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Jordan Heron - The Vanity Card Series

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It's looking like Rob Ford may be elected mayor of Toronto. That has the more liberal viewpoints in the big city predicting rains of fire and brimstone, as all right-minded folk are washed away in a conservative tide. Is this true? Hell, I don't know. As I work (but not live) in downtown Toronto, I must admit to a vague curiosity, but nothing like passion for the issues. What I do suspect is that Rob Ford's views are not held by a majority of people in this city, and there's nothing they can do about that.

When you have two people running for the position, you get the person wanted by a majority of voters. Or, perhaps, the candidate least despised by a majority of voters.

When you have a small crowd of people running for a position, you get what? Well, it's mathematically possible to get someone favoured by a majority. But what is likely, knowing human nature, is that you get a person who has no similar competition.

Let's say we were voting on blue or green. Let's say in a pre-election poll, 75% of people favour blue. But on the ballot, you find 10 shades of blue, and one green. Well, that gives you, on average, 25% voting green, and 7.5% voting for each of the ten shade of blue. Who wins? Green. What did most people want? Blue. Huh.

This is the reason, the only reason, I favour party politics at the city level. If we had a conservative politician and a liberal politician (and the odd oddball) we could make a decision. Especially as the nomination machination would likely weed out the more fanatical on both sides. But with a dozen or so candidates up for a position, the one with the least direct competition wins. Even if there is a severe minority of support for that candidate's position.

There. That's my foray into local politics. Take it or leave it...

22 September 2010

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