activism Archive

Liberal Leadership 2013: Popular Vote

April 16th, 2013

The results of the 2013 Liberal leadership race were announced on Sunday. The data the Liberal Party have published now include riding-by-riding specific results, but they aren’t in a particularly convenient format, and don’t include the popular vote.

However, the published data does include both the total votes cast in each riding, and the points for each candidate, and that gives us all we need to calculate the popular vote. (The points for each candidate are that candidate’s percentage of the popular vote. Multiply points by the total valid votes cast in each riding and you have the actual number of votes each candidate received.)

That’s what I’ve done here, en mass. I used some automated scripting to pull all the results for each riding from the Liberal page, and tabulate it (clicking on each riding would be a little tedious). I then dropped that all into a google spreadsheet that calculates the popular vote.

The results: Trudeau got 78% of the popular vote, and pro-cooperation candidate Joyce Murray (who was almost unknown going into the race) picked up 12%.

Now, for the details (click on any title to load the source google spreadsheet)…

1. Raw data from the Liberal results page, with popular vote calculated

2. Totals of popular vote and points:

3. Interactive Graph of Popular Vote

4. Pivot table, showing popular vote totals by province:

Final thought: if “blank ballot” had actually been a candidate, it would have beaten both Coyne and McCrimmon.

Found this interesting or useful? Leave a comment, and don’t forget to follow @matthewfcarroll and @leadnowca on twitter, and keep up with Leadnow’s work to build a more fair, responsible and democratic Canada on facebook or by signing up online.

I’m Voting for Canada

April 13th, 2011

Waterless Tar Sands Extraction Misses the Point

March 23rd, 2011

Sar Sands Open Pit Mine Just in time for world water day, researchers at Penn State university have discovered a new “waterless” method for extracting oil from the thick mix of clay, water and bitumen that makes up the tar sands.

The current method for getting the oil out of the sand involves using huge amounts of both fresh water and energy. Hot water is mixed into the sand, which is then piped to an extraction plant and shaken up to release the bitumen. Some of the water from the process is recycled, but huge amounts are simply dumped into toxic lakes.

The new process, according to the Penn State scientists, uses ionic liquids – salt in a liquid state – to separate out the oil from the sand, and, since it doesn’t use water, doesn’t create the tailings ponds. It has been widely reported as cleaner and eco-friendly.

There is not, and never will be anything intrinsically eco-friendly about the tar sands.

Read the rest of this story at →

Canadian Parliament Supports Strong Copenhagen Target

November 26th, 2009

“Lead, follow, or get out of the way!”, was what Power Shift Canada told the Canadian Government loud and clear on October 24th. Since then, youth across the country have been rallying, calling and dancing to demand that the Canadian government adopt Bill C-311 (the Climate Change Accountability act) which would mandate targets to cut global warming pollution in line with science. “It’s time to listen,” we told them, and all these efforts have finally started to pay off. The minority Harper government used stalling tactics to delay a vote on that bill in committee most likely until 2010, but the Canadian parliament just passed a motion that Canada should put forward the first target from the delayed bill as the Canadian position in Copenhagen. It passed 137-124 with the united support of all three opposition parties:

That, in the opinion of the House, Canada should commit to propose at the Copenhagen conference on climate change

  1. reducing, through absolute reduction targets, greenhouse gas emissions in industrialized countries to 25% lower than 1990 levels, by 2020;
  2. the necessity of limiting the rise in global temperatures to less than 2oC higher than in the preindustrial era; and
  3. supporting the developing countries in their efforts to reduce greenhouse gases and adapt to climate change.

The motion isn’t legally binding, unfortunately, like bill C-311 would be, but it does send an important and powerful message to the world: the current Canadian government’s position on climate change does not represent the will of the majority of Canadians, and the opposition parties are willing to unite against the government over this issue. This gives a huge boost to those countries who are willing to push forward towards an ambitious, binding treaty in Copenhagen, and they should take note: the Harper government is now totally wrongfooted on their climate policy, and barely hanging on to power by a thread. Lead, and Canada will follow.

Originally published at

Time for a change: BC-STV

May 8th, 2009

Einstein said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. I hadn’t really thought of that quote in the context of electoral politics before watching Christy Clark in the eloquent video below, but it applies well in this context. If we continue with a broken, divisive electoral system, why would we expect anything better than broken, divisive politics?

I’m not a Canadian citizen, so I don’t get to vote in the provincial election and referendum on electoral reform next week. In some ways I’m glad I don’t have to choose between the current dichotomy – neither option would be particularly palatable. For those who are eligible to vote, please watch this video, get informed, then vote for BC-STV in the referendum. We deserve better from politics in BC, and BC-STV is the tool we need to help achieve that.

Edited to remove links to as it looks like the domain name hasn’t been renewed and is now full of junk. Also, at the time of writing I wasn’t a Canadian citizen, but since someone asked, I am now.

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