First-Past-the-Post turns Canadians off politics

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chamberred

nakedApe42 wrote:

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.

For big business, the fewer power brokers they need to bribe, the better.

chamberred

nakedApe42 wrote:

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.

If we had PV in 1993, I don't think the Reform and PC seats would have been any different (this is my guess; thanks to anyone who might crunch/post specific numbers). Reform won 52 seats with 18.7% of the popular vote, the PCs won 2 seats with 16.0% of the popular vote. The difference being of course the wide but thin distribution of PC votes vs. Reform's density of votes in 2 provinces.

Malcontent

Quote:
Don't forget we've already had three provincial referendums on change from FPTP

Four actually. PEI, Ontario and BC Twice.

I would love to dump the FPTP but to be honest I do not ever see it changing in my lifetime and I am only 45...

janfromthebruce

Well, I do see it changing. In Ontario it was held during an election and that wasn't good. Mainly because people had to decide whether to campaign for changing our electorial system or for a party.

I think it should be held on it's own and not in conjunction with elections to get the full attention of the public.

chamberred

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. 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?

Out of curiosity, what's your version of MMP-light, and what kind of Senate reforms do you think would pass in such a deal?

chamberred

The varieties of PR could be bewildering for a public that is not well-versed on electoral reform. Groups like citizens' assemblies and other advocates need to take the lead to educate. Canadians aren't going to vote in favor of something they don't fully understand. Questions in the general public's mind would be: Is the new system the best alternative, and why? Why not other systems? If a new system is adopted, how can it be modified, if needed?

It would be a mark of some political sophistication if different PR systems were used across the country provincially, like STV in BC and MMP in Ontario.

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

ERik Ar wrote:

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.

I’m not saying PR is extreme. I'm saying most Canadians probably believe PR is extreme which is why it was rejected by over 60% in the last 3 provincial referendums.

The media and the business community are adept at manipulating public opinion. PR organizations like Fair Vote Canada, however, are terrible at political strategy.

ERik Ar wrote:

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.

If we upgrade our existing system from single-choice to ranked ballot direct (on a party platform,) it's not the final word on electoral reform. It wouldn't diminish PR's chances of success. It would set the stage for a PR/PV referendum, removing the undemocratic FPP option.

PV, in fact, would better PR's chances because voters would get direct experience with voting reform and better relate to the benefits of proportional voting.

 

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

ERik Ar wrote:

Rather it could be said to make the pattern even worse, by forcing voters to accept only their Least worse choice by preferential ballots.

Giving voters an alternative choice is worse than giving them no choice?? Clearly that isn't true. In reality, the ranked ballot forces parties to reach out to other voters to get alternative votes.

So the NDP and Liberals will need to entice Green voters to get their alternative ballot choices. That means Green voters would actually get a say in government.

In case people haven't been keeping score, since the Greens became a significant federal party, Canada's environmental record has plummeted to the bottom of the developed world. That's no coincidence. The Conservatives take anti-environment positions to drive up the Green vote and split the opposition vote 3 ways.

Remember the 2000 US presidential election when the Green party split the vote? Who would've been better for the environment? Bush Jr. or Al Gore?

The ranked ballot ends vote splitting and punishes polarizing politics. It allows small parties to grow in influence without distorting election results.

 

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

ERik Ar wrote:

No wonder its the Liberals choice, given they would be the only likley winner under that scenario.

Historically, the Liberals have benefited the most from FPP. Major parties across Canada tend to prefer it —  Liberal, conservative and NDP —  because it doles out absolute power on 39% of the vote.

It's a fallacy that the Liberals will benefit the most from the ranked ballot. This is based on the belief the middle party gets the most alternative votes. In reality, Conservatives hate the Liberal party and want to see it destroyed. Most won't vote Liberal.

FPP, also produces polarizing election results. Centrists tend to vote Liberal because they don't want their vote wasted on the minor party and fear vote splitting will cause a neo-con fake majority. Under PV ranked ballot,  "vote splitting ceases to be an issue" (Andrew Coyne) and the major/minor party dynamic disappears. It makes little difference to a voter who they rank #1 or #2. That will make the NDP a real player that forms governments.  

 

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

ERik Ar wrote:

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

The NDP will never form a federal government under FPP. Why? Because: a) conservatives of all stripes think an NDP government would be the equivalent of Armageddon; b) 40% of voters are conservative; c) under FPP, a party gets a fake majority at 39%.

In 2011, Jack Layton did what Harper could not do himself: unite conservative voters behind a majority.

PV ranked ballot, however, will stop this nonsense.

I don't know what's more absurd: the conservatives' impression of the NDP or our bizarre voting system that allows a 40% minority to determine the fate of the country. Fact is Germany has one of the strongest economies on the planet and they have regular social democratic governments. That's another fallacy: conservatives are smart on economic issues.

