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The Morning After: What they’re saying

David Janes has a roundup of the (mostly-disappointed) reactions of right-leaning bloggers, who chose to believe the polls and Harper’s optimism before last night. Debbye says we got the “devil we know”, and Colby Cosh says he made himself “look like an ass” while Damian Penny “feels like a rube”.

Don’t beat yourselves up too much, guys. The pollsters had it way wrong. There’s going to be a lot of questions being asked at Ipsos-Reid this morning.

Big journalism reacts as well. The Gazette thinks that the Liberals won because “fear overcame disgust”. The Globe and Mail says that Martin’s victory was only provisional, and that he should resist NDP pressures to swing too far to the left fiscally. The CBC speculates on what’s next for Martin, and questions his role as a leader. And of course, the separatist paper Le Devoir lauds the Bloc’s “remarkable victory” and says Quebecers gave the Liberals a “kick in the ass”.

Indeed. It was the Quebec Bloc sweep that cost the Liberals their majority government.

There’s a lot of speculation going on about what comes next. Will Martin manage to form a stable minority governing coalition? Or will the whole house of cards collapse in a few months? We’ll have to see.

{ 11 comments… add one }
  • Ikram 06.29.04, 3:12 PM

    I’m getting a real kick out of reading the right-wing bloggers out-to-lunch predictions. Yes, some pollsters got it wrong too. But many pundits did not. And election prediction was pretty close.

    Blogging can give you ideological blinkers, and some of the bad predicting is, I think, a result of this. Like the Iraq war disaster, this election shows the downside of the blog-echo chamber.

  • DaninVan 06.29.04, 5:46 PM

    The “bad predicting” was based on a rational analysis of the record of the Liberals.
    The bad result was based on the bull headedness of the Conservatives and the willingness of Ontarians to walk around with clothespegs on their noses.
    I predicted weeks ago that if the Conservatives didn’t dump the anti-abortion and gay bashing attitude, they’d lose. Women voted overwhelmingly against them…

  • Jonathan 06.30.04, 12:55 AM

    Personally I think Martin is a decent leader. But there is no question that the Liberals won because:

    Liberals get about 35% of the vote, but about 45% of seats. Conservatives got about 30% of the vote, and 30% of the seats. NDP get 14% but 7% of the seats in the House of Commons.

    In Israel, as you may know, each party has a list of candidates. The slate whose leader (Sharon, Lapid, Peres, Rabin…) gets the most votes becomes PM. And seats are given out in proportion to percentage of the national votes. (This actually was changed a few years back, but I am not sure exactly how.)

  • segacs 06.30.04, 1:27 AM

    Layton has been calling for proportional representation for a reason: 15% of popular vote, but 6% of seats. He’s not dumb.

    Personally I think it would be a mishmash system, with all sorts of fringe parties getting small numbers of seats and wreaking havoc in parliament. I think that if a candidate wants to represent their region, their local constituents should give them the votes to put them there. If the people of their home riding don’t want them in government, then they shouldn’t be there.

  • jepp 06.30.04, 3:57 AM

    As far as I know Layton has not specifically called for a system of absolute proportional representation. The system the NDP has been trying to put on the table maintains the riding representation and calls for a certain proportion of seats to be assigned to parties according to their proportion of the popular vote. This electoral system is already in use in several European countries. In Germany, for example, they actually switched to this system from a pure riding system more than 30 years ago (60% by riding, 40% proportional).

    If you look at any election in the past, not just this one, all the losing parties end up with a proportion of the seats less than that which corresponds to the proportion of the vote they received. This is not exactly democratic, especially when a party manages to achieve a majority govt while not garnering an absolute majority of the vote. Wasn’t this the big criticism that was made against the US electoral system after Bush came to power? Just look back at the records in Canada and you’ll see that this was case every other election!

  • segacs 06.30.04, 4:13 AM

    All the losing parties end up with a proportion of the seats less than that which corresponds to the proportion of the vote they received.

    Not in the case of the Bloc Quebecois.

  • Jonathan Edelstein 06.30.04, 2:56 PM

    The BQ is a special case, though, because its constituency is highly concentrated. It can rack up pluralities in many Quebec ridings but has almost no support outside Quebec (does it even bother to run candidates in other provinces?), so it can win many seats with a relatively small share of the nationwide popular vote. The NDP is a more traditional minor party with its support scattered throughout the country, which means that it will get a significant number of votes in many ridings but a plurality in only a few. A PR system would help the NDP but hurt the Bloc, which is one reason it probably won’t happen anytime soon.

  • Ikram 06.30.04, 4:00 PM

    I don’t think PR is a very good idea for Canada. In the US or UK, where elections are truly national and there is one national political culture, PR may be superior to FPTP. But Canada is a regionally riven country with, if not ten, then at least four or five different political arenas. FPTP highlights regional differences, brings them into Parliament, and allows each disaffected region a strong voice at the centre.

    FPTP has also led to Canada’s system of regional Ministers, which I like. PR would see gvts where more Ministers exclusively represent ethnic or religious communities — a bad thing.

  • DaninVan 06.30.04, 5:12 PM

    The West has a voice?! Right.

  • jepp 06.30.04, 10:18 PM

    But Canada is a regionally riven country with, if not ten, then at least four or five different political arenas.
    Other than the bloc and the Alliance, who are the four or five political arenas that are clearly represented geographically. I don’t really see what you’re talking about. Even the Alliance sought to unify with the conservatives of the East in order to have a better chance to clinch a majority govt. If what you say is true, then how can the liberals maintain a majority govt three elections in a row? How did the PC do that with a record breaking majority in the 80s?
    In the past election, every single major running party other than the bloc was trying to reach out to as many ridings as possible. But why do the liberals succeed in winning so many ridings without even reaching 40% of the vote (two elections in a row)? Because they market themselves as the center in everything. In an FPTP system, that’s the best way to garner votes.
    When you go to vote in a riding where the race is really close, and you either have a leaning to the right (conservative) or to the left (ndp) but you don’t want the other side to win, you’ll end up voting for the second best (or worst) which is the liberals to be on the safe side. This is how, I would argue, the liberals maintained their dominance over the last 11 years. Even Harper tried to act like the liberals to gain support in that manner.
    In an FPTP system, people usually vote safe, and the ones who are fed up with voting safe don’t even vote at all. Only 60% voted this election, which is a new record low. As I stated earlier in that forum, I’m not for abolishing the riding system, but some of the seats have to be elected by PR as well. This will encourage a higher voter turnout and to some extent provide everyone better representation.
    I live in the riding of Laurier in Montreal, and I know as long as the bloc exists that this riding will always go to the bloc. I’m not a big fan of the bloc or their seperatism, and I don’t like the liberals either, even if I did like the liberals, my vote will still be wasted in this riding.
    FPTP has also led to Canada’s system of regional Ministers, which I like. PR would see gvts where more Ministers exclusively represent ethnic or religious communities — a bad thing.
    So you’d prefer a cabinet of white anglo men from montreal and ontario adding to that the token women and token regional reps. Yeah.. that’s a good thing, right?

  • Jon 07.14.04, 2:11 AM

    Don’t know if anybody is still reading this thread but here goes…

    Segacs, you have a point about the small parties. But there can easily be a requirement for a party to get 3% of the national votes in order to be in Parliament. That means no Natural Law or Rhinoceros MP’s.

    About the fact that an MP should have local support from his riding. That’s a good idea. A weighted average could work here.

    Do you know how Israel’s system works? It was originally a list, but now it seems to be direct voting for PM (though I can’t fathom how this would be different…)

    I may throw this Q to the mob at The Link Forum…

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