First-Past-the-Post turns Canadians off politics

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nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

Winston wrote:

Indeed, I actually prefer FPTP to PV.  I believe that PV will only exacerbate what I perceive as the flaws of FPTP, specifically their tendency to produce and entrench two-party systems

A common misperception among PR true-believers is that PV leads to a two-party system. The opposite, in fact, is true.

Australia uses PV and has four right-leaning parties. 

Compare this to the 1990s when there were two right-of-center parties in Canada: Reform and PC. FPP vote-splitting produced perpetual Liberal majority governments.  

Obviously, if we had PV back then, the two parties could've remained intact. That would've offered conservatives much better representation than they have now.

The two parties merged into the Conservative party. Now people are saying the center-left parties have to merge to prevent the Conservatives from becoming Canada's natural governing party. What an absurd way to get a proper election outcome!

PV puts a stop to vote splitting and party mergers. FPP tends to create a two-party system because that's the only time it produces democratic election results.

socialdemocrati...

NakedApe, you have to ask yourself if you're being productive here. I came in here skeptical of PV, but open to the argument, and understanding of people who see it as an incremental strategy on the way to real proportional representation. I now find myself less sympathetic towards PV, and more likely to see it as entrenching a problem than actually fixing anything.

There isn't a problem with the civility of the debate. All things considered, the Canadian debate is pretty civil compared to most other countries. The fact that representatives are tied to regionalist factions is a bug of the current system, not a feature. It's exactly the thing that led to Bloc dominance in Quebec and Hard-Right dominance in Alberta. There are numerous people there who are effectively disenfranchised, even in ridings where the Bloc or the Reform/Conservatives won "legitimate" majorities (instead of pluralities). Who speaks for them?

I can't be TOO frustrated that the Liberal party is only advocating electoral reform now that they're losing. You can just as easily point the same finger at the NDP or the Greens advocating PR. But you get the feeling that the only problem most people see with the electoral system is that the Conservatives are winning. As if we might drop the whole topic if the Conservatives became divided again, and the Liberals went back to winning illegitimate super-majorities. As if it wouldn't matter that the West and Quebec might be dominated by single-party rule, when they're anything but monolithic.

Wilf Day

Winston wrote:
Why don't we hold a referendum first with the choices being PV, MMP, STV and FPTP?

Exactly as New Zealand did in 2011:

Keep MMP: 56.17%

If system is to be changed:

FPTP: 31.19%

Supplementary Member (the parallel system also called Mixed Member Majoritarian) 16.14%

STV 11.19%

Preferential Voting (PV) 8.34%.

No second choice: 33.14%

Not much interest in PV among voters who have seen an intensive debate on all the options.

Rikardo

Thanks nA42 for Trudeau's position and the news that AV could have denied a majority to the Cons P in 2011.  Introducing PV/AV by legislation will be a step towards PR based on first choices, favouring the smaller parties.  Its MORE DEMOCRATIC to give people a second choice.

NZers naturally prefered to keep MMP.  Dion wanted his version of a "perfect" system.  I was the only delegate from the county of Levis that regretfully (now) voted for him in 2006.  Without the second round we'd have had Iggy. He'd have been defeated in the next federal  election and maybe Bob Rae or another would have kept the Conservatives from their 2011 majority

 

chamberred

Wilf Day wrote:

Winston wrote:
Why don't we hold a referendum first with the choices being PV, MMP, STV and FPTP?

Exactly as New Zealand did in 2011

Interesting how FPP was the second choice after MMP, and ahead of PV, STV and supplementary member.

chamberred

nakedApe42 wrote:

Many Canadians feel PR is too extreme and simply believe PV is the right choice.[**]

**Citation needed. PR = too extreme???

nakedApe42 wrote:

Winston wrote:

Indeed, I actually prefer FPTP to PV.  I believe that PV will only exacerbate what I perceive as the flaws of FPTP, specifically their tendency to produce and entrench two-party systems

A common misperception among PR true-believers is that PV leads to a two-party system. The opposite, in fact, is true.

I do see the points you are making, nakedApe. But I think PV would lead to, if not a two-party system, then a two-camp system. The only difference from FPP being that the coalitions are made explicitly through elections, instead of through "big-tent" party convention mechanisms.

Many first preferences, and a diversity of views, will not be represented with PV.

The world is changing ultra-rapidly. A diverse range of voices needs to be heard at top levels of government, and considered in a civil, not partisan, manner, for the greatest good.

Rikardo

Do anti-PVers like chamberred that a second choice (PV) which means your not elected without 50% is LESS DEMOCRATIC than FPTP ?

PV (fairly simple) first then Proportional (big change)

Rikardo

Do anti-PVers like chamberred that a second choice (PV) which means your not elected without 50% is LESS DEMOCRATIC than FPTP ?

PV (fairly simple) first then Proportional (big change)

Rikardo

Do anti-PVers like chamberred that a second choice (PV) which means your not elected without 50% is LESS DEMOCRATIC than FPTP ?

PV (fairly simple) first then Proportional (big change)

Winston

Ra ra, Trudeau! PV rocks!

This conversation is going in circles, and is simply confirming my suspicion that Liberals are using PV as a gimmick to distract progressive voters from a serious discussion about electoral reform.