 

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

JKR wrote:

Having electoral reform supported on party platforms is a majour step in the right direction for electoral reform in Canada. It has given the political parties the ability to establish the electoral system they feel is most democratic.

Agreed. I think it's best to promote both PV ranked ballot and proportional voting to cast a wider net and get more Canadians involved in the debate. Many Canadians don't like PR at first. But the ranked ballot could appeal to them and get them onboard the electoral reform movement. The more Canadians discuss the issue, the more informed they'll become and the more open they will be to PR. 

The most important thing is making voting reform a key 2015 election issue. Harper is the poster boy for electoral reform. If we don't get something done now, we never will.

Aristotleded24

nakedApe42 wrote:
In case people haven't been keeping score, since the Greens became a significant federal party, Canada's environmental record has plummeted to the bottom of the developed world. That's no coincidence. The Conservatives take anti-environment positions to drive up the Green vote and split the opposition vote 3 ways.

This little conspiracy theory doesn't hold much water. The truth is that the Green vote has been declining since 2004, and there were so many other factors that explain the Conservative rise to power. Please also note that in 2011, the Greens received less votes than they did in 2008, yet their one MP, Elizabeth May, defeated a sitting Conservative.

socialdemocrati...

nakedApe42 wrote:
I’m not saying PR is extreme. I'm saying most Canadians probably believe PR is extreme which is why it was rejected by over 60% in the last 3 provincial referendums.

The media and the business community are adept at manipulating public opinion. PR organizations like Fair Vote Canada, however, are terrible at political strategy.

Your second point betrays your first point. I think the truth is that most Canadians don't have ANY strong beliefs about PR. All they know is it's a change in the status quo. With no one driving any message as to what it is or why it's important.

It's not that people have been convinced that PR is extreme. It's that the burden is on the reformers to persuade people, and they haven't met that burden. And that's why it's also faulty to assume that PV would do any better in a referendum.

JKR

nakedApe42 wrote:

The NDP will never form a federal government under FPP.

Most NDP supporters including me think the NDP has a chance of forming a government in 2015 and that government, either majority or minority, could implement MMP. But in any case, there is very little chance of convincing NDP supporters to support PV if that support is predicated on the idea that the NDP has no chance of winning an FPTP election. I think the NDP's good faith and genuine support for MMP should be respected by PV supporters. By not respecting supporters of the NDP and MMP, PV supporters risk weakening support for their system.

JKR

chamberred wrote:

Out of curiosity, what's your version of MMP-light, and what kind of Senate reforms do you think would pass in such a deal?

I'd prefer to have a system more proportional than MMP-light but I think a system of MMP-light with 11 member regions like Wilf Day feels is a reasonable compromise might be the best system available to Canada considering current opinion amongst NDP'ers, Liberals, ans Conservatives. The system I think would be best for Canada would be STV with mostly 7-seat ridings and a few as low as 1 in order to deal with our large geography. But unfortunately STV is not popular amongst Canadian politicians of all stripes.

The kind of Senate reform I see gaining consensus would be having a non-partisan body choose senators. The leaders of the major parties could choose a mutually acceptable person to lead a committee to select senators. I think Harper, Mulcair, and Trudeau could agree on the appointment of a person or persons who could assemble a committee that would appoint good senators. This kind of reform would not require provincial approval or constitutional change.

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

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.

According to the G&M:

CPC: 142 (-24)
NDP: 118 (+15)
Lib: 46 (+12)

According to a March 2013 poll that asked voters to rank their choices (FPP/PV):

CPC: 147/117 (-30)
NDP: 108/126 (+18)
Lib: 76/93 (+17)

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

So keep in mind that preferential voting, and its pros and cons. … But it does ZERO to change the regionalism that's killing the federal government…

Yes, the ranked ballot is a minor upgrade to our existing system. It's a compromise. Why consider the compromise at all? Because PR has lost by over 60% in the last 3 referendums. If it loses a federal one, electoral reform is toast. (Something most PR supporters fail to realize.)

It's better to take the step-by-step approach and build a safety net. Green and NDP voters have the most to lose from getting stuck with corrupt FPP — not to mention Canadians. The ranked ballot offers many benefits to both the Green and NDP parties.

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

chamberred wrote:

Rikardo wrote:

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)

I feel "anti-PVer" is a bit too strong a term for me. Quote me in context explicitly saying I think PV is less democratic than FPP.

I think it makes no sense whatsoever to say PV ranked ballot is less democratic FPP plurality ballot.

For one, they are both part of the same system: i.e., Westminster (people vote for a person to represent them who belongs to a party.) The difference is: the plurality ballot award can award power to a minority candidate the majority doesn't want; the ranked ballot ensures all candidates earn their seats with a majority (the literal interpretation of democracy.)

