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No Conservatives, you did not win the popular vote

Friends-Romans-Countrymen, Politics and Activism No Comment

Well, another election is behind us, and starting today will come the whining. There will be whining that the Conservative party won the popular vote. There will be whining about the distribution of seats in the House. There will be whining about western alienation.

So let’s address the core whining right fresh and early!

The Conservatives Won The Popular Vote ™

TL;DR: No. No they didn’t.

What they did was get more total votes (barely) than any other party. However, that doesn’t mean they won the popular vote. In fact, nobody has won the popular vote in Canada since the very first election I could vote in: 1984. In that election, the Mulroney Progressive Conservatives swept the election with just over 50% of the popular vote. Since that time, no party has ever managed much more than 40%, usually less, although individuals may have won the popular vote in specific ridings.

What this means is: Yes, the Scheer Conservatives may collectively have received more votes than the Trudeau Liberals, but it is a fact that about 2/3 of Canadians did not support the Conservative party. That simply cannot be held up as a popular vote win. It would be more accurate to say “we didn’t suck at the popular vote as much as we could have” or “we didn’t suck at the popular vote quite as much as the Liberals.”

Nor can the Liberals claim any high ground here. About 2/3 of Canadians didn’t vote for them either.

It seems pretty clear to me, that nobody won the popular vote. I will say, the Bernier “People’s Party” absolutely lost the popular vote. That’s about the only thing you can infer from the popular vote statistics.

I want to be unequivocal here: The Conservative Party of Canada did not win the popular vote. The Liberal Party of Canada did not win the popular vote. The popular vote was a fractured mess.

But the Conservatives are underrepresented based on their voter support!

Yes. Yes they are. You know who else is underrepresented in a serious way? The NDP and Green. In fact, if we allocated seats purely on popular vote, the NDP and Green would take a significant chunk of both Liberal and Conservative seats. The Liberals would be cut down to size, an the Bloc Quebecois would be hobbled. Scheer still wouldn’t be prime minister because all those lefty parties (Lib, NDP, Green even Bloc) wouldn’t put up for the religious moralizing that passes for Conservative politics these days.

You know who else is underrepresented, looked at a different way? Ontario, Alberta, and BC who give up seats in favour of Quebec and the Atlantic provinces. PEI, for example, has population to justify one, maybe two seats. They get four.

Nevertheless, if you want to see popular vote reflected, then start supporting electoral reform. Conservatives typically don’t back electoral reform… well, look at those election stats and see why we need it in Canada: 157 Liberals and they got essentially the same votes as Conservatives, but 30-odd more seats.

But nobody should be saying that the Conservatives (or anyone else) won the popular vote in yesterday’s election. Nobody won, least of all, Canadians.

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