Ippurigakko

Australian PV in 2007
Labor 83 seats (76 need majority seats)
Coalition 65 seats (Liberal 55, NPA 10)
Independents 2 seats
no Green seats but only one seat in 2010
two party preferred vote
Labor 52.7%
Liberal 47.3%

NZ MMP in 2011
National 59 seats (61 need majority)
Labour 34 seats
Green 14 seats
NZ First 8 seats
Maaori 3 seats
Mana 1 seat
ACT 1 seat

 

PV is more like FPTP!

Policywonk

Ippurigakko wrote:

Australian PV in 2007
Labor 83 seats (76 need majority seats)
Coalition 65 seats (Liberal 55, NPA 10)
Independents 2 seats
no Green seats but only one seat in 2010
two party preferred vote
Labor 52.7%
Liberal 47.3%

NZ MMP in 2011
National 59 seats (61 need majority)
Labour 34 seats
Green 14 seats
NZ First 8 seats
Maaori 3 seats
Mana 1 seat
ACT 1 seat

 

PV is more like FPTP!

You can't make such a conclusion on one comparison. 

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

I can't be TOO frustrated that the Liberal party is only advocating electoral reform now that they're losing. You can just as easily point the same finger at the NDP or the Greens advocating PR. But you get the feeling that the only problem most people see with the electoral system is that the Conservatives are winning. As if we might drop the whole topic if the Conservatives became divided again, and the Liberals went back to winning illegitimate super-majorities.

You can count on that happening. Partisans like FPP because it gives them the easy win: absolute power on 39% of the vote. 
The reality is that people are not outraged when a Liberal government has unfettered power. That's because the Liberals are moderates. But when obnoxious conservatives have 100% of the power, the problem with the system becomes painfully obvious. How do you think New Zealand won a PR referendum?

We have a small window of opportunity to get something done here. But it's not going to be PR. The business community hates PR. The corporate media hates PR. PR has gone down in flames in 4 provincial referendums. It doesn't have solid support among the public. It's not supported by either of the major parties.

We can, however, make our existing Westminster system democratic in the meantime. That will stop vote splitting. Eliminate party mergers. Eliminate the spoiler effect. Moderate the debate. Punish polarizing politics. Reduce fake majorities. Force parties to reach out beyond their base for alternative votes, increasing representation. 

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

NakedApe, you have to ask yourself if you're being productive here. I came in here skeptical of PV, but open to the argument, and understanding of people who see it as an incremental strategy on the way to real proportional representation. I now find myself less sympathetic towards PV, and more likely to see it as entrenching a problem than actually fixing anything.

My main concern is debunking the misinformation PR true-believers spread about the ranked ballot and getting out the facts. I am a PR supporter. But I'm not an all-or-nothing type. And I respect Canadians who think PV is best. 

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

Wilf Day wrote:

Winston wrote:
Why don't we hold a referendum first with the choices being PV, MMP, STV and FPTP?

Exactly as New Zealand did in 2011:

Keep MMP: 56.17%

If system is to be changed:

FPTP: 31.19%

Supplementary Member (the parallel system also called Mixed Member Majoritarian) 16.14%

STV 11.19%

Preferential Voting (PV) 8.34%.

No second choice: 33.14%

Not much interest in PV among voters who have seen an intensive debate on all the options.

The interest for PV is stronger in Canada given PR has lost 4 provincial referendums. 

FVC should not have got suckered into supporting 4 referendums with a 60% threshold. And if we would've had NZ-style two-part referendums, FPP wouldn't have benefited from invisible option vote-splitting which also caused the UK referendum to go down in flames.

But here are the facts on NZ referendums:

The first two-part referendum was in 1993 (after a disatrous neo-con majorities). 

Q1: Keep FPP: 15%; Change system: 85%

Q2: Prefered voting method:

PV: 7%; MMP: 71%; STV 17%

Next part: FPP/MPP runoff election:

MMP: 54%; FPP: 46%

Note how support for MMP and change dropped way down after the business commuity started up its fear mongering campaign. To get a taste of what we'll face here in Canada, check out how the Toronto Star despises PR

In 2011, NZ had a referendum on whether to keep MMP. It would appear NZers were happy with the system, support went up:

MMP: 58%, FPP: 

Bacchus

Well now we know naked is a shill for the liberals.  'moderate' Liberals?

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

Rikardo wrote:

Thanks nA42 for Trudeau's position and the news that AV could have denied a majority to the Cons P in 2011.  Introducing PV/AV by legislation will be a step towards PR based on first choices, favouring the smaller parties.  Its MORE DEMOCRATIC to give people a second choice.

NZers naturally prefered to keep MMP.  Dion wanted his version of a "perfect" system.  I was the only delegate from the county of Levis that regretfully (now) voted for him in 2006.  Without the second round we'd have had Iggy. He'd have been defeated in the next federal  election and maybe Bob Rae or another would have kept the Conservatives from their 2011 majority

I think, considering 4 PR referendums have lost, it's better to take a more cautious approach to electoral reform.

First step is to make our existing Westminster system democratic. Since it only changes the ballot from single-choice to ranked, a party-platform mandate will suffice. Since there is no referendum, it's not the final word.

Next, hold a PV/PR referendum. That way we have a fall-back plan.

