Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Reporting an Error to the Toronto Star

Just read this article and noticed something potentially egregious.

Holding on to as many ridings as possible in Quebec in the next election has to be an absolute priority for the NDP. In the short-term, doing better in Quebec may be the only realistic path to a Liberal recovery. But an opposition heavily invested in a war of attrition in Quebec could be a winning condition for the ruling Conservatives.
They already hold 72 of 92 Western Canada seats. That’s twice as many as the NDP. As for the Liberals, they barely salvaged four seats west of Ontario last May.

My "report an error" submission:

Article with error:

Twice as many as the NDP? Assuming by "Western Canada" you mean BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba than the Tories got 72 seats (that's right). But the NDP got 12 in BC, 1 in Alberta, 0 in Saskatchewan, and 2 in Manitoba. That's 12  + 1 + 2, which is 15. That's not half of the Tory seats in the West, that's 3/18 5/24 of what the Tories got.

Voter Suppression probably skewed the results in a few Western ridings (like Elmwood-Transcona), but still.
Postscript: Do'h! Just realized the error after sending the elementary arithmetically errant error report to the Toronto Star. Came about due to a memory confusion - namely, when adding up the seats (12 + 1 + 2) I remembered the 12 NDP seats from BC. Instead of dividing 15/72 to the simplest form (5/24), I divided 12/72 to the simplest form (3/18).


  1. I once sent in a correction to the G&M about richter scale measurements on their front page. Turned out they were quite right, and I was quite wrong. Don't feel bad; it happens. -Alain

  2. I was still less wrong than the Toronto Star, which has yet to correct the error. Incidentally, I wasn't the first one to notice the gross underestimation of current Con advantage in Western Canada - a commenter noted that shortly after the article just came out.

    Honestly, Toronto papers should have ever statement made about Western Canada fact-checked twice.