FPP causes all the problems that get people involved with electoral reform in the first place: vote splitting which produces distorted election results; minority parties getting absolute corrupt power ("winner take all"); the need for party mergers to pool votes; small parties being underrepresented; corrupt polarizing, partisan politics; etc.

PV solves half the problems: stops vote splitting; produces more multi-party governments; ends party mergers (Australia has 4 right-leaning parties); moderates the debate (polarizing politics are punished); increases representation (parties need to reach out beyond base for alternative votes).

No doubt, it doesn't solve all the problems like a proportional system would. But half more is certainly not less.

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

chamberred wrote:

What would motivate the camps that win power owing to PV, to relinquish their new-found advantage by moving toward something more proportionally representative than PV?   (x3)

PV produces more minority governments. It doesn't favor any political party. FPP is the preferred choice of partisans, allowing them the chance to win unfettered power on 39% of the vote.

PV is stopgap measure meant to improve election results but not fix all the problems. It's required because PR has, so far, failed to build widespread grassroots support. PR has also been rejected in 4 provincial referendums.

The fact is it's up to the social media to build support for proportional voting. The corporate media hates the system. The Conservatives are against it. The Liberals can only be counted on to deliver another designed-to-fail referendum. So the motivation must come from the people.

There needs to be protesting in the streets before pulling the trigger on a PR referendum. Blind optimism is deadly. 

chamberred wrote:

nakedApe42 wrote:

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

Like every Chretien majority.

Yes, FPP produces corrupt, unaccountable government no matter what the party gets unwarranted, unfettered power: Chretien-Martin Liberals, Harper Conservatives, McGuinty Liberals in ON, Clark NDP in BC. Either PV ranked ballot or PR will put that to a stop. 

 

socialdemocrati...

nakedApe42 wrote:

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

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.

According to the G&M:

CPC: 142 (-24)
NDP: 118 (+15)
Lib: 46 (+12)

According to a March 2013 poll that asked voters to rank their choices (FPP/PV):

CPC: 147/117 (-30)
NDP: 108/126 (+18)
Lib: 76/93 (+17)

Thanks for that. Those numbers are stubbornly persistent.

 

Quote:
socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

So keep in mind that preferential voting, and its pros and cons. … But it does ZERO to change the regionalism that's killing the federal government…

Yes, the ranked ballot is a minor upgrade to our existing system. It's a compromise. Why consider the compromise at all? Because PR has lost by over 60% in the last 3 referendums. If it loses a federal one, electoral reform is toast. (Something most PR supporters fail to realize.)

The CCF's health care proposal was rejected time after time in the polls.

The civil rights movement was rejected for 80 years after slavery.

The women's suffrage movement took decades.

I reject your assumption that if PR fails again, the campaign will be over. Everything we know about history says the opposite. The longer that a failing system stays in place, the more that the case against that system builds. No one likes to lose. But with each fight, more people are drawn to the cause. If the system really is dysfunctional, then with each loss, more people see how the system is failing.

I dare to say that losing is a necessary evil; a vital part of any long term strategy. First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.

Quote:
It's better to take the step-by-step approach and build a safety net. Green and NDP voters have the most to lose from getting stuck with corrupt FPP — not to mention Canadians.

Instead of lecturing the Green and NDP party about something that makes no substantial difference to their seat count (according to the numbers above), how about you turn your attention to the Liberals and Conservatives, and convincing them to support PR?

chamberred

nakedApe42 wrote:

The media and the business community are adept at manipulating public opinion. PR organizations like Fair Vote Canada, however, are terrible at political strategy.

True and true. Seems to me electoral reform advocates, like people who post on threads like this, tend to be number-crunching geeks. (Please take that as a compliment, everyone.) What's needed are some more intuitive ways to depict voting systems. "First-past-the-post" makes it sound like a horse race or a 100-metre dash, and this is a very inaccurate picture, because the "prize" is not a single medal but political power over others for four or so years. What's a better image to depict FPP? Something like one school child taking a whole pie for narrowly edging others out in a competition.

nakedApe42 wrote:

If we upgrade our existing system from single-choice to ranked ballot direct (on a party platform,) it's not the final word on electoral reform. It wouldn't diminish PR's chances of success. It would set the stage for a PR/PV referendum, removing the undemocratic FPP option. PV, in fact, would better PR's chances because voters would get direct experience with voting reform and better relate to the benefits of proportional voting.

I do see and appreciate your point and strategy, although questions remain about it, as already discussed. Continued education (before campaigning) and empirical polling are needed to map good strategy.

