I made a mistake last week and you would have thought I would have had a bunch of e-mails having a laugh at my expense. I got none. It was only today that I realized the error. The earlier commentary had stuck in my mind and I checked back on it to see if there was a logical bridge to re-introduce the subject.
What I found was a silly error. I was writing about the penchant of conservatives to use preferential voting. I checked a report on the Alberta leadership voting and it said there were six vote counts for the six candidates. That did not seem right but I was rushed. I still had the thought in the back of my mind that I was saying something wrong when I posted that blog.
It was only today when I reread the blog that the error was clear; you can’t have six counts for six candidates. And besides, I knew that there were seven candidates to replace Jason Kenney.
But the point of that commentary was to reinforce my argument that in preferential voting, the losers in the race can, too often, be the choosers. And, it was the losers who chose Danielle Smith.
Smith was in the race all the way to the sixth ballot count. It was that final count that gave Smith over 50 per cent. She won by 53.77 per cent. That meant that she only won by being the second, third, fourth or fifth choice of voters who actually preferred one of the other candidates.
What always seems to be left out of the party’s reporting is the number of ballots in this final count. There must have been many ballots without all the choices indicated. They might have counted over 85,000 first votes but some of the ballots would not have all seven preferences. That means they had to be set aside in the later counts.
I have attended more than a few liberal party leaderships and been an observer at those for other parties. Many were delegated conventions when a sub-set of party members were elected to make the decision. I was always appalled at the sleaziness of deals that saw losers go openly to this opponent or that one. I always believed that delegates needed time to reassess the needs of the party—not the directions of a failed candidate.
Copyright 2022 © Peter Lowry
Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to: