Monday, November 9, 2009

The Byelection Numbers, by a Mathematician

As the Count might say on Sesame Street, "two, two east of Ontario by-election victories! HA! HA! HA!"

I plugged today's election results into a new worksheet and ran some preliminary analysis. As someone who votes Conservative, I was very pleased with what I saw. On the big picture, voter turnout was down substantially from a year ago. I imagine this is common place in votes where the head of government is not in play. The biggest victim of the apathy bug is unquestionably the Bloc with a 55% decline in voter turnout since 2008. Or how is this for irony, 45% of the people who decided it was important enough to get to the polls to elect Dion Prime Minister did not show up to show support for the Ignatieff Liberals first test under new leadership. I'm interested to hear Donolo try to spin that flat tire. Again, strongest turnout remains Tories, in every election. It feels fantastic to contribute to a political party where the people who vote for them actually care enough to show up on Election Day. The Liberals and the apathetic are like the Polkaroo on the Polka-Dot-Door. Every Election Day I hear a "damnit, I missed him again!"

I will break it down riding by riding, and then party by party. For what I forecast a month ago read this.

1) Montmagny: Half of Bloc votes don't show up, Tories hold firm, Tory victory.

2) Hochelaga: I think REM said it best "everybody hurts"

3) Cumberland: The Casey vote looks like it split 75% Tory and 25% NDP/Liberal, and considering where the Liberals were when Casey split, this should be considered a reasonably safe Tory riding in the next General. Personally, I think Nova Scotia has all the NDP it can handle right now. When you have a provincial NDP government, you need a few extra Tory MPs in Ottawa. Trust me. I remember Bob Rae and Glenn Clark.

4) New Westminster: When only 50% of Tory voters show up to vote Tory, they are trying to make a statement. We don't care if you harmonize the taxes, but when you start taxing new stuff, that is a new tax. If Stephen Harper gives Gordon Campbell the option to not add PST to that entire basket of previously untaxed consumer goods, it should free the Tories from the pox of new taxation. If Gordon is given the option and says, I need to tax the new stuff anyway because my hydro projects have gone fantastically over budget, we get to vote on that in the next Provincial Election. And yet, the NDP ran their whole campaign on Tories and HST, and look what happened. Shore that up. The HST should be on Campbell's shoulders. This riding should remain on the Tory wish list. Just wash off the stink of Campbell.

By Party:

1) Tory: It would have been nice to win New West, but this was a strong day no matter how you look at it. We'll get them next time. Wash the HST pox off on the premiers. If the rules are set such that there is no new taxation, what's the big deal? But these two premiers are desperate for cash and want to add the new taxes to pay for their ambitious spending projects.

2) Liberal: I like that a whole 55% of the people who voted for Dion came out to support Ignatieff's first set of elections as Liberal leader. Since Donolo has taken over, the Liberals have reduced themselves to a "Where's Waldo" strategy, and it did not work. Nearly half of the people who voted for Dion to be Prime Minister, a politician now considered to be one of the worst pariahs in the modern history of Canadian Liberalism, wouldn't even vote for Mike Ignatieff. They talked themselves into Dion, but not Iggy. Too bad, so sad. I think Mike might be holed up in a re-education gulag somewhere in Siberia, locked in a padded room singing "Free Falling" by Tom Petty.

3) Bloc: So what the hell happened Bloc? More than half of your voters did not care enough to vote? There is no positive way to spin this, especially when you lose a seat. You can't tell me that by-elections don't matter, because when they are your seat, every election matters. In my forecast I said that the Tories would need to break off at least 15% of the Bloc vote to win Montmagny. I did not foresee scenario two where half the Bloc voters stayed home. It is possible that all these people go back out and vote Bloc in the next General, but in the meantime, Gilles you have a problem.

4) NDP: The second biggest winner on the day. Held 2/3 of their vote when all parties were down, and held a potentially vulnerable NDP seat.

5) Green: In the hearts and minds battle between Greens and NDP, advantage NDP. This was a bad day for the Greens no matter which way you slice the broccoli.


  1. Another song that I'm thinking of is murder by numbers for the Liberal Party. "Murder by number, 1-2-3 is as easy to learn as your ABC's"...

    "Zero, Zero byelection victories for the Liberal Party, HA! HA! HA!"

  2. Oh, and if you were opposed to a 2% cut in the GST, you cannot oppose an expansion of PST, and I'm looking at you NDP. You can't want to increase consumption tax while running PR that you want to reduce consumption tax. It doesn't work that way. You are just sailing the "winds of shit" like you did with the carbon tax. Jump off the hypocrisy...

    I supported cutting the GST, and I support no new taxation with the HST. If you want to debate the need to raise taxes, I can talk to you about all kinds of fun and creative ideas to cut public spending.

  3. The NDP wants to raise taxes at the same time that they are telling people it is evil to be taxed more. They are navagating very shallow shoals.

  4. The Tories ran a name candidate in Montmagny. End of story. On a fast track to become a minister.

  5. @ #3 Bloc)

    Two things, popular Tory candidate and gun registry. Believe it or not, there as many per capita gun owners in Quebec as in Ontario and I doubt this rural Quebec riding was anything but anti-gun registry.