Saturday, August 26, 2006
I don't know how sad it is that I'm spending my Saturday night doing this but, just out of the blue, I decided to go back and check to see if the arguments about vote-splitting held any water.
Well, they did.
To make a long story short, with two parties on the right, a combined result of well over 35% in Ontario led to two seats at most for both parties combined. One merged party from the right got 24 seats with just over 30% of the vote in Ontario, and 40 seats with just over 35% of the vote in Ontario.
Numbers like these might be why many on the left have been trying to ditch Jack Layton in order to form a united front against Harper. Vote-splitting happens, and it makes a difference of a whole lot of seats. Just ask Preston Manning, Stockwell Day, Kim Campbell, Jean Charest, and Joe Clark. You can ask Stephen Harper, too.
The problem is that, as long as there are two similar options from which voters can choose, people will split their support, thus giving a third party a greater hope for victory. I don't think all the Layton-bashing in the world will change that simple political reality. As long as he's on the ballot, he will take seats away from Liberals and give them to Conservatives. It's almost guaranteed.
By the way, vote-splitting might also be a reason why the Green party is a pain-in-the-rear for Jack Layton, too.
UPDATE (9:51 pm): Speaking of the Green party, they just held a convention to pick their new leader. Who knew?