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October 11th, 2008:

Scary projection – Harper wins majority with only 34% of the vote!

October 11, 2008

Immediate release

Fair Vote Canada

Projection based on CP-Harris-Decima poll shows

first-past-the-post system could hand Conservatives

a majority with just 34% of the popular vote

Green Party could be shut out with as many as

1.75 million votes

A projection based on the October 9 Canadian Press Harris-Decima rolling survey shows the Conservative Party, with a very minor increase in support, could set a new record for the least-supported “majority” government in Canadian history, dropping significantly below the Liberals 38% “majority” in 1997.

The bizarre, but plausible, possibilities do not end there. In the 2006 election, the Green Party won more than 664,000 votes, setting the record for the most votes won by a federal party without capturing a single seat in Parliament. The Fair Vote Canada projection shows the Green Party could still be denied seats with more than 1.75 million votes.

“The possibility of such ludicrous and undemocratic outcomes should be a wake-up call for all Canadians on the urgency of replacing our dysfunctional first-past-the-post voting system with one based on voter equality and proportional representation,” said Barbara Odenwald, President of Fair Vote Canada. “This is nuts. We’re in the 21st century. Most other Western industrial nations scrapped first-past-the-post last century.”

The projection, prepared by British Columbia mathematician Julian West, is based on the regional results of the Canadian Press-Harris-Decima poll, supplemented with additional regional data from a recent Ekos poll.

The projection applied the current regional results to predict how votes might shift on a riding-by-riding basis based on the voting results in the 2006 election, and then determined how many additional Conservative votes would be needed to win a majority of seats (see footnote for further detail on projection methodology.)

The projection showed that if a relatively small number of additional votes were cast for the Conservatives across the country, nudging them to just 34% of total votes cast, that might be sufficient for a net gain of 32 seats, which would create a 156-seat majority.

Applying this model, the following seats tip to the Conservatives (all from the Liberals, unless stated):

NL Labrador
NL Random-Burin-St George’s
NS West Nova
NB Fredericton
NB Madawaska-Restigouche
NB Miramichi
NB Saint John
ON Brant
ON Huron-Bruce
ON London West
ON Mississauga South
ON Oakville
MB Saint Boniface
SK Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River
BC 18 seats (every opposition seat, except Vancouver East)

Fair Vote Canada (FVC) is a national multi-partisan citizens’ campaign to promote voting system reform. FVC was founded in 2001 and has a National Advisory Board of distinguished Canadians from all points on the political spectrum.


Why to NOT vote for Harper – the last weekend of the campaign

As we enter the long weekend, we are seeing a slight uptick in Harper’s fortunes in Ontario and further erosion of their gains made in the last election. What will influence our decisions in these final days as we go to the polls on Tuesday?

Dion’s stumble in the CTV interview was not a stumble. He was asked three slightly different questions by the interviewer each time and this confused the Grit leader and it also confused a colleague and I who watched the clip on YouTube last night. And for the networks to air these outtakes is nothing less than shameful. Has Harper or Layton or any of the leaders not have had to request a retake once or twice during the course of an interview? If so, and I cannot imagine that Stevie hasn’t made a gaffe or two, then these clips should be aired too. Shame on you, CTV!

Over dinner and with family and friends this weekend, much will be discussed about this election. There will be family debates and perhaps even a shouting match with old Uncle Bert who has steadfastly reported for a conservative party since Dief was at the helm! Votes will be influenced at the dinner table this weekend – make no mistake about. So, if you agree at all with what I have written over the past 5 1/2 weeks, do your best to convince Uncle Bert that maybe this one time, he should consider voting for someone else.

The weather. Of course the weather will influence our thought patterns this weekend – we are Canadians for crying out loud! And the forecast for the eastern part of the country is for warm days and blue skies clear through till E-day. This may not bode well for our weekend ruminations as we’re less likely to be generally pissed off as we would be if it were raining or snowing. But if the forecast holds true for Tuesday then we may expect a higher voter turnout and that usually does not bode well for the incumbent administration.

In any case folks, talk politics this weekend! What is decided in the next few days will influence the direction of our country for the next little while! Remember Harper’s lies, cynicism and general disrespect for his partisan colleagues and the intelligence of his countrymen and countrywomen.