The only reason, I can think of, that some PR supporters would be against this plan is because they fear Canadians would choose PV over PR. That's why they try to eliminate the option. But obviously, it's better to eliminate the undemocratic FPP option that arbitrarily doles out power to minority candidates and parties saddling Canadians with politicians and governments they don't want and didn't vote for.  

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

chamberred wrote:

Interesting how FPP was the second choice after MMP, and ahead of PV, STV and supplementary member.

Conservatives support FPP. That's the only way they'll get absolute corrupt power on a minority of the vote. 

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

chamberred wrote:

nakedApe42 wrote:

Many Canadians feel PR is too extreme and simply believe PV is the right choice.[**]

**Citation needed. PR = too extreme???

The Torstar corporation certainly believes PR is too extreme.  

chamberred wrote:

I do see the points you are making, nakedApe. But I think PV would lead to, if not a two-party system, then a two-camp system. The only difference from FPP being that the coalitions are made explicitly through elections, instead of through "big-tent" party convention mechanisms.

The same can be said of PR countries that have typical coalitions: like the CDU/CSU and FDP parties in Germany that form typical right-leaning governments.

There's a huge difference between right-wing and left-wing coalition governments and single-party fake majorities.

If we had PV back in 2004, the Reform and PC parties would not have had to unite. Now moderate conservatives are marginalized under the Conservative party. Many are forced to vote Liberal. If we had a Reform/PC majority government now, it would be much different than "Harperland." Much more open, transparent and accountable, representing an actual majority of voters.

chamberred wrote:

Many first preferences, and a diversity of views, will not be represented with PV.

The world is changing ultra-rapidly. A diverse range of voices needs to be heard at top levels of government, and considered in a civil, not partisan, manner, for the greatest good.

I agree PR is the superior system. But PV is leaps and bounds above undemocratic FPP. If we can fix our existing Westminster system on a party platform, there is no reason to oppose it. It does not lessen the chances of PR winning a future PR/PV referendum.

The worst thing we can do is have another PR/FPP referendum. Invisible option voting splitting allows FPP to win

 

 

Bacchus

nakedApe42 wrote:

chamberred wrote:

Interesting how FPP was the second choice after MMP, and ahead of PV, STV and supplementary member.

Conservatives support FPP. That's the only way they'll get absolute corrupt power on a minority of the vote. 

 

After they wrested it from the corrupt power liberals who now support pv cuz they cant get a majority any other way

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

Winston wrote:

Ra ra, Trudeau! PV rocks!

This conversation is going in circles, and is simply confirming my suspicion that Liberals are using PV as a gimmick to distract progressive voters from a serious discussion about electoral reform.

Serious discussions are based on facts.

One has to wonder why some PR supporters are so zealously opposed to the ranked ballot. (Same system all parties used to elect their leaders.) That they would choose FPP over PV appears to be based on spite: if they can't have it their way they want to drag everyone else down with them. 

The fact is PV is a huge improvement over FPP. It's not as good as PR. But clearly the best option for electoral reformers is to have a two-way PR/PV referendum, getting undemocratic FPP out of the picture.

How progressive is it having a corrupt voting system that will make a united Conservative party Canada's natural governing party of the 21st century?? Especially when it's against the wishes of the vast majority of Canadians? Makes no sense, whatsoever.

wage zombie

I see no facts in the above post.

Winston

nakedApe42 wrote:

Winston wrote:

Ra ra, Trudeau! PV rocks!

This conversation is going in circles, and is simply confirming my suspicion that Liberals are using PV as a gimmick to distract progressive voters from a serious discussion about electoral reform.

Serious discussions are based on facts.

As Wage Zombie notes, the pro-PV posts on this discussion ceased to be about facts some time ago.  Continually repeating the same talking points over and over is not a discussion.

nakedApe42 wrote:

One has to wonder why some PR supporters are so zealously opposed to the ranked ballot. (Same system all parties used to elect their leaders.) That they would choose FPP over PV appears to be based on spite: if they can't have it their way they want to drag everyone else down with them.

I have not seen any zealotry at all from any PR supporters on this forum: most of our comments (some from very knowledgeable experts on the topic like Wilf Day) simply reject PV for very rational reasons which have already been thoroughly outlined.

The fact that you are not finding much agreement for your talking points in spite of their having been reiterated ad nauseum has nothing to do with zealotry

nakedApe42 wrote:

The fact is PV is a huge improvement over FPP.

No, that is not a fact, as has been discussed.  I and many others believe, with reason, that FPTP is superior to PV.

nakedApe42 wrote:

It's not as good as PR. But clearly the best option for electoral reformers is to have a two-way PR/PV referendum, getting undemocratic FPP out of the picture.

No, I disagree.  Sidestepping democracy by not allowing the advocates of FPTP to have their voices heard is not a cure for the ills in our democratic system.  I do not believe a system is undemocratic simply because it hasn't been producing the results I want (I guess that's what separates me from Liberals).  I believe strongly in PR, but am not willing to force it on an unwilling electorate.  If I truly believe MMP or STV is a valuable improvement, it is my job to convince my fellow citizens why.

nakedApe42 wrote:

How progressive is it having a corrupt voting system that will make a united Conservative party Canada's natural governing party of the 21st century?? Especially when it's against the wishes of the vast majority of Canadians? Makes no sense, whatsoever.

That the voting system is not as fair and equitable as I would like ABSOLUTELY DOES NOT make it corrupt.  As an aside, is your issue with FPTP actually that it is unfair, or is it simply your perception that it has started making the Conservatives a "natural governing party" at the expense of the Liberals?  