 

 

chamberred

nakedApe42 wrote:
I think it makes no sense whatsoever to say PV ranked ballot is less democratic FPP plurality ballot.

I know, I know...

nakedApe42 wrote:

the ranked ballot ensures all candidates earn their seats with a majority (the literal interpretation of democracy.)

To flog a tired horse, such a majority would be in a sense false because it is not based on first choices. And while majority-rule is certainly part of democracy, it is not the only consideration. The ability to listen to and allow for the positions of others (collegiality, a basic human virtue) is also needed to prevent a tyranny of the majority over smaller communities of people.

chamberred

JKR wrote:
chamberred wrote:

Out of curiosity, what's your version of MMP-light...

I'd prefer to have a system more proportional than MMP-light but I think a system of MMP-light with 11 member regions like Wilf Day feels is a reasonable compromise might be the best system available to Canada considering current opinion amongst NDP'ers, Liberals, ans Conservatives. The system I think would be best for Canada would be STV with mostly 7-seat ridings and a few as low as 1 in order to deal with our large geography. But unfortunately STV is not popular amongst Canadian politicians of all stripes.

Thanks. To clarify the MMP version, do you mean one 'top-up' MP for every 10 locally elected MPs?

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

chamberred wrote:

nakedApe42 wrote:

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.

If we had PV in 1993, I don't think the Reform and PC seats would have been any different (this is my guess; thanks to anyone who might crunch/post specific numbers). Reform won 52 seats with 18.7% of the popular vote, the PCs won 2 seats with 16.0% of the popular vote. The difference being of course the wide but thin distribution of PC votes vs. Reform's density of votes in 2 provinces.

Clearly, the 3% difference in right-wing vote leading to a 50 seat difference in power is an artifact of FPP. Australia has 4 right-wing parties in a voting coalition that ensures right-wing votes are distributed among right-wing parties. Under FPP, the right-wing vote would be so diluted Labor would win ever election with a majority.

That's the folly of awarding power to the leading candidate. It's completely arbitrary. It doesn't reflect the will of voters.

Now look at the 1997 election. Combined conservative vote: 38.2%; Liberal vote: 38.5%. Yet the Liberals won a majority. Clearly they wouldn't have under the ranked ballot. And they sure didn't deserve one. 

 

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

Malcontent wrote:
Quote:
Don't forget we've already had three provincial referendums on change from FPTP

Four actually. PEI, Ontario and BC Twice. I would love to dump the FPTP but to be honest I do not ever see it changing in my lifetime and I am only 45...

Actually the Liberals support PV ranked ballot voting. Trudeau has made it a part of his democratic reform platform. This offers electoral reformers and Canadians a small window of unprecedented opportunity to get something done.

Although PV is not as good as PR, it accomplishes a lot: ends vote splitting; ends the need for party mergers; prevents minority parties from getting absolute power; moderates the debate (parties have to reach out for alternative votes); increases representation (Green voters, e.g., will get policy legislated by major parties who need their alternative votes); it allows minor parties to grow in influence without the spoiler effect.

Trudeau can legislate PV on a party platform. That means it's not the final word on voting reform. It sets the stage for a PR/PV referendum cutting corrupt FPP out of the picture. (Incremental approach to voting reform.)

 

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

chamberred wrote:

The varieties of PR could be bewildering for a public that is not well-versed on electoral reform. Groups like citizens' assemblies and other advocates need to take the lead to educate. Canadians aren't going to vote in favor of something they don't fully understand.

Citizens' assemblies are deadly. The Ontario one decided on a 3% MMP threshold. That was the nuclear warhead on the torpedo that blew PR right out of the water.

No doubt the citizens in these assemblies become very educated in the minutia of electoral reform. Unfortunately, that does absolutely nothing for the masses.

How did New Zealand win? They ran a rock solid campaign. PR has to be marketed and sold. PR supporters have to pick a system that's simple enough for people to get. (Probably MMP.) They have to make it fringe-party proof (5% threshold; worry about lowering it later.) Then they must paint the airwaves and streets with pro-PR ads.

The New Zealand ad: "I'd rather live in a democracy with 120 MPs / Than a dictatorship with 99."

Unlock Democracy Canada is setting up shop soon. Hopefully they will have some game. (They ran the successful RaBIT campaign in Toronto.) Fair Vote Canada is only good for getting played and blowing referendums.

 

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

JKR wrote:
nakedApe42 wrote:

The NDP will never form a federal government under FPP.

Most NDP supporters including me think the NDP has a chance of forming a government in 2015 and that government, either majority or minority, could implement MMP. But in any case, there is very little chance of convincing NDP supporters to support PV if that support is predicated on the idea that the NDP has no chance of winning an FPTP election. I think the NDP's good faith and genuine support for MMP should be respected by PV supporters. By not respecting supporters of the NDP and MMP, PV supporters risk weakening support for their system.

