Talk:Alberta general election, 2012

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Parties[edit]

Why are the Greens included in the polls, and nowhere else in the article? Why are we recognizing a party that Elections Alberta does not recognize? I vote that the Greens and Other columns be combined. 117Avenue (talk) 21:06, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

I'm unsure of what should be done in that dept. True, the Green Party of Alberta has been unrecognized by Elections Alberta, but they are consistently mentioned in many of the polls done on Alberta Provincial Politics. I still think they should be separate, due to the fact that, despite the fact the party is not recognized by Elections Alberta, the people are still saying they would vote for them. Perhaps a Third Opinion is needed. Bkissin (talk) 01:21, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
Agree with Bkissin. I find it strange that these polling agencies are including the Greens in their polls, but they are, so we should report that. Maybe we could put a footnote on the table alerting readers that the Greens don't actually exist? Steve Smith (talk) 01:26, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
There is a note in the time line of the deregistration, and this isn't a full out argument that needs mediation, yet. I just think that (unless an election is called tomorrow), there will be more polls without the Greens, then there have been with, and we shouldn't have a mostly empty column. 117Avenue (talk) 04:54, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

I am confused. The December 2 poll has 34+32+19+13+17, that adds up to 115%. 117Avenue (talk) 01:08, 8 December 2010 (UTC)

Electoral districts[edit]

With this rumour growing that a snap election could be called as soon as October, I am wondering, did the Assembly ever vote on the electoral redistribution? If an election were called in the next couple of weeks, would we be voting for 83 MLAs, in the same electoral districts as last time? 117Avenue (talk) 03:18, 13 September 2011 (UTC)

Can we get this addressed? 117Avenue (talk) 03:53, 17 September 2011 (UTC)

I am going to go with the former. 117Avenue (talk) 13:19, 19 September 2011 (UTC)

MLAs who lost nominations[edit]

Should MLAs (such as Broyce Jacobs or Art Johnston) who lost their nomination races be included in the MLAs not running section? Or perhaps in a subsection of that? Thoughts? Enigma00 (talk) 19:36, 9 December 2011 (UTC)

Losers of party nominations have been known to run as independents (Edmonton—Sherwood Park in the last two federal elections), I say wait until a source surfaces saying they will not run. 117Avenue (talk) 04:02, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

Senate nominee election[edit]

Should the fact of the next Alberta Senate nominee election being held the same day be mentioned, and if so, where? -Rrius (talk) 01:15, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

I've been thinking about this lately too, adding it somewhere in the lead section. I just haven't found the time to look for a reference. 117Avenue (talk) 04:25, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
That makes sense as a place to put it; I just wanted to make sure that editors who have been more active here didn't have a better way of dealing with it. There is a ref at the other article, and I'll add it, but I also want to know if I should move the article to Alberta Senate nominee election, 2012. The question more precisely being, I suppose, whether the Premier's public declaration is a strong enough basis for a move. -Rrius (talk) 21:41, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

Order of sections[edit]

I was thinking that it might make sense to put the "Election Summary" section further down on the page until after the election. My thinking is that until after the election it doesn't add much to have an empty box that has essentially the same info as the infobox. I was also thinking it might make sense to put the "MLA's Not Running Again" next to the "Candidates seeking nomination" because of the similar themes in those two sections.

So I propose the following order: Background, Timeline, Opinion Polls, Election summary, MLA's not running again, Candidates seeking nomination - what do people think? Arstoien (talk) 22:32, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

I don't see anything inherently bad with that order, except for consistency with the previous article, but that order doesn't make too much sense either. I'd also like to point out that the results table isn't the same as the infobox, because it mentions the independent, non-seated parties, and number of candidates (after nomination day). 117Avenue (talk) 06:46, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
I basically agree, but I think that in the short term we can justify divergence from the last election on the basis that this is a future election, and therefore has a somewhat different purpose. Anyway, should we find a nice, central location to discuss a standard order? -Rrius (talk) 09:43, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
So it sounds like people are open to the change - so I'll follow through with it. Feel free to continue the discussion here if anyone has further opinions Arstoien (talk) 21:53, 18 March 2012 (UTC)

Mentioning Seat Projections?[edit]

I would like to continue the discussion I was having with 117Avenue here, about mentioning projections. I think that they would add to the reader's understanding of the election (i.e. getting some idea of what a popular vote means in terms of legislative make-up) but should be treated with caution. There was a discussion here about the idea for the 2011 federal election, and there were arguments on both sides. However, there were no arguments against having links in a further reading section as a minimum. What do people think about this issue, and as we debate an outright section or subsection, would it be okay if I added a link or two under further reading? Arstoien (talk) 22:51, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

I'm uncomfortable with the idea. If we were to do it, we would need to be very explicit about the potential inaccuracy. In addition, my discomfort would become outright opposition if the projections did not come from an academic source or one that has developed a great reputation for doing this. For example, ThreeHundredEight is commonly cited, but its methodology is in flux and not always reliable. -Rrius (talk) 09:52, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
Threehundred eight is terrible at predictions. I did much better than him on my blog for the Fall elections. Of course, we don't source blogs on Wikipedia. -- Earl Andrew - talk 14:19, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
Yes, we do need to be very clear about the inherent inaccuracy, just as one should always mention the margin of error of a poll. I'm not too experienced in editing Wikipedia, but when does something become reliable enough to cite it? (For example, ThreeHundredEight is commonly cited in the Globe and Mail - see [1] and [2] for just two examples).
On the other hand, do people think that it would add to the understanding of the election to include what past popular votes have given in terms of seats or majority/minority outcomes? Arstoien (talk) 18:37, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
Maybe this is just my bitterness talking, but just because the Globe and Mail sources him (he actually writes for them from time to time), doesn't mean we should. He is not an expert in any way. He just uses mathematical formula to determine seat projections. That's not how your predict elections. If we are to look at any site, then we should look at electionpredictions.org, which has more of a qualitative model. Unfortunately, I don't think they'll be doing the Alberta election. In any event, due to the rise of the Wild Rose Party, and model is going to do terrible, anyways, especially if it relies solely on math. -- Earl Andrew - talk 18:56, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

Non-Random Opinion Polls[edit]

My own view is that the non-random opinion polls (witness the most recent one by Leger Marketing) are scientifically invalid, misleading and ought not to be posted. There is no lack of statistically valid polls that have been posted. The Leger Marketing poll and all other non-random polls should be removed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 98.143.100.244 (talk) 21:36, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

I agree if there are appropriate citations for the methodologies used. —GrantNeufeld (talk) 22:03, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

I've taken a tiny amount of statistics in university. As I understand it, there is a vast difference between non-random polls (unscientific and spurious) and random polls (valid). This is a basic principle in any statistics textbook. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 98.143.100.244 (talk) 22:22, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

It's not our job to decide which polls are valid or not, the Leger polls are being used by the media, and we should include them. The use of different techniques were discussed in Talk:Opinion polling in the Canadian federal election, 2011#House Effects, and the general consensus was that every company uses different methodology, and only polls from the same company can be compared to each other. This is what I've done with the graph. No one will know which poll is correct until election night. 117Avenue (talk) 04:35, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

I don't agree that the Leger polls are being reported in the media. Show me where. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 199.91.213.203 (talk) 13:59, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

Edmonton Journal, CTV Edmonton, Calgary Herald, The Globe and Mail, National Post, and a link that will work in the future. 117Avenue (talk) 00:55, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
What about adding a column to the table that distinguishes between random and non-random polls? I think it doesn't detract from the article to provide that information to the reader. 209.68.160.241 (talk) 00:14, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
Given that some of these "polls" are showing a high degree of bias by the companies conducting the poll, and that at least one of the listed polls comes in this chart from the company that was implicated in the phone-outs to Montreal saying that Irwin Colter was going to resign (under the guise of being a "poll"), and also given the large number of push-polls being used in this election, I think some discretion is necessary. Not everything that calls itself a "poll" is actually a poll. Abpolitico (talk) 05:38, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
No, everything that the media calls a poll, is a poll. The media is a reliable source. 117Avenue (talk) 03:28, 18 April 2012 (UTC)

The most important words in this whole discussion were the first three, "My own view". The IP editor who left the note is entitled to his or her opinion, but that does not mean anything for the article. The basic allegation is that Leger and unnamed polls are not random, but there is no explanation of what exactly is meant here by "non-random" or how the polls in question meet the definition. ABpolitico makes allegations against a company, without even bothering to name it, but doesn't seem to understand how polling companies work. The bit about push-polls is completely irrelevant as the results of push-polls aren't reported as polling in the media. As for the rest, I join 117Avenue: media reporting on polling is perfectly acceptable material for us to include. -Rrius (talk) 04:53, 18 April 2012‎ (UTC)

Collapsed nominated candidate tables[edit]

I thought that collapsing the nominated candidate tables would improve the readability of the article because presumably people would only be looking for certain candidates, not all of them, and it would also reduce the article length. What do people think? I attempted to make this change April 18th under the edit "Making the nominated candidate tables collapsed" if people want to see how it would look like. Arstoien (talk) 03:45, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

All this article is, is results by riding. If you remove these tables, there isn't much left, so I don't see readability improved. Articles on past elections, and for other provinces, don't collapse the tables, no one has thought hiding the article content, improves the article. 117Avenue (talk) 03:55, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
Personally, as an example of usage, my most frequent use of this article is looking up candidates & ridings, so I favour expanded tables for easy searching. —GrantNeufeld (talk) 18:22, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

Post-election changes[edit]

In light of the results coming in there will be a lot of changes to this page. Some thoughts I have:

  • I don't know wikipedia's policy on this, but could we post a link in the infobox to a source for live election results?
  • Is the average number of votes per candidate for each party, and the number of times each party finished 2nd, 3rd, etc. really notable? I would propose removing those two tables.
  • I think we should wait until results are in before adding all the results tables and graphs (but keep the summary table). In the mean time I've put tables and graphs below so we know how they'll look. Also, I would prefer a pie chart to a sideways bar chart for showing popular vote share and seat share (see below). Arstoien (talk) 17:49, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
So you are just going to throw out all the graphs and formatting that has been done for past elections, and in other provinces? You didn't think of proposing this before election day? I added all the graphs, and formatting from the previous election, so that they would be ready to go when results were in. The Elections Alberta website is linked, were live results will be available, Wikipedia does not host lists of media coverage, they would be incomplete, or bias. The graphs you have removed have been done elsewhere, and will be notable after the election results are in. I think the two bar graphs are used to compare the difference between seat percentages, and popular vote, which would be difficult for a pie. 117Avenue (talk) 23:32, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
I completely agree about linking to elections alberta, that was what I was referring to. I still favour the pie charts, and I would look forward to other's thoughts on this. Arstoien (talk) 18:28, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
Here are some possible graphs and charts we could put on the page

Vote and seat summaries

Popular vote
Wildrose
  
14%
PC
  
14%
New Democratic
  
14%
Liberal
  
14%
Alberta Party
  
14%
Independents
  
14%
Others
  
16%


Seat totals
Wildrose
  
25%
PC
  
25%
New Democratic
  
25%
Liberal
  
25%

By region

Party Calgary Edm. Leth. Red Deer North Central South Total
Wildrose Seats '
Popular vote
Progressive Conservative Seats '
Popular vote
New Democratic Seats '
Popular vote
Liberal Seats '
Popular vote
Total seats 25 19 2 2 11 18 10 87
Alberta Party Popular vote
Independents Popular vote
Evergreen Popular vote
Social Credit Popular vote
Communist Popular vote
Separation Popular vote
Circle frame.svg

Popular vote

  Wildrose (16%)
  PC (16%)
  New Democrat (16%)
  Liberal (16%)
  Alberta Party (16%)
  Other/Independents (20%)
Circle frame.svg

Seat totals

  Wildrose (25%)
  PC (25%)
  New Democrat (25%)
  Liberal (25%)

Arstoien (talk) 17:52, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

I think the only way to have a comparative pie chart is to make one, and upload it as an image. See File:Chartinguk20100506electionvotesandseats.png for example. 117Avenue (talk) 05:56, 25 April 2012 (UTC)

Infobox[edit]

I think it should only put the top 4 parties, since Alberta Party only got about 2%, didnt win a seat, and was essentially irrelevant. It also provides a clear contrast between the main two parties and the other two.--Metallurgist (talk) 04:47, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

Practice is to have any party that exchanged seats in the election. 117Avenue (talk) 04:52, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
I do not have a strong opinion on this, but would tend in favour of removing the Alberta Party - if they had elected an MLA in 2008 and had gotten more popular vote the case would be stronger to include them. Arstoien (talk) 20:01, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
You may be interested in the current discussion (there has been many), on minor parties, not exchanging seats, being in the infobox at Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject Political parties and politicians in Canada#Development of a policy for minor party inclusion in infoboxes. 117Avenue (talk) 06:00, 25 April 2012 (UTC)
There is no "practice" at all in that regard. Alberta Party didnt win a seat in 2008, any by election, or 2012, didnt clear 5%, wasnt even in the debates. Theres absolutely no sense in having them clutter the infobox. Plus, having it 2x2 makes a clearer contrast between the major and minor parties.--Metallurgist (talk) 01:30, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
Since you agree with me on the other page, Im going to change it here.--Metallurgist (talk) 04:03, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
Where did I say a party holding seats before an election shouldn't be in the infobox? 117Avenue (talk) 05:46, 30 April 2012 (UTC)

Redford's picture[edit]

I've reverted this twice now. Someone keeps replacing a newer (2011) picture with an older (2008) picture. What's the consensus? Hamiltonian (talk) 21:04, 25 April 2012 (UTC)

Newer if the pose is acceptable.--Metallurgist (talk) 00:39, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
Agreed, closer to the election date. 117Avenue (talk) 04:59, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
Check the edit summaries, because I have had to revert the same thing, and I think an IP editor has too. The editor who keeps putting up the old image, User:99.224.84.225, has been warned about unconstructive edits hear and at Leader of the Official Opposition (Canada). There may be a 3RR issue, but I leave it to you. -Rrius (talk) 07:05, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
Oh, that same pest, noted. 117Avenue (talk) 07:37, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

Showing the winner in the constituency table[edit]

The format for 2012 is almost the same as for 2008-- but the little colour for the winner's party in (a) much smaller in 2012 than in 2008; and (b) next to the winning candidate in 2008 (easier to see) and next to the riding name in 2012 (harder to see). I prefer the 2008 version... thoughts? --Hamiltonian (talk) 16:39, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

I also much prefer the 2008 version. It might also add to the tables to add some clearer sign of seats that changed parties, I was thinking by the candidate that won - perhaps a '*' or an 'X' in the little box of colour? Arstoien (talk) 21:49, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
I prefer the 2008 version, too, and if anyone wants to put the effort in, they are welcome to it as far as I am concerned. -Rrius (talk) 23:23, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
The 2008 version has been used in the past. However, I don't particularly like those templates, with formatting different than wikitable's standard look, extra "winning" columns, and the forced use of an "other" column. Bolding the winner would be the natural choice, however, in the past, and still currently, it is used to identify cabinet members. I also agree that the winning colour column is too thin, and makes it difficult to identify the PC and Wildrose colours. How about some sort of hybrid of the two versions?
Electoral District Candidates Incumbent
Progressive
Conservative
Wildrose Liberal NDP
       
Grande Prairie-Wapiti   Wayne Drysdale
6,710 (51.62%)
Ethane Jarvis
4,511 (34.71%)
Alya Nazarali
365 (2.81%)
Paula Anderson
1,208 (9.29%)
  Wayne Drysdale
Lac La Biche-St. Paul-Two Hills Ray Danyluk
5,417 (42.40%)
  Shayne Saskiw
5,950 (46.57%)
John Nowak
704 (5.51%)
Phil Johnson
706 (5.53%)
  Ray Danyluk
Lac La Biche-St. Paul
What do you think? 117Avenue (talk) 02:45, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
I quite like it. Only change I would suggest would be to shorten the height of the color bars under the party name. —GrantNeufeld (talk) 06:10, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
I don't think the width=100% is particularly useful. -Rrius (talk) 06:17, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

I attempted to do this in a very clear and visible way on April 24th, but it was reverted twice without any discussion for some reason. You can view my proposal here, which looks vastly superior to the above proposal, which is messy, confusing, and unclear. Note: the shades for each color I chose can be changed easily by changing the template codes. These are just the best shades I could come up with at the time.--Metallurgist (talk) 12:02, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

Rrius, they are both doable. Metallurgist, welcome to Canadian politics. Our wide range of election and parliamentary articles are already using a set of formatting and templates. In fact the template use has already gotten out of control, and Template:Canadian party colour is being developed to bring it all standardized again. I don't think we need more templates, and I suggest you use Template:Canadian party colour, instead of making Party shading/ templates for Canadian parties. In addition to not being apart of Canadian election article formatting, your proposed changes use the colours we are already using for the PC and Wildrose parties, which is too dark for text, and violates WP:CONTRAST. Also, cell background colour has come to mean that there is a code in place, see for example Template:Table cell templates/doc, where green is a positive result, and red is a negative result. In your proposal, a highlighted cell always means the same thing, won, which in my opinion, would be represented by a shade of yellow. This system of placing a coloured cell in the party's column has worked. 117Avenue (talk) 02:15, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
I like it --Þadius (talk) 06:12, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
117, did you not read where I said the shading can be modified for your "contrast" needs? It takes 5 seconds to change the template code. Ill do it if we can find a better color. As for your green/red argument, thats just plain silly. US elections have been using red shading for quite some time now with no confusion at all.--Metallurgist (talk) 03:23, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
Why would we use different colours to indicate the same party? And I disagree, the first time I saw it, I wanted to change it. 117Avenue (talk) 06:21, 30 April 2012 (UTC)

