Thursday, November 26, 2009



Good news and bad news. The good news is that I will be ramping up the level of posts, the bad news (to some) is that I will be putting a limited number of advertisements on the blog. Speaking of which does anyone know how to make Project Wonderful ads work with blogspot?

Sorry, no extra data today!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Down and Up


With the threat of an election before the new year being at an all-time low, I am announcing that niXtuff will be going on a roller-coaster ride. First, we will be going down. Activity will slow; but worry not, this is not the end. I will continue to update projections when possible, but will not focus on the visible.

What I will be doing is behind the scenes work. I will refine the ElectoMatic, and likely, release it to the public after the next election (If it works as well as I think it will, everyone will want a copy)

I am also looking to moving to a real website, and not a free blogger site. I will, of course, keep you updated.

We will have our grand re-opening on January 1st 2010.

To entertain you until then, and beyond, I strongly recommend reading this graphic novel / web comic

Sorry, no extra data today!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Class 2 Transportation Emergency ends


All back in order in Toronto.

Sorry, no extra data today!

Toronto - Class 2 Transportation Situation


I'm declaring a Class 2 Transportation Situation in Toronto.

The subway is down from Bloor to Eglinton, and was down during Rush hour.

More on our classes.

Class 1 - Total disruption of a Major route (Yonge Subway, 401, Lakeshore West) for both peak transportation periods. Example: When the city blew up.

Class 2 - Total disruption of a Major route during at least one peak period. Example: The unfortunate accident near Lawrence Station that took a life last year.

Class 3 - Partial disruption of a Major route or Total disruption of a Busy route (IE Eglinton West bus, Allen expressway, Sroufville GO line) during a peak period, or a class 2 incident outside of peak.

Class 4 - Partial disruption of a busy route, or total disruption of a minor route (IE Sheppard East, in Scarborough) during a peak period, or a class 3 incident outside of peak.

Class 5 - All other transportation emergencies.

Sorry, no extra data today!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009



Sorry for the lack of updates recently. Life.

In general, polls have not changed much, meaning our projection will not change much.

Sorry, no extra data today!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Web Comic


A personal post.

I have a webcomic now apparently... I'm more surprised than you!

Sorry, no extra data today!

Thursday, November 12, 2009



More news about the ADQ. The ADQ, who's name in english translates, roughly, to the Democratic Action Party, has managed to be un democratic without taking any actions at all. The Non-Action Un-Democratic party of Quebec, last we saw, was on the table in the OR waiting to be shocked by the docs. Well it got it's shock, and the news it, its not going to make it.

Newly Minted ADQ leader Gilles Taillon has decided to call it quits. The longtime ADQ leader has been embroiled in controversy since he took over the helm. First, his margin of victory over his main rival was two votes, one of which was cast by a Quebec satire TV show. His main rival then came up with some BS excuse to quit the caucus and did so, bringing a pal along.

The long and the short of it is that the ADQ has always been tied to the right. Stockwell Day, while leader of the Canadian Alliance, sent out feelers to the party, and even this very minor back room lip service helped him to beat out the PC Party by 2 points in the province. Harper at first kept his distance - and won 0 seats in the province - then decided to work with the ADQ, winning nearly a dozen seats, and polling, at times, neck and neck with the Bloc. The ADQ in return for this cozy arrangement went from 4 to 41 MNAs and formed the official opposition. Taillon, it appears, did not like this buddy-buddy deal, and wanted to distance the ADQ from the federal Tories. This, it seems, was his undoing.

What happens now is actually pretty clear. Gerard Deltell will, in a short amount of time, be crowned ADQ leader. Caire and Picard will rejoin the caucus, and all will be right again. Or perhaps not.

The ADQ is going to take a hit for all of this. A big hit. I for one expect the party will have trouble finding 100 candidates for Quebec's 125 ridings. The ADQ will remain a third option for Francophones outside of Montreal, but will be just that, the third option. QS will remain the alternative for Montrealers, and Vert/Greens will remain the alternative for anglophones province wide.

The only good news is that Deltell's riding is the most secure riding for the ADQ in the province. Meaning that when he faces the next election, he has a 50-50 chance of getting a single ADQer back into the assembly. Perhaps then, the ADQ can start the rebuilding process.

Sorry, no extra data today!

Monday, November 9, 2009



In Cumberland in NS, the Tories have won with about 45% over the NDP at 25%. This is what the ElectoMatic was suggesting.

