Saturday, December 26, 2009

No Matter How You Slice It...

'tis the season for eternal optimism:

CALGARY - They haven't elected a Calgary MLA for two decades and only snared one per cent of the vote in a recent city byelection, but NDP Leader Brian Mason remains optimistic his party can make a breakthrough in the heart of Conservative country.

Mason believes the redrawing of electoral boundaries for an expected 2012 election -- as well as adding four seats to the legislature, including potentially a few in Calgary -- could be a boon to the NDP.

In the last election, the NDP cracked 10% of the vote in two Calgary ridings, picking up 13% in Calgary North Hill and 14% in Calgary Fort.

So, for any aspiring gerrymanderers out there, the challenge is to divide up the Calgary map so that the Dippers win a seat in Calgary.

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  • Can we make an electoral boundary around one house? I fear that will be the only way the NDP wins a seat in Calgary. Heck, even then its still a toss up.

    By Blogger Volkov, at 3:15 PM  

  • Volkov, you have it dead-on. If there was any chance for the Dippers in Calgary, I'd gladly volunteer for the job, but only if Brian Pincott would run. He's my current Alderman, and I'd gladly make the sacrifice to get this tax-and-spend socialist off city council.

    By Blogger Brian in Calgary, at 5:49 PM  

  • Even if Alberta had proportional representation in 2008, the NDP might not have won a seat there. They won 11,742 votes in the 23 seats in Central and Suburban Calgary, or 4.21% of the vote.

    If there was a 5% cutoff for winning seats, the NDP would obviously win zero. What if a method like the EU parliament elections were used? Here seats would need to win at least the average number of votes for one seat in Calgary - 12,126. The NDP would get zero.

    If the NDP can't even win with proportional representation, which is kinder to weak parties, it is bizarre to pin ones hopes on the vagaries of riding distribution - particularly since the NDP likely won zero ballot boxes in Calgary. In their best poll in Calgary Glenmore, for instance, they won 9/216 votes - 4.2% of the total.

    Incidentally if you think gerrymandering is fun, there is a game online where you can do it:

    By Blogger hosertohoosier, at 12:58 AM  

  • Thanks so much for this post, pretty helpful data.

    By Anonymous, at 5:36 AM  

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