Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sour Grapes

The Calgary Herald's Mark Milke thinks Naheed Nenshi only won because of right wing vote splitting:
On the first phenomena, Nenshi should be congratulated. He ran a smart campaign, albeit occasionally negative (few are not), and he used social media to thump front-runner Ric McIver and the big blue federal Conservative machine. That was no small task in a Tory town. Still, Nenshi won with 40 per cent of the vote. McIver scooped 32 per cent and Barb Higgins won 26 per cent. That McIver-Higgins total of 58 per cent was arguably drawn mostly from Calgary's centre-right voters. Thus, had the centre-right vote not split (as it regularly does in local politics), the headlines this past Tuesday morning would have been starkly different.
Except Higgins was endorsed by, among others, CUPE and the most left leaning candidate Bob Hawkesworth when he dropped out.  Blogger and Rabble columnist David Climenhaga, who no one will ever mistake for a conservative argued a vote for Higgins might be the best way to keep hard right candidate McIver out and was by no means the only one making the same argument.

The percentage of Higgins votes that were of the 'anybody but McIver' motivation rather than the desire to vote for a mainstream moderate conservative would be instructive here, and fatally undermine Milke's argument.  Add in those who only voted for her for reasons ranging from wanting to vote for the sole female candidate or just because she was a local TV celebrity and it becomes purely ludicrous.


Canajun said...

At 40% Nenshi still has a greater plurality that the Harper Conservatives. Works both ways folks.

Holly Stick said...

I read David Climenhaga's post after I had voted and before the polls closed and was quite depressed until the amazing results came in.

If I had read his post first, I probably would have voted for Higgins to keep out McIver. But I relied on the poll that put the three frontrunners so close together, and voted for Nenshi.

I actually think any of the three would have been a decent enough mayor, but the fewer ties to the Conservative machines, the better.

Cliff said...

I voted Higgins because I thought she had the best chance of beating McIver. It certainly wasn't because I wanted to vote for a representative of the Progressive Conservative mainstream (With McIver the unofficial Alberta Alliance candidate) and that CUPE endorsement suggests to me that a lot of union members probably held their nose and voted for her in the hopes of keeping McIver out.

Remember, only a few days before polling Nenshi was running a distant third - a lot of his campaign momentum really kicked in the last few days of the campaign.

theo said...

I too, read David’s take on the pre-election polls and for a bit thought about voting for Higgens. I decided on the day of the election to vote for the candidate I liked the best. What could have subconsciously triggered that decision was riding on the C-train a few days earlier and observing these two lovely kids getting on the train and going down the aisle handing out Nenshi cards. At the time I thought to myself, “I bet no one is polling that demographic.” When I saw the “Leger” poll in David’s essay perhaps that clicked for me.

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