My apologies. It wasn't my intention to be disrespectful. I was just pointing out that under FPP, a united conservative party is in the driver's seat. Their 40% decides everything. The 60% super-majority has no say.

I support PV ranked ballot, PR (MMP and STV), the incremental approach to electoral reform, and as a non-partisan centrist, I often vote for the NDP. They are closer to the center than the Liberals are. After 30 years of right-of-center government, Canada could greatly benefit from an NDP government. (We rank #23 of 31 OECD developed countries in social spending.) If we had PV ranked ballot in 2011, we would have an NDP government now.

 

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

nakedApe42 wrote:

If we had PV ranked ballot in 2011, we would have an NDP government now.

Don't be so sure. Assuming that PV would have saved Ignatieff's seat, I think there is at least a 50% chance he would have supported a Con minority government, which he would have "put on probation" then voted with dozens of times.

ERik Ar

chamberred wrote:

nakedApe42 wrote:
I think it makes no sense whatsoever to say PV ranked ballot is less democratic FPP plurality ballot.

I know, I know...

nakedApe42 wrote:

the ranked ballot ensures all candidates earn their seats with a majority (the literal interpretation of democracy.)

To flog a tired horse, such a majority would be in a sense false because it is not based on first choices. And while majority-rule is certainly part of democracy, it is not the only consideration. The ability to listen to and allow for the positions of others (collegiality, a basic human virtue) is also needed to prevent a tyranny of the majority over smaller communities of people.

 

Nice to see someone listening, thank you.  And you're right that any functioning democracy requires citizens to listen (as in consider the others POV -not accept necessarily accept but consider) regardless of how votes are tabulated.  It only takes one side to undermine unfotunately. 

 

ERik Ar

And here's where all this is coming fom:

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/tag/preferential-ballot

Not exactly a disinterested source:

 

JKR

chamberred wrote:

JKR wrote:
chamberred wrote:

Out of curiosity, what's your version of MMP-light...

I'd prefer to have a system more proportional than MMP-light but I think a system of MMP-light with 11 member regions like Wilf Day feels is a reasonable compromise might be the best system available to Canada considering current opinion amongst NDP'ers, Liberals, ans Conservatives.

Thanks. To clarify the MMP version, do you mean one 'top-up' MP for every 10 locally elected MPs?

4 "top-up" Mp's for every 7 locally elected MP's.

From Wilf Day's blog:

Quote:
Moderate proportionality for Canada’s House of Commons, with 11-MP regions

Stéphane Dion and Justin Trudeau agree on one thing: all MPs should represent real communities, and the proportionality of the voting system should be moderate. Scotland’s proportional representation model, with 16 MPs per region, leaves them both cold.

What about regions averaging 11 MPs? That’s seven local MPs, topped up by four additional regional MPs. The total number of MPs from the region matches the vote share. Every vote counts equally, and counts for your first choice. Every MP is accountable to voters in a real community.  And the proportionality is moderate enough to avoid a proliferation of parties.

...

If we use province-wide totals with perfect proportionality the results for 338 MPs would have been 140 Conservative, 103 NDP, 64 Liberal, 18 Bloc, and 13 Green. In my simulation, after adjustments due to 64% local seats, the results are 143 Conservative, 108 NDP, 62 Liberal, 15 Bloc, and 10 Green.

Wilf makes an excellent case for MMP-light here.

JKR

nakedApe42 wrote:
I was just pointing out that under FPP, a united conservative party is in the driver's seat. Their 40% decides everything. The 60% super-majority has no say.

I'd agree that PV is a better system than fptp because FPTP can produce election results more preverse than PV. FPTP allows for the following scenerio:

GW Bush: 26
Gandhi:  24.66
Nelson Mandela: 24.66
Martin Luther King: 24.66

PV prevents these kinds of perverse FPTP results caused by vote splitting.

 

JKR

Michael Moriarity wrote:

nakedApe42 wrote:

If we had PV ranked ballot in 2011, we would have an NDP government now.

Don't be so sure. Assuming that PV would have saved Ignatieff's seat, I think there is at least a 50% chance he would have supported a Con minority government, which he would have "put on probation" then voted with dozens of times.

And if the Liberals were voting with a Conservative minority government their popularity would be suffering and the NDP's popularity would be bolstered.

Policywonk

JKR wrote:

nakedApe42 wrote:
I was just pointing out that under FPP, a united conservative party is in the driver's seat. Their 40% decides everything. The 60% super-majority has no say.

I'd agree that PV is a better system than fptp because FPTP can produce election results more preverse than PV. FPTP allows for the following scenerio:

GW Bush: 26
Gandhi:  24.66
Nelson Mandela: 24.66
Martin Luther King: 24.66

PV prevents these kinds of perverse FPTP results caused by vote splitting.