Incidentally, a Liberal government would also be at odds with the "wishes of the vast majority of Canadians," but I guess that is okay, as long as they are willing to legislate a regressive change to the way they themselves are re-elected without a referendum.

socialdemocrati...

nakedApe42 wrote:

The first two-part referendum was in 1993 (after a disatrous neo-con majorities). 

Q1: Keep FPP: 15%; Change system: 85%

Q2: Prefered voting method:

PV: 7%; MMP: 71%; STV 17%

Next part: FPP/MPP runoff election:

MMP: 54%; FPP: 46%

In 2011, NZ had a referendum on whether to keep MMP. It would appear NZers were happy with the system, support went up:

MMP: 58%, FPP: 

This seems like a winning strategy. But I still don't see the need for a referendum. It's not like the Conservatives put any of their policies to a referendum to find a real majority. If we throw the Conservatives out, we should just start reforming the government, starting with the voting system. That way future governments WILL have a real majority, regardless of which party it is.

Wilf Day

Winston wrote:

Ra ra, Trudeau! PV rocks!

This conversation is going in circles, and is simply confirming my suspicion that Liberals are using PV as a gimmick to distract progressive voters from a serious discussion about electoral reform.

Some Liberals, yes. If Naked Ape actually likes PR (as he claims on this board) he should help Liberals for Fair Voting keep the Liberal Party open to PR, or even endorse it. Just as Liberals for Fair Voting tried to do during the leadership campaign.

The Liberal Convention is February 21 – 23, 2014, in Montreal. Will that convention really slam the door on Bob Rae, Stephane Dion, Joyce Murray, Carolyn Bennett, Lloyd Axworthy, and many other Liberals, who all advocate PR? Currently the Liberal Party policy is open to PR:

Quote:
Liberals stand for open, fair, and strong democratic representation.

The Liberal Party of Canada believes that Parliament should belong to the people instead of the Prime Minister. Liberals are committed to exploring Parliamentary and Electoral reform in order to realign our institutions with democratic principles and to ensure more meaningful and effective representation.

Keeping the Liberal Party open to PR will be vital if the 2015 election result requires post-election cooperation on electoral reform between the NDP and the Liberals.

But Naked Ape is, instead, arguing that progressives should give up on PR. He`s on the wrong side of the debate.  

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

Winston wrote:

The fact that you are not finding much agreement for your talking points

In other words, you are unable to support your position with facts and logic so you dismiss opposing arguments as "talking points." 

Winston wrote:

No, that is not a fact, as has been discussed.  I and many others believe, with reason, that FPTP is superior to PV.

You have yet to make the case that the plurality ballot is superior to the ranked ballot. Saying it's "WORSE" with capital letters is not a well-reasoned argument. Either is calling it "asinine." 

Of course all parties use the ranked ballot to ensure their leaders are democratically elected. I'm sure you PR true-believers — who make up the vast majority of Canadians, no doubt — will show them the error of their ways.

Winston wrote:

Sidestepping democracy by not allowing the advocates of FPTP to have their voices heard is not a cure for the ills in our democratic system.

Why, then, did PR devotees support 4 provincial referendums that cut out all other options besides FPP and PR? Why do they want to do it again with a fifth (and final) national referendum that's sure to crash and burn like the others? (Blowing all hope of bringing PR to Canada…)

BTW, when the Liberals run on PV, the upgrade certainly won't be "sidestepping democracy" if they're elected on it. 

Winston wrote:

I do not believe a system is undemocratic simply because it hasn't been producing the results I want (I guess that's what separates me from Liberals).

For one, I'm not a Liberal. I've supported the incremental approach to voting reform long before the Liberals supported PV ranked ballot.

Second, you clearly have no idea what democracy is. It's about producing the results the people want. Democracy means rule by the people. The only way to determine the will of the people is with a majority vote. FPP doles out power to arbitrary minority parties and candidates — the opposite of democracy. The ranked ballot, at least, ensures MPs are democratically elected (with a majority.) 

Winston wrote:

That the voting system is not as fair and equitable as I would like ABSOLUTELY DOES NOT make it corrupt.  As an aside, is your issue with FPTP actually that it is unfair, or is it simply your perception that it has started making the Conservatives a "natural governing party" at the expense of the Liberals?

Putting something in capital letters absolutely does not make a weak argument any more valid. FPP is corrupt because it's undemocratic. That's the entire basis for electoral reform, for God's sake!

Elizabeth May wants electoral cooperation to stop Harper from getting another majority against the wishes of the vast majority of Canadians. It has nothing to do with the Liberal party. It's the corrupt, undemocratic election result that's the problem.

 

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

Ippurigakko wrote:

Australian PV in 2007
Labor 83 seats (76 need majority seats)
Coalition 65 seats (Liberal 55, NPA 10)
Independents 2 seats
no Green seats but only one seat in 2010
two party preferred vote
Labor 52.7%
Liberal 47.3%

...

PV is more like FPTP!

The Coalition is comprised of four center-right parties. That's what coalition means. PV (ranked ballot) allows many parties to exist without vote splitting weakening their position.