In Hoch. the Bloc won with the NDP in second, narrowly ahead of the Liberals; again in line with the ElectoMatic.

In Montm. the Tories won, something that the ElectoMatic did not forsee at all, though as noted in my earlier projection there is a strong right-wing base in the riding.

In New West. in BC, the NDP is cruising towards a victory of a larger margin than projected by the ElectoMatic.

Sorry, no extra data today!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Alberta Projection


I finally ran the numbers though the wringer. According to the most recent poll, I have the following results:

PC - 52
WAP - 19
Lib - 9
NDP - 3

Why would the PC Party retain a majority? Because the PC votes and the Alliance vote are very similar. There are dozens of ridings the PC Party is winning here by 5%-10% over the Alliance, meaning much of that vote is being wasted. More to come.

Sorry, no extra data today!

More on Transit

<- Click here to see the full post

This post contains information about the changes due to the busway, and information on accessibility within the TTCs various routes.

With the new accessible routes, more and more of the TTC network is becoming accessible. It is become so widespread that it is easier to list the non-accessible routes than it is to do the opposite. So which routes are non-accessible? Other than the three seeing changes on November 22nd, we have...

All the streetcar routes.

Express routes 142 and 141. Night routes 312 St. Clair, and 352 Lawrence West. As well as the following daytime routes:

6 Bay
52 Lawrence West
59 Maple Leaf
171 Mount Dennis
77 Sweansea
90 Vaughan
71 Runnymeade
117 Alness
160 Bathurst North
33 Forrest Hill
196 York University Rocket

Of these...
171 is a public bus route, but it's primary purpose is to be an 'employee shuttle' getting TTC workers to and from the Mount Dennis bus garage.
160 Bathurst North mirrors two bus routes that are accessible. 196 Rocket is a short cut of a route that is accessible. 77 and 71 bus routes interline with one another, so if one is to be made accessible, the other would have to be as well. 117 goes deep into an industrial area, but the 105 bus, which is accessible, mirrors it on the main drag.

This leaves us with the following.

6 Bay.
This route runs downtown, and is one of the few buses to do so. Most other downtown routes are rail based, either streetcar, subway, or GO Train. 6 Bay is the weak link in the system. Streetcars are not accessible, and many downtown stations are not either. Bay is not far from Yonge, and there is no Yonge bus for most of the day. Making this route accessible would be a very important step towards making the city accessible. The problem is that the bus garage that this bus route operates out of is the newest of the garages, and hence, had last pick of equipment at the time of the move. Hopefully some of the newly ordered accessible buses will go to that garage, and then to this route.

52 Lawrence West.
This is one of the more 'main' routes of the TTC network. While it's sister route, 58 Malton, may be accessible, the fact that this route is not does leave gaps in the network. This route certainly should be a priority.

77/71 Runnymeade. 33 Forrest Hill. 90 Vaughan. 59 Maple Leaf.
All these routes are physically close to accessible routes, but are not themselves. All of them run through residential areas, and connect those areas to areas for shopping or working. They may find that they are the last to be converted.

Also in this recent set of service changes are changes due to the busway to York University opening. The 196 Rocket and VIVA Orange will change, of course, to use this new busway. What may be of interest is that other routes will be changing as well. In order to get the most out of the new busway, a new exit/entrance to Downsview station has been built that empties right on to Allen Road. Due to this there are a few changes. The 105 Dufferin North will use this new entrance, and therefore, not run along Wilson Heights Blvd at all. 117 Alness will also use this new entrance and not Wilson Heights. The biggest change is going to occur to the 104 Faywood route. This route will now head from Wilson to Finch, then down Dufferin to Wilson Heights, and finally down to Downsview. It will connect the two stations but go out of it's way to do so. This requires the removal of service on Overbrook (at least it will once the gaping hole in Finch is fixed) It also means reduced service levels on Wilson Heights. The fact that it connects two subway stations, however, can be a bonus. I personally recommend using it to transit between the two in the event of subway disruptions (as the replacement shuttles would likely be full to the brim of people who do not read this blog!)

Blog Announcement: Public Transit

<- Click here to see the full post

I've decided to make a change to this blog.

One blog I read often is Steve Munro .ca Over there Steve talks about Transit, but every once in a while does a review of plays and movies. I am not interested in either of those two, but rather read his blog due to this focus on Transit. He is free to post about what he wants, as it's his blog.

