Well, I posted yesterday's entry on the provincial election to the victoria_bc
user community, and it was mere moments before people were screaming at each other (and at me). http://www.livejournal.com/community/victoria_bc/790528.html
In the middle of people saying, "I voted Green or I wouldn't have voted at all - I hate the NDP" and other people saying, "Guilt tripping people because they have different political leanings or priorities than you just sucks", no one seemed to notice that the way I phrased my post, it could as easily have been written by a gleeful Liberal as from a bitter NDPer.
The joke was lost. I got too "meta". I should just give up this whole humour thing, these days the satire writes itself. No wonder Jon Stewart is considered more of a responsible journalist than a comedian.
But I can't stop playing with these numbers, and a footnote to Paul Willcocks' last column in his political blog [http://willcocks.blogspot.com
] said: Footnote: It's clear that Green voters could have delivered victory to the NDP or Liberals in 10 close races if they had changed their votes. But it's not at all clear which of the other two parties those voters might have moved to if they had opted to vote strategically. Green voters increasingly come from both sides of the political spectrum.
So on adding up some more, I found 13 districts where the Liberal-plus-Green vote could have defeated the NDP winner:
Burnaby-Edmonds, Cariboo North, Cariboo South, Coquitlam-Maillardville, Delta North, Malahat-Juan de Fuca, Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows, North Island, Port Coquitlam-Burke Mountain, Powell River-Sunshine Coast, Saanich South, Skeena, Vancouver-Fairview.
So then, making that simple-minded assumption that the Liberals and Greens collude against the NDP, we would have 60 Liberal seats, 19 NDP.
What does this mean? I guess it really only means that the Green Party held the balance of power in 25 of 79 districts, but only if they had changed their votes. We'd have the existing 46-33 (or it might be 47-32, the recount is still on) situation if they had all stayed home to keep the Spotted Owl company.[my new backup motto is going to be, "you said there would be rodents".]
I suppose, as many people posted, we should be grateful that there's a semi-credible third party at all in the province - though third parties, of usually right-wing ideological stripes, have held seats in the Legislative Assembly more often than not in the last 40 years, they were never power-brokers or deal-makers.
One more numerical diversion:
I thought I would try a simple test of "attachment". I went through the numbers and picked out all districts where there was a difference of 20% or more in the popular vote between the two parties. I found:
21 "strong Liberal": Abbotsford-Clayburn, Abbotsford-Mount Lehmann, Chilliwack-Kent, Chilliwack-Sumas, Fort Langley-Aldergrove, Kelowna-Lake Country, Kelowna-Mission, Langley, North Vancouver-Seymour, Okanagan-Westside, Peace River North, Peace River South, Richmond Centre, Richmond East, Richmond-Steveston, Surrey-Cloverdale, Surrey-White Rock, Vancouver-Langara, Vancouver-Quilchena, West Vancovuer-Capilano, West Vancouver-Garibaldi.
9 "strong NDP": Nelson-Creston, Surrey-Green Timbers, Surrey-Newton, Surrey-Whalley, Vancouver-Hastings, Vancouver-Mount Pleasant, Victoria-Beacon Hill, Victoria-Hillside, West Kootenay-Boundary.
Again, does this really mean anything? Perhaps none of it does. After 12 years in and around politics, it seems to me that 95% or more of the business of government is exactly the same no matter which party is in power. We're all squabbling about where to put the goal posts in a big game of Kick The Can played in a prison yard. [ugh, can't you tell it's raining outside?]