Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Poolside Punditry

And me without a pool!

Can you stand one more weblogger wading into the discussion of last night's election results?

Things I find interesting:

- Liberal support within Quebec improving--according to CBC pundits watching last night's returns--after reducing the prominence of a more pro-Quebec Liberal candidate in favour of an elevated profile for the very federalist Liberal Stephane Dion. This is especially interesting in light of the Bloc Quebecois' fifty-four Quebec seats to the Liberals' twenty-one.

- the NDP gained five seats this election, while losing three previously held ridings: Saskatchewan's NDP incumbents Dave Proctor (Palliser) and Lorne Nystrom (Regina-Qu'Appelle) both fell, and Susan MacAlpine-Gillis (Dartmouth-Cole Harbour)--running in place of the ill incumbent NDP MP, Wendy Lill--failed to keep the riding.

- many of the NDP's close-but-no-cigar finishes appeared (late last night when I was watching my dear Ian Hanomansing) to be in British Columbia--with the Conservatives, not the Liberals, edging out NDP candidates... Were these NDP candidates victims of strategic ("I'll vote for the Liberals to try to keep out the Conservatives") voting?

- some people here in Ontario actually thought it an intelligent course of action to try to "punish" the provincial Liberals! WTF???! I'm not a Liberal cheerleader, but when you vote for the Conservatives just to get back at your provincial, you don't just punish the federal Liberals (a separate branch of one party), you punish me and every other person who cannot abide Conservative social policy!

- things would look VERY different indeed if Canada had adopted proportional representation prior to yesterday's election, particularly where the NDP and Bloc Quebecois are concerned. Consider this: the BQ's 54 seats were won by just 12.4% of the popular vote, while the NDP's 15.69% of the vote garnered the part a mere 19 seats. Furthermore, the Liberals' 135 seats are the result of 36.71% of votes cast, while the Conservatives' 99 seats are derived from 29.61% of the vote. This is unacceptable. Really. The interests of the majority of Canadians are not being represented under the current system. Not even the interests of the majority of the 62% of us eligible Canadians who bothered to vote last night are being represented! Proportional representation (the percentage of votes won equals the percentage of seats allotted to the party, so that, say, the NDP's 15.69% of the vote would give them 15.69% of the seats in the House of Commons. But that's only one type of proportional representation; there are other ways to tailor the system. Check out Fair Vote Canada for more information.) is a much fairer alternative--one that will see all Canadians more appropriately represented and one that will, hopefully, increase voter turnout as it proves that each vote does indeed count.

For indepth coverage of the election results, the CBC's Canada Votes page has proven a great resource for me. Check it out for yourself. I need to grab a coffee and clear my head. This preoccupation over how the Martin Liberals can form a government is starting to get to me...

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