# Fun with math

With the final intervention of QP yesterday, the Bloc’s Andre Bellevance rose and ventured that the province of Quebec had rejected the government’s approach to crime policy. Justice Minister Rob Nicholson was typically unimpressed.

Mr. Speaker, the bill targets those who are involved with organized crime, the people who traffic in drugs, the people who bring drugs into this country, and the people who sexually exploit children. Canadians have not rejected that, but I know Quebec rejected the Bloc. We know that for sure.

In fairness to Mr. Nicholson, he has repeatedly clarified that he does not operate on the basis of statistics. That said…

Total number of votes received by the Bloc Quebecois in the province of Quebec: 891,425
Total number of votes received by the Conservative party in the province of Quebec: 627,961

## Fun with math

1. Nombre de députés du Bloc élus par les Québécois: 4
Nombre de députés conservateurs élus par les Québécois: 5

• I have no problem with that.

• So…they were both dumped by Quebec, but the Bloc got dumped by text message, while the Conservatives at least got the news in person?

• The Bloc lost 92% of the seats that they held before the election.

The Liberals and the Conservatives each lost 50% of their Quebec seats.

The Liberals and Conservatives were battered by the NDP in Quebec.  The Bloc was virtually annihilated.

• But that does not change the central point, that Quebec rejected the Conservative’s crime policy.

Perhaps it’s just the analogy… The Bloc got dumped while the Conservatives were told Quebec has an early meeting and given metaphorical bus fare to get home. Does that work better?

• Inasmuch as Quebec rejected the policies of any party that isn’t the NDP, I suppose you could say that they rejected the Conservative crime policy.  For a more definitive statement we’d have to look at surveys to get a better sense of Quebecers’ views on crime, tougher sentencing, etc.

I do prefer your analogy, though!   The Bloc got unceremoniously dumped, the Conservatives were told: “not tonight, hon” and invited to get on the bus, and the Liberals found out via a relationship status update on Facebook.

2. Mark Twain ~ Figures often beguile me, particularly when I have the arranging of them myself; in which case the remark attributed to Disraeli would often apply with justice and force: ‘There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.

or

Aaron Levenstein ~ Statistics are like bikinis.  What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital

• You suggest we govern without them then? You who so often quotes that bit about people seeing patterns where there aren’t any are suggesting we eschew hard facts and just go with what our guts tell us?

Do you hold *any* beliefs that are self-consistent with each other?

• “You suggest we govern without them then? ”

I don’t, no.

I think stats are great, lead to knowledge, but they also easily manipulated. When I was googling for quotes I found another that said average human has one breast and one testicle.

What stats tell us is often open to interpretation.

Total number of votes received by the Bloc Quebecois in the province of Quebec: 891,425
Total number of votes received by the Conservative party in the province of Quebec: 627,961

Nombre de députés du Bloc élus par les Québécois: 4
Nombre de députés conservateurs élus par les Québécois: 5

3. The Cons are better than the PQ at concentrating their votes in Quebec, though.  Appealing to specific concentrated demographics (anti-immigration zealots; rich people or people who believe they one day will be rich; evangelicals; people scared of whatever scary thing was talked about last by people paid to talk about scary things in a scary way) seems to work well for them.