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Monday, January 30, 2006

clear ceiling ahead, captain.

Last Thursday, we attended a very interesting lecture sponsered by the Centre for Constitutional Studies at the University of Alberta titled "Back to the Future? Examining the Election."

The lecture included presentations by Gerald Baier of the University of British Columbia; Claude Denis of the School of Political Studies at the University of Ottawa; and Steve Patten from the University of Alberta.

All of the speakers had some very interesting insight on last week's election and the implecations and non-implications it may have on the near and far reaching future of Canadian politics.

Though they all had a number of interesing comments, there were two that stuck out for us:

- When you take a look at it, the Conservative victory was fairly unimpressive. Even with the Gomery Inquery, a mid-election announcement of an RCMP investigation, and the disaterous Liberal campaign, the Conservatives were only able to increase their popular vote by 6% (roughly half of this coming from Quebec) and increase their seat count by 26.

The fact that they weren't able to drastically increase their support under these circumstances would suggest that perhaps the Conservatives have reached a ceiling of support under their current leadership.

- Nationally and provincially in Alberta, Conservative support is still lower than the combined Reform/PC vote in 1997 and Alliance/PC vote in 2000.

Here's a spiffy little chart we've drawn up...

Image hosting by Photobucket



Emil Vargas said...

Thats wishful thinking. I think it has more to do with fear mongering and negativity towards the CPC in the last week than anything else. They were ahead ten points upto a week before the elction according to the SES polls which are probably the most accurate since they were dead on almost in the final results. I think 38-40% would be the ceiling if Harper proves to be as great a PM as I expect him to be. There were close riding in Ontario and BC only went more NDP and Liberal b/c hate towards Gordon Campbell and Germant Grewal and the other CPC guy who is going to jail for smuggling. In 2000 the CPC won 26 ridings I believe in BC, it looks like a native Liberal guy in Saskatchewan stole his riding with his reservation votes and the maritimes will now be more inclined to go with the current governing party rather than the opposition. Harper made the point that he couldn't win the maritimes until he had a chance to govern which I agree with.

daveberta said...

To be clear, the Tories were ahead in the polls with decided voters, by the last week there were still at least 10-14% of those polled who were undecided.

”it looks like a native Liberal guy in Saskatchewan stole his riding with his reservation votes.”

a voter is a voter, emil, no matter if they live on a reservation or not.

As for the Maritimes comment, Atlantic Canadian provinces have proved themselves to have an unpredictable streak when supporting governments – hence 1997, when Nova Scotia dumped its 100% Liberal MP contingent in favour of a 100% PC and NDP MP contingent.

As for BC, the Conservatives have lost ground in this province since the 2000 election. In 2000, the Canadian Alliance received 49.4 of the popular vote in BC, in 2004, the Conservatives received 36.3 of the popular vote in BC and in 2006, they received 37.3 of BC’s popular vote.

Idealistic Pragmatist said...

One of these days, we're both going to end up at the same event, actually realize we're both at the same event, and say hello.

Emil Vargas said...

Read this dave. There was more than 100% turnout in some ridings and talk of intimidation and stuffing ballots. When it comes to native votes I'm always suspicious since they rely on money to survive. I read an article on dustmybroom and he mentions how suddleny three hours later 300 votes turned up for the native Liberal. And in a recount its already down from 106-73 votes. That makes me suspicious already that some counters counted too carelessly or perhaps deliberately.

Steve said...

Um, name one riding that had more than a hundred percent turnout.

Feynman and Coulter's Love Child said...

I've heard this "fewer votes than Alliance + Red Tories in 2000" argument a few times, and I have the same thing to say about it every time.

Why did we disband the Reform Party again?

daveberta said...

Emil, seriously, think about it...

Here is the quote from Daifallah's blog which you directed us to:

"There were 372 residents on the voters' list in Monday night's election -- and 388 people cast ballots."

Okay. If you know anything about voters lists, you'll know that they only include the people who were on the list during the last election or were enumerated since.

It's not unusual to have up to 40% of voters in a poll who haven't been enumerated and hence wouldn't have been on the list in the first place.

We would assume that in a large rural riding like Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River, Elections Canada may have had a difficult time getting to each community in order to enumerate the lists. So, it's really not very surprising that the lists wouldn't have been accurate or up to date.

Anonymotron said...

Dave, two comments:

1. The "Tory support ceiling" sounds like some self-congratulatory back-slapping from the left, akin to Al Gore trumpeting on about how he won the popular vote. The underlying point is accurate - only just over a third of Canada voted for the Conservatives, which doesn't signal a Conservative revolution. Still, public opinion can shift pretty quickly, so I'd be wary of establishing any arbitrary "ceilings" or "floors" based on past performance.

2. The Mac Excel default font is hideous. What do they use? Verdana? Does Mac Arial (Helvetica) not have fixed width numbers or something?

Scotian said...

Daveberta raises a valid point about people not being on the list that are still eligible to vote. Indeed, my wife voted with me from this residence in the 2004 federal election. Yet for this election she was not on the list yet I was. We live in the core of a major city, so if that can happen here it can happen just as easily in a native community. I think people might want to be a bit more careful about stating someone stole the seat until there is a bit more evidence to support it than has been presented to date. Ask questions and try to find out, fine, but concluding this is what happened is quite another. That is the guilty before proven innocent standard that troubles so many of us progressives about the CPC and the Conservative movement in the online community.

daveberta said...

Dear Postmaster General Anonymatron,

1. "The underlying point is accurate - only just over a third of Canada voted for the Conservatives, which doesn't signal a Conservative revolution."

Well, if you REALLY want to be accurate, you could more accuately say that somewhere between 10-15% of Canadians voted Conservative (36% Popular Vote + 65% Voter turnout).

2. We are very very fond of our good friend Verdana. It is a font very loyal to the people of daveberta.

3. Ceilings are very arbitrary, and we didn't say that Harper has reached his ceiling, we only suggested that this may be likely. Which we tend to believe. But we do have the tendency to be incorrect every now and then (translation: it's a guess).



Toronto Tory said...

Ceiling Scmeiling.

This is the new floor. It's only up from here.

Next time, we'll pick up another 30 seats in Ontario and Quebec.

daveberta said...

We'll see.