Friday, January 22, 2010

Léger Provincial Poll

Léger Marketing released a provincial voting intentions poll along with its federal voting intentions poll earlier this week. Here are the results:Overall, not much change since Léger's last poll at the end of November 2009.

At 41%, the Parti Québécois remains stable, while the Liberals (PLQ) have gained two points to close to within two points of the PQ. Québec Solidaire has managed to wrest away third place, and stands at 7% (no change from November). The Action Démocratique du Québec, at 6%, is down two points while the Greens (PVQ) are down two points as well.

It is worth noting that the Bloc Quebecois and the Parti Quebecois have managed to return to parity. In every demographic and region, the difference in support is no more than 2-points, except in Quebec City, and that likely because of the weakness of the ADQ.

The PQ dominates the francophone vote, 50% to the PLQ's 30%. The non-francophone vote is much more unanimous, however, with a massive 77% supporting the PLQ. The PVQ is actually second in this demographic, with 8%, followed by the PQ at 7%. The ADQ, at 1%, has been completely abandoned by non-francophones.

In the Montreal area, the PLQ has a slight lead over the PQ, 40% to 37%. QS is doing well, with 9%, and could elect Françoise David along with Amir Khadir next time around. The PVQ also hits above their weight in Montreal, with 7%. We saw indications of potential Green strength in Western Montreal in the last election. Apparently, for anglophones who do not like Jean Charest's Liberals, they are a safe alternative.

In Quebec City, the PLQ has a small lead as well, 37% to 35%. The ADQ has lost a lot of its strength in this region, with only 15% support. In the "Rest of Quebec", the PQ is well ahead with 47% to the Liberals' 39%. The ADQ, which also used to show strength in this area, is at a woeful 5%.

This means that the PLQ and PQ are in a death-grip in every part of the province, while the ADQ has been completed eradicated everywhere except (most likely) in the ridings that are currently represented by ADQ MNAs.

Here are my seat projections for this poll:

Parti Québécois - 66
Liberals - 57
Québec Solidaire - 2

That's it. No ADQ, who are wiped from the political map of Quebec. The PQ gains a slim majority. In the case of defections or retirements, the two QS MNAs ensure that the PQ would remain solidly in power.

With the ADQ dropping to the level of fringe party, politics in Quebec are returning to a two-horse race. However, there is still plenty of time before the next election. What happens federally can have a huge impact on what happens provincially.

67 comments:

  1. I remember saying awhile ago, on some forum, that the PVQ would take second place among non-francophones. I called it because of the federal and provincial votes that seemed to go to the Greens. I don't know, I had a feeling. Its nice being vindicated.

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  2. By the way, Eric - are you not updating CentVingtCinq anymore?

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  3. Oof, I'll have to eventually. Or take it down. I'd like to do provincial projections along with federal projections, but probably only through this site. It just seems futile to project an election that will take place in 2013!

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  4. Good point - though you could do it for any provincial projections, and sort of group them there, but it defeats the point if you want to do them side-by-side here, I guess.

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  5. My eventual plan is to have the federal projections and the projection for the next most-likely provincial election on the main page.

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  6. Sounds cool - I look forward to it! So hard to get up-to-date provincial polls. ElectionAlmanac had them, but they haven't updated in a long while.

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  7. Hmm maybe now that Paradis is the new rising star for Quebec and Bernier got snubbed for cabinet, Bernier might take another look at doing something with the ADQ.

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  8. Shadow, I never thought of that. That would be an interesting jump. Maybe not as interesting Dumont jumping to the feds, but still, pretty damn interesting. He'd win Beauce for sure - though, what else could he win? And would the ADQ, who already kicked out a liberal-ish leader, accept him?

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  9. I don't see it. Maxime Bernier is a sitting member of the governing party, and he could get a cabinet position in the future (he's still young). Going to the ADQ means being a sitting member of a 3-5 member, third tier opposition party. It would be a step down.

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  10. True Eric, thats what I was thinking as well, plus I think of Harper loses Bernier, he's going to lose Beauce, Paradis be damned.

