Political maps and data for Canadian electors!

Here’s something that should give every political nerd hours of material to pore over. The Stephen Taylor Data Project is releasing some political maps, graphs, and census data for your consumption during this latest Canadian general election.

This efforts is the culmination of months of spare-time effort to package historical election results in an easy-to-digest format for Canadians during this 44th general election. You can browse every general election from 2019 back through the year 2000 (7 elections) and look at historical trends on each, with every riding map broken down by polling division.

Canada’s 43rd Parliament as elected in the 2019 General Election

Furthermore, you can create maps of each riding based on the relative strength of the party in each poll of each riding

If you’ve ever wanted to understand Liberal voting patterns, appreciate Conservative strongholds on a granular level, be facinated by the NDP’s local strategy, or track the Green Party’s and Bloc’s ebbs and flows, now you can! We’ve even got Alliance and PC results from the days of yore to bookend a re-emerging trend of some vote-splitting on the right that began again in 2019.

The riding of Burnaby South by polling division, after the 2015 general election

In 2000, Joe Clark led the PC Party prior to their merger with the Alliance. This map shows where he was strong (green) and weak (red) in Calgary Centre.

I’ve also combined data from the last census – perfectly segmented by riding – to give insights on what motivates voters. For example, income and affordability are top-of-mind issues for a lot of Canadians during this election. This project helps you consider these factors in each riding and compare these trends both nationally and provincially.

The population distributions of Desnethé–Missinippi–Churchill River (left) and Nanaimo–Ladysmith (right)
The differences between rental vs ownership in the riding of Spadina–Fort York (left) versus the province of Ontario as a whole (right)

I’ve also put up historical polling data that you can browse and I have a visualization demonstrating the rise, fall, and sustained dominance of Canada’s various political parties, as elected by voters to Canada’s federal Parliament.

A streamgraph visualization of Canada’s history of elections.

You can take a snapshot of each map by clicking the camera icon 📷 at the top of each geographic visualization. The images I’ve shared in this post were created this way. Go ahead and take snapshots of your favourite ridings (and favourite elections!) and share these images on social media. If you’re writing for a news outlet and you find any of this useful, please link to this post and to the Stephen Taylor Data Project! If you’re an avid twitter user, please tweet about this project.

So, please take a look and I hope that you enjoy! This work is being made available to general public and to every partisan of every party. I believe very strongly in a more representative democracy and believe that when more data becomes available and accessible that describes the shape of the Canadian vote, the more responsive our candidates can be in meeting that representation.

The riding of Nanaimo–Ladysmith in British Columbia, 2015 results

The project was coded using ReactJS, using both NoSQL (MongoDB) and relational (MySQL) databases to serve data through a common GraphQL layer facilitated by Apollo client on a Node.js server. Four gigabytes of GeoJSON files were constructed locally using some more of that server-side javascript magic. Those files are served via AWS S3, and are visualized for the end-user using the Leaflet library. Infographics SVGs are assembled using D3JS.

Liberals use CBSA for translation services

Ottawa has been scandal-prone of late in its inappropriate use of taxpayer dollars. Here we have a story about the inappropriate use of government resources for partisan activity. Such abuse has come to light after documents were released under Access to Information. They describe a request from an official with the Vanier Liberal Electoral District Association for translation to Hélène-Louise Gauthier, the Director of HQ Accommodations for the Infrastructure and Environmental Operations Directorate for the Canadian Border Services Agency.

This request from the Liberal Party was fulfilled using a Government of Canada email address. It is unknown if this was done on government time despite government resources being used to respond to the request. The translated document was the agenda for the 2013 Liberal Ottawa-Vanier AGM.

Of course, it is inappropriate for government officials to be using government resources to do partisan work. I reached out to the Minister of Public Safety for comment. The Minister’s Office verified the documents and Julie Carmichael, the Vic Toews’s director of communications replied,

“We were shocked to learn that senior Liberal MP Mauril Belanger utilized a backroom Liberal operative to do partisan work at taxpayers expense. The CBSA is looking into this blatant misuse of taxpayer dollars. We call on Justin Trudeau to immediately discipline Mauril Belanger for this inappropriate behaviour and come clean to Canadians about any other backroom operatives using taxpayer dollars.”

A media firestorm broke out after it was revealed that the Prime Minister’s Office used taxpayers resources to make a political attack against the leader of Canada’s third party in Parliament, Justin Trudeau. Revealed via the Barrie Examiner, the attack was political but wasn’t done on behalf of a political organization outside of government. However in this CBSA example, taxpayer dollars were used directly to benefit the administrative goals of a partisan organization.

This is awkward…

Jane Taber writes,

Michael Ignatieff’s Liberals are offering up big prizes – tickets to Ottawa Senators games and even a $150 gift certificate to Hy’s Steakhouse – to round up volunteers to help them identify the Grit vote in upcoming by-elections.

But this odd pitch for help has some Liberals wondering where the Grit spirit has gone. Why do volunteers have to be cajoled?

How very awkward. Volunteer appreciation is one thing, but with Hy’s? A good Liberal lobbyist or lawyer dining at Hy’s can bill $150 in less time than it takes to finish the gorganzola filet mignon and double-baked potato.