In the 1990s, vote splitting between two right-leaning parties in Canada (Reform and PC) enabled the Liberals to win perpetual fake majorities. If we had PV back then, they wouldn't have needed to merge into the Conservative party (which is now bringing pressure upon the Liberals and NDP to merge.)

PV stops the merger insanity, and is clearly leaps and bounds above corrupt FPP.

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

Bacchus wrote:

Well now we know naked is a shill for the liberals.  'moderate' Liberals?

That's a non sequitur. I'm a non-partisan Keynesian. I also consider the NDP and Green parties moderate.

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

Wilf Day wrote:

Keeping the Liberal Party open to PR will be vital if the 2015 election result requires post-election cooperation on electoral reform between the NDP and the Liberals. But Naked Ape is, instead, arguing that progressives should give up on PR. He`s on the wrong side of the debate.

The Liberals voted 73% in favor of PV at their last convention. The electoral reform debate in Canada is between PV and PR. I am a PR supporter, but I'm not going to claim Canadians who prefer PV are on the wrong side of the debate.

The fact is PR doesn't have the required support to win a referendum at present. It has lost by over 60% in the last 3 provincial referendums. The NDP should team up with the Liberals and help fix our existing Westminster system with the ranked ballot first. Next step, build support for a winnable PR/PV referendum.

PR true-believers are Pollyannas with zero political savvy. They don't realize they are mucking up all hope of bringing PR to Canada by rushing into lopsided referendums without the solid grassroots support required for change. These people are on the wrong side of the electoral reform debate: they are helping the FPP side win (i.e. Conservatives.)  

JKR

Wilf Day wrote:
Keeping the Liberal Party open to PR will be vital if the 2015 election result requires post-election cooperation on electoral reform between the NDP and the Liberals.

The Conservatives should also be a part of the electoral reform process which is just one part of the overall democratic reform process that Canada needs to undertake. Canada urgently requires democratic reform to its 19th century political system made for two-party politics. We need a fair electoral system for modern multi-party politics but we also need other important democratic reforms that include parliamentary reform, senate abolition/reform, greater transparency, and greater accountability. It would be best if the NDP, Liberals, and Conservatives could negotiate with each other and come to an agreement on overall democratic reform. There seems to be factions within the Conservative party that might be open to democratic reform. Libertarians, social conservatives and red tories might all welcome electoral reform as it would give these groups a greater voice. The NDP, Liberals, and Conservatives could agree to "MMP-light" especially if it were included amongst other democratic reforms like Senate reform and parliamentary reform. All 3 parties want some type of democratic reform so there is incentive for them to come together and bargain with each other. "MMP-light" seems to be the system that could be the compromise solution all 3 parties could agree to alongside other democratic reforms. Maybe the Conservatives could go along with some kind of PR if they could get some kind of Senate reform in return?

If the process of democratic reform is done right, good results should naturally follow. That means allowing the gretest amount of people from as many viewpoints as possible to participate within an evidence based approach.

JKR

nakedApe42 wrote:
The NDP should team up with the Liberals and help fix our existing Westminster system with the ranked ballot first.

The NDP aren't supporting PV because PV would likely favour Liberal prospects over the prospects of the NDP (and Conservatives). As things have stood historically within Canadian federal politics, PV would tend to move NDP majorities toward NDP minorities, NDP minorities toward Liberal minorities, Conservative majorities toward Conservative minorities, Conservative minorities toward Liberal minorities,  and Liberal minorities toward Liberal majorities. So understandably the NDP and Conservatives are not keenly supporting PV.

The results of the next election in 2015 will determine which party has a better negotiating position over democratic reform vis a vis the other political parties. If the NDP and Liberals put electoral reform into their political platforms, they'll have the ability to implement their version of electoral reform within their first term if they win a majority government. If a minority situation occurs, some give and take between the parties will have to happen in order to establish electoral reform.

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

JKR wrote:

The Conservatives should also be a part of the electoral reform process which is just one part of the overall democratic reform process that Canada needs to undertake.

Most Conservative supporters favor FPP because it gives the Conservative party a huge advantage. According to a recent EKOS poll and seat projection, the LPC would get 112 seats on 30% of the vote; the CPC would get 126 seats on 28% of the vote.

The positions of each party are: NDP and GPC: PR; LPC: ranked ballot; CPC: FPP.

I think PV ranked ballot would interest moderate conservatives. It would allow them to get back their own party without vote-splitting benefiting the Liberals. (Australia has 4 right-leaning parties.)

PV is the easiest reform to bring about. It only changes the ballot from single-choice to ranked. It's a good first step in electoral reform and is not the final word. It would set the stage for a PR/PV referendum, cutting undemocratic FPP out of the picture.

All-party agreement seems very unlikely. New Zealand got PR due to outrage against a neo-con govenrment. Harper is the poster-boy for electoral reform in Canada.

 

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

JKR wrote:

nakedApe42 wrote:
The NDP should team up with the Liberals and help fix our existing Westminster system with the ranked ballot first.

The NDP aren't supporting PV because PV would likely favour Liberal prospects over the prospects of the NDP (and Conservatives). As things have stood historically within Canadian federal politics, PV would tend to move NDP majorities toward NDP minorities, NDP minorities toward Liberal minorities, Conservative majorities toward Conservative minorities, Conservative minorities toward Liberal minorities,  and Liberal minorities toward Liberal majorities. So understandably the NDP and Conservatives are not keenly supporting PV.

