Friday, December 28, 2012

Quebec Parties

I stumbled upon a great link just now while looking for some party logos for a feature I'm adding to the blog in the near future.

It follows the history of the parties in a simple graphic.

Monday, December 17, 2012

International Elections

A reminder to follow me here: for the latest on international elections.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Fun with numbers: populations

Some fun facts:

Canada has 4 large provinces (population) and 6 small ones. The smallest (population) of the large provinces is Alberta.

In 2045, Alberta will have more people than all the provinces (and territories) smaller than it combined.

Manitoba and Prince Edward Island are growing faster than the other 4 "small" provinces. Manitoba, being the largest of the "small" provinces, will thus pull away from them, while Alberta pulls away from it. In the long term we will have Ontario, 3 "large" provinces, Manitoba, and 5 "small" provinces.

BC could overtake Quebec in terms of population as early as 2055. Alberta will eventually overtake BC (and thus Quebec), but this will take longer. No signs point to Ontario dropping from it's #1 spot (It would take to the year 2500 when both Ontario and BC meet up near 135 billion people - which is unrealistic to say the least)

Here are some fun facts about Ridings and population
Quebec has 125 provincial ridings. If the people-per-riding number were applied to each province, it would result in the following number of ridings:
Ontario - 203
BC - 70
Alberta - 58
Manitoba - 19
Saskatchewan - 16
Nova Scotia - 15
New Brunswick - 12
Newfoundland - 8
PEI - 2
Ters - 3 (1 each)

If you applied the Senate clause for PEI, removed BC and Alberta, and Capped Ontario at Quebec's numbers (IE a proposal to make "Quebec happy") you would end up with 327 seats, which is less than the 338 we will have in a few years.

If every province had the same number of persons-per-riding as Nunavut does, they would have the following:

NU - 18
YK - 19
NT - 23
PE - 79
NL - 290
NB - 424
NS - 520
SK - 583
MB - 682
AB - 2057
BC - 2482
QC - 5559
ON - 7251

Ontario's legislature itself would be so large as to qualify for 4 additional ridings.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

In the Provinces

As 2012 draws to a close, one question is on the minds of all Canadians. When is the next RxR post about the Provinces? The answer is today!

Ontario is expected to be the next province to go to the polls - at least I expect it to be. Once the new Liberal leader is chosen, there is a good chance the legislation will vote it out and we'll be heading to the polls. Current polls show the parties in a close race with the PC party having an edge. My off-hand projection is as follows:
PC - 50 (Tim Hudak)
Lib - 30 (?)
NDP - 27 (Andrea Horwath)
And by off-hand I mean I just wrote that up right now, without looking at any poll numbers (I have a great memory though) and the only math I did was making sure it adds to 107. Take it as a rough guide.
As for who the next Liberal leader will be, my gut says one of 3 people. Gerard Kennedy, Sandra Pupatelo, or Kathleen Wynne.

If the forces at work from outside the legislature get their way, we will be headed to another election very soon in Quebec as well. My off-hand projection is as follows:
PQ - 60 (Pauline Marois)
PLQ - 42 (?)
CAQ - 21 (Francois Legault)
QS - 2 (Francoise David)
Which is just as "bad" as what we have now in terms of balance of power.
My guess for PLQ leader is Philippe Couillard

BC votes on May 14th 2013. I'll be doing official projections as the date gets closer. In 2005 I entered a contest and won a book due to my getting BC so right (projections) and in 2009 I was off by 2 seats - Lib/NDP switch - and one independent. My BC projections have been great in the past, but with the new Conservatives, even I worry about how well things will turn out. Regardless, my current off-hand projection as as follows:
NDP - 55 (Adrian Dix)
Lib - 27 (Christy Clark)
Ind - 1 (Viki Huntingdon)
Con - 1 (Jason Cummins)
Grn - 1 (Jane Sterk)
There is a real chance that the Greens could snatch away 1 or more of the 7 seats in the Victoria-Saanich area. They will need to play their cards right. The Conservatives could also walk away with a few seats if they can get their act together and get quality candidates in either one of the 2 Peace ridings, or, the 5 ridings in the Boundary-Kelowna area. Outside of these 14 ridings, the battle with be Lib/NDP and the NDP will win most of those.

One of the few provinces left without fixed election dates. The next election is expected in the fall of 2013, or, the spring of 2014. My current off-hand projection is as follows:
Lib - 22 (Stephen McNiel)
NDP - 18 (Darrell Dexter)
PC - 11 (Jamie Baille)
I don't expect this government to last long at all.

On September 22 2014 NB will go to the polls. My current off-hand projection is as follows:
PC - 30 (David Alward)
Lib - 21 (Brian Gallant)
NDP - 4 (Dominic Cardy)

On October 5th 2015* PEI will vote. My current off-hand projection is as follows:
Lib - 21 (Robert Ghiz)
PC - 6 (?)
NDP - 0 (James Rodd)

On October 13th 2015* Newfoundland will vote. My current off-hand projection is as follows:
PC - 30 (Kathy Dunderdale)
NDP - 14 (Lorraine Michael)
Lib - 6 (?)