 

For a Presidential Election this is true. For an election for a legislature with a large number of seats it still depends on the regional distribution. In PV a third party with 20% first choice support could easily end up with fewer seats than under FPTP, if their first and second cholce support is not concentrated enough in the same places.

Policywonk

nakedApe42 wrote:

chamberred wrote:

nakedApe42 wrote:

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.

If we had PV in 1993, I don't think the Reform and PC seats would have been any different (this is my guess; thanks to anyone who might crunch/post specific numbers). Reform won 52 seats with 18.7% of the popular vote, the PCs won 2 seats with 16.0% of the popular vote. The difference being of course the wide but thin distribution of PC votes vs. Reform's density of votes in 2 provinces.

Clearly, the 3% difference in right-wing vote leading to a 50 seat difference in power is an artifact of FPP. Australia has 4 right-wing parties in a voting coalition that ensures right-wing votes are distributed among right-wing parties. Under FPP, the right-wing vote would be so diluted Labor would win ever election with a majority.

That's the folly of awarding power to the leading candidate. It's completely arbitrary. It doesn't reflect the will of voters.

Now look at the 1997 election. Combined conservative vote: 38.2%; Liberal vote: 38.5%. Yet the Liberals won a majority. Clearly they wouldn't have under the ranked ballot. And they sure didn't deserve one. 

Under FPTP the Australian right wing parties would merge rather than allow Labour to win I think, sort of like BC after 1972 and 1991. Eventually the parties to the right of the Liberals came to the conclusion they couldn't win without merging, but they didn't take all of their supporters with them, at least not right away. Many so-called "Red Tories" would rather have voted Liberal than Reform as a second choice. I think I agree with the point about the distribution of PC votes in 1993; 1997 would have depended on the distribution of NDP voters whose second choice was Liberal versus the distribution of the PC and Reform votes, to say nothing of the impact of second choice votes in Quebec.

 

ERik Ar

nakedApe42 wrote:

ERik Ar wrote:

No wonder its the Liberals choice, given they would be the only likley winner under that scenario.

Historically, the Liberals have benefited the most from FPP. Major parties across Canada tend to prefer it —  Liberal, conservative and NDP —  because it doles out absolute power on 39% of the vote.

It's a fallacy that the Liberals will benefit the most from the ranked ballot. This is based on the belief the middle party gets the most alternative votes. In reality, Conservatives hate the Liberal party and want to see it destroyed. Most won't vote Liberal.

Yet you yourself flatly stated that only the Liberals have a chance of defeating Harper, to bring it in.    

Quote:

FPP, also produces polarizing election results. Centrists tend to vote Liberal because they don't want their vote wasted on the minor party and fear vote splitting will cause a neo-con fake majority.

Youre contradicting yourself again.  Most 'centrists' see the NDP as one of the 'opposite poles'.   

Quote:

Under PV ranked ballot,  "vote splitting ceases to be an issue" (Andrew Coyne) and the major/minor party dynamic disappears. It makes little difference to a voter who they rank #1 or #2. That will make the NDP a real player that forms governments.  

 

 

Getting only your second choice elected, out of fear of the other 'extreme', does not resolve the issue but pretty much amounts to the same thing.  Parties would still have little reason to listen to their core supporters or their values or concerns (especially on the left, lacking any corporate/media support) but will keep playing to political 'centre' that the corporate media encourages.    

ERik Ar

JKR wrote:

Michael Moriarity wrote:

nakedApe42 wrote:

If we had PV ranked ballot in 2011, we would have an NDP government now.

Don't be so sure. Assuming that PV would have saved Ignatieff's seat, I think there is at least a 50% chance he would have supported a Con minority government, which he would have "put on probation" then voted with dozens of times.

And if the Liberals were voting with a Conservative minority government their popularity would be suffering and the NDP's popularity would be bolstered.

 

Not necessarily.  With the right media spin Liberal support could be seen as legitimizing the CPC. Failure to support the NDP could just as easily be portayed as pragmatic.   It works like clockwork every election in BC, no matter how much distaste develops for our more openly rightwing Liberals.   ER would help, but it's not a panacea and if it's to produce half the results promised the most appropriate form for Canada must be chosen.  

ERik Ar

I missed this one. 

 

nakedApe42 wrote:

ERik Ar wrote:

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.

I’m not saying PR is extreme. I'm saying most Canadians probably believe PR is extreme which is why it was rejected by over 60% in the last 3 provincial referendums.

The media and the business community are adept at manipulating public opinion. PR organizations like Fair Vote Canada, however, are terrible at political strategy.

