Monday, October 17, 2016

The Cons mini-referendum

This summer the Conservative Party Caucus had themselves a mini-referendum about having a referendum about electoral reform. 

ERRE Committee vice-chair Scott Reid held a presser about it last Friday and was very pleased to announce a 90.6% approval rating of 73,740 YES votes from the 81,389 returned responses. 
Sure, the ballot only went out to 59 ridings held by Con MPs and allowed 4 responses per household, but still - a 90.6% approval rating for a referendum!

When a reporter asked how many ballots were originally sent out in order to get those 81,389 back, Reid expressed regret at not having those numbers available so I'm giving him a helping hand here. 

The total number of eligible electors in the 59 ridings cited is 4,613,620. I know because I added them up last night.

If 81,389 ballots were returned out of 4.6 million, that's a response rate of 1.76%
If 73,740 of those were YES REFERENDUM! votes, that's a 1.6% referendum approval rating, and it's a 1.6% referendum approval rating in Conservative-held ridings only, a third of which are in Alberta. 

I have no great quarrel with the 4 page CPC referendum/referendum itself - the explanations and questions are about what you might expect. But when you consider that it was received on the heels of a flyer saying a referendum was required to "stop the Liberals from rigging the 2019 election" in, for instance, Con MP Len Webber's riding of Calgary Confederation... well, lets just say that riding's 2.2% response rate probably indicates Calgary Confederationists are not setting their hair on fire over it. 

The CPC Caucus submission to the Special Committee on Electoral Reform contained the following tables about their mini-ref. I added two extra columns on the far right - total number of electors in the riding and the riding response rate to the questionnaire - to give their numbers some context. I also added the names of the MPs.  Click em to read em. 

So there ya go, Scott - your missing numbers. You're welcome.


West End Bob said...

No doubt Scott will send you a nice "Thank You" card in today's post, M'Lady!

Sure he will . . . .

Jenn said...

Well, I have real complaints about the mailing itself!

In terms of value per page, I have no quarrel with one and a half out of four. Just the printing costs alone for doubling its size from what is necessary, and of course we do need to add in the costs of Canada Post mailing those huge things out to everyone, whether they are "free" or not (nothing is free, not even health care).

And because those are our taxpayer dollars being spent so recklessly, I think that's a thing. A good quarter of a page for an arrow! Seriously, now, if you really wanted a four pager, a good thing to have done with the extra space is put in a couple of lines about various options of electoral reform. Or that there are options. Or that the committee is proportional to the popular vote. Or that the committee first needs to recommend--well,
you see where I'm going with this.

Anonymous said...

Superlative investigative journalism. Thank you.

Laurel L. Russwurm said...

This is even before getting into verification. From the "How To Vote" portion of the flyer:


"3. Please give your name[s] and
addresses below. By law, your
information cannot be divulged to
anyone. For further security, the
ballots will be destroyed once they are

What an extraordinary concern for constituent privacy...particularly in light of asking voters to place their personal information on what is effectively a postcard and sending it through the mail.

Anonymous said...

Hi Alison:

Check out this article just up on iPolitics:

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