Paul's Internet Landfill/ 2019/ Federal Election Postblather

Federal Election Postblather

I don't feel like writing about the election, but I am doing it anyways before I forget. I will try to keep things short (as if).

Fair Vote Talking Points

Man, Fair Vote Canada loved this election. The results generated a lot of FPTP weirdness that they can use for talking points:

The only way these election results could have gone better for FVC would have been if the Greens had lost seats while doubling their share of the vote, or if some party had won a wrong-way majority government.

Unfortunately for Fair Vote, none of these talking points count for anything, because the Liberals were the beneficiaries of the wrong-way minority. Abandoning electoral reform paid off handsomely for them. There is even less chance that we will see electoral reform in my lifetime.

Regional Tensions

This may have been a good election for Fair Vote Canada talking points, but it was a terrible election for Canada. We have once again split across regional lines, and we cannot even blame FPTP for all of it. The support for the Conservatives (and against the Liberals) in Alberta and Saskchewan was dramatic, as was the opposition to the Conservatives in Ontario and Quebec. Already people in Alberta are calling for #wexit.

Once again Quebeckers have gone with the Bloc, which is awful for religious and ethnic freedoms because of Bill 21, but maybe there is a greater threat of Alberta declaring independence than Quebec.

I hope we will not have to deal with constitutional crisis as a result of this election. But who knows?

The Greens

In some ways this was a terrible election for the Greens. They doubled their vote and won one additional seat. Thankfully, Elizabeth May has indicated that this might be her last election, and that she is thinking of succession planning. I think that overall May has been good for the Greens, but the Greens can't be the Elizabeth May party indefinitely.

I have to wonder how May got so little traction this election, however. Supposedly this was the election when climate change was finally on the table, but time and time again May got passed over during the conversation. She appeared to have made little impact on the debates, despite talking a lot. Did she do poorly? Was she discounted because she was a woman? Because her party was not in any danger of forming government? It is difficult to say.

Personally, I am somewhat grumpy that May steadfastedly refused to form a coalition government with the Liberals. That is not how Greens do things anywhere else. (I do understand her reluctance to be captured by that group of backstabbers, but if we ever did get proportional representation then the Greens would be expected to form coalitions if they were to get anything done.)

If there is any good news for the Greens it is that they were competitive in a bunch of ridings, including of course Kitchener Centre. I have not counted the number of ridings where the Greens finished second, but I bet it is a lot. But overall this election has been pretty terrible for them.

Mike Morrice

Yes, I was living in a bubble. On the other hand, the Morrice campaign released local polling showing that he was trailing Raj Saini, and running neck and neck with Stephen Woodworth. (The Morrice campaign wanted us to think Morrice was a solid second, because they don't think we understand error bars. The margin of error was 4.4 percent and Morrice was shown as being 3% higher than Woodworth.)

Sure enough, the polling was accurate. Morrice did finish second, neck and neck with Woodworth, and both of them were well behind Saini.

Mostly I feel relieved that Morrice did not split the vote. I expect half of my social circle is disappointed by the result, but also they are grateful that Woodworth did not win.

As I predicted, there is only so much a local campaign can do in a federal or provincial election. Party leaders and party brands count a lot more than individual candidates, for almost all elections.

Raj Saini Loves FPTP

Sure enough, Saini pulled out the "Only Raj Saini can stop Andrew Scheer" card again this election. Here is a picture of a leaflet Jennifer van Overbeeke received in the mail (from this twitter thread:


(Thanks to Jen for allowing me to use her photo.)

Forget the crocodile tears Saini shed during debates, when he claimed that he regretted the decision the Liberals made to cancel electoral reform. He loves FPTP as much as any other Liberal, and he should be trusted just as little.

Also note that his pie chart is incorrect. It was based on vote projections from, not actual polling data (which showed that the Greens were fighting for the Conservatives for second place, not fourth, that the NDP was a non-factor, an that the Libs were well ahead of everybody else).

