# civics

## The Carbon Tax

I thought I'd take a moment to talk about Alberta's carbon tax and think aloud about what I think are some problems with how it is supposed to work. I am not an economist, nor do I know anything about government policy. So clearly I am the most qualified to spout opinions.

## The Problems with the Electoral College

It's been a crazy week of analysis on the US Presidential election and how it came to be that Trump won the Electoral College and Clinton won the popular vote. There are lots of threads to pull on, but I'm going to focus on one particular theory I read online: The Electoral College is skewed where some states, like Nebraska, have more EC votes than you would expect given it's population while others, like California, have many fewer. California, by population share alone, should have 11 more EC votes. So did this conspire to give Trump the election?

tags: elections,

## Making Sense of Probabilistic Forecasts -- 2016 Election Edition

The U.S. Presidential election was on Tuesday and the result was not what many people were expecting, to put it mildly. Let's take a voyage of discovery to find out how we ended up here, and what to make of the apparent failure of election forecasters to predict...this...

## Election Forecasting

We are in the final months of the 2016 US presidential election and people have gone a little nuts analyzing and overanalyzing the various election forecasts out there on the internets. I want to take a minute and explore what exactly the election forecasters are doing, using silly toy examples

tags: elections, statistical models,

## Transit Effectiveness redux

In a previous post I plotted some transit statistics and waved my hands around at the apparent and obvious correlation without doing any math. I figured I should re-address this and do some minimal statistics (what? I'm lazy) to show that there is some relation between transit usage and how easy it is to get around by transit (a shocking assertion). Part of the reason I didn't bother with any deeper analysis last time was that I figured my claim was obvious. But, on reflection, there is a lot going on there that could be analyzed to death, and since I have nothing to do this afternoon...

tags: transit, open data, python,

## The 2016 Census and Transit in Edmonton

Recently I've been posting about Edmonton Transit and drawing a lot of my data from the 2014 Edmonton Census. Well the 2016 census data is now available on the Edmonton Open Data Portal so I should take a peak and see what's changed.

tags: python, mapping, open data, transit,

## Transit Effectiveness as a Predictor of Ridership

Yesterday I put together some maps showing some results culled from google maps on how effective Edmonton Transit is vs driving in your own car. It looked pretty grim for the 'burbs, with average transit times being 20-30min longer than the equivalent trip by car (almost twice as long!). But I didn't really answer whether or not this any impact on actual transit ridership. Intuitively we think it should, but there are lots of other factors as well, such as economics. If you got no money you're still to take the bus (because it is cheaper than driving, slightly) even if it takes you hours.

tags: transit, open data, python,

## The Effectiveness of Edmonton Transit

I was having a conversation, the other day, about how much of a pain it is to take ETS to and from the 'burbs. I am a big fan of not driving as much as possible and I resisted owning and driving a car for years in Edmonton (notably when I lived downtown and either worked downtown or at the University) but no longer, I have a car. My particular breaking point was working in a business park that wasn't really transit accessible -- by bus, train, bus, and then walking my trip to work took over an hour each way, with a car that dropped to 20 minutes max. I figure this experience generalizes well and exlains why transit ridership is really low in Edmonton. Transit takes forever and it sucks, whereas everywhere is a 20-30min drive from everywhere else in this town.

tags: transit, open data, python, mapping,

## Playing around with Edmonton's Open Data Portal

Recently I sat down and made some maps of Edmonton with overlays for various and sundry bits of the census. This got me interested in looking into the API for the open data portal and seeing what I could do with that.

tags: socrata, open data, javascript, mapping,

## Finding the hot singles in my neighbourhood

I've been working on a project for the past few weeks that involves parsing a bunch of data sets to generate some aggregate statistics at the neighbourhood level in my hometown of Edmonton. Staring at tables of numbers and scrutinizing a ROC curve can only inspire you so much. Today I'm taking a break and making some maps of Edmonton's latest property values dataset and most recent city census (done in 2014).

tags: mapping, python, edmonton, open data,

## Vote switching in Alberta

Abacus data did some polling and it came up with some nice data that validates some of my wild hand-waving speculation about the recent provincial election.

tags: elections,

## Was it the PC party's election to lose?

I've been hearing a lot that this past election was the PC party's to lose, and that what we saw was not an "Orange Crush" as much as an ABC -- Anything But Conservative.

tags: elections, python, mapping,

## The closeness of the 2015 Alberta election

I was thinking, while I drove home today, about how close so many of the ridings seemed, and whether or not voter turn out was correlated to how contested a riding was.

tags: elections, python, pandas,

## Vote Splitting in Alberta

Alberta's big election was last night, and an orange wave overcame the province resulting in an NDP majority. This ends the 44 year reign of the Progressive Conservative party, and marks the fourth change in government in Alberta, ever, in 110 years. Yes only 4.

Anyways. For a long time …

tags: Elections, python, pandas,

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