Actually the NDP stands to benefit a great deal from PV ranked ballot. No doubt, some people believe that since the Liberal party is the middle party they will benefit from NDP and Conservative alternative votes. But the reality is much more complex.

For one, FPP tends to produce polarizing election outcomes. Centrist voters tend to want to back the winning horse. They don't want to waste their vote on the minor party. They don't want vote-splitting to let the conservative party win. So they tend to vote Liberal. This perpetuates the Liberals as the major party and the NDP as the minor party.

But PV will put an end to this. Instead of parties competing for the entire vote, they are just competing for the #1 spot. Since it makes little difference to a voter who they rank #1 and #2, this allows the NDP to become a major player that forms governments.

Second, Conservatives tend to hate the Liberal party and want to see it destroyed. Most will not give the Liberals alternative votes.

Under FPP, a center-left party needs about 28% of the vote to get proportional seats or better. Under PV, it's less than 24% and without the major/minor party distortion it would be much easier for the NDP to achieve. 

DVC: Ranked Ballot will make NDP a real player

 

JKR

nakedApe42 wrote:
Actually the NDP stands to benefit a great deal from PV ranked ballot.

But the NDP stands to benefit more from PR.

JKR

nakedApe42 wrote:
The positions of each party are: NDP and GPC: PR; LPC: ranked ballot; CPC: FPP.

I think PV ranked ballot would interest moderate conservatives. It would allow them to get back their own party without vote-splitting benefiting the Liberals. (Australia has 4 right-leaning parties.)

PV is the easiest reform to bring about. It only changes the ballot from single-choice to ranked. It's a good first step in electoral reform and is not the final word. It would set the stage for a PR/PV referendum, cutting undemocratic FPP out of the picture.

All-party agreement seems very unlikely. New Zealand got PR due to outrage against a neo-con govenrment. Harper is the poster-boy for electoral reform in Canada.

Why prejudge where discussions between the parties might go? PR and PV will both be in contention if the NDP and/or Liberals find themselves in government in 2015. Why give up on one possible system before consultations even begin? Maybe the fear of PR could scare Conservatives into supporting PV so keeping PR on the agenda might actually favour PV?

My guess is that a process of electoral reform that would be inclusive, open, and transparent would end up supporting "MMP-light" but I wouldn't be shocked if such a process ended up favoring PV.  The supporters of FPTP have a lot to fear from an open, inclusive, and transparent process of evaluating which electoral system is best for Canadians. I think it's even more important to support establishing an open democratic process of reviewing electoral systems than to support a particular electoral system. The electoral reform movement would be best served supporting an inclusive, open, and transparent process of establishing electoral reform than supporting one particular electoral system. The democratic process of establishing electoral reform should open up a national conversation on electoral reform. Politicians, experts on electoral reforms, and regular citizens should be able to make their cases for the electoral system they support. Determining which electoral system is the best should be done through a political process of give and take where everyone is given a fair hearing and objections are taken into account in establishing a new system.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

JKR wrote:

nakedApe42 wrote:
Actually the NDP stands to benefit a great deal from PV ranked ballot.

But the NDP stands to benefit more from PR.

My money would be on the Greens gaining the most under PV but I believe they still have PR as their choice of electoral system.  Maybe May could pull off a W.A.C. moment. With no clear winner imagine if most of the Conservative, NDP and Liberal voters hated the other main parties enough to vote for the Greens as a second choice.

Ippurigakko

PR / MMP
CON 122, NDP 95, LIB 59, BQ 19, GRN 13
STV
CON 128, NDP 115, LIB 47, BQ 18, GRN 0
PV / AV (IRV)
CON 142, NDP 117, LIB 48, GRN 1, BQ 0
FPTP
CON 166, NDP 103, LIB 34, BQ 4, GRN 1

 

Will Green get more seats on PV? Dont think so.

 

socialdemocrati...

All three of the major parties would lose with PR. It would likely mean the end of any majority, forever. Which is good, IMO. Minority governments were best periods in politics -- the ones that produced the Canadian Pension Plan, our health care system, and our flag. Three of the most defining things about Canada.

If we were to pass a simple law that enshrined proportional representation, that would also greatly reduce the chance that some other majority could come in and overturn it. The only way that would happen is if the Liberals cooperated with the Conservatives (which is to assume that there aren't more guys like Dion). I suspect that a move BACK from PR to FPTP would be so toxic and transparently power-hungry that those who supported it would be punished at the polls.

Bacchus

Punished at the polls once, and then forgiven as people forget.

 

But an end to majorities is the most desirable outcome for me.  Any party that gets a majority immediately forgets anyone else could have an opinion

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Ippurigakko wrote:

PR / MMP
CON 122, NDP 95, LIB 59, BQ 19, GRN 13
STV
CON 128, NDP 115, LIB 47, BQ 18, GRN 0
PV / AV (IRV)
CON 142, NDP 117, LIB 48, GRN 1, BQ 0
FPTP
CON 166, NDP 103, LIB 34, BQ 4, GRN 1

 

Will Green get more seats on PV? Dont think so.

How are you generating your projected numbers? I think they are just fanciful speculation. No one predicted that W.A.C. would form government but he did because of residual hate for other parties. Most NDP partisans will not vote for either the Liberals or Conservatives but might consider a Green second choice. I think  that for the majority of partisan supporters of the three major parties they would never want to vote for the others and thus like the Social Credit surprise win the Green's will be the sleeper. 

