"We can't allow things that are inaccurate to stand." — The Word of Our Dan, February 19, 2008.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

The view from 40,000 feet

Imagine you are an alien, sent from another planet to observe the 2011 Newfoundland and Labrador provincial election.

Hovering seven and a half miles above the surface of the earth just south of St. John's, your technology allows you to geographically visualize the results of the election, on a detailed poll-by-poll basis, by intercepting and scraping the data just as fast as it is reported by officials, to the news consortium on the surface.

This is what your console would have shown you as the data streamed in from the capital and its suburbs. The harbour and downtown area are near the middle right of the image, with Bell Island at upper left.

Your alien console shows each polling division, with the winning party, and the strength of its win, depicted using traditional colours. There are a few tied polls (shown in light grey), with no colour at all being draped over terrain that is either unpopulated or non-residential.

And while some people might have wondered why there were so many dour Tory faces on election night, and in the days and weeks that followed — they won, after all — the view from 40,000 feet offers a few clues.

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