Opinion polls[edit]

It is doubtful that the various polls presented in the Opinion polls section are comparable. Each row shows a share of respondents to each party, but the share represented appears to be different. Different polling firms ask different questions. For example, Forum Research has data for "Decided / Leaning, Absolutely Certain to Vote Only". I'm not sure what that means, but it doesn't seem to simply represent shares of decided voters. --Chealer (talk) 15:43, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

That's the great thing about Wikipedia, we are the only place that puts all the opinion polls together. To quote Ahunt, "Since each party and media outlet have their own polling firm and ignore the others, what we have here is the best aggregate election polling webpage on the internet." I tried to reflect the discussions during the Canadian federal election above. 117Avenue (talk) 03:03, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure what you mean. It would obviously be great to present several polls together if they would all use the same question, but if not, the presentation needs to be either separate or careful. The article currently says:
The following is a summary of polling firms, used by Alberta's media, with percentages of decided voters whom had been asked for what party they would vote for.
Either the table needs to actually present nothing but percentages of decided voters, or the description needs to be amended. --Chealer (talk) 03:54, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
Are you suggesting the table isn't presenting the percentages of decided voters? Why? 117Avenue (talk) 04:00, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
I'm suggesting it's not only presenting that. For example, Forum Research has data for "Decided / Leaning, Absolutely Certain to Vote Only". --Chealer (talk) 21:47, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
I'm no statistician, but as far as I'm concerned, they're close enough. True, it is impossible to perfectly compare polling firms, they each do things differently, but if they didn't, there would be nothing to compare. I know that each firm swears by their methods, and that they believe the number that they put in super size, on the front page, is their best guess for the upcoming election. And that is the number I think we should put in a list of opinion polls. I think I know why you are targeting this article for questioning the display of polls, because they turned out to be wrong. The opinion polls themselves have turned into a part of this election. If you can find enough commentary about what happened, and write an unbiased encyclopaedic piece about it, I say go ahead. 117Avenue (talk) 05:32, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
"Doing things differently" does not necessarily prevent comparison. It really depends on what you mean by that. A polling firm interested in the pet market might call Canadians asking "Will you buy a pet?". Another firm may ask the same question to Canadians but via a web poll. Both polls would have different methods (in a sense), different respondents, and most probably different results. Yet they could both feature in the same table if we had an article on the pet market, since they ask the same question. However, if another firm interested in the pet market asks instead "If you have no pet, are you planning to buy one? If you have one, are you planning to buy another one before any of your current pets (if you have any) die?" then the results cannot be added to the same table as the one containing the results of the 2 polls above, unless that table is presented very carefully. The last poll may yield different results which wouldn't (only) represent an evolution of mindsets in time or a different sample population, but rather a difference in the question.
Polling firms usually do not publish newspapers. Many newspapers and other media will misuse statistics, but polling firms normally do nothing but publish statistics. They are well aware that statistics that focus only on decided voters will generally be far from the actual results. It would only be their best guesses if they hadn't pushed the polling further. Interpretations may have turned out to be wrong, polls didn't, generally speaking.--Chealer (talk) 18:30, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
I don't think this is like your example, an election has a hard deadline, either a person votes on election day, or not. When I said front page, I don't mean newspaper, I mean the pdfs that are linked to from the table. I think that the numbers that are being reported by the media, are the numbers that should be recorded here. Reporting by the media, is also how we tell if a poll is good. If you think that the media is unreliable, then you and I are never going to agree. 117Avenue (talk) 03:36, 3 June 2012 (UTC)
Ah, well, most of these PDFs do not even feature the numbers in super size on the front page. My point with the pet poll example wasn't to say the difference between the questions was similar. My point is that comparing answers with answers to the same question matters. If you want a closer example, imagine a firm again asks Canadians "Will you buy a pet?". Another firm first asks "Are you sure that you will or will not buy a pet?". Then, it asks respondents "Do you think you will buy a pet?". If the second firm only considers the answers from those who said they are sure, the results will surely be very different from the first firm's results.
Categorizing "the media" as either reliable or unreliable is a false dichotomy. Many media are unreliable, but some are indeed reliable (of course, "reliable" is also subjective). --Chealer (talk) 22:32, 3 June 2012 (UTC)

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