Fair Vote made mistakes but to be fair to Them, they had limited resouces in BC and less elsewhere, and the corporate media gave them little attention and less support. Saying the average voter thinks its 'too exteme' is just a supposition on your part.  The choice of STV ove MMP was a mistake in the BC, and as the vote split on the right disappeaed and fear of electing anothe Glen Clark or an impossibly huge Liberal majoity in reaction faded, so did much of the impetus for the original 57.5%  support FOR.  

The collapse of the Conservative split and reelection of the Liberals in the last BC Election was a real setback fo ER, but IMO Fair Vote Canada should spend more time going after the centist--centre-right vote, who are still unhappy with their choices, and less time nagging the NDP-left core, who by and large already support it, even if the old boys running the ND party don't.  

Quote:

ERik Ar wrote:

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.

If we upgrade our existing system from single-choice to ranked ballot direct (on a party platform,) it's not the final word on electoral reform. It wouldn't diminish PR's chances of success. It would set the stage for a PR/PV referendum, removing the undemocratic FPP option.

PV, in fact, would better PR's chances because voters would get direct experience with voting reform and better relate to the benefits of proportional voting.

 

Not necessarily, if PV works for the Liberals at the expense of the NDP and Geens they are more unlikely than ever to support furthe moves to more 'fair' elections, as they traditionally have been the biggest beneficiaries of FPTP, and the average disinfomed voter would probably go to sleep again fo anothe decade or two.  The fact that the Liberals massively rejected 'refom candidate' Murray in favour of Tudeau and came out in favour of PV rather than MMP, indicates they haven't budged anymoe than they have to. 

The NDP and the centre-left voter has remained their number one target to this day; the fact they have to scare everyone about Harper without actually offering to do *anything* substantially different (other than talking about everyone getting along better, blah blah) is just classic Liberal Party strategy.  They either want the left-of vote to themselves, or prefer to split it.  That pattern is even more consistent than the CPC's, who at least need to rebrand now and then, but with the NDP as official opposition they got an even bigger problem now politcally.  How to keep diveting centre-left voters away fom genuine representation, without looking like THEY ae the ones splitting the anti-Harpe vote...?  Luckily 'liberal-leaning' CBC lets arch-consevatives like Coyne act like the moderate=centist voice on their nightly panels, and keeps petending that the Liberals are still the only political alternative.    

JKR

chamberred wrote:
What's a better image to depict FPP? Something like one school child taking a whole pie for narrowly edging others out in a competition.

"FPP" is a misnomer. A child that wins a competition has performed better than every other single child in that competition but a politician who wins a FPP election may not be the most popular candidate in the race as its possible that a FPP winner could lose against most of the other candidates in head to head races. A FPP election is only akin to a race to the "post" when there are only two candidates running for election and one candidate has to pass the 50% post in order to win. Only when a candidate wins with more than 50% of the votes can it be said that a winning FPTP candidate is the most popular. That's why PV requires that a winning candidate surpass 50%. PV could more accurately be called "first past the post." FPTP should be called single-member plurality.

An image of FPP could be 7 vegans having to eat rare steaks because 3 carnivores voted for steak while 2 vegans voted for celery, 2 voted for lettuce, two voted for cucumbers, and one vegan voted for broccoli.

 

JKR

Policywonk wrote:

JKR wrote:

nakedApe42 wrote:
I was just pointing out that under FPP, a united conservative party is in the driver's seat. Their 40% decides everything. The 60% super-majority has no say.

I'd agree that PV is a better system than fptp because FPTP can produce election results more preverse than PV. FPTP allows for the following scenerio:

GW Bush: 26
Gandhi:  24.66
Nelson Mandela: 24.66
Martin Luther King: 24.66

PV prevents these kinds of perverse FPTP results caused by vote splitting.

 

For a Presidential Election this is true. For an election for a legislature with a large number of seats it still depends on the regional distribution. In PV a third party with 20% first choice support could easily end up with fewer seats than under FPTP, if their first and second cholce support is not concentrated enough in the same places.

Since both system are single-member majoritarian systems, regional concentration causes disproportional results for both PV and FPTP. Mathametical models have shown that when there are more than 2 political parties, FPTP elections results for legislatures tend to be more preverse than PV election results for legislatures. FPTP and PV are equally bad when there are only two parties competing but the more parties there are in a political system the better PV tends to perform versus FPTP.

gadar

Any electoral reform that doesnt benefit my team/party is worse than what we currently have. As long as electoral reform is viewed from that angle nothing is going to happen. After reading this thread i am sure that the wait for electoral reform is going to be a long one.

Aristotleded24

gadar wrote:
Any electoral reform that doesnt benefit my team/party is worse than what we currently have. As long as electoral reform is viewed from that angle nothing is going to happen. After reading this thread i am sure that the wait for electoral reform is going to be a long one.