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  11. Volkov I don't think Bernier is liberal-ish ? I thought he was somewhat of a right wing idealogue.

    And he has a reputation of being a bit of a show horse. Perfect for replacing the cult of personality vaccuum left behind by Dumont.

    If he stays federal he's in the dog house for at least another year. Even then it'll probably be just some jr portfolio for at least three or four years.

    Creating a national security threat doesn't play well with the base or the rest of Canada.

    And frankly there is zero chance of anyone from Quebec, including Charest, replacing Harper.

    So why not take the gamble and see if he can't rebuild the ADQ and become a big player again?

    PS: There's a lot of people i'd love to make the jump to federal for the Conservatives. Carol Taylor in BC, Lord in NB, Dumont in Quebec, Hillier in Newfoundland.

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  12. As far as I know, Bernier is a waffle. He might be conservative by Quebec standards, but that isn't hard to do. He's an interesting fellow, politically speaking.

    And as Eric said, that gamble might be too much to take. He'd be joing a party that I don't think has official status anymore, and is almost eating itself alive. I think most adequistes have to face it - the party died when Dumont left. So why would Bernier bother risking his neck?

    And while I agree that there is no Quebec Cons. MP that could replace Harper in most situations, I wouldn't mind seeing one. You know who I'd like to see? Jean-Pierre Blackburn. He's got a kickass surname, he's got a good support base (PC Quebec MP), and he is competent in any portfolio he's had yet.

    Blackburn ftw!

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  13. Lol Blackburn looks slightly mouse-ish and I wasn't really impressed with his handling of the missing gold situation at the Mint when he was revenue minister.

    If Lord would get in the game someone with his bilingual background would be formidable.

    If Harper ever does leave its going to be a 10 candidate free for all. So many different people have leadership ambitions.

    I'm waiting to see when Shelly Glover gets into cabinet. She drives the lefties furious. Maybe its the Sarah Palin resemblance.

    If there's going to be a woman candidate people rally around I could see it being her.

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  14. Lord would be a heavyweight, and according to dubious sources (Kady O'Malley), Harper is keeping him out of the Senate because of his leadership ambitions. The man has been pretty invisible though. I wonder if a post-Harper Conservative Party would go through the shake-ups that the Liberals did, with its B-Class leadership contenders, and the A's (in my opinion: Flaherty, Lord and Prentice) dropping out. I doubt it, but hey, history repeats.

    I'd really like to see James Moore throw his hat in. He's young, he's practical, and he's western - a good prospect for a Conservative Party that would somehow manage to get beat by Ignatieff.

    And I don't know about Glover... she's a rookie MP, she is feisty, and I suppose the Palin factor is sort of there - but for Christ's sake, she didn't know who Tom Flanagan was. Thats either really sad, or she is controlled by the PMO. Palin went "rogue," remember?

    If there would be a good Conservative female leader, I'd pick Carole Taylor (as prospective), or - and bear with me, here - Diane Ablonczy. She's got experience with leadership campaigns, with office, with the party, and she seems a little sensible.

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  15. Eric she was just elected in '08.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shelly_Glover

    She's a Metis woman from Manitoba, fluently bilingual, 5 kids. First policewoman MP in history, 19 years experience doing some pretty impressive and dangerous undercover work.

    At the moment she is Parliamentary Secretary for Official Languages but she's been present at a lot of the law and order announcements around Ottawa.

    I wouldn't be surprised if she's shifted into Public Safety next year.

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  16. Hey Volkov the Tom Flanegan put down was wonderful.

    He's on the outs with the party anyways. He's turning into a media darling. Andrew Coyne clone. The principled, non-partisan, "true Conservative" type thing. All very insufferable.

    The media loves it because anyone who attacks Harper from the right is gold. CBC keeps asking, with a hopeful tone, whether Wildrose will go federal.

    I think Glover is more on the Bush 2/Bill Clinton/Palin type thing. She's somewhat clueless but its more of an emotional connection.

