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.
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.
You need to remember the number 14
for two reasons.
Firstly, it is the number of seats the Conservatives currently have
above and beyond their majority.
In these 14
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
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.
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. Do not believe the hype. A government with 39.6 percent
of the popular vote should not have a mandate to drive through fundamental changes in policy.
The Progressive Conservatives and the Alliance had the wherewithal
to "unite the right" in 2003 and it seems that until the Left are able
to arrive at a similar compromise or agreement they may very well be
doomed to repeatedly collect 60 percent of the vote and wield zero percent of the power.
Dealing intelligently with the system we currently live in is the
first part of our concern, but obviously when one becomes aware of how
easy it is for the intentions of the voters to become distorted, it is
hard not to conclude that some kind of electoral reform is needed.
system ought to be structured in such a way that supporting your party
of choice in a straightforward manner doesn't have disastrous and
counter-intuitive consequences. People shouldn't have to worry about
this kind of electoral arcana.
We are 1 of only 4
countries in the industrialized world that still use the antiquated
First Past The Post (FPTP) system in a world where nearly every other
country has adopted a form of proportional representation (other FPTP
countries include India, USA and England. Although the British are
holding a referendum RIGHT NOW about switching to a hybrid of
proportional representation called Alternative Vote).
proportional representation (PR) usually centre around the idea that it
restricts regional representation and diversities, yet surely we must
be capable of developing a form of PR, like the British AV system
mentioned above, that can address the unique needs of our nation while
ensuring that every single citizen's vote is counted, respected and
It is almost unimaginable for electoral reform to
be passed by the current regime so it is important we stay educated as
an electorate and vote responsibly in the next election. Hopefully next
time we can elect a government that will respect the importance of
electoral reform and listen to our demands for representation that
reflect the real will of our nation.
6,201 reasons to get frustrated.
We can not let this happen again. Get the word out. (X)
Update: An Elections Canada judicial recount has confirmed that
the NDP in fact won the northeast Quebec riding of
Montmagny-L’Islet-Kamouraska-Riviere-du-Loup (Number 3 on the above
list) by nine votes.