Prospects for PR in BC

Best odds yet?

I recently did a piece for Sightline on the prospects for proportional representation in British Columbia’s upcoming referendum. The takeaway was that it could pass this time, unlike in 2005 and 2009, because “spoiler voting” by BC Greens is giving the major parties a reason to want to aggregate their votes in multi-seat districts. Calvo (2009) gives the best account of how this works.

This most recent referendum is the product of a deal between the BC New Democratic and BC Green parties. The NDP minority government exists with support from three Green members of the Legislative Assembly. The Liberals are one seat shy of a majority. In the previous two referenda, the third-party vote that brought them about evaporated over the course of the 2000s.

Three things need to happen for this next referendum to pass. Each seems to be in place.

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The ten-way race in MA-03

Strategic voting never goes away.

On Tuesday night and into Wednesday, a crowded Democratic primary in Massachusetts’ Third Congressional District blew up my Twitter feed. There were ten declared candidates, and 52 votes now separate the top two, each of which has 21.6 percent support. Because this is Massachusetts, the winner of the primary will win the general election (unless the party splits). That person will claim a congressional district with barely more than 18,000 votes.

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Acknowledging those who came before

The past is not that long ago.

A card I got for graduation pictures two lost drivers asking a policeman for directions. All are dressed in 1950s clothing. The caption reads, “I took the road less traveled, and now I don’t know where the Hell I am.” An instant hit.

So, where am I? Where do I stand in the long arc of this game? Where does this project stand in relation to the discipline?

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