I don't think Raj Saini felt even a little fear from the Morrice campaign. I do not think the Liberals felt any consequences at all for backtracking on electoral reform. That makes me so angry.


I was not expecting the race between Harold Albrecht and Tim Louis to be so close, although the difference was only 250 votes last time too. For some reason I thought that Albrecht was pretty safe. So much for my political awareness.

There is another story here, though. Kitchener is sprawling, and Kitchener-Conestoga is becoming more Kitchener and less Conestoga as a result. Are we okay with this? Are we happy with rural voices in the townships getting drowned out by the Kitchenerites who live west of Fischer-Hallman?

Liberal Minorities

So now we have a Liberal minority, which means we probably have another election coming in two years. Minority governments can be good news, because parties have to cooperate at least a little, and because the authoritarian impulses of the ruling party are dampened. But I expect the Liberals will not be working too closely with either the NDP or the Conservatives, because it does not want to lose votes to either come the next election.

I honestly don't know what will happen, or what will be accomplished this term. I wish I had more insight.

Goodbye Climate Change

Okay, Scheer did not win, so the carbon tax is still in effect. That much is good.

The Transmountain pipeline is also happening, unless Quebec somehow vetoes it. The Greens and NDP are not going to lift a finger to oppose it now. The silver lining is if the Liberals actually follow through and pledge all the profits from the pipeline towards climate change. In fact, it should hike taxes for the tar sands overall, and then pour all that money into a future prosperity fund. But Canada is a petrostate, and that won't happen. We are going to pump all the oil out of the ground that we can, and pretend our actions don't have consequences. Then we will claim to be environmentally responsible, because we are hypocrites.

There are lots of soothsayers saying the Liberals have done a lot on climate change, and that planting 2 billion trees is a big deal (because we have not been doing tree planting for years?) and somehow we can pump all the oil out of the ground (and the ocean -- let's not forget Newfoundland) AND be environmentally responsible sometime in the future, long after Trudeau is out of politics.

Here is what I predict will actually happen: we are going to hit an economic downturn and then all talk of climate change mitigation will be forgotten, because jobs jobs jobs. We are going to talk about how we are just a tiny player on the world stage and so it really isn't important that we curb our emissions even though all the poor countries should be obligated to curb theirs. We will talk about how we really are environmental concerned somewhere deep within the petrostate. And nothing will change, because nothing can change, because Western alienation is real.

But when weather and environment-related catastrophes happen, THEN we will suddenly have money for relief efforts.

We will also do our very best to keep the flow of environmental refugees who are allowed to settle in Canada to a trickle at best.

In ten years we will STILL be saying "we only have ten years to make changes before everything goes pear-shaped" because we let these deadlines whoosh by again and again.

I am sounding pretty anti-Alberta in this screed, which is unfair of me. The Ontario-Alberta rift is real, and I have been suitably brainwashed into thinking that manufacturing automobiles is virtuous and digging up oil is not, but going to war with the West is not the answer either. I acknowledge that I am part of the problem here.

I do not believe for one minute that the Liberals are concerned about climate change. The primary thing that the Liberals are concerned about is getting votes, because they are the natural ruling party of Canada and we had better not forget it. So they will keep trying to appease all these conflicting interests and nothing of substance will get done. Then in the next election the Liberals will once again remind us that the Conservatives are worse, so what choice to we have but to hold our noses and vote for them again?


The NDP did much worse under Singh than they had under Mulcair, but for now Singh is still the leader. So maybe we have not concluded that brown people are disqualified from being leaders of political parties yet. Hooray?

Ugly Campaigning


I am tired of the personal smears and gotcha politics. I am tired of people digging up old tweets and calling it news.

Why can't the politicians speak openly and with as much nuance as they do after they leave politics? Oh right. If you say one bad thing you get memed, so you say nothing at all.



I'll give the anthromorphic model Polly credit: she was bang-on in her predictions. I guess that settles the matter, then. Total surveillance of our social network feeds is an unambiguous good.