Sunday, January 22, 2006

Estimating the seats

Dear Mr. Smith:

As you may know, I am a political scientist in San Diego who specializes in electoral systems and electoral reform. I am currently working on a paper about electoral reform in Canada, including the provinces. I am, of course, following this election closely, and I have enjoyed your blog.

I have posted at my blog a estimate of the seats based on several recent polling and other scenarios. I would be interested to know your opinion of my estimates, if you have a chance.


Matthew Shugart
Graduate School of International Relations & Pacific Studies
University of California, San Diego

Professor Shugart;

Thanks for the kind words about my blog!

Yes, I am familiar with your name, which pops up with great frequency in the literature on voting system reform. I am certainly not competent to comment on the technical aspects of your essay, but I will forward this link to some who are.

The scenarios you outline are interesting, and in line with others I have seen. It is encouraging to see that a phony majority government is now only an outside possibility. As advocates of voting system change, we are often torn about what to wish for. The worst horror stories make the best ammunition!

The possibility of a "reversed plurality" has crossed my mind. It would certainly infuriate a lot of people, either way, and would be great fodder for our press releases. However, if the Liberals and Conservatives are that close, the NDP would probably not hold the balance of power, simply because the Libs and Cons would both be so far from a majority. I cannot bring myself to wish for a totally hung Parliament.

It will be fascinating as usual to see how it all plays out. The challenge for Fair Vote Canada is to make sense of all the data in a timely way to dig out the real story on Tuesday, the story of how our voting system has once again robbed Canadians of a democratic voice and a representative Parliament.

The good news is that discussion of fair voting reform is now everywhere, in the media, in the caf├ęs, and at every all-candidates' debate. Psephology is sexy!

Wayne Smith, President
Fair Vote Canada


Blogger Wayne Smith said...

Wow, cool, Shugart wrote to us!

Julian West

9:10 p.m.  

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