    Very natural politician, gonna be like Chretien when she finds her confidence. Let other people be the brain trust, she'll listen to her gut.

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  17. Hehe, I ain't complaining when Flanagan attacks Harper, thats for sure. All he needs to do now is show up at the Montreal Conference! xD

    But no, you're right - he is a little insufferable, even more so as a "free agent," so to speak. He was insufferable before, but now, its just shrill.

    Well, in any case, if there is a Liberal win in some far-off election, I don't think Glover will lose her seat. Ray Simard is popular, but I get the feeling that Glover is more popular in Saint-Boniface. So, you might get the chance to see her confidence rise then. Until that point though, I stand by Ablonczy... which is probably bad, because I'm a Liberal. Still.

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  18. The thing about the idealogues who aren't in the game is that they have no ability to translate their ideas into reality because they never have any power.

    Politics is messy. One needs to be pragmatic and make concessions. Its easy to criticize from the right or the left. Actually winning and trying out these policies is another thing altogether.


    Ablonczy is a lot of fun. Very bubbly. I wonder if that would come off as weird and unserious in a leadership debate though ?

    But she knows the issues and can be incisive when she needs to be.

    I'd stick with Carole Tayler but she's nearly 70! If she's goint to be mayor of Vancouver/premier of BC/federal Conservative MP she's going to have to get a move on !

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  19. I don't think Taylor is going to be Premier, at least not for long - I mean, would you want to follow Campbell's footsteps? Do you think she'd survive the election? I mean, Carole James is a horrid NDP leader, but you gotta think she would have an advantage.

    But, being mayor of Vancouver, that is a good, comfy job for her, one she would likely win against that leftist mayor there... Robertson, I think? I heard he isn't doing amazingly well.

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  20. BC Liberals are a mess, that's true. The carbon tax is just such a horrible, horrible policy. Basicaly Dion's green shift.

    It tries to do too many things at once. Reduce carbon. Social justice (biggest rebates to low income types). Increase competitiveness (lower corporate tax rates).

    The impact is way too difuse. I'd fix it by stopping the rebates.

    Direct the money towards "Green Infrastructure". Public transit. Expanded bridges and highways. Sewer treatment plants.

    OR

    Direct the money towards a "Green Knowledge Economy". Fund R&D and lower tuition rates at university.

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  21. I enjoy visiting threehundredeight, and I like the discussions we have here...

    ...but I find that I have no interest at all in provincial politics east of Saskatchewan. There's some interesting public policy come out of New Brunswick, though. Maybe something will come of that.

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  22. I have trouble getting up any interest in provincial politics outside of Quebec. It's all about budgets and the like. Polls and electoral results are different, though, because I love those things.

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  23. Any thoughts on a Sask/Manitoba merger? Wisconsin and Minnesota share a lot of services. Its a good way to save money and standardize things. These joint cabinet meetings might turn into something more down the road:

    http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20100122/cabinet_meetings_100122/20100122?hub=QPeriod

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  24. Kady O'Malley already has the "Saskitoba" name lined up - what other steps are necessary?

    And in contrast to you lovely people, I am not regionally focused. I go wherever there is news. If its in BC, I'm there (not literally - jut focused there). If its Quebec, there. If its Alberta, there. If its prospective candidates in the Ottawa mayoral race, I'm there. I am generally a freak.

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  25. Its an interesting idea. Sask is going to need lots of energy as it continues developing oil.

    Manitoba has under developed hydro resources.

    They'd compliment each other nicely.

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  26. Volkov and Shadow: I'm not sure what background you base your comments regarding Carol Taylor as a federal Conservative on. While she was in Cabinet here in B.C., she was always placed in the 'federal Liberal' wing of the BCLP. I am a member of both BCLP and LPCBC and have never heard/seen political discussion of your observation, but I don't live in the Vancouver area so perhaps I have missed it.

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  27. Paul she's made very approving statements of the federal Conservatives in the past and is currently a member of Flaherty's economic advisory board.