Rikardo

It appears that Winston and others opposed to PV and who prefer the present FPTP system realize that FPTP gives their party, the NDP the chance to elect a lot of MPs with less than 40% when the Lib/Cons vote is divided.  The fact that PV gives voters a second and third choice which seems more DEMOCRATIC and more interesting isn't important. They support Proportional, which PV certainly can lead to

 

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

JKR wrote:

My guess is that a process of electoral reform that would be inclusive, open, and transparent would end up supporting "MMP-light" but I wouldn't be shocked if such a process ended up favoring PV.  The supporters of FPTP have a lot to fear from an open, inclusive, and transparent process of evaluating which electoral system is best for Canadians. I think it's even more important to support establishing an open democratic process of reviewing electoral systems than to support a particular electoral system. The electoral reform movement would be best served supporting an inclusive, open, and transparent process of establishing electoral reform than supporting one particular electoral system. The democratic process of establishing electoral reform should open up a national conversation on electoral reform. Politicians, experts on electoral reforms, and regular citizens should be able to make their cases for the electoral system they support. Determining which electoral system is the best should be done through a political process of give and take where everyone is given a fair hearing and objections are taken into account in establishing a new system.

I would certainly support an open process that determines the voting system based on evidence and rational discussion. The problem is that, when it comes to electoral reform, the discussion quickly devolves into ugly rhetoric and politicking.

Some PR supporters are fiercely opposed to PV. Some PV supporters hate PR. Then there's the business community. It's better able to influence government under FPP than it would under PV or PR (which puts more power in the hands of the people.) They pull out the big guns with fear mongering campaigns against voting reform.

Check out 10 anti-voting reform articles from the "leftist" Toronto Star. A big problem is that electoral reform has no friends in the mainstream media. (Except for Andrew Coyne.) 

That's why my position is to first put out the fire with the ranked ballot (which the Liberals tenuously support at present.) Then pull the trigger on a PR/PV referendum when there are winning conditions. No honest strategy is going to work in the electoral reform snake pit.

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

JKR wrote:

nakedApe42 wrote:
Actually the NDP stands to benefit a great deal from PV ranked ballot.

But the NDP stands to benefit more from PR.

Yes, but the NDP is screwed if another PR referendum goes down in flames. Then it will be the minor centrist party until another Jack Layton comes along. 

The safest bet is to legislate PV direct, then hold a PR/PV referendum. A PR/FPP referendum is a dangerous gamble with Canada's future. When it comes to PR, considering it only has the support of the NDP and Green parties, another designed-to-fail PR referendum is about all PR supporters will get.

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

All three of the major parties would lose with PR. It would likely mean the end of any majority, forever. Which is good, IMO. Minority governments were best periods in politics -- the ones that produced the Canadian Pension Plan, our health care system, and our flag. Three of the most defining things about Canada.

I agree. We get open, transparent government much more reflective of the will of the people when we have more than one party in government. That's the way 94% of developed countries do it.

Andrew Coyne makes a great point about this. He says because PR tends to produce stable multi-party majority governments, PR won't be the end of majority government, but the beginning of it.

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:
If we were to pass a simple law that enshrined proportional representation, that would also greatly reduce the chance that some other majority could come in and overturn it.

The problem is that it's almost impossible to pass such a law. It could only happen under a NDP majority. That's why the incremental approach to voting reform is the most practical approach. We have to ratchet up reform notch by notch. First the ranked ballot. Next PR. Or perhaps an intermediate step like MMP-light or AV+ (semi-proportional.)

Harper is the poster boy for voting reform. We have to exploit this opportunity now or we will never get anything done. I think it's best to promote both PV ranked ballot and PR. It reaches a wider audience and gets more Canadians involved in the debate. That way voting reform becomes a 2015 election issue. 

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

Rikardo wrote:

The fact that PV gives voters a second and third choice which seems more DEMOCRATIC and more interesting isn't important. They support Proportional, which PV certainly can lead to

Yes, although PV ranked ballot isn't as good as PR for the Green party, for example, the fact is it actually increases representation for Green voters. That's because the Liberals and NDP will have to reach out to Green voters to get altnerative votes.

Since, PV tends to produce minority governments, that means Green voters will have representation in government. (Unlike now, where Conservatives adopt anti-environment policies to drive up the Green vote and balkanize the opposition making Canada the worst offender in the developed world.)

So once one gets beyond all the politicking and rhetoric, the fact is PV is a giant leap forward for democracy in Canada. The all-or-nothing approach will yield nothing. But the practical step-by-step approach can give electoral reformers everything.

ERik Ar

I see youve been flogging this all over here, so maybe more appropriate to place this here.  

 

nakedApe42 wrote:

ERik Ar wrote:
Rather than risk losing ground to their real political rivals, the NDP, theyve gone back to a system that Sounds like pro-rep but is actually the *least* represenative of all known voting systems, but one most likely to benefit themselves as the supposedly safe alternative.

It's not true that Westminster PV is the least representative of all systems. It is a vast improvement over Westminster FPTP.

Under FPTP, an arbitrary minority candidate can win the riding. That is a ridiculous form of representation. PV ensures the candidate has the backing of a majority of constituents and has the right to represent them.

