6 Sa'ar
45 - Core anti-Bibi

6 Arabs
7 Bennett
6 Left
0 Ra'am

~64% of ballots counted

note that the above was edited with even newer results, an hour later.

Friday, March 19, 2021

Israeli Election, prediction

 Those of you who follow me may know that I "live" blogged this on my Twitch channel, showing people how I make my posts. 

On the 23rd Israel will vote in its 4th election in 2 years. Sadly, as you will quickly see, the results may be as inconclusive as the previous three.

Lets go right to the numbers:

32 Bibi
18 Lapid
15 Haredim
9 Bennett
8 Arabs
8 Lieberman
7 Sa'ar
5 Avoda
5 Otzma
5 Gantz
4 Left
4 Ra'am

This would give the pro-Bibi faction, 52 seats (Likud, Haredim, and Otzma), but also give the so-called "anti"-Bibi faction, 52 seats (Lapid, Bennet, Lieberman, Sa'ar, Avoda, Gantz).

The problem here is that the "anti" faction is far weaker than the "pro" faction. It is more likely that a party from the "anti" faction would join the "pro" faction, than vice versa. 

It is still possible that someone like Bennett could end up as Prime Minister (Lapid seems to know that the right-wing parties in the 'anti' faction do not want him as PM, and thus he seems 'okay' with the idea - seeming to never have campaigned as if him becoming PM was even possible.) but Sa'ar, with only 7 seats, is no longer the most likely victor. 

Bennett however, might be persuaded to join with Bibi for the right price. Frankly, almost any party might "sell its soul" to get in power. The 'problem' is that Gantz did this, and suffered badly for it. 

The TL;DR is that unless the polls (and therefore my predictions) are wrong, this election will not produce the stability that Israelis hope.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Dutch results clearer; liberal victory

35 - VVD conservative liberal (GOV) +2
24 - D66 social liberal (GOV) +5
17 - PVV right populist -3
15 - CDA christian democrat (GOV) -4
9 - SP democratic socialist -5
9 - PvdA social democrat +-0
8 - FvD far right +6
7 - GL green -7
6 - PvdD pro-animal +1
5 - CU christian democrat (GOV) +-0
4 - JA21 trumplike +4
3 - Volt european federal +3
3 - SGP christian right +-0
2 - DENK minority rights -1
1 - 50+ pro pensioner -3
1 - BBB pro-farmer +1
1 - BIJ1 egalitarian +-0

As the results above (with ~80% of votes counted) attest; to a stronger liberal presence. Not only is Volt now in the chamber, but both VVD and D66 are up. Together, the two main liberal parties now have 59 seats. With CDA added, this is 74, putting them only 2 seats from a majority. If these results hold, even a smaller party like Volt may be invited in. 

It is quite possible CU will not be part of the new coalition. While VVD, D66, and CDA seem comfortable to go forward, CU has always been the odd one out. D66 may demand their replacement with PvdA. Regardless, this election has been a victory for liberals in the Netherlands, and marks the first time since WW2 that a single party (VVD) has won the popular vote 4 times in a row. 

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Dutch election, liberal surprise

Originally, I'd planned a long complex post, but, the exit poll indicates the following:

76 for majority

36 - VVD conservative liberal (GOV)
27 - D66 social liberal (GOV)
17 - PVV right populist
14 - CDA christian democrat (GOV)
9 - PvdA social democrat
8 - GL green
8 - SP democratic socialist
8 - FvD far right
5 - PvdD pro-animal
4 - CU christian democrat (GOV)
3 - Volt european federal
3 - SGP christian right
3 - JA21 trumplike
2 - DENK minority rights
1 - 50+ pro pensioner
1 - BBB pro-farmer
1 - BIJ1 egalitarian

D66 was not expected to do this well. In fact, VVD has already said they are going to form a coalition with D66 as soon as they can. They would give them a combined 63 seats, only 13 short of what is needed for a majority, something they could easily get with CDA. In short, the current government is likely to continue, if with one less partner. I will post more updates as more results come in. 

midnight edit: 

36 - VVD 
24 - D66 
17 - PVV 
15 - CDA
9 - PvdA 
9 - SP 
8 - FvD 
7 - GL 
6 - PvdD 
5 - CU 
4 - JA21 
3 - SGP 
3 - Volt 
2 - DENK 
1 - 50+ 
1 - BBB 

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Dutch elections tomorrow

 Polls suggest the following:

76 for majority
34 - VVD conservative liberal (GOV)
20 - PVV right populist
16 - CDA christian democrat (GOV)
18 - D66 social liberal (GOV)
11 - SP democratic socialist
11 - PvdA social democrat
10 - GL green
6 - CU christian democrat (GOV)
6 - PvdD pro-animal
5 - FvD far right
3 - SGP christian right
3 - Volt european federal
2 - DENK minority rights
2 - JA21 trumplike
1 - 50+ pro pensioner
1 - BIJ1 egalitarian
1 - BBB pro-farmer

Not much in the way of analysis, as, there are too many variables with this many parties in the game. 

