Friday, November 17, 2006

Some basic election analysis and thoughts

One caveat to these numbers, is that they are not precise. The way the data is presented in the reports does not allow for it. The Mayor's race allows for the most accurate count as we can use the Total Votes (57411) divided by the Reg Voters (152798) for an overall turnout number of 37.6%

The Ward races are a little trickier to obtain accuracy as you must use the Times Counted number divided by the Reg Voters. This number is not accurate as it reflects some ballots that needed to be counted more than once. When I get a chance I'm going to count the number of ballots cast in the Mayor's race, by polling place and compare them to the Ward figures, by polling place. This should give us the most accurate numbers possible.

Edit: for an example, look at Ward 1, Poll 1 - Association for People with Physical Disabilities. In the Ward report, all we have is Times Counted - 603. If you look at the Mayor's race, you see that Times Counted is 603 but the Total Votes are 590, a difference of 13 votes.

Mayor's Race - 37.57 %
Ward 1 - 41. 52 % *
Ward 2 - 28.78 % *
Ward 3 - 33.8 %
Ward 4 - 42.0 %
Ward 5 - 39.7 %

* Reflects updated percentages based on actual number of voters plus advanced poll votes divided by total registered voters.

One thing that stands out for me is the current Ward makeup. It's fairly obvious that we are due for a look at either re-distributing the wards or adding another ward to the city.

Ward 1 - 42,255
Ward 2 - 22,837
Ward 3 - 25,875
Ward 4 - 26,695
Ward 5 - 35,136

Ward 2's lower numbers most likely reflect the highly transient student population. Wards 1 and 5 are obviously the growth areas of the city. When you consider that our Council is only "part-time", the disparities evident in Wards 1 and 5 are not really fair. The Councillors in these wards are carrying between 10 to 20 thousand more citizens than the others. This has to make their job more difficult in terms of responding to their constituents.

One other thing to consider - is Windsor ready for full-time Councillors?

Let's not kid ourselves, between committee meetings, board meetings, community events and council meetings, this already is a full time endeavour. The salary paid to Councillors though, restricts who can run. Unless you have another source of income (ie. are retired, own your own business, have a spouse with sufficient income), most people can not afford to run for a council position. Are we unnecessarily restricting the talent pool in this regard?