    As an architect of this gov't's fiscal policies she's defended their handling of the economy against Liberal attacks on numerous occasions.

    While she could fit in with the both the federal Liberals or Conservatives one would expect her to go with the party in power if she were ever to make such a jump.

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  28. Paul, they base their opinion on the premise that 'Everything Conservatives or Harper say and do is good.'

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  29. Volkov is a Liberal supporter...

    I guess it fits the fake/false pattern though!

    In your deranged world anybody who doesn't spend their time bashing the Conservatives is a diehard Conservative supporter.

    Heaven forbid a Dipper or a Liberal say something measured, thoughtful, and non-partisan about the Conservatives !

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  30. Paul;

    Carole Taylor would have fit well with the Martin Liberals, which is almost what the Conservatives are turning into - so I would see her jumping over there before teaming up with Iggy. Thats just what of I know of her; admittedly I'm not from BC, but I know Taylor's policies quite well, but that possibility exists she might have said something to the effect of "I <3 Iggy" in Vancouver.

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  31. Hopefully if the PQ get elected Quebec will finally stop their threatening and leave.

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  32. That's enlightened. Hey, I've never heard Danny Williams make threats. Or Dalton McGuinty. No, they never demand anything from Ottawa!

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  33. Eric why is resentment towards Quebec less enlightened or acceptable then resentment towards Canada from within Quebec ?

    A lot of Albertans are furious at Charest right now for trashing the oil sands while the people of Quebec enjoy a hydro program subsidized by billions in equilization from Alberta oil dollars and an unfair historical agreement with Newfoundland.

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  34. Granted, a lot of Quebecers are consistently miffed at Alberta. Its regional hatred, and its always a double-standard - we should know this by now.

    But thats why you have a federal government. Its supposed to help resolve these issues. A lot of the time it does, but a lot of the time it is also regionalized beyond measure. We need to fix that.

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  35. Shifting away from the BQ would be a start.

    How does working in Ottawa achieve independence for Quebec?

    It doesn't, obviously. So you have a party that exists for the purpose of getting government money for a single province.

    Eric has defended the BQ previously as hard working, able legislators. Which is certainly true as far as politicians go.

    But that's beside the point. What if every province simply elected a regional party to fight for its interest ?

    Maybe there should a rule like:

    In order to recieve political subsidies a party must demonstrate that has made an effort to recruit candidates to run in elections across the country.

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  36. While I'm no fan of the Bloc, or of regionalist parties, I do see their purpose. These parties have support for a specific reason - the people of that province want a voice, and they want people to listen to them. If we take that way, then you either risk anger or apathy. You can't simply battle regionalism by putting your foot down on it. That is what dictators like Omar Bashir or Milosevic do.

    Instead, if you want to battle regionalism on the federal level, you make your parties actually viable members for those regions. Not parties, but members. Mulroney had his formula right when he included Quebec nationalists and Western interests - he just never truly followed up with it.

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  37. The Bloc Quebecois is in Quebec to defend the interests of Quebecers because the Quebecers who vote for them believe that no other party will look out for their interests.

    Our system is based on individuals representing each region of the country, each riding. We elect Joe Blow from our local area because he will represent our local area in parliament. That is the whole basis of the idea of our parliament.

    Limiting democratic choice, as you suggest, to national-only parties is, well, undemocratic.

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  38. I agree that its preferable to have people wasting their time in the quick sand of poltiics then having seperatist terrorism in this country.

    My rule was heavy handed in the sense that its too obvious. A lot of Conservatives support getting rid of the political subsidies to really bankrupt the BQ and win the final couple seats needed for a majority. But its shrowded in the language of small gov't (which some honestly believe as well.)


    Regional parties do respond to people's needs, just as single issue parties like the Greens do.

    But they are not healthy or ideal. Therefore, broad, inclusive, nation wide parties like the Cons/Libs/NDP should make an effort to reach out to these disaffected voters and see if they can't be brought into a shared vision of Canada.

