Resisting the pull of cynicism since 1969.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Ah, democracy!

A new "majority government" for New Brunswick...awarded to the party finishing in second place. Canadian democracy in action!

It should give the New Brunswick electoral reformers a nice shot in the arm, anyway. Not to mention some ammunition behind the argument that a new voting system wouldn't just be about favouring the left.

[Update: More on New Brunswick electoral reform from Fruits and Votes. He's also got a good post debunking the tail wags the dog argument about coalition governments. Aww, hell, just go read his whole blog.]



Gee just like Alberta where the opposition not only gets more of the popular vote but also more votes than the party in power.

Anonymous said...

I don't see this as that big an issue (since the total vote was a virtual tie between the Libs and Cons). If you look at the detailed results (which i have to do for work), the Conservatives greatly increased their vote in ridings they already held. In other words, more PC incumbents won their seats by significant margins (over 60% of the vote, and a few with over 70% of the vote). They lost votes in other ridings (as did the NDP) which is what allowed the Liberals to pick up 3 extra seats.

Matt said...

This may give the would-be reformers some ammunition, but they will have a while to wait. It was the Lord government that was promising to consider PR in the next term. Graham has been resistant, and he just benefitted from the existing system.

The NDP, meanwhile, is in sorry shape here, and will have other issues to worry about in the short term.

Idealistic Pragmatist said...

Radical Centrist,

I don't know. If I were a New Brunswick Tory, I'd be pretty pissed off this morning.


Do you think Graham will call off the referendum, then? That would take some chutzpah. Or...something.

Anonymous said...

Why? The people who supported the Cons kept their incumbents, and those who supported change, got that. Seven seats changed hands, 5 went Liberal and 2 went Conservative. The Liberals got more votes where it counted. The Cons didn't. Simple as.

Idealistic Pragmatist said...


And yet more than half the province didn't vote for this change, but are getting it anyway. It's a pretty major change, too--the party fewer New Brunswickers voted for is not just going to form the government, they're going to form a majority government. If I were someone who liked what Lord had been doing as premier, I'd feel pretty cheated.

Hishighness said...

Ah great news about the Liberals winning and crushing the hopes of PR proponents.

Of course it's unfair because you say it is IP. there there.

Idealistic Pragmatist said...


Psst. Thought you might want to know that Fruits and Votes is watching us:

One commentator says that the reversed plurality is no big deal because the Tories gained most of their votes in districts they already held. This could be considered the inherent-conditions argument, in that it defends the system against normative charges of “anomaly” by reference to the way FPTP works: a series of self-contained regionally circumscribed contests. (The logical extension would be that those votes deserved to be wasted, because they simply weren’t needed in the districts where they happened to have been cast. Such an argument, of course, conveniently ignores the fact that the aggregation of these races determines who controls the agenda of the body so elected–in a parliamentary system, that means the majority party–in seats, the aggregated votes being irrrelevant–monopolizes the government itself.)