PV also offers strong indirect representation. E.g. the Liberals and NDP will have to court Green voters in order to get alternative votes. That means Green votes are not wasted. Under FPTP we see the Conservatives taking anti-environment positions to drive up the Green vote and and fracture the opposition to win by vote splitting. Ironically, the more people want action on the environment, the less it gets done under our present bizarre system that awards absolute power to a 39% minority party.

 

I'm very aware of the choices, I spent too much time here years ago debating the ins and outs.  Some of the relevant details may have been forgotten.  There are a number of reasons people were won over to PR, and a number of reasons it fell short in referenda.  None of which are because PR is too 'extreme'.  Mostly, most people have little understanding of it or how common it is worldwide.  The media did a good job of exploiting this.  Errors were made on the part of capaigners too.  None of this means PV is less 'extreme' or a more natural 'fit' for Canada.  Even less that implimentation of PV would increase the possibility of true PR being implimented later. 

The frustrations of 'vote splitting' was the number one reason most people give for supporting it (in theory) in my expereience, but PV doesn't really address this problem.  Rather it could be said to make the pattern even worse, by forcing voters to accept only their Least worse choice by preferential ballots.  No wonder its the Liberals choice, given they would be the only likley winner under that scenario. 

 

Quote:

ERik Ar wrote:
Preferential voting is appropriate only for presidential runoffs or leadership conventions, but it also worked in BC getting WAC Bennett elected ahead of the CCF in '53, and most liberals have been supporting the right ever since.

In our Westminster system, people in a district elect a person to represent them. So this is the same as electing a mayor, leader of a party, winner of an Oscar, etc.

So I think it's best to first make our existing system democratic with PV (legislate on a party platform.) Then hold an eventual PR/PV referendum. (When PR has winning conditions.) That way a referendum is not a dangerous gamble with our future.

 

Youre assuming that the LIberals are the only party in a realistic position to overtake the Cons and impliment this politically. 

 

socialdemocrati...

Just so we're all talking about the same thing, here are some estimates of how the 2011 election would have turned out under preferential voting. (not proportional representation.)

 

First article: http://thoughtundermined.com/2011/05/04/the-may-2011-canadian-election-u...

Of those 163 seats, I quickly determined that 136 would have yielded the same outcome under AV. The main reason for this was because in a majority of these ridings, the candidate who finished first was very close to the 50% mark...

This left me with 27 seats that might have had a different outcome under AV.

...

The closest thing I had that indicated potential second-preference voting trends was an EKOS poll conducted just before the election (April 26-28 2011) which asked voters about their second choice (click on the gallery images and scroll through to find the second choice chart – I can’t link to it directly). EKOS asks this question to try to determine how committed supporters are to their party of choice, not to guess at how they might vote if they could rank candidates. They don’t ask about 3rd or 4th preferences.

The poll indicates two important facts to keep in mind. First, a significant number of those polled (30.6%) stated they had no second choice.

...

Using my new results, the standings in the House of Commons would look like this:

Conservatives 148 (down 19)
NDP 122 (up 10)
Liberals 48 (up 12)
BQ 1 (down 3)
Greens 1 (no change)

Another article: http://calgarygrit.blogspot.ca/2011/06/what-could-have-been-elxn41-under...

So what kind of impact would a preferential ballot have had on the previous election?

To determine this, I looked back at the final "second choice" poll numbers from the last campaign (seen here, here, and here), applied a few minor regional corrections, and ran run-offs in each riding where the winning candidate received fewer than half the vote. So if the Greens were fourth, their votes were scatered based on the second choice of Green voters. Then if the Liberals were third, their votes were scatered based on the second choice of Liberal voters.

It's not an exact science, but it's close enough for a fun "what if" exercise.

The result?

CPC: 147
NDP: 115
Lib: 44
BQ: 1
Green: 1

In the end, only 25 seats change, but that's enough to knock the Conservatives down to a minority.

 

Last article: http://wilfday.blogspot.ca/2012/05/stephane-dion-is-right-alternative-vo...

The Liberal Party of Canada voted in January 2012 to support preferential voting (also known as the Alternative Vote, or Instant Runoff Vote). However, Dion now says “Preferential voting . . . does nothing to correct the distortion between votes and seats and the under-representation of national parties compared to regional ones. Other changes are needed to find a voting system that best fits the Canadian context.”

So I checked the 2011 election results to see if Dion is right. On the votes cast in May 2011, would preferential voting (the “Alternative Vote” or “Instant Runoff Vote”) do anything to fix the problems he's dismayed by?

To get voters’ second preferences, I used the EKOS poll of “which party would be your second choice” taken April 28-30, 2011.

 

...

Not in BC: second choices would not make any BC seat change hands.
Nor in Alberta: same result.
Not in Saskatchewan, although Liberal and Green second choices would have elected NDP candidate Noah Evanchuk in Palliser.
In Manitoba NDP second choices would have let Anita Neville hold onto Winnipeg South Centre.

So keep in mind that preferential voting, and its pros and cons.

It might deny a Conservative majority, and give them a minority instead. It might have done the same thing to the Liberals as well, when they were benefiting from vote-splitting on the right.

But it does ZERO to change the regionalism that's killing the federal government: the entire West would be painted broadly with a Conservative brush. But obviously, there's many people who aren't conservative out there, who deserve representation.