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  39. "Our system is based on individuals representing each region of the country, each riding."

    Yes. This is why proportional representaiton is such a horrid idea.

    "Limiting democratic choice, as you suggest, to national-only parties is, well, undemocratic."

    Nobody said any such thing. People are free to form whatever parties they like.

    Requiring parties to use their political subsidies to make an effort to run in a wide variety of ridings isn't undemocratic. Governments are free to put any strings they like on money they hand out. Parties can always go without the money and do their own fundraising.

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  40. Yes - the national, plural-issue parties should make an effort to reach out. However, that effort should be on their part, and their part alone. It isn't up to Elections Canada to disbar representatives because they're regionalist - its up to the other parties to show they're the better option.

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  41. I'v never heard Danny or Dalton threaten to leave the country unless that got what they wanted, nor does Newfoundland and Labrador and Ontario have separtist parties at both the provincial and federal levels. Quebec does not want to be treated the same as other provinces it's not fair to the rest of the country. Either be an equal province or leave.

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  42. Anon,

    You're wrong about Newfoundland not having a separatist party, though it calls itself simply "regionalist."

    And in all honesty, Quebec does want to be an equal province, about as much as Alberta and Ontario do. If you don't get the sarcasm, I'm really saying none of the provinces want to be equal.

    So spare the moral-high-road stuff and shift into reality. Quebec acts as any other province in this federation - it simply takes it to the next level because of the other differences it has. Besides, Canada isn't Canada without Quebec.

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  43. Volkov again nobody need be disbarred, its just a little bit shocking that something like 80% of the BQ's funding comes from the federal gov't. We're paying for our own destruction more or less.

    I think what annoys people is the shocking ignorance of seperatism.

    What exactly would happen to a province that all of a sudden stops getting billions in transfer payments and equilization ?

    Somebody in the position of being the recipient of the kindness of other Canadians should show some gratitude.

    That is the basis for resentment against Quebec.

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  44. Shadow, you'd be surprised at the amount of Quebecers that don't want equalization. The PQ aside, I don't think most are happy with it. And yes, I'm pretty sure they're aware of it - we constantly remind them of it.

    Besides, what other province doesn't breed resentment among others? Its nothing new, its not even anything controversial - its Canada, lol. I find most separatist and regionalist movements negative, yet reasonable under the circumstances.

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  45. Shadow: Regional parties do respond to people's needs, just as single issue parties like the Greens do.

    Check out the Green platform some time. Also, take a look at Green parties elsewhere in the world, especially in Europe. Yes, the Green Party has more interest in the environment than other parties, but that's just the start.

    The Green Party of Canada can be a bit confusing; its members have a broader set of views than any other party in the country. And some viewpoints are quite right-wing. However, they tend to be libertarian right wing as distinct from the Conservative authoritarian right wing.

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  46. Éric: Our system is based on individuals representing each region of the country, each riding. We elect Joe Blow from our local area because he will represent our local area in parliament. That is the whole basis of the idea of our parliament.

    Shadow: Yes. This is why proportional representation is such a horrid idea.

    Every form of proportional representation proposed for any jurisdiction in this country has included local representation. PR will never take away your local member. If this bugbear has you worried, relax. It's a straw man.

    The problem with first-past-the-post is that of scale. When an MP takes a seat on the basis of winning 35% of the vote in a riding, 65% of the riding does not have their viewpoint represented. The "tyranny of the majority" that regionalists decry is happening on a small scale as the "regions" within ridings are disenfranchised--but that small scale is repeated across the country and the result is a massive number of unrepresented citizens. PR gives them a voice.

    Éric is likely to be happy with first-past-the-post for some time, or at least as long as the Bloc support never drops to a point at which the proportion of Bloc MPs is well below the Bloc vote. Shadow is currently happy with it and may always have been. Stephen Harper hasn't spoken out for PR since becoming PM. But don't mistake this for a stand based on his principles or long-time views. Moving into 24 Sussex can change many things.

    (By the way, who's the co-author of the linked paper? I've never heard of him.)

