Tour successes; Election failures

So I’m back from the tour, and am both very happy and very sleep deprived. In 7 days we travelled 1200 km and played 8 shows, 3 parades, and 1 demonstration in 5 cities, not to mention the endless festival jam sessions with some of the most talented musicians I’ve ever seen perform live. But before I write about that, I wanted to get yet another election rant off my chest.

Alice Funke, a.k.a. the person behind Canada’s best election information website, wrote a scathing review of strategic voting campaigns which I wish I’d read and shared two weeks ago when it was published. Mostly the problem is that they all assume having information which no-one really has before election day. Perhaps as a result, the riding of Kitchener-Waterloo, which (and everyone else) thought was a safe Liberal seat, went Conservative by 73 votes last night. Although no fan of the Liberal party, I do have respect for the Liberal MP who lost his seat there last night, and I’m sure he was the strong second choice of many Green and NDP voters there who never thought the Conservatives had a chance. This goes to demonstrate two things we ought to already know: our voting system sucks, and past performance is no better at predicting elections than it is the stock market, as Funke so sagely puts it. If the data existed to run a Canadian equivalent to 538 she’d probably being doing just that, but it’s simply not available, since as I’ve mentioned here many times it’s feasible to continuously poll 50 U.S. electoral college clusters (i.e., each state) but not all 308 Canadian ridings.

Oh, and speaking of bad predictions, I was clearly wrong about Justin Trudeau, who took my riding by over a thousand votes. Apparently I misunderestimated his schmoozing and baby-kissing skillz. I still think he’s a pampered twit, as do a couple people I know who met him while he was enrolled at McGill, but apparently that’s no barrier for money and the ethnic vote.

At least I have the comfort of knowing that I voted strategically against him.