Monday, March 19, 2007

MAY vs. MacKAY ?

What is Elizabeth May thinking in choosing to run against Peter Mackay in the next election? To me it appears she does not actually want to be a Member of Parliament. May, sounding every bit defeatist, has said she's not looking for "quick and easy way out" and "it's uphill but I think I can do it."

Really? Lets have a look at the returns for the Central Nova riding from the 39th election.

Allan H. Bezanson, Marxist-Leninist - 124 votes 0.29%
Alexis MacDonald, New Democrats - 13,861 votes 32.8%
Peter MacKay, Conservative - 17,134 votes 40.6%
David Orton, Green - 671 votes 1.5%
Dan Walsh, Liberal - 10,349 votes 24.5%

How can this result possibly play out well for May and the Greens?

Let's assume the same number of votes are up for grabs in the next election. Lets also assume that MacKay's votes are not going anywhere. Why? Because he's the former leader of the PC party, the incumbent, and the minister of Foreign Affairs and Atlantic Largesse.

Let's also assume that May can keep the 671 votes Mr. Orton got for her party last time, and lets also assume the 124 Marxist-Leninist votes aren't going anywhere, because if a person is still voting Marxist in the 21st century I have to think their ideology is more entrenched than Stalin's.

That means that May needs to pick up 16,464 votes from the Liberal and NDP pool to beat MacKay. The combined Liberal-NDP vote is 24,334 which means May needs to take 67.6% of the vote away, in some proportion, from the Liberals and NDP.

Even if 5% of the people who voted for MacKay last time go to May because they feel more at home with a different party but only voted for MacKay on personality that still means May has to take 60% of the Liberal-NDP vote.

Where would May have been best advised to run? In my totally unprofessional opinion I think she should have tried to find a riding with the following characteristics:

1. A record of being centre-left leaning
2. A Liberal incumbent with a polarizing personality or record
3. A mediocre Conservative candidate
4. Where the Green Party received more than 3% of the vote.

These conditions would suggest room for Green growth, would make the vote as much as possible between May and the incumbent, and would siphon off Conservative votes May might not otherwise be able to get.

Now, is there such a riding?

Posted by Matthew @ 9:26 AM

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Yeah, I don't know what May was thinking. Seems like delusions of grandeur to me. I mean, yes, environmental issues have come to the forefront as of late, but it's not enough that she could unseat someone as entrenched as McKay.

She did well in London so maybe she could try again there? Kingston has decent Green support and a riding or two in BC as well, I think somewhere on Vancouver Island.

Posted by Blogger blackhole @ March 19, 2007 5:37 PM #
 
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