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  47. "PR will never take away your local member. If this bugbear has you worried, relax. It's a straw man."

    No your local member will just be assigned to you from a party list.

    Unless you're talking about a mixed member system which will include local members and unaccountable floaters beholden to nobody but their party.

    By the way, it doesn't sound like Harper ever stood on principle for any of the voting systems in the article.

    It was writen in response to Liberal majority rule. That rule has ended. Therefore reform is unnessecary.

    Our system is built on communities electing members who have a plurality of support. If you're concerned about someone winning with 35% of the vote how about a run-off system if no candidate gets above 40% ?

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  48. To put my two cents in, I've always found first-past-the-post is the best way to actually represent an electoral district. PR and MMP are either non-representative, except for faceless party goons, or too confusing. I base the latter on the fact that New Zealand has it, and I've been exposed to it, and boy, is it ever a flipping mess.

    However, there are obvious issues. Shadow hit the nail on the head - run-off voting. It would be excellent in a regionalized country like Canada, where the third parties are strong in certain areas. I mean, if we have run-off voting in, say, a rural Quebec riding miles away from Beauce and Lac-Saint-Jean, its obvious the Bloc will win, even in a run-off.

    Take a gander at Australia's system - they seem to be on the right track.

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  49. Hey Volkov my only suggestion would be actual run offs instead of preferential ballots or STV or the like.

    Remember Stephane Dion ? He was everybody's second or third choice and yet he ended up pleasing nobody.

    I think an actual run off held two weeks later would force the candidates to go out and recruit the voters who voted for other parties.

    It wouldn't just be some last minute who do like the least type thing while voting.

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  50. I don't know Shadow - that seems to be adding on a lot of business for what is simply a vote for a district representative. Presidential run-offs have a purpose because of how large the scope of the position's power is.

    Preferential ballots are essentially quick and painless with today's technology, and it works the same way without holding a second vote. Everyone gets a say, and we move on.

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  51. Preferential ballots would be the way to go, I think, rather than run-off elections.

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  52. Volkov, Eric, may as well stick with first past the post then.

    A lack of a run off fails to address the concerns I raised and provides no real advantages.

    How does you address the Stephane Dion problem?

    Some of the proposals I hear you list as many candidates as you like, or say your top four.

    At what point does second or third choice actually cease being a vote of confidence and just become a matter of choosing who you dislike the least.

    Its like saying "oh yeah, I enjoy pepsi, I mean I always ask for coke but if its not available then its always pepsi." Now imagine that to the third or fourth choice.

    Well then some people suggest that you could just leave it blank. But that's unfair too because other people's votes are going further than yours.


    My understanding is that a great deal of races involve candidates who get 40% or higher. So it would only apply to those tight three way or four way races. Its about getting a consensus to emerge. A real one.

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  53. "At what point does second or third choice actually cease being a vote of confidence and just become a matter of choosing who you dislike the least."

    So what's wrong with that?? What if all I care about is that the Conservatives not be in power? You may not like it - but it is my democratic right to have that point of view. So what if I get my preferential ballot and I CHOOSE to fill it out as follows: make the Tory candidate the last preference (ie: if there are seven candidates in my riding, the Tory will be #7) and hen maybe I just fill in the other numbers at random because I really don't care which of the other candidates win - all i care about is that the Tory LOSES. Why is that a bad thing?? Think about how well it could work in Quebec if all federalists in Quebec consistently rank the BQ candidate dead last in every riding? BQ representation would probably crash from 50 seats to about 30 just like that!

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  54. Shadow,

    Preferential ballots do create a real consensus. People list their preferred candidates in lists, and based on the tally, the best preference is elected - aka. the person who most people rank consistently as either the best or second best to represent their interests. I fail to see how that creates real consensus. Whats better is that it eliminates the need for strategic voting.

    Your system is like an elongated IRV system. Its essentially the same, except you tack on another election day. I fail to see the purpose for this.

