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2014 Ontario General Election Analysis for Waterloo Region

Posted by Bob Jonkman on 5th March 2018

There’s another Ontario General Election on the horizon (7 June 2018), so this is a good time to see how things went last time around.

The voting system that Ontario uses is First-Past-The Post, or technically, Single Member Plurality. That means that the candidate who gets more votes than the runner-up gets the single seat for the whole riding. No need for a majority. With five candidates in a riding the “winner” could have as little as 20% of the vote, and so up to 80% of the votes cast wouldn’t serve to elect anyone, and are wasted. It makes no difference if those voters had stayed home; the result would have been the same. In Waterloo Region things weren’t quite as bad as that, but not far off. Overall, 61.2% of votes cast in Waterloo Region were wasted.

No candidate won a riding with a majority. The closest was Diaene Vernile in Kitchener Centre, who received 43.1% of the votes cast in that riding. Kathryn McGarry won the seat in Cambridge with only 38.9%, comparable to Ontario, where the Liberals received 38.6% of the vote, but received 54.6% of the seats (58 out of 107 seats). This is yet another false majority, directly attributable to the single-member seat allocation. The worst showing was in Kitchener–Conestoga, where Michael Harris retained his seat with only 36.4% of the votes. That means 63.6% of the voters voted against Mr. Harris! Even worse, only 17083 of 94886 eligible voters voted for Mr. Harris. He won with the approval of only 18% of the electorate!

With only five parties and four ridings in Waterloo Region it is difficult to assess the how proportional the seat count is compared to the vote count. The Liberals are over-represented with two seats, 50%, with only 36% of the vote. The Progressive Conservatives are under-represented with one seat, 25%, and 30% of the vote. The NDP is properly represented with one seat, 25%, and 26% of the vote. The Greens and Libertarians together received 7.3% of the votes cast, and would not have gained a seat in the Region even with a proportional voting system.

It would not take a large shift in voter preference to significantly change the outcome. Note how small the plurality for each of the winners is, only a few thousand votes. Kitchener–Conestoga is especially fragile, where Michael Harris won by only 1419 votes. Even a small increase in voter turnout would add more votes than that. An increase from 49.5% to 51.0% would add 1423 votes, more than enough to topple the Progressive Conservative seat in favour of the Liberals.

Region-wide, voter turnout was abysmal at 50.9% of eligible voters casting a ballot. No wonder 49.1% of the voters stayed home, when there is such a high number of wasted votes. It is said that a system with proportional representation will improve voter turnout, because almost all votes cast contribute towards some representation in the legislature. I sure hope to see that for the next election!

Here are the results for the four electoral districts in Waterloo Region:

  Cambridge Kitchener Centre Kitchener–Conestoga Kitchener–Waterloo Totals  
Liberal * Kathryn McGarry * * Diaene Vernile * Wayne Wright Jamie Burton   50.0% seats Liberal
18763 38.9% 18472 43.1% 15664 33.3% 16534 30.1% 69433 36.0% votes
Progressive-Conservative Rob Leone (Incumbent) Wayne Wettlaufer * Michael Harris * (Incumbent) Tracey Weiler   25.0% seats Progressive- Conservative
15694 32.6% 11550 27.0% 17083 36.4% 14450 26.3% 58777 30.5% votes
NDP Bobbi Stewart Margaret Johnston James Villeneuve * Catherine Fife * (Incumbent)   25.0% seats NDP
10413 21.6% 9765 22.8% 9958 21.2% 20536 37.4% 50672 26.3% votes
Green Temara Brown Ronnie Smith David Weber Stacey Danckert   0.0% seats Green
2726 5.7% 2472 5.8% 3277 7.0% 2859 5.2% 11334 5.9% votes
Libertarian Allan R. Detweiler Patrick Bernier David Schumm James Schulz   0.0% seats Libertarian
605 1.3% 557 1.3% 1001 2.1% 481 0.9% 2644 1.4% votes
Votes Cast | Turnout 48201 48.1% 42816 51.5% 46983 49.5% 54860 54.3% 192860 50.9% Votes Cast | Turnout
Eligible Voters 100130   83170   94886   100972   379158   Eligible Voters
Approval (Winning votes / Eligble Voters)   18.7%   22.2%   18.0%   20.3%   19.7% Approval (Winning votes / Eligble Voters)
Plurality | % votes cast 3069 6.4% 6922 16.2% 1419 3.0% 4002 7.3% 15412 8.0% Plurality | % votes cast
Wasted Votes 29438 61.1% 24344 56.9% 29900 63.6% 34324 62.6% 118006 61.2% Wasted Votes

And that’s how it was in 2014. I hope to have an analysis of the 2018 Ontario General Election once the excitement has worn off a little…

–Bob Jonkman is the Co-Chair for the Fair Vote Canada Waterloo Region Chapter.

