6201 reasons to work for electoral reform in Canada

May 4, 2011

Our friends Matt Peters and Ryan Boldt decided to dust off their calculators this afternoon and do some ‘rithmatic.  They were appalled at what they discovered.  Time for some sobering statistics:

  • 6,201.  Friends, this is not the title of the newest Rush album.  This is a number we need to remember over the course of the next four years and especially during the next election.  6,201 is the COMBINED margin of victory across the 14 most closely contested Conservative ridings in Canada.  The COMBINED margin of victory. This is how close the election actually was.  In each of these races the Conservatives had a margin of victory of less than 800 votes.  Most margins were much, much smaller. See below for a statistical breakdown.
  • 14. You need to remember this number for two reasons.  Firstly, it is the number of seats the Conservatives currently have above and beyond their majority.  In these 14 contentious races, if there had been even a slightly more focused effort by the parties on the Left to consolidate their voter bases we could have easily swayed the balance of power away from the Conservatives and prevented their majority (only 6,201 votes total were needed, spread across 14 ridings).  14 is also significant because, if you can believe it, 14 votes was the actual margin of victory for the Conservatives over the Liberals in the eastern Ontario riding of Nipissing-Timiskaming.  In this riding 11,357 people voted for the NDP or the Green party.  27,887 registered electors didn’t vote at all.  Only 14 votes were needed to defeat the Conservatives.  Let that sink in.

Here are the numbers in each of the 14 most closely contested Conservative ridings.  The vote splitting is very disturbing:

 Riding:                 Labrador (Newfoundland & Labrador)

Conservatives             Liberals           Margin of Victory           NDP/Green Combined

4,234                            4,003                       231                               2,235

Nipissing-Timiskaming (Ontario)

Conservatives             Liberals           Margin of Victory           NDP/Green Combined

15,507                         15,493                    14                                     11,357

Bramalea-Gore-Malton (Ontario)

Conservatives             NDP                  Margin of Victory           Lib/Green Combined

19,907                          19,369                    538                                    18,149

Etobicoke Centre (Ontario)

Conservatives             Liberals           Margin of Victory           NDP/Green Combined

21,661                         21,635                      26                                     9,185

 Saskatoon Rosetwon biggar (Saskatchewan)

Conservatives             NDP                  Margin of Victory           Lib/Green Combined

14,652                      14,114                         538                                      1,323

Elmwood-Transcona (Manitoba)

Conservatives             NDP                  Margin of Victory           Lib/Green Combined

15,280                      14,996                          284                                     2,678

Montmagny-L’islet-Kamouraska-Riveire-du-Loup (Quebec)

Conservatives             NDP                  Margin of Victory           Lib/Green/Bloc Combined

17,220                      17,110                           110                                       14,861

Lotbiniere-Chutes-de-la-Chaudiere (Quebec)

Conservatives             NDP                  Margin of Victory           Lib/Green/Bloc Combined

22,460                      21,683                           777                                      12,183

                                

Don Valley West (Ontario)

Conservatives             Liberals           Margin of Victory           NDP/Green Combined

22,992                         22,353                      639                                      7,983

Mississauga East-Cooksville (Ontario)

Conservatives             Liberals           Margin of Victory           NDP/Green Combined

18,782                         18,121                       661                                    9,989

Winnipeg South Centre (Manitoba)

Conservatives             Liberals           Margin of Victory           NDP/Green Combined

15,468                          14,772                       696                                    9,332

Yukon

Conservatives             Liberals           Margin of Victory           NDP/Green Combined

5,422                             5,290                       132                                     5,345

Desenthe-Missinippi-Churchill River  (Saskatchewan)

Conservatives             Liberals           Margin of Victory           NDP/Green Combined

10,504                          9,715                        789                                     1,706

Palliser (Saskatchewan)

Conservatives             NDP                  Margin of Victory           Lib/Green Combined

15,850                      15,084                         766                                     2,892

Total numbers for the 14 ridings 

Conservatives        2nd place                Margin of Victory               Rest of the left

219,939               213,738                 6,201                        103,873


You’ll notice that these ridings are evenly distributed geographically throughout the country and the split affected the NDP and Liberals equally.  Also, this list only represents the closest races.  This is not a regional issue.  It is indicative of what occurred throughout the country.

Across Canada 7,867,870 people voted Liberal, NDP or Green.  5,832,401 voted Conservative. This is a difference of over 2 million votes.   A government with 39.6% of the popular vote should not have a mandate to drive through fundamental changes in policy.

6,201 reasons to get frustrated.

We can not let this happen again.  Get the word out.  Its time for PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION.

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4 Responses to “6201 reasons to work for electoral reform in Canada”

  1. Steve said

    The lumping of all the parties that lean to the left into one group that should merge together to defeat the evil Conservative menace is a little too simplistic and naive. Yes, the majority of Canadians didn’t cast a vote for the Conservatives. However, a majority didn’t vote for the Liberals, nor the NDP, nor the Greens.

    Each party is their own group, with their own agendas when it comes to their performance on the national stage.

    For those who dislike the current electoral system that we have, it is what we were given by those who came before us. I understand the passion everyone has, but to only cry over the spilled milk makes it seem childish. If people were truly this incensed about how unfair and authoritarian our electoral system is, why did no one raise this point over the past 7 years, when the minority governments we had would be pressured in to changing the system.

  2. allam said

    Ironically the efforts by so diverse a collection of enterprises in pursuit of this essential restructuring of our electoral construct mirror the fragmented, divergent, and self-absorbed actions of the principal (centrist and left leaning) actors in the political theatre who would be the greatest beneficiaries of the reform advocated.
    Unless there is some co-ordination among the numerous organizations advocating electoral reform there will be none. Surely the conservatives will not be moved to restructure a system that brought them to power and may keep them in.

  3. I’d love to see how many seats the Greens alone gave to the Conservatives. I can see why the Liberals ran candidates. But (regardless of intentions) the Green Party basically exists to allow the Conservatives to rape the environment. They’re sort of like the Ralph Nader of 2000, who gave the election to George Bush, on the grounds that there was “no difference” between Bush and Gore.

  4. […] election of a Conservative “majority” government. Within less than 24 hours, an article called “6,201 Reasons to Work for Electoral Reform in Canada” was posted to the blog At Constant Speed providing readers with an almost instantaneous analysis of […]

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