Idea rejected -

Idea rejected


Using statistical models I don’t fully understand, Alice Funke undoes Michael Byers’ proposal for a more or less united left.

Using riding-level data from the database, and calculating each party’s vote and the number of non-voters as a percentage of the number of electors in each riding, it was found that, over the seven general elections held in the last two decades, many previous party supporters would rather stay home than switch…

There are currently 36 seats in B.C. The Conservatives hold 22, of which 13 were won with more than half the ballots cast. For Byers’ strategy to work at all, the agreement would have to focus only on the seats the two opposition parties have the best chance of winning from the Conservatives. Because if the parties were to stand down in each other’s held seats, many would be at risk of falling to the Conservatives instead, undermining the whole point of the exercise.


Idea rejected

  1. One wonders what this model would have predicted about the effect on the right-wing vote prior to Reform and the Progressive Conservatives merging?

    • If I remember correctly there much clucking that uniting the right wouldnt amount to much, all those PC voters were likely to vote Liberal etc etc.

      Byers proposal is a standoff agreement not a unite the left proposal. I think the problems with that are it isnt clear what you are voting for, which is essentially what the ballot asks, not who do you want to vote against, which is what Byers proposal is predicated on.

      If there isnt common ground between the Libs and NDP then they should remain seperate. There are very few ridings in which it would make all the difference…..and there is a significant chunk of the Liberal party that would be considered "blue liberals".

      End of the day, the left needs one main standard bearer that is a realistic alternative government.

      Canadians will decide from there.

    • It took two elections for the Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservative vote to fully consolidate to the extent they were going to. Some of the Progressive Conservatives who did not switch to the Conservative Party switched to the Greens in some ridings, and some switched to the Liberals. In a few Atlantic Canadian ridings they switched to the NDP. Meantime in BC, some of the working class protest vote from natural resource communities that had switched from the NDP to the Reform Party in 1993, switched back to the NDP again, starting in 2004.

  2. "If there isnt common ground between the Libs and NDP then they should remain seperate."

    I think there are any number of reasons why Libs and NDP should remain separate, not the least of which is Libs are sinking and dippers would be fools to agree to any deal, but one big sticking point is that Lib and NDP partisans loathe one another to a degree not found between any other partisans.

  3. There was lots of enimity between the Alliance and the PC's. If I were the Libs and Dips I wouldnt let the extremes dictate, the left and righ of each party, its more about whether there is enough overlap.

    But it isnt clear there is enough overlap. As well, your point about tieing yourself to a boat anchor. Right now the Libs would argue that they hold a minimum of a 2:1 advantage in the polls, depending on the day. Many in the Liberal party woudl have trouble seeing it as a marriage of equals. As well, the NDP may see themselves as ascendent and would feel that they can pick up whatever votes they need without having to sacrifice anything.

    It wont be an easy task, despite the number of ex NDP'ers in the Liberal caucus and party.

    It will take a Conservative majority to get them thinking seriously about it. But once again, the NDP would have to ask the question, why buy what will be coming to you anyway.

    • Of course the number of Blue Liberals who would would vote Tory if their party turns that far to the left. A friend of mine stated that he would quit the Liberals if Bob Rae was elected to the Liberals, a full merger would be rejected by many, many more.

      • Yes it would be problematic…..When there was talk of defections from the Libs a couple of months ago I figured it was Blue Liberals bolting to create a differently named Liberal Party.

        We will see how it all plays out, but standoff agreements wont work and merger is, well probelematic for the reasons discussed.

  4. Myers proposal is entirely unworkable, with the proof being the opposition antics last November. The proposed loss of the per vote subsidy forced the opposition parties to unite into a coalition.

    Does anyone, other than Byers, seriously expect them to willingly decline contesting those lucrative votes and the accompanying financial rewards?

  5. It seems Alice is observing that there are several distinct parties competing against each other, which Michael somehow overlooked. Her conclusion is very interesting – New Democrat voters are staying away from the polls and getting that vote back out is the big opportunity in BC (and presumably across Canada). Wooing Liberal voters would probably work against that since it dilutes the New Democrat brand and is likely to frustrate, if not disgust, its own constituency.