Well, this is my blog, and I've decided to put the new "Read More" option to good use. I will, from time to time, make posts regarding Public Transit in Toronto and elsewhere. I will, however, hide them 'below the fold' so that those who do not wish to read them will not have to. To begin, our first story, below the fold.

The TTC in what has become an unusual move, has put out it's service changes early. Also early is the Official Service Summary, a technical document explaining the workings of each route in numbers. This document is useful for anyone who wants to know how "frequent" that "frequent service" bus really is. For the record, a "headway" is the time between when the front bumper of one vehicle passes a point, and the front bumper of the next vehicle passes the same point. Due to red lights and traffic it's idealized, of course, but it is a good guidepost to go by.

There are not many changes to look at. In November we get some bike racks, and a few diversions ending. The Bathurst streetcar gets two new trips, southbound, on sunday, in the morning. The only route with a 'true' improvement is my home bus route, 106 York University, which goes back to its last-winter headway of 8 minutes and 15 seconds in the morning peak. The afternoon peak also will see an improvement. In December, the St. Clair streetcar will run from Yonge St to Lansdowne, leaving a much smaller Lansdowne to Keele area for shuttle buses to cover.

Beyond this, we gain some new accessible routes. 107 Keele North, 10 Van Horne, and 89 Weston will now all run accessible low floor buses (or high floor buses with lifts) at all times of the day. Remember, this starts November 22nd.

The last change is due to the busway to York University. A closer examination of the busway and accessible services is in the next post.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Stelmach sticking around


Ed Stelmach has won over 77% in his leadership review, and will stick around as Premier of Alberta. This itself might not be news, but what results from this may well be. If you remember, there were roomers of possible defectors sitting in the PC Caucus that were going to switch to the WAP. With Stelmach staying, and no change visible on the horizon, if anyone is going to switch, now is the time to do it. As we mentioned before on this blog, we expect the real number to be closer to 2 and not the 10 that has been speculated. We also project that if this is to happen, it will happen on Monday (after the defectors take Sunday to think). If Tuesday morning comes and there are no defectors, there may well never be.

The more interesting possibility is what I call a 'passive defection'. That a Tory in a rural riding (one the WAP could well win on it's own) would resign his seat. This would give Smith (WAP Leader) a place to run and win.

Sorry, no extra data today!

Party found collapsed on floor, weak pulse, not breathing


The ADQ has been loaded in an ambulence and is heading off towards the hospital. The party is all but dead. According to two prominent ADQ MNAs have quit the party, including the failure of a politician who recently lost by two votes to another failure of a politician in the ADQ leadership race. Now, the ADQ is a party in Quebec, and Quebec is French, so let me translate all of this into English.

The ADQ is lying on a hospital table, and the docs are about to shock it. They've just yelled "CLEAR" and are going in. The next little while will determine weather or not the party will come back, or weather it is too late.

Sorry, no extra data today!

Some good news


Toronto has won the 2015 Pan Am games. Like the Olympics, this draws in crowds, and media attention. Also like the Olympics, this has side effects attached to it.

This is good for the economy. People debate weather the games "cost" more than it "brings in" but these are false options. The "costs" often include construction, and the spending on that (by the government) goes to corporations and individuals. The economic benefit is therefore not cost minus 'profit' but cost plus 'profit'. The only one that stands to 'lose' is the Government's chequebook; and since the 'profit' of the games is not taxed at 100%, the games would 'lose' money regardless.

Being Mayor of Toronto, and to a lesser extent, Premier of Ontario, and Prime Minister of Canada in 2015 suddenly has become more important. We will have one provincial election, two municipal elections, and one, two, or more federal elections between now and then. The job of Mayor becomes much more sexy with this on the table, and it may give big names like Tory and Smitherman more of a reason to run. This would also give Harper and McGunity, presuming they get re-elected, a good 'break' and 'excuse' to leave.

This likely means much better public transit for Toronto. One of the big things that governments spend money on when they win bids such as this one is building a better and better public transit network to move around all the visitors to the games. Toronto has some great plans, but with the recent economic troubles, it became possible that like other past good ideas that have been proposed for public transit in Toronto, that this one could just become a "what could have been". My personal worry was that this recession would either directly or indirectly kill some of the great plans for transit that we have. Personally, my fear levels have been reduced, and I feel much more confidant about our future.

This is something that will pop up repeatedly, especially locally, again and again between now and 2015. Congrats to the committee who won us this bid.

