Monday, May 9, 2011

We Were so Close to Winning

Matt Peters and Ryna Boldt have an excellent piece in Rabble this week, reminding us of how close we came to holding Stephen Harper to a minority.
So what made this Harper majority? Time for some sobering statistics, you might want to prepare a barf bag: 6,201 -- Friends, this is not the title of the newest Rush album

This is a number we need to remember over the course of the next four years and especially during the next election: 6,201 is the COMBINED margin of victory across the 14 most closely contested Conservative ridings in Canada -- with 6,215 being the number needed -- as the total number of votes -- the nearest parties would require to have won these 14 seats but one vote.

The COMBINED margin of victory. This is how close the election actually was. In each of these races the Conservatives had a margin of victory of less than 800 votes. Most margins were much, much smaller
Strategic voting had a real chance, but was abandoned by many during the final days.

Now we have a Harper majority and the perfect storm, with a record deficit and a man at the helm who now has an excuse to dismantle our social safety net. And the Canada we once had will be no more.

I feel like Marlon Brando, in On the Waterfront:

We coulda had class. We coulda been a contender. We coulda been somebody ...


  1. We have had class, Emily. We have been a contender. We have been somebody. Canada has had, and lost, a place of honour on the world scene. We had a country of which we could be proud, a nation which other people and other nations respected.
    So sad: we came so close. Thank you for all you have done for Canada. I know you have other things to do besides research and blogging in order to keep us informed. And thank you for not giving up after the election.
    — K

  2. Most Canadian electors who voted for the Harper Government (because they sure as heck didn't vote for the Con candidates who didn't dare show their faces or open their mouths during a campaign... funny, that would stop ME from voting for someone, but I guess a sufficient number of people have no trouble with it...).

    They don't have a clue...

  3. Thanks Kay and you are both right.