Monday, March 15, 2021

Australian rep-by-pop, and election updates

 German states: Not much appears to have changed. It's still possible the Greens and SPD could have a combined majority in both states, but it is currently below that in both as well. It also still remains likely that the incumbent coalitions will remain. 

Western Australia: Also not much has changed. Liberals look set to take 3 (vs the original 2) but National might also only take 3. Beyond these 3, there are two additional seats that might go Labor that National could take. 

However, what I really want to talk about is the Australian way of drawing constituencies. 

The map here is a representation. It shows an example of a fictional region, with a city, suburban areas, farming areas, and remote areas with sparse population. 

The first map, which is what we are used to here in Canada, draws remote ridings to contain less people. In my example, these 3 ridings have the population of 1 normal riding; this is actually somewhat unusual, at least on the Federal level. Ontario's northern ridings average about 80K people, while the southern ridings are closer to 110K. 

You can see the "true" populations by looking at the second map, which shows how Australia currently draws its boundaries. You may wonder why Australia would allow such large ridings. The reason is shown at the bottom; at one time, Australia over-represented not just the remote areas, but the farming areas, and did so heavily. This lead to repeated elections where urban and suburban voters would be defeated by rural voters. As a result, Australians became very wary of over-representing any area.

This will be a concept I plan to touch on more at a later date. For now, I'd simply like to introduce the idea so that it can be linked to when it is discussed in the future. 

Sunday, March 14, 2021

German state elections - 14MAR2021

 Elections were held today in Rhineland-Palatinate, and Baden-Wurttemberg. In the former, the existing SPD-GRN-FDP coalition seems likely to continue. There is a small possibility that the FDP could be replaced by the Free Voters party; which is committed to direct democracy and perhaps therefore more moderate than the FDP. The only other option would be a SPD-CDU government; but, that option existed last time, and was rejected (and thus, probably would be rejected again, for the same reasons)

Baden-Wurttemberg is more interesting. Polls only closed 15 minutes ago, and  am relying on exit polling. It is possible the Greens and SPD could get enough combined seats for a majority; though, at this time that seems unlikely. The only other option would likely be a Green-SDP-FDP government; but, my understanding has always been the Greens and FDP have a wide gulf between them on policy. Additionally, I think that the Minister-President (Premier) of the lander, Winfried Kretschmann is more comfortable with a Green-CDU coalition; and as such, it too is likely to continue. 

I will update both, these two elections and the Western Australia election, as counting continues, tomorrow. 

Saturday, March 13, 2021

WA election - Labor landslide

 With a third of the vote in, Labor sits at 53 seats, to 4 for National, and 2 for the Liberals. One of the Labor seats (Nedlands) is still too close to call, with the Liberals close behind. All other seats appear to be solid. The Liberals look set to be reduced to 2 seats and end up with a gender balanced caucus. 

Labor has taken 58% of the vote, compared to 22% for the Liberals, and 4% for National. the Greens at 8% are sitting on 0 seats. 

In the upper house, Labor appears set for 22 seats, facing off against 5 Liberals, 4 Nationals, and 5 for smaller parties (3 right wing, 2 left wing), which would also be a majority in the upper house.

If these results hold - and it looks like they will - the Liberal leader would not only lose his seat, but the party would lose its official opposition status. 

Anyone who catches this post early enough can watch results come in live here.

Friday, March 12, 2021

Antics of Saskatchewan Rural Municipality of McKillop number 220

 It is not often I delve into municipal politics, but, I felt this deserved an exception. My attention to this issue came via a tweet made by ksituan about the gerrymandering that had occurred. The map confused me, as it mentioned the incumbent council wanting to gerrymander districts along the lakeshore. Let me share with you a map I've made to help myself make heads or tails of the situation:

In blue you can see the existing divisions, while in red are the new ones.

While I worked through the issue, I thought I had solved it; and that the blue divisions (hereafter called ridings; as most Canadians understand the concept of a riding) were gerrymandered. However, I've uncovered that both sets of ridings are actually horrendously gerrymandered, pending how you interpret the right to vote. 

There are a ton of various news articles about the place; but I think I've discovered the unmentioned controversy at the heart of the dispute. 

