Tuesday, November 11, 2008

For those suffering post-election poll withdrawal symptoms

Au Quebec:

Liberals 41%
PQ 35%
ADQ 14%


It's difficult to know what to make of this without having Nate Silver explain it to me - the real question here is what the ADQ collapse means to the other parties. Last election saw the popular vote translate into seats in a fairly representative fashion, but in the pre-ADQ world the electoral map always heavily favoured the PQ.

The best case of that is 1998, when the Liberals got 44%, the PQ 43%, and the ADQ 12%, but we ended up with a 76-48-1 PQ-Lib-ADQ seat split. Now, I hate bringing this up because the PR folks are going to go bonkers, but if the ADQ vote stays depressed, I think the possibility of a PQ win is very real if they can get themselves to within 3% or so of Charest in the polls. And the prospect of a Charest majority would seem to be slim, unless he can stretch his lead out into double digits.

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14 Comments:

  • Oh yeah... that's the stuff. Gimme another hit!

    By OpenID Devin Johnston, at 7:29 PM  

  • Just wait until CROP comes out with the regional breaks! That's gonna be as good as 5 rolling state-by-state polls.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 7:45 PM  

  • The law of unintended consequences.

    By Blogger janfromthebruce, at 8:55 PM  

  • I don't know if I'd go so far as to say the electoral map 'favours' the PQ - it's not like the riding boundaries are gerrymandered, or certain areas of the province are overrepresented (viz. rural areas in the Alberta legislature). The Liberal vote is just terribly inefficient by piling up huge super-majorities in Anglo Montreal seats.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:38 PM  

  • you need to spot the Libs 6-7 points from the "money and ethnic vote" west island ridings.

    Charest needs a bigger win to get a majority.

    By Blogger Antonio, at 9:51 PM  

  • That first sentence is definitely my quote of the day. How can we look at those polls without Nate.

    Anyway, this poll is within the margin of error of the previous poll so maybe we shouldn't over interpret it.

    I think there has been a backlash over Charest's call for elections. Nobody wanted one now and everybody is sick of elections. It certainly hasn't played well with the people around me (I'm from Quebec City). But as is written in The Gazette, this backlash will probably be short lived. Once we get closer to Election Day, people will probably forget about it.

    The statistic I found interesting in the poll is that 40% think Charest would make the best premier, with only 30% for Marois. Despite her vast government experience, people seem to have some trouble imagining her as a premier (although she rose since last poll).

    By Blogger Victor Tremblay, at 10:01 PM  

  • It's hard to call Canadian provinces gerrymandered, that's true. When one compares Quebec with Ohio, one can see that.

    But even if the map is NOT made biased on purpose, it can happen. British politics have a similar problem, where Labour doesn't need much of a lead for a majority, but the Conservatives need a comfortable lead if it wants a majority and not watch a Lib-Lab coalition takes its place (and the Liberals are routinely screwed over; if it gets 25% of the vote, it can't expect more than 60 seats.)

    With all that said: Ignore the polls for a while. Few people are actually thinking about it at the moment; things can change in four weeks. Or, if Hillary has anything to say, one month to watch a black man win Iowa.

    By Blogger The Internationalist, at 10:08 PM  

  • If it's a problem that a party might win and election with the second most votes, then OBVIOUSLY PR is the solution.

    I don't know why smart Liberals like CG keep pretending that PR isn't a good idea. Do you really think that there will be a Liberal majority in the next generation?

    It's the only way to ensure that the standings in the legislature have a connection to how people vote.

    Although it is true that even if the Quebec electoral map wasn't gerrymandered, which it totally is (see how the last National Assembly failed to review the boundaries as they were supposed to and the difference in population between rural and urban seats), the PQ could still win with less votes because of the large margins the Liberals rack up in angle seats.

    By OpenID partisan_non_partisan, at 1:32 AM  

  • For what it's worth, I think Charest should totally bring in PR, if only because it's in his self interest to do so.

    My only real beefs with PR are that it's a form of indirect democracy (the party lists) and it would mean the end of majority governments.

    I know PR advocates say there would be stable coalition governments but I don't buy it. First of all, no party could ever justify bringing the Bloc into a coalition. Which means we'd have perpetual Lib/NDP/Green govs...which I'm fine with, but I'm not sure it's any more democratic for the party that gets the most votes to NOT form government.

    And I seriously doubt that a CPC/NDP or CPC/Lib coalition would be very stable.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 9:11 AM  

  • "For what it's worth, I think Charest should totally bring in PR, if only because it's in his self interest to do so."

    I'd say it was clearly much more in Dumont's self-interest to bring in PR. Let's call it Super Mario's bonehead move #142.

    "My only real beefs with PR are that it's a form of indirect democracy (the party lists) and it would mean the end of majority governments."

    On the first point, so you think that the Liberal Party couldn't devise a fair and democratic way to select slates of candidates?

    They somehow manage to do it in most Western democracies.

    Or is that just a sign of how poor you think internal democracy is in the Liberal Party?

    And on majority governments, I think it's clear that under the current system the odds of a majority are quite low and if there will be one anytime soon, it'll be Harper majority and since you're a Lib I must imagine that you think it would be the end of Canada, so wouldn't it be nice if we had a system that ensured that probably never happened (unless they were to get a majority of votes).

    "I know PR advocates say there would be stable coalition governments but I don't buy it."

    Because you know, decades of evidence indicating other from dozens of other democracies can just be dismissed.

    If that's the case, what's so special about Canada?

    By OpenID partisan_non_partisan, at 9:55 AM  

  • Although it is true that even if the Quebec electoral map wasn't gerrymandered, which it totally is

    Can you point to four or five specific ridings which are gerrymandered?

    Malapportionment is not, in and of itself, gerrymandering.

    By Blogger WJM, at 3:57 PM  

  • WJM, so systematically over-representing one group of voters - in this case, rural ones - is not gerrymandering?

    Can you say semantics?

    By OpenID partisan_non_partisan, at 7:15 PM  

  • WJM, so systematically over-representing one group of voters - in this case, rural ones - is not gerrymandering?

    Nope. Gerrymandering is when the boundaries of an electoral district, or group of electoral districts, are drawn or re-drawn so as to provide or eliminate an electoral advantage to one party, based on the previously known or anticipated geographical distribution of party support.

    Can you say semantics?

    It's not semantics.

    It's wrongics.

    Malapportionment <> Gerrymandering. A malapportioned map is not, solely by being malapportioned, gerrymandered. And a completely gerrymandered map need not be malapportioned — pick any three US state's congressional maps, for instance, and two of them will fall into that category.

    The map is the least of the mathematical problems that the PLQ has in winning a majority in Quebec; it really is their hyperconcentrated vote that's the big problem.

    By Blogger WJM, at 11:31 AM  

  • Quebec is a great example of why fptp is a better idea for political stability both in terms of the government and in terms of the political entity. A heavily concentrated party can't control the entity as easily as on a straight % of votes. So regional differences need to be accommodated to some extent to offer the chance of government.

    Town vs hinterland relationships are fraught enough without encouraging hinterland concerns to be completely ignored, rather than mostly ignored as is current. It's bad enough when a government only needs to pick up a few seats outside of one city to win, but PR would make it far too easy (especially in the quebec situation, much of montreal will only ever vote one way while hinterland votes aren't nearly as monolithic - West Island margins are Saddam Hussein levels while rural quebec tends to normal democratic majorities).

    According to the word verification, this post is "glatt" kosher! And without a rabbi anywhere in sight!

    By Blogger Hey, at 3:50 PM  

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