Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Next Myth: "Permanent Conservative Majority"

I'd like to point out this bit of sensationalism coming from CuriosityCat, as well as at forums? I dunno, wherever this is located.

Yes, you heard it folks - the Conservatives have gerrymandered themselves into a permanent majority! Stand and unite (most likely behind Joyce Murray)! We must defeat the Harper menace! Blah-dee-blah!

What a crock.

The redistribution process has, for all intents and purposes, been fair and open to everyone. Yes, there's been accusations of Conservatives attempting to influence the process, but if you've followed this blog you know that it hasn't worked out. Saskatchewan's redistribution has broken up the old "eggshell" gerrymander, and it looks set to stay that way.

The evidence of gerrymander is little. The Conservatives have earned a majority under the new redistribution due to the fact that they had a majority before - only a gerrymander on behalf of the other parties would have stopped them from getting one. The Conservative majority has increased because the new seats added into Ontario, BC, and Alberta were mostly in the burgeoning suburbs - areas where the Conservatives thrived in 2011. It makes obvious sense to see the Conservatives grow their majority when a lot of their support is in the growing population centres of Canada.

But this doesn't mean the majority is "permanent" or "perpetual." Far from it. As we saw with the previous round of redistribution, which is what my model had been using up until today, the Conservatives rarely managed to retain a majority. Their support was too low, and the support of the other parties too high.

This was the last poll I did under the previous redistribution numbers, which was Ekos. Does that look like a majority to you? Of course it doesn't. Its clear the Conservatives are playing by the same rules we are, which requires that we come out with plurality support. Look at Trudeau's hypothetical numbers. Does that look like a Conservative majority? No. It looks like success we could have if we actually bothered to put our minds towards it, instead of trying to catch up with fantasy co-op plans.

Look, I agree we need electoral reform. I hope we get it. I hope we have a proper discussion about our options. But the way to do this is not to misinform people. Saying the Conservatives have somehow managed to willfully mucked around with our electoral map (and succeed), and that we'll never ever never see another non-Conservative government unless we band together and put ourselves on the path towards self-immolation is misinformation.

I, for one, will not stand for it.

Anyways, that brings me to great news, everyone! With these numbers now updated, I can put together a better redistribution graph than what I have currently up, which just labels things Strong/Likely/etc. I'll have that up by tonight.


  1. Before Dief, the Liberals had a "permanent" majority. During Mulroney, the Tories had a "permanent" majority. Chretien had a "permanent" majority too. Harper's majority is not "permanent" and it will, too, end.

  2. A more serious issue is what this says about suburban sprawl. If there's so much growth in the sprawling suburbs, imagine what this will do to Canada's "infrastructure deficit".