halfacanuck

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed on this site do not necessarily reflect my actual opinions.

June 29, 2004

E Day

So today was E Day. I went to the campaign office around 2pm, drank free coffee, ate free sandwiches, and left the same message on 50 answerphones: "Hi, I'm a volunteer with the Andrew Telegdi Liberal campaign, and I'm calling to remind you that today is election day, in case you've been living under a rock for a month. Etc."

I headed to the voting station about 4:30 to scrutineer. It involved a whole lot of standing up, checking their lists against my lists, and phone calls to tardy Liberal voters. At 9:30pm the polls closed and the count was made. It soon became apparent that I'd managed successfully to intimidate the elderly and frail poll volunteers into turning up a favorable result for Telegdi, and after the last ballot box was sealed we (my wife and I) headed to his victory party.

We made straight for a TV to check the results, and much to my surprise my unorthadox predictions (see previous post) were proven too orthadox. Here's what I predicted at about noon today:

Liberals124
Conservatives100
NDP32
Bloc Quebecois50
Green1
Independent1

And here are the actual results, as of 3:08am:

Liberals135
Conservatives99
NDP19
Bloc Quebecois54
Green0
Independent1

As you can see, I underestimated Liberal seats by 11, Tories by one, and BQ by 4. I overestimated NDP seats by 13 and Green by one. Not bad, if I do say so myself, particularly when three of the four major polls were predicting a Tory minority win.

The bad news is that if the results stay this way, the Liberals and NDP combined still don't have enough seats to form a majority -- they have 154, one short of a majority, and will need the support of one candidate from another party, either a Tory (be it from the Conservative Party or Chuck Cadman, the ex-Tory independent candidate elected in Surrey North, BC) or a BQ. Still, one MP is acceptable. For Martin to be seen soliciting support from a handful of individual Bloc MPs would not, I think, be perceived as "getting into bed" with the separatists.

One positive result I anticipate from this result is that the NDP will hold significant sway in parliament, and one pre-condition upon which Layton has refused to budge when it comes to cooperating with the ruling party is that there be a national referendum on proportional representation within a year of the new government forming. PR is badly needed here, and this election illustrates that perfectly. Here is how the seat distribution would look if PR were in place:

Liberals114
Conservatives92
NDP49
Bloc Quebecois39
Green14

As you can see, the Liberals, Tories and Bloc got a disproportionate (or "efficient," in the parlance of one TV commentator) share of the vote when it comes to seats won, while the NDP and Greens were distinctly short-changed. The Greens should have 14 seats and instead they get none? The Bloc should have 39 seats and instead they have 54? Hardly fair. Let's hope the NDP doesn't renege on its commitment to PR and that we get a referendum on the matter before the year's out. I'll definitely be campaigning to get that one through...

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