    Anyways... Eric, there is a CanWest poll out, apparently. I saw it on a blog, and it has Quebec and Ontario at least: http://jmortonmusings.blogspot.com/2010/01/canwest-poll.html

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  55. Shadow: No your local member will just be assigned to you from a party list.

    Unless you're talking about a mixed member system which will include local members and unaccountable floaters beholden to nobody but their party.


    There are many, many proportional representation systems. The recent Ontario proposal included local representation and, yes, a party-supplied prioritized list published ahead of time. The party is accountable to the voters.

    An exercise for the reader is to explain how this differs from a large number of Alberta ridings where the vote will go Tory unless the candidate is caught boiling babies in oil. By the revised party rules when there's an incumbent, the CPC riding association has no practical control over the nomination. In these ridings, only the party is accountable to the voters and the member's function in life is to vote along party lines.

    By the way, it doesn't sound like Harper ever stood on principle for any of the voting systems in the article.

    It was writen in response to Liberal majority rule. That rule has ended. Therefore reform is unnessecary.


    "The end is Tories in power and that justifies any means" has to be a troll. So I'll let it pass.

    Our system is built on communities electing members who have a plurality of support. If you're concerned about someone winning with 35% of the vote how about a run-off system if no candidate gets above 40% ?

    The issue is voters who aren't represented, period. Run-offs don't address that problem.

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  56. I should point out that the electoral result should not be the reason for changing systems. "It'll hurt the Bloc" is not a legitimate argument for a change to the voting system.

    A lot of the funding arguments are based around that idea as well, unfortunately.

    Changes to the way we vote should be about making voting more fair or getting more accurate results. It shouldn't be about penalising one party or one political viewpoint.

    This would seem to be an obvious point to make, but it seems to have been ignored in a lot of the above posts.

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  57. Ipsos-Reid doesn't have it on their webpage yet. They usually are pretty quick to update, so I'll wait until I have access to the full details.

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  58. John you're turning democracy on its head.

    "The issue is voters who aren't represented, period."

    All voters are represented by their representative.

    Between elections we come together. What you are suggesting is permanent partisan war and the balkanization of the Canadian body politic based on ideological leanings.

    Proportional representation makes no sense because you're altering the definition of a polity to the point that its size and scope renders it meaningless in terms of community representation and engagement.

    In many senses there is no Canada and there is no Quebec.

    There are many, many communities with diverse interests.

    Each one elects a single representative. People vote. In life there are winners and losers. A winner is chosen. That person then represents the ENTIRE community and all the voters and NON-VOTERS inside it.

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  59. Volkov I believe the second voting day would get rid of the sort of nihilistic voting practices DL is suggesting.

    Voting should be a positive experience about who you like, not blocking somebody you dislike.

    The two week period becomes a test of who can represent a majority of the community.

    How do candidates reach out to the losers ? Do the losers endorse ?

    Its about doing the hardwork of bringing people together and showing you can represent more than a narrow base.

    Preferential ballot doesn't do this. Second and third choices aren't convincing endoresments of anything. The questions is do you really like the other choices enough to come out and vote for them two weeks later ?

    Otherwise its simply a matter of listing who you like, who you dislike the most, and filling the middle in randomly.

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  60. "Volkov I believe the second voting day would get rid of the sort of nihilistic voting practices DL is suggesting. "

    YOu only think its "nihilistic" because its bad for the Conservative Party. My number one goal when I cast my vote is to make sure that the Conservative Party gets the smallest possible number of seats. That is my right. That is how I would choose to use my ballot. I'm sorry if you have a problem with democracy.

    Preferential voting seems to work fine in Australia and it was admirable about 10 years ago when a new racist party came onto the scene called Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party - all the other parties banded together and counseled voters to always rank One Nation dead last on their ballot. This killed off that racist party.

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  61. "You only think its "nihilistic" because its bad for the Conservative Party."

    Nonsense. It could be bad for a number of parties. Moderate Liberals, some Greens, Western Dippers, and federalists in Quebec could push their votes to the Conservatives in certain ridings.