The municipality has 732 permanent residents, and, it seems, about 1000 non permanent residents (or more)

Here in Ontario we could call these non-permanent residence houses, Cottages, and their part-time occupants, Cottagers. As this is a term I am most familiar with, I will use it. The remainder of the municipality appears to be heavily agriculture based. There appears to only be one non-agriculture based permanent settlement called Uhl's Bay, that appears to have between one and two dozen houses. The remaining houses, coloured in dark yellow on the map, belong to the Cottagers. 

An interesting, but not uncommon, fact, is that the building that houses the HQ for the municipality is outside of it, residing in one of the grey areas; which are separate municipalities. The Green area, for reference, is a provincial park; while the lake and land outside the municipality boundaries have been appropriately coloured. Also to note; this whole area is about an hour north of Regina, just across from Regina Beach. 

The dispute seems to be based on the following fact:

People who pay residential taxes in a municipality in Saskatchewan, can vote in the municipality. This means people who live in Regina but own cottages up in Saskatchewan Rural Municipality of McKillop number 220, can vote in both. With them making a majority of the voter base, they can effectively decide on issues for the entire municipality, something the people who live there full time do not seem to care for. Personally, I do not blame the full timers one bit. I may be biased, but from my prospective this is equal to someone from another city, who has money, buying their way into an equal vote to mine in my own municipality. On the other side, is taxation without representation really something we want to be encouraging? 

The old map was clearly gerrymandered against non-permanent residents. The new one, however, appears to be gerrymandered against the permanent residents. I say this because of the very weird shape of riding #5. Not only did they move Uhl's Bay into it, but there appears (to me) to be no reason why ridings 2 and 5 could not have been split with a simple straight line. The new ridings also seem to have been drawn specifically to over-represent the cottager vote, by packing farmers into ridings 2 and 5; similar to how the old ridings packed cottagers into riding 4. 

I don't suspect the solution - to give cottagers control over the municipality - will result in any good healthy permanent changes; and as such, we might hear about the antics of Saskatchewan Rural Municipality of McKillop number 220 again in a few months or years. 

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Western Australia looks set to re-elect Labor

 This article explains most of what you need to know. Saturday morning (in my time zone) we should start seeing results, but the polls all indicate this will be a blow out for Labor. What is interesting, is that in WA, the Liberals and National party, do not co-operate in the same way the parties do elsewhere in Australia. As such, having the National party take more seats could be extremely worrying for the Liberals. The Liberals, already at one of their lowest seat shares, are expected to lose seats. 

I will provide results when they come in. 

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Israel - poll average

 Just a quick update, the polling average seat projection is as follows:

28 - bibi
19 - lapid
14 - haredi
12 - bennett
12 - sa'ar
8 - arab
8 - lieberman
6 - avoda
4 - gantz
4 - otzma
4 - either ra'am or the left (but not both)

Note that Lapid has indicated he is willing to serve under Sa'ar or Bennett. It is likely that under this scenario, Sa'ar, Bennett, and Lapid, could form a bit of a coalition (with 43 seats) that would only need Avoda, Lieberman, and Gantz to reach a majority. 

Friday, March 5, 2021

Israeli Election Guess

 Just a quick post; jpost had a quick little predict the election game, and I wanted to share the results I put in.

25 - Bibi
23 - Lapid
14 - Haredi
12 - Sa'ar
12 - Bennett
10 - Arabs
7 - Lieberman
5 - Avoda
4 - Gantz
4 - Otzma
4 - Ra'am
0 - Meretz

Bennett would then get to pick who the new PM is. Bibi, or either Sa'ar or Lapid leading an anti-bibi government, made up of their two parties, Bennett's party (subtotal 47 seats), Lieberman, Avoda, and Gantz (total of 63). My money is on him picking Sa'ar; but the new Sa'ar lead government only lasting long enough to see Bibi get out of politics; followed by an election to decide who (Sa'ar, Bennett, or the new Likud leader) will be "the" leader of the right. 

Monday, March 1, 2021

March 2021

 It occurred to me that putting out a schedule/game plan for each month may be wise. As such, lets look at this month. 

March 5 - Counting begins in the Newfoundland election. No results are likely to be released

March 12 - Counting may start to be released in Newfoundland, target date for post on said election

March 13 - Election in Western Australia, target date for post on said election

March 14 - Province-level elections in Baden-Wurttemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate (Germany)

March 17 - Dutch Election. Target to make a post that morning, with prelim results that evening

March 19 - Final Israeli Polls

March 20 - Target date for final pre-results post on Israeli Election

March 23 - Israeli Election and Exit Polls, target date for post on said election

March 24 - Israeli Election results more clear, target date for additional post

There will, of course, continue to be additional posts from time to time.