FUN WITH (PROVINCIAL ELECTION) NUMBERS

Whenever there’s an election in a jurisdiction that includes me, I’m always tempted to try to analyse exactly what happened. The core of it all, the question ‘why?’ is pretty much impossible to parse, however, since there are so many elements that elude answer.

For instance, was Kathleen Wynne actually as bad as she was made out to be? Sure, she made a few bone-headed moves, such as the sale of Hydro and the over-payment for green energy, but are those things really any worse than anyone else has ever done? Think of some of our past premiers, such as Mike Harris, and she seems a saint in comparison. And if you disliked her dumping Hydro, wait until we see what Ford sells.

Or did people vote against her for other reasons? Maybe it was just ruling party fatigue after so many years of Liberal power. Less generously, possibly it was the fact that she’s a woman or a lesbian or both.

And do we really feel so diametrically different about things, or do we just perceive them differently?

This is too deep and complex to try to answer (for me anyways). So, forget the ‘Why?’ and let’s do something much simpler: play with the numbers.

The results of the election were (number of seats in brackets):

PC’s  – 40.49% (76); NDP – 33.57% (40); Liberals – 19.59% (7); Greens – 4.6% (1); Other (Libertarians, Communists, Special Interest Parties, Independents) – 1.74%.

Looking at these figures, one thing for certain is going to arise out of this election. Proportional Representation or Rep. by Pop. The Liberals will be all for it once again, I’m sure, because they lost so badly. Why? Well, because if allocated by percentage of population, the results would have been as follows:

PC’s – 50; NDP – 42; Liberals – 24; Green – 6; Other – 2 (somehow – there may be too many parties to split the seats).

In this scenario, the result is a minority government and it’s quite likely that the NDP and Liberals, who have much more in common than the PC’s have with anyone, would combine to form the government. I know what you’re thinking: why is that, since the PC’s will still have the most seats? Well, that’s because our government isn’t truly based on the most seats but, rather, the party (or parties) that can gain the confidence of the House. That means those who can work together to form a majority. Just like the NDP and Greens did in BC, where the Liberals had the most seats but couldn’t form an alliance that would give them the majority of votes.

One other thing I’d Like to touch upon is the voter turnout. Apparently, everyone is happy that the turnout was 58%, the highest since 1999. Even if it was the highest ever though, that means that barely over half of the voters came out to vote. Why? Who knows? Maybe it was just old laziness, maybe apathy, maybe people are fed up with the disgustingly negative campaigns the parties (yes, at least all of the main three) seem to have adopted from the political half-wits south of the border. Then again, there a lot of people who said they just didn’t like any of the choices.

But, when you look at a 58% voter turnout, the results as percentages of the entire population were:

PC’s – 23.48%; NDP – 19.47%; Liberals – 11.36%; Greens – 2.67%; Other (Libertarians, Communists, Special Interest Parties, Independents) – 1.01%.

Those aren’t numbers that any party should be particularly proud of.

Because that still means that 42% of the population voted that none of them were worth going for. Almost double the vote the PC’s got.

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