    The net impact would probably be less substantial then you seem to think it is. Oh I know, you have delusions about Canadians ganging up on Conservatives, that they only represent 30% of the vote and would lose all their seats if the left didn't split its vote. Lol.

    "I'm sorry if you have a problem with democracy."

    Its pretty sad actually that you have no party to support in a positive manner and vote only to block the Conservatives.

    And nobody has a problem with democracy. Its your nilistic approach to politics that was objected to.

    "Preferential voting seems to work fine in Australia"

    And our system works fine here and other systems, including run offs, work fine elsewhere.

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  62. Éric: I should point out that the electoral result should not be the reason for changing systems. "It'll hurt the Bloc" is not a legitimate argument for a change to the voting system.
    ...
    Changes to the way we vote should be about making voting more fair or getting more accurate results. It shouldn't be about penalising one party or one political viewpoint.


    This is an excellent point. The reverse is also true: changes shouldn't be made to give any party some temporary tactical advantage. Fairness and representation of the electorate must be the reasons for any change. We all need to think about the long term and the voting citizens, not individual parties today.

    And yes, proportional representation would help the Green Party today, so consider that observation to have been made.

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  63. Exactly. The system we use today was created long before the Bloc or the Greens existed, and the changes we could make might still be in place long after the Bloc and the Greens disappear.

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  64. Shadow: Between elections we come together. What you are suggesting is permanent partisan war and the balkanization of the Canadian body politic based on ideological leanings.

    These are critically important sentences--because they're untrue. I'm suggesting the opposite: parties working together.

    Historically, minority parliaments have cooperated to produce some historic legislation. That went out the window in 2006. The poster child of current dysfunction is the booklet handed out to all Conservative MPs on how to disrupt parliamentary committee meetings. Today, parliament is truly balkanized and therefore ineffective. But the paralysis is due to the people, not the minority.

    Years ago first-past-the-post had the benefit of producing strong governments that could accomplish things on their own. It artificially skewed power to the winners. Those days are gone. With four parties in the House and five some day soon, majority governments will be the exception and not the rule.

    That's good. It means that governments will have to listen instead of dictate, and have to cooperate instead of dominating. It's not difficult; see virtually any country in Europe for the proof. But it requires a change in the attitudes of the people we elect and especially in our party leaders.

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  65. John you're arguing that proportional representation is the solution to a problem it would only exacerbate.

    Its by no means predetermined that we will permanent minority governments under FPTP. Although we will certainly under proportional representation.

    The next election very well may result in a Conservative majority. A united left could very well take a majority after them.


    Also, what is wrong with partisan gridlock in a minority situation ? Isn't that the point when nobody has a clear mandate ?

    Also, many European parliements are a mess. The example most often used is Italy.

    Or the bizzare circumstances in Germany where Merkel won thirty phantom "overhang" seats. I tried to wrap my head around that one and couldn't. I believe the issue was before their highest courts.

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  66. Shadow: John you're arguing that proportional representation is the solution to a problem it would only exacerbate.

    No, I'm saying that PR will not cause minority parliaments because they're already here. Majorities will be the exception, not the rule. The "problem" is no worse. And it's not a problem if parties relearn the cooperation of years past.

    Also, what is wrong with partisan gridlock in a minority situation ? Isn't that the point when nobody has a clear mandate ?

    Ummm, no. We can't throw up our hands when there's not a clear single winner. The world moves on and issues must be dealt with.

    Oddly enough, most of these issues will find common ground between parties. The government's response to Haiti has been good and the opposition has supported it. (Yes, there was one mindless cheap shot--which was promptly disavowed by the leader.) This shows what can be done when parties focus on the issues instead of sniping and counter-sniping. And miracle of miracles, leading instead of attacking is likely to result in better polling numbers.

    Also, many European parliements are a mess. The example most often used is Italy.

    "Many"? Italy is indeed a mess. A country that can re-elect Silvio Berlusconi clearly has some issues. The other examples are...?

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