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Waterloo Region Candidates and Events for 2015 Federal Election

Posted by Bob Jonkman on 9th August 2015



Hello Waterloo Region Electorate! It’s time again for a Federal Election. To head off the usual dearth of information I’ve collected information about the candidates running in the five ridings of Waterloo Region.

Federal Election 2015 – WR Candidates

This page will be updated as I get more information about each candidate, so if you’d like to stay up-to-date you can subscribe to the page updates via ChangeDetection.com, or add the RSS feed to your favourite reader.

I’m also maintaining a calendar of public events where the candidates will be appearing.

[ai1ec view=”agenda” cat_name=”federal_election_2015″ exact_date=”2015-8-2″]

You can add the iCal feed to your favourite calendar application.

This year it should be easier for me to gather that information, as I’m running for the Green Party in Kitchener-Conestoga. But still, if you find Errors or Omissions, or have Additions or Updates for either the candidates’ info or the calendar then please let me know at bjonkman@sobac.com or leave a comment on this page.

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Calendar of All Candidates Meetings

Posted by Bob Jonkman on 25th May 2014

Information on All Candidates Meetings has been scarce for the Provincial Election in 2014. Thanx to the contributions of a few organizations and individuals, here is a list of all the All Candidates Events that I’ve been able to find. In addition, Rogers Community Television has a schedule of rebroadcasted televised candidates debates.

Also, a list of all candidates and their contact information is on the Ontario Election 2014 – WR Candidates page.

Add the All Candidates Meetings to your calendar: iCal (.ics file or feed, less than 20 kBytes)

[ai1ec view=”agenda” cat_name=”Election” exact_date=”2014-5-1″]

Errors? Omissions? Additions? Updates? Please let me know at bjonkman@sobac.com or leave a comment on this page.

Thanx to the Social Planning Council of Kitchener-Waterloo for providing their list of All Candidate Sessions, and to Jamie Burton, Liberal candidate in Kitchener-Waterloo, for her list of events, and @StrangeAttracto for additional Upcoming all-candidates meetings. Extra thanx to Paul Nijjar for still more info, as well as post-meeting updates and reports.

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E-voting Considered Harmful

Posted by Bob Jonkman on 28th January 2013

Finger pressing on electronic voting screen

Voting Screen

The Waterloo Chronicle reports:

The City of Waterloo is going to investigate the possibility of using Internet and telephone voting in time for the 2014 municipal election.

There is already some concern about e-voting. Waterloo Regional Councillor Jane Mitchell writes My problem with on-line voting is the end of the secret ballot.

One of the principles of our electoral systems is anonymity. Another principle is “One person, one ballot”, or singular voting. Both objectives are reasonably easy to do with paper ballots – hand out one ballot to a voter, then cross that voter’s name off the list. The vote cast is both anonymous and singular.

But when people are allowed to vote anonymously on their home computer there’s no way to determine if they’re voting more than once. So to prevent multiple votes you’d have to track voters with a unique ID; but that can then be correlated with the vote cast, destroying anonymity.

Fundamentally, anonymous and singular voting is not achievable through computerized at-home voting. In a report “Technology and the Voting Process” [1] the conclusion of Elections Canada was that the integrity of electoral process is a cornerstone of our democracy, and a decision to move to electronic voting should not be made lightly, without much more study. “Much more study” has not been done by our municipal government.

And don’t get me started on the number of home computers that are infected with viruses, the number of people that are defrauded through identity theft, and the number of times government loses data from their laptops and thumb drives…


Footnote [1]: pp. 58-60, “Technology and the Voting Process”, KPMG and Sussex
Circle for Elections Canada, 1998.

Voting Screen by DonkeyHotey is used under a CC BYCreative Commons — Attribution 2.0 Generic — CC BY 2.0 license.

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Posted in E-Voting, Election | 1 Comment »

Politics on the Patio: Meet the Kitchener Waterloo By-Election Candidates

Posted by Bob Jonkman on 29th August 2012

During last year’s provincial election the Waterloo Region Chapter of Fair Vote Canada hosted a very successful all candidate’s meet & greet called Politics on the Patio. It’s election time again in K/W so we are reprising Politics on the Patio!

You are invited to meet with Eric Davis of the Liberal Party, Stacey Danckert of the Green Party, Elizabeth Rowley of the Communist Party, Allan Dettweiler of the Ontario Libertarian Party, John Turmel of the Paupers Party, Catherine Fife of the NDP and Garnet Bruce, Independent for an informal opportunity to enjoy a beer and have a chat with the candidates on Saturday, 1 September 2012 starting at 8:00pm at the Huether Hotel (map) in the Malt Room (ground floor at the back). We invited all the candidates so we may have some surprise last minute guests as well!

It was a great event last year and we expect it to be great this year as well. So, hope to see you at the Huether on the 1st!

