Category Archives: elections

How about that?


Strange Maps shows the electoral impact of the (really) old Germany-Russia border through modern Poland.


Elections are not overpriced

I am not open to the argument that frequent elections are a waste of money or that even infrequent elections, as we operate them today, are too expensive.

This is a democracy, folks (albeit a slightly screwy democracy with a queen and a tendency toward unearned majorities).

Democracies are inefficient in all kinds of ways but the price is well worth it to keep our governments on a short leash.

You can be cynical and believe that all governments operate the same, but you can damn well be sure the government would be a different beast if it didn’t have to submit to the will of the people periodically.

Addendum: I didn’t set out to rant, but this has put me in a sour mood.

Obama is the president elect

This blog approves. You can find a few more photos like above of the Grant Park rally from this Flickr user, or by searching Grant Park.

Cowen: protest non-voters are poseurs

The people who think they are being instrumentally rational by not voting are probably deceiving themselves more.  They are actually engaged in an even less transparent form of expressive behavior (protest against the voting system) and yet cloaking that behavior under the guise of instrumental rationality.

Link. If you have not already bookmarked Marginal Revolution, you are missing out.

Celebrity Endorsement!

I think Tom Clancy goes in the McCain column. Or possibly some third party based in the remote hills of Idaho.

Sounding particularly crazy with Blake Hounshell:

Obama gave a good speech last night. There’s no way I’m going to vote for him. But he gave a good speech. How’s he going to eliminate our dependence on foreign oil in 10 years? You don’t vote for his skin; you vote for his brain. He gives a great speech, I’ll grant him that. But what will he risk his life over? What will he kill over? He’s a lawyer; all lawyers do is cut deals.

Indeed, Obama, what will you kill over? The nation demands an answer.

(photo credit)

The election in hindsight

No one narrative describes the last month, but three things in the post-election analysis stand out for me:

1. Nobody really wants a better kind of politician. Dion was a candidate for the future, idealism, and relatively civil conduct. Haper’s a bully but he gets things done. Point: Harper. Everyone wants a person like Dion (except maybe more English and articulate) in charge of the country, but we won’t risk voting for him.

2. The Liberal Party is sick in so many ways even Trudeau couldn’t have sweet-talked his way into the government. Among other things, they’re poor as dirt and are lucky so many people live in Toronto and Montreal. Actually, Trudeau is part of the problem, what with there being so few Liberals west of Kenora that I can count them on my fingers. Andrew Coyne made this point on the CBC last night, but I don’t think it’s been blogged yet (or at least post-election).

3. Canada remains, on the whole, a small-l liberal country. We are not finished test driving Stephen Harper. There is a lot of work ahead for the Conservatives if they want to convince a big chunk of Canadian that their party is a long-term, moderate possibility. They might squeak past the majority threshold next election if the Liberals stay down and the Bloc stumbles, but I don’t think Stephen Harper is the kind of guy to leave these things to chance.

That was close

Thank goodness for Danny Williams and Gilles Duceppe. The Conservatives fell short of a majority by only a handful of seats, thanks in part to losses in Newfoundland (of all places) and stagnation in Quebec.

Stephen Harper keeps his job but he didn’t win the election. Nobody was a clear winner. After all that money spent, we are pretty much back where we started before the election, give or take a few seats.

Stephane Dion might not be so lucky to keep his job as leader of the Liberal Party. I suspect Dion will not see another election as leader, but he might not go right away. Provided he doesn’t resign tonight, he has a lot of rebuilding to do. They shouldn’t go through another Parliament afraid of standing up to the government because they can’t afford an election.