Ontario election an apparent rejection of neo-con deficit hysteria but also a product of our distorted electoral system.

The Ontario election has delivered a solid majority government to the Liberal party. This is a good thing because the alternative was an austerity obsessed budget slashing Conservative party. That would have been very bad for Ontario and very bad for Canada. However when we look at the split in the popular vote it is clear that the distortions of the first past the post winner takes all electoral system also played a big role in the outcome. Just look at the table below and draw your own conclusions.

Party               Percentage of the vote                                    Seats

                      2011                   2014                      2011               2014

Liberal           37.65%             38.64 %                 53                     59

Conservative  35.45%          31.2%                    37                      27

NDP                22.74%          23.76%                   17                       21

Green 2.9%                                     4.9%                     0                        0


The Liberals gained less than a percentage point in the popular vote yet won six additional seats or roughly 11.3 % more seats. The Conservatives lost a full ten seats or 27 % of their seats with a loss of 4.25 % points in the popular vote or 12 % of their 2011 share of the popular vote. The NDP share of the popular vote increased by one % point and their seat total rose by 4 seats roughly a 25 % gain in seats for a roughly 5 % increase in their popular vote. The Greens were denied any seats despite winning about 5% of the popular vote up from 2.92 % in 2011. Its not surprising that the turnout was possibly under 50 %. which suggests that many potential voters are reluctant to participate because their views are not adequately reflected in the results.

Still it was a good night for Premier Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals and for the significant number of Ontario voters who prefer lower unemployment and proper social services and health care to the wreckage of austerity driven government.





About haroldchorneyeconomist

I am Professor of political economy at Concordia university in Montréal, Québec, Canada. I received my B.A.Hons (econ.&poli sci) from the University of Manitoba. I also completed my M.A. degree in economics there. Went on to spend two years at the London School of Economics as a Ph.D. student in economics and then completed my Ph.D. in political economy at the University of Toronto. Was named a John W.Dafoe fellow, a CMHC fellow and a Canada Council fellow. I also was named a Woodrow Wilson fellow in 1968 after completing my first class honours undergraduate degree. Worked as an economist in the area of education, labour economics and as the senior economist with the Manitoba Housing and Renewal Corporation for the Government of Manitoba from 1972 to 1978. I also have worked as an economic consultant for MDT socio-economic consultants and have been consulted on urban planning, health policy, linguistic duality and public sector finance questions by the governments of Manitoba, Saskatchewan,the cities of Regina and Saskatoon, Ontario and the Federal government of Canada. I have also been consulted by senior leaders of the British Labour party, MPs from the Progressive Conservative party, the Liberal party and the New Democrats on economic policy questions. Members of the Government of France under the Presidency of Francois Mitterand discussed my work on public sector deficits. I have also run for elected office at the municipal level. I first began to write about quantitative easing as a useful policy option during the early 1980s.
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