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Posted in All Candidates Meeting, Election, Event, Fair Vote | 1 Comment »

Contact Info for Candidates in Kitchener-Waterloo By-Election 2012

Posted by Bob Jonkman on 22nd August 2012

wemakevotingeasy.ca? This is supposed to be the official Elections Ontario site? It seems a crass attempt at making a “folksy” website, but all the cute domain name does is cast doubt on the veracity of the site’s content. I’m still not sure if “We Make Voting Easy” is truly the official site. And similar content is scattered across both sites, making it hard to find information. Protip for Web designers: If you have an official domain name, use it!

Originally posted on 13 August 2012
Added Twitter and Facebook links, 27 August 2012

New 29 August 2012 — Twitter list of candidates: @fairvotewrc/kitwat2012

There seems to be no comprehensive list of candidates for the upcoming Kitchener Waterloo by-election, nor a convenient list of their contact information.

The Waterloo Region Votes site comes close, but the We Make Voting Easy site is absolutely pitiful. It lists only three candidates Update 22 Aug 2012: All candidates are listed. Now, it’s true that the Elections Ontario site Important Dates – 2012 By-Elections page indicates that nominations don’t actually open until Thursday, 16 August 2012. But if that’s true, why does “We Make Voting Easy” already have a list of candidates?

Here’s the list of candidates I’ve found. The list is subject to change as I find a more official source.

Stacey Danckert, Green Party
E-mail: stacey@danckert.ca
Phone & Text Message: +1-519-800-0476
Website: http://danckert.ca/
Twitter: @StaceyDanckert
Facebook: Stacey Danckert | Green Party of Ontario KW
Catherine Fife, NDP
E-mail: catherinefife@on.ndp.ca
Phone: +1-519-725-4888
Website: http://www.catherinefife.com/
Twitter: @CFifeKW
Facebook: Catherine Fife
Postal address: 182 Weber Street North, Waterloo, Ontario N2J 3H4

Eric Davis, Liberal Party
Email: info@ericdavis.ca
Phone: +1-519-746-1234
Website: http://ericdavis.ca/
Twitter: @eric_m_davis
Facebook: Eric Davis
Postal address: 380 King Street North, Waterloo, Ontario N2J 2Z3

The e-mail @ symbol was selected by Ray Tomlinson in 1971. Here we have contact information for candidates running in 2012, 41 years later. I’ll bet that e-mail is older than some of the candidates… Protip for candidates: You need to have a real e-mail address. With a web form my message to you doesn’t appear in my Sent Items, and so I’m going to forget you when it comes time to include you in events, debates and getting quotes in the media…

Tracy Weiler, PC Party of Ontario
E-mail (online form only): http://ontariopc.wufoo.com/forms/x7s9a7
Phone: +1-519-208-4133
Website: http://kw.ontariopc.com/
Twitter: @traceyweiler
Facebook: Tracey Weiler
Postal address: 156 King Street South, Waterloo, Ontario N2J 1P6
Kevin Clarke, The Peoples Political Party
E-mail (online form only): http://peoplespoliticalparty.net/contact.html
Phone: No phone number listed
Website: http://www.peoplespoliticalparty.net
Twitter: @voteClarkePeace
Facebook: The Peoples Political Party
Postal address: 75 Silver Springs Boulevard Unit 609, Toronto, Ontario M1V 1W2
Allan Dettweiler, Ontario Libertarian Party
E-mail: allan.dettweiler@libertarian.on.ca
Phone: +1-519-622-2527, +1-519-716-4359
Website: http://www.libertarian.on.ca/profiles/allan-r-dettweiler
Twitter: @LPOntario
Facebook: The Ontario Libertarian Party
Postal address: 7-91 Rylander Blvd., Box 121, Scarborough, Ontario, M1B 5M5

Added 22 Aug 2012:

Garnet Bruce, Independent
E-mail (online form only): http://garnetbruce.com/contact/
Website: http://garnetbruce.com
Postal address:
David Driver, Freedom Party of Ontario
E-mail: ddriver@rogers.com
Phone: +1-519-590-3352
Website: www.freedomparty.on.ca
Postal address: 240 Commissioners Road West, London, Ontario N6J 1Y1
John Turmel, Paupers
E-mail: johnturmel@yahoo.com
Phone: +1-519-753-5122 or Cell: +1-519-717-1012
Website: http://johnturmel.com/
Facebook: John KingofthePaupers Turmel
Postal address: 50 Brant Avenue, Brantford, Ontario N3T 3G7
Elizabeth Rowley, Communist Party of Canada (Ontario)
E-mail: erowley@live.ca
Phone: +1-647-994-4976 & +1-519-584-7531
Website: http://communistpartyontario.ca/
Twitter: @RowleyCPCOforKW
Facebook: Liz Rowley
Postal address: 290A Danforth Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M4K 1N6

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Posted in Election | 2 Comments »