Game theory

by Aaron Wherry

Ever wanted to know how much each party has spent per vote in the last three federal elections? Eric at threehundredeight.com has an answer.

Ever wanted to know how Parliament would look under a proportional representation system that distributed 340 seats across the country? Eric has an answer for that too.




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Game theory

  1. Of course, people might vote differently if they knew they were voting in a proportional system…

    And i'm not going to crunch the numbers, but is the change in seat numbers more a reflection of popular vote being different, or is it just smoothing out over-represented prairie ridings?

  2. "It seems that having a large group of paid employees does not help in getting votes."

    …But perhaps having a plethora of devoted volunteers to spread your talking points does. There's a thesis I'd like to see tested.

  3. "April 30, 2010 Projection – Unstable Conservative Minority Government"

    Four and a half years in power, leading in the polls, vastly outfundraising the opposition, leadership and competency issues with the Liberals, no appetite among opposition or electorate for an election: seems pretty stable to me.

    • Much more stable than a 3 party coalition of losers with separatists pulling the purse strings.
      Had they not failed to get public support to seize government, we'd be paying carbon taxes to fund huge social programs creating structural deficits, the stimulus budget would have been doubled, and paying 2% more GST to fund EI 360. We surely wouldn't be in the position of first country out of the recession
      …and we would have been forced to watch while separatists were sworn into the Senate…. {{{{shudder}}}}

      • You forgot to start your fairy tale with "Once upon a time"

      • Hey wilson, were the BQ separatists prior to January 23, 2006?

        • Yes, and so was a divided Right.

          Once the Right united in 2003 the Liberals have steadily lost ground.
          Liberals reduced to a 134 minority in 2004
          tossed out in 2006 with 103 , Harper won with 124
          rejected by Canadians with 77, Harper won with 143

          Note too, BLOC seats have gone from 54 in 2004 to the present 49
          So a united Right is good for Canadian unity.

          • You know what else is good for Canadian unity? Not calling a coalition of elected MPs who happen to include BQ members from Quebec undemocratic.

            Also: the Conservatives' share of the Quebec vote has dropped considerably since they started spitting "separatists" like bullets at the prospect of a coalition. Perhaps you should consider the impact that has had on support for the BQ, and separatism, and national unity in general.

          • Yes, let's not call separatists separatists, lest that upset them.

  4. That guys math is always questionable.

  5. So even with PR, Cons lead,
    the real winners would be Dippers with 52 seats and Greens with a whopping 28 seats.
    Bloc down to 29 seats!

    The separatists would never support the lose of 40% of their seats, never ever…..

    • The separatists are always going to get MORE seats with first-past-the-post than proportional representation. Well maybe not always, but in every election they've contested the Bloc has got MORE seats than their popular support.

  6. I'd be curious of the results of 'run offs' tho.
    Where the bottom parties keep dropping off until there is a clear majority in the riding.

  7. The most socialist party is the least efficient with its money….there's a lesson in there, somewhere….

    • They have to shout louder than anyone else, since they don't own newspaper chains and TV stations.

  8. It drives me crazy how serious analysts of electoral process like Eric consider that it would be "more equitable" to ensure every seat has the exact same number of voters. (100,000 in his analysis).

    While we're talking about ideal worlds is it not worth considering that equal isn't equitable because we live in a vast sparsely populated country, with concentrations of population in a thin sliver along the southern border?

    Contesting an election or representing 100,000 people in Brampton is vastly different from the same obligation in Nunavut. The people in Brampton can walk to the constituency office, but what of the people of Baker Lake and Sanikiluaq? They might have to fly in two or three hops over a period of days just to get to where their representative resides when not in Ottawa.

    If it ended there, with the relatively poorer representation, I'd let it go, but this often translates into local and regional clamour for "our share of the spending" and that's where "equal" is definitely not equitable because it costs so much more to offer services in sparsely populated areas.

    • It would be one thing to give extra representation to remote areas like Nunavut. But surely 100 000 voters in Brampton deserve the same representation as 100 000 voters in Winnipeg, Saskatoon or Halifax. And surely 100 000 voters in rural Alberta deserve the same representation as 100 000 voters in rural Saskatchewan. And right now, they're not getting it.

      The current system doesn't so much over-represent rural areas as it over-represents BOTH urban and rural areas that happen to be located in provinces with small or slow-growing populations.

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