Thursday, 12 June 2014

Whoops

So it probably wasn't a great idea to run a political campaign on the promise to create 75,000 jobs and lay off 100,000 people. Most people seem to agree that the Progressive Conservatives could have simply stood aside and watched the Liberals lose the Ontario election, but instead they got right in there and lost it first. It's actually a little maddening, every time the pundits talked about what the Liberals did to appeal to voters I cringed at how bad their ideas were. Still, the PCs were even worse. Go democracy!

I wrote last week about how strategic voting doesn't work that well because you don't know if the election will actually resemble your predictions. But it may be that the entire premise of it doesn't work because it's way too book-learning and not well enough connected to the real world.

The Liberals, in the run up to the election, were asking people to vote for them over the New Democratic Party because if the progressive vote split between the Liberals and the NDP then the PCs could run up the middle and win.

The election results tell a very different story. As of the time I am writing this, the votes are still being counted and things could still move around, but the seat count was 57 for the Liberals, 28 for the PCs and 21 for the NDP with one riding not yet reporting.

Going in the election is was Liberals 48, PCs 37, NDP 21 with one vacant seat. So if these results held, it would be a loss of 9 seats for the PCs and a gain of 9 for the Liberals with no change for the NDP.

That is not a story about vote splitting, or about the Liberals winning because NDP voters decided to vote for them to beat the PCs. That is a story about the PCs getting walloped.

It turns out that when we leave theory land and head to reality, even with a really lousy election system, the people who get the most votes usually win, the people who get the least usually lose, and the size of the win gets bigger the bigger the difference in votes. That's real math right there.

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