On October 19th 2015, Canadians from coast to coast to coast will go to the polls. My off-hand projection is as follows:
CPC - 160 (Stephen Harper)
NDP - 88 (Thomas Mulcair)
Lib - 80 (Justin Trudeau) [come on who else?]
BQ - 9 (Daniel Pallie)
Grn - 1 (Elizabeth May)

On November 2nd 2015*, Saskatchewan will go to the polls. My current off-hand projection is as follows:
SKP - 42 (Brad Wall)
NDP - 16 (?)

On April 19th 2016*, Manitoba will hold an election. My current off-hand projection is as follows:
PC - 31 (Brian Pallister)
NDP - 26 (Greg Selinger)
Lib - 0 (?)

On June 1st 2016, Alberta will hold an election. My current off-hand projection is as follows:
PC - 43 (Allison Redford)
WR - 40 (Danielle Smith)
Lib - 3 (?)
NDP - 2 (?)
I expect Liberal and NDP leaders to resign.

*A note on dates:
Manitoba has an official law changing it's date if it conflicts with a federal election. That changed date is what is displayed. The other provinces have no such laws, but may pass such laws prior to 2015. I expect them to.

Monday, December 3, 2012

How to project like I do

Instructions to project like me (and make maps too)

Quebec used as our example

Find the poll average for the current date and time. One way to do this is to go to a poll aggregator website, or, a website that has one attached, like Note down the numbers. Feel free to round a bit. This gives us the following numbers: 14C 23B 29L 32N You'll note the Greens appear to have a small base of support, but you will learn after doing many of these that the Greens will not be winning any additional ridings at these levels.

Open up this website: and go to the 2015 projection (this page: )

Select the province you are doing (in this case, Quebec) from the drop down menu. Also, begin by setting each square that shows 1.000 to 0.500. Also change the OTH and GRN numbers to 0.000

This is the "fun" part. Now you hit Project and see what the popular vote figures are. Then you hit back, and adjust your numbers. Example: The Liberals are at 14.6, but we want them closer to 30. Thus change their number from 0.500 back to 1.000 and hit project again. If you've done everything I've told you to, the Liberals should now be at 25.5%. The NDP is at 38.6% but we want them closer to 32%, thus go back and decrease their number.  Setting the NDP at .370 will give you exactly 31.7% popular vote. You will now notice the Tories are too high. Go back and lower them. 0.400 will get you where you want. Now however, both the Liberal and NDP numbers have gone up as a result. The NDP will need to be adjusted down once more. The Bloc is also too high. And once you do that, of course, you'll find the Tories have gone up. Eventually the Liberals will need an adjustment down too. This is where you must 'round' the already rounded numbers and use estimates.

Settle on numbers. The numbers I plan on using are 0.400 for the Tories, 0.850 for the NDP, 0.990 for the Liberals, 0.480 for the Bloc, and 0.000 for everything else. Now you select from the drop down menu to view all the ridings. I usually start with the party projected to win the fewest seats, in this case, the Tories. You'll note that some ridings appear in Red or Blue (the numbers) below the CPC column. These are ridings the Tories are projected to win using the numbers you've put in. Now go to your map (the completed map will be posted below if you don't have your own copy) and find the riding names for each of the won ridings and colour them in with the proper colour, in this case, Tory Blue. Do the same for the Bloc, Liberals, and NDP.

Look for 'errors'. Math projections do not account for local variations. Look for things in your projection that seem a bit fishy. Example: this projection shows the Liberals winning Outremont. The NDP's leader is running here, and while the Liberals may knock him off, it does seem a bit fishy that a party projected to win the province would be unable to elect it's leader in said province. This is when you need to use a human judgement call - or just use's math that shows star candidates can win about about 15% more than expected. Thus, Outremont should not be Liberal Red, but NDP Orange. Sainte-Marie is another case, but this time, it is a former leader in play. This projection tells us the Bloc should win. Last election the Bloc leader ran here, a man who was very popular in the riding, but the coming election will not see him run. Can the Bloc really hold on to Duceppe votes? Again, a judgement call is needed, and in my judgement, the answer is no. Thus, this riding becomes NDP Orange. Now look for ridings that appear out of place. Note the Liberals winning in Brome and Berthier. Brome is a historic Liberal/Red Tory riding. Thus it does make logical sense the Liberals could win here. Berthier however? Well remember the local NDP candidate had quite the controversy during the last election. If voters here want to reject the Bloc, and, if the Liberals put up a good candidate, they could run a dirty campaign and win. How about Saint Maurice, where the Bloc is projected to win? Remember the current MP here switched from NDP to Liberal, this riding could see vote splitting and thus, the Bloc could indeed win.

Your map should look like this:

And after the riding adjustments, your final projection should be as follows: 38N 21L 9B 7C
Write this down, as you'll need to use it again when you are done projecting the other 9 provinces and 3 territories; but for Quebec, you are now done.

You'll likely note this is the map of the current ridings. These will be out-of-date by the next election. Have no fear, the website you used to make these projections is usually quick to update it's federal forecasters, and when the official riding vote transcriptions are done, they will update. I can also assure you that once final map boundaries are submitted to the House of Commons, that I will have maps available as well.