Election 2021

Image Source: National Post

Hello and welcome back to my blog. As most of you reading this post probably know, Canada has just had another federal election, and it is my task here today to write about it.

To sum up this election I would just call it wasteful, seeing as it has provided nothing to any party apart from minute regional gains for the Liberals in the west, and conservatives in the Atlantic, cancelling each-other out, with the NDP doing ever so slightly better. The Bloc Québécois saw virtually no change, and that shows that the division in Quebec isn’t going anywhere fast. This all seems to prove true what pundits were describing when they said it was a “600 million dollar Cabinet Shuffle”, but it very well could have ended differently.

Justin Trudeau could thank a lot of people for his ability to retain government after what has happened, after all, just a couple weeks ago he was polling at several points below the Conservative party, but I think that there is one man who has done more than any liberal to save the Liberals themselves this time around. That man is the leader of the People’s Party of Canada, Maxime Bernier.

Now, Bernier’s party didn’t win a single seat, and Bernier actually did quite a bit worse than last election in his own riding of Beauce, however after capitalizing off of the lack of opposition to policies like vaccine passports, he managed to grow his federal support, garnering over 5% of the popular vote federally and into the teens percentage wise in parts of the prairies. This had one crucial effect on the election, it split the right wing vote, something not seen at this level since before the Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservative merger in 2003.

I ran through every riding using the CBC results tracker, and created a map to show just how important the split was. By adding the Conservative and PPC results together I found out that the PPC had single handedly potentially lost the conservatives 24 ridings, as their combined votes would have won that many more. Here is the map with the 24 ridings in blue that would have had different results should this little experiment have actually happened.

Taking into account the parties currently winning the aforementioned ridings as of time of writing, that would give us a conservative minority government rather than liberal. The composition in the House of Commons would look like this:

CPC: 143 (up 24 from 2021 results)

Lib: 140 (down 18)

Bloc: 33 (down 1)

NDP: 20 (down 5)

Green: 2 (same result)

Here is a juxtapose I made of the parliament seats without the vote split on the left and with it on the right. You can slide the bar in the middle to see how the results change.

As results are still coming in as of the time I am writing this, I cannot be sure things will not change, and I could have missed a riding, but this is the most comprehensive look I have seen on the topic thus far.

On a slightly different topic, another observation that can be made about these results is that the Conservative party has once again won the popular vote nation wide, like in 2019.

Senate seats by province and territory.

Another thing that has remained constant through the election, and seems like it will always be is the crazy system within the Senate of Canada. Looking back at the historical debates for confederation, you can see the senate was initially meant as appeasement towards Quebec in order to be able to implement proportional representation in the House of Commons, with a complimentary role in allowing good politicians in the country be able to serve in Parliament without worrying about being kicked out because their specific electoral division does not agree with their party or policy. On the topic of the former, it seems to have failed. On the topic of the latter, it also seems to have failed. The reason I say this is because the Quebec senate issue isn’t mainstream at all, and there are two reasons I say the other is a failure, and one is quite connected to the current administration. The first is that by basing senate seats on regions rather than population, it really just prevents regions like BC and Alberta from being able to send anywhere close to the number of politicians to the senate which represent them. This can easily be seen when you look at the fact they have around 800,000 people per senator when the Atlantic provinces are around 100,000 per senator. The second reason I eluded to earlier is that the Liberals in 2015 had a plan to bring in a non partisan senate, which would really help in theory with the local partisanship issue, but the Independent Senators Group which they brought in turned out to just be a lie. The group votes with the Liberal Government 94.5% of the time, and the government uses a Liberal party database to look at candidates for appointment. A continued liberal government, regardless if minority or majority will allow unimpeded appointment to the senate, which is partially why I brought up this topic.

In the end, this election really hasn’t changed much, but it has sent a message to both Prime Minister Trudeau and Erin O’toole, that neither of them are providing what Canadians want in order to get on board with either party and pull off a majority. 

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