Contrarian is, well, contrary. Good for him! Quoth he:
Unfortunately, there are methodological problems with this analysis. Prior to the last election, most rural ridings were in Tory hands, and that’s where provincial highways are located. MacLean [sic] acknowledges this, but then miscounts the rural ridings by accepting a Wikipedia definition that excludes such urban ridings as Cape Breton North (Tory), South (Liberal), and Nova (NDP), as well as Glace Bay (Liberal). There are few provincial highways*, and only one paving project, in any of these ridings.Alrighty then. In addition to striking out the Wikipedia Halifax inset, let’s also strike the industrial Cape Breton one, which eliminates five more seats from consideration. The total for our “rural” seats held by the three parties, after the 2006 election, is now 21 Tories, 8 Dippers, and 6 Grits.
In doing this, we are also striking the (ultimately rejected) Keltic Drive proposal from consideration, which was in a Liberal-held district. Tory districts still end up being disproportionately favoured in the proposal put forward by the late Rodney government, viz.:
A B CWhere (A) is the percentage of rural seats held by each party, (B) is the percentage share of the number of projects put forward by the Rodney government, and (C) is the percentage share of the total dollar value of those projects.
PC 60% 74% 74%
Lib 17% 11% 11%
NDP 23% 14% 14%
But there’s another way of looking at these numbers that should eliminate any worries about defining what’s “rural” or “urban” on the electoral map. Again, let’s just consider the seats outside industrial Cape Breton, and where Metrobuses don’t run, or at least don’t run frequently. And let’s do it with a cleverly colour-coded map:
The colours follow the traditional partisan colour scheme, with the darker, saturated tone indicating districts in which Rodney put forward highways projects, and pale tones, districts where he did not.
Turning this map back into numbers, the Rodney government proposed work in two** out of six rural Liberal districts (33%); three** out of eight rural NDP districts (38%)… and 13 out of 21 rural PC districts.
That’s 62% of them.
What you have here is the Galilean telescope of pork-barrel pavement, in which the list of “priorities” is focused through not one, but two electoral lenses; the federal one was the subject of Contrarian’s original, also cartographic, posting. In short, this all looks like a reduced-scale model of the Peckford-Crosbie Roads for Rails plan, twenty years later and one province over.
* College Road in Truro, parallel to and one block south of Rte 4… is that a provincial highway?
** Or three and four, counting line-straddling projects which are mostly located in what were neighbouring PC districts.