Sorry, no extra data today!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Alberta Polls


A new poll by Ekos shows the Alliance again in second place.

Province Wide
PC - 34%
WAP - 28%
ALP - 20%
NDP - 9%

PC - 34%
ALP - 27%
WAP - 17%
NDP - 13%

WAP - 34%
PC - 30%
ALP - 20%
NDP - 8%

PC - 38%
WAP - 32%
ALP - 15%
NDP - 6%

More on this later, including an official projection

Sorry, no extra data today!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

What-If, The next step


Next, I applied the same idea to more elections. I did a very educated 'guesstimation' of the 2006 and 2004 elections. I then compared it to a 4 party system by combining the PC and CA votes during the 90s. I even then compared this to 1988, 1984, 1980, and 1979 with this simple formula:

The Bloc wins 50 seats in Quebec. In 1979 and 1980 they take those seats from the Liberals, and in the 80's from the Tories. The Alliance wins all PC western seats, and half their Ontario seats. The remainder of the Ontario seats go to the Liberals. (This is very realistic when compared with what we now know) This is for the 5 party system. For a 4 party system, I only did the 50 bloc seats from above. In 1979 I re-added 6 to the Liberals to account for Social Credit.

This is my result:

I present the following arguments:

Since 2004, we've had a minority government in Ottawa. This is about 1500 days. Lester B Pearson lead about 1500 days of minority governance.
All other Prime Minister's combined, lead about 1500 days of minority governance.

Therefore, 1/3rd of our minority governments have occurred since 2004.

As is visible above, so long as the Bloc exists, we will have a minority government 9 out of 10 times. As is also visible above, only then both the Bloc and Reform/Alliance exist, will the Liberals win endless strings of government (9 out of 10). Therefore, I conclude the following.

Canada might be a "Liberal Country" but English Canada is "Conservative"

The Liberals are not the Natural Governing Party without Quebec. The Tories are. The Tories cannot, however, fill that role when split in half. The only time the Liberals have beat a unified Conservative party is either when Quebec is in their back pocket, or when there is 'something wrong' with the Conservative Movement (IE got to ditch Mulroney, we don't like Manning/Day/Harper, etc)

I also present that Minority Governments, in this country, can be damaging. While they have 'worked' over the past few years, I argue that they only add to the pre-existing stress on the country, especially where unity is concerned.

Quebecois have also shown multiple times in the past that they lean to the left, not to the right. If Harper now leads "Canada's Natural Governing Party (TM)" then this could only add to stresses on unity

Therefore. I present the following unsettling conclusion.

Canada cannot continue to exist so long as the Bloc Quebecois exists.

Am I wrong in this assessment? Perhaps. Time will tell.

Sorry, no extra data today!

Interesting What-If


I've decided to run an interesting what-if scenario. Over at 308.blogspot, they ran a piece on removing parties, and what would happen. See more info here Click Me! I've decided to add parties. Using the 2000 election as a base, I've decided to see what would have happened in the 2008 election, if the parties were split the way they were in 2000 (PC and CA)

Lib - 5
PC - 1
NDP - 1
(2006 was used as a base for NL due to the anybody-but-harper campaign. Harris, however, was declared Elected)

Lib - 4

NDP - 5
Lib - 3
PC - 3 (Including Casey)

Lib - 6
PC - 3
NDP - 1

Lib - 18
PC - 7
NDP - 7

(Personal note - I'm a bit shocked at this myself!)

CA - 7
NDP - 4
PC - 2
Lib - 1

CA - 12
Lib - 2

CA - 25
Lib - 2
NDP - 1

British Columbia
CA - 25
NDP - 8
Lib - 3

CA - 69
NDP - 13
Lib - 8
PC - 2

Lib - 1
NDP - 1
PC - 1

BQ - 56
Lib - 16
PC - 1
CA - 1 (in Pontiac)
NDP - 1 (in Outremont)

(See my note later)

Lib - 62
CA - 24
NDP - 18
PC - 2

Lib - 105
CA - 94
BQ - 56
NDP - 40
PC - 13

And there you have it. Stephane Dion would have been popular enough to get elected Prime Minister... If the right were still divided.

Note that in Quebec I gave the Alliance the seat they would have won by the math. This happens to be the seat currently held by Andre Arthur. I feel he would have been more likely to run as an Alliance candidate than a "Conservative" one.

Sorry, no extra data today!