The Saskatchewan Election

A couple of quick thoughts on last night’s Saskatchewan election:

  1. It astounds me that the local CBC coverage was as bad as it was. Inane chatter was brought to a new level when the talking heads described results from a single poll as “indicating a really tight race.” No, it suggests that a sample of 30 people is a bad thing to draw anything from. Also, they stopped updating their website at around 9:20, at least for declared races. Boo-urns.
  2. Bigger boo-urns to Elections Saskatchewan, which didn’t even seem to have results coming in at all.
  3. Cheers to Global, which actually kept updating things even after races were said and done.

37-21 seems like a reasonable split to me. Interestingly, 21 seats, as a percentage of the legislature, corresponds within a couple of points of the NDPs popular vote share. The Saskparty, who got a little more than 1/2 the vote but 63% of the seats, don’t really fit in that regard. It would seem that at least in this case the NDP shouldn’t be opposed to some kind of PR; the Liberals, again the party that was too-slow to grab a seat in musical chairs, should be screaming for it. Switching to PR might also appeal to Saskatchewan’s latent sense of moral superiority for being first at progressive things like Medicare.

More interesting, though, is a look to the close races. Global has a useful chart here (apparently no direct link. Click on “close races” below the table). I haven’t looked at the ones the NDP won, but the 6 that the Sask Party picked up were decided by something like a cumulative 1200 votes. That’s right: if 1200 people hadn’t of showed up, or if 600 well placed people had changed their mind, the narrative today would be something along the lines of how “Brad Wall eked out a narrow 31-27 majority.” It’s not as crazy as the Quebec results, but shows the idiocy of the system.

Also, and more importantly, the people of Saskatchewan are weaker for having not elected Ryan Androsoff, regardless of the colour of his lawn signs.