October 21st, 2020

Federal election topic of today’s SACPA session

By Mabell, Dave on November 21, 2019.

Lethbridge Herald

Canadians voted last month. But who really won?

An Alberta political scientist will explore that question during today’s session of the Southern Alberta Council on Public Affairs.

Justin Trudeau’s Liberals held on to power after the close-run federal election. They won 157 seats and 33 per cent of the popular vote, enough to retain power in a minority parliament.

But Paul Fairie, a senior research associate at the University of Calgary, points out Conservative leader Andrew Scheer’s party won more votes – but got far fewer seats. It’s the first time since 1979 that the winner of the most seats wasn’t also the winner of the most votes, he notes.

Meanwhile the New Democrats did far better than the polls suggested at the beginning of the campaign, but worse than in 2015 – and finished far below their record high in 2011.

The Greens won three seats, a new high, but with a lower vote share than in 2008.

Fairie will attempt to unpack the results of the Oct. 21 federal election, arguing the unusual results of the election and feelings of Western alienation aren’t disconnected.

Fairie earned his PhD in political science from the U of C, focusing on voter behaviour, and has taught political science courses there since 2010. He also ran the Globe & Mail election forecast in 2015.

The mid-day session, open to all interested, will be held at the Royal Canadian Legion hall, with doors open at 11:30 a.m. A hot meal is available for $14, or participants may opt for coffee or tea at $2 per person.

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