Well said.

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

nakedApe42 wrote:

Yes, the ranked ballot is a minor upgrade to our existing system. It's a compromise. Why consider the compromise at all? Because PR has lost by over 60% in the last 3 referendums. If it loses a federal one, electoral reform is toast. (Something most PR supporters fail to realize.)

The CCF's health care proposal was rejected time after time in the polls.

The civil rights movement was rejected for 80 years after slavery.

The women's suffrage movement took decades.

I reject your assumption that if PR fails again, the campaign will be over. Everything we know about history says the opposite. The longer that a failing system stays in place, the more that the case against that system builds. No one likes to lose. But with each fight, more people are drawn to the cause. If the system really is dysfunctional, then with each loss, more people see how the system is failing.

I dare to say that losing is a necessary evil; a vital part of any long term strategy. First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.

All of those accomplishments required protesting in the streets and widespread grassroots support.

The best option is to  build the support required to win first, then trigger a referendum. The PR side also has to raise enough money and enlist enough activists to ensure the airwaves and streets are painted in pro-PR ads. The pro-side has to be organized and run a campaign. (Which is what the New Zealanders did.)

If PR loses a federal referendum, the matter will have been democratically decided by the people. That's no minor setback. It’s a devastating blow to the cause.

There might be another referendum in 20 years. There might not. So it's better not to fool around. Excuses are cold comfort if we're stuck with corrupt FPP forever. (Green and NDP supporters should consider that the most, because they're the ones who suffer the most under FPP.)

Aristotleded24

nakedApe, seriously, what is your game here? So many people have refuted your arguments, yet you keep repeating them over and over as if you never heard them.

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

Aristotleded24 wrote:

nakedApe, seriously, what is your game here? So many people have refuted your arguments, yet you keep repeating them over and over as if you never heard them.

Nonsense. My game is to point out the facts that both PV ranked ballot and PR offer Canadians a vast improvement over undemocratic FPP which often doles out absolute power to a minority party against the wishes of the majority.

So far I have debunked a lot of misinformation from PR absolutists who oppose PV ranked ballot for corrupt political reasons. (I have yet to come across someone who tries to claim PR is undemocratic or worse than FPP.) 

I have no agenda against PV or PR. I support both systems. And I support the right of Canadians to choose the democratic voting system they like best.

So let's dispense with the absurd generalizations. Feel free to show me any argument I have made that has been logically refuted.

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

Michael Moriarity wrote:

nakedApe42 wrote:

If we had PV ranked ballot in 2011, we would have an NDP government now.

Don't be so sure. Assuming that PV would have saved Ignatieff's seat, I think there is at least a 50% chance he would have supported a Con minority government, which he would have "put on probation" then voted with dozens of times.

A 1% chance, at most. Anyone who follows politics knows that Harper burned all his bridges with opposition parties with his bullying and scheming. In fact, he ran on the premise that if he didn't get a majority he was going to be replaced with an opposition coalition. (A "coalition with the socialists and separatists" as he so charmingly put it.) No one knew better than Harper, himself, how impossible he was to get along with in government.

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

nakedApe42 wrote:
It's better to take the step-by-step approach and build a safety net. Green and NDP voters have the most to lose from getting stuck with corrupt FPP — not to mention Canadians.

Instead of lecturing the Green and NDP party about something that makes no substantial difference to their seat count (according to the numbers above), how about you turn your attention to the Liberals and Conservatives, and convincing them to support PR?

It's interesting how Conservatives support FPP because it gives them the most seats. The Green and NDP support PR because they believe it will give them the most seats. People criticize the Liberals for supporting PV on the premise it will give them the most seats (which is not actually true.)

The problem is that partisans make up a small percentage of the population. What we need is a system that's best for Canadians, not partisan self-interest.

That's why I promote PV ranked ballot, proportional voting and the incremental approach to voting reform. We need to get more Canadians involved in the electoral reform movement. Promoting electoral reform in general casts a wider net.

Either PV ranked ballot or PR will be a vast improvement for Canadians.  That's what matters most.

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

chamberred wrote:

nakedApe42 wrote:

the ranked ballot ensures all candidates earn their seats with a majority (the literal interpretation of democracy.)

To flog a tired horse, such a majority would be in a sense false because it is not based on first choices. And while majority-rule is certainly part of democracy, it is not the only consideration.

FPP can award power to a 40% candidate or party the super-majority is opposed to. Although the ranked ballot doesn't solve all problems, it stops people from getting saddled with the opposite of what they want.

Mulcair wasn't elected leader of the NDP on first choices. He only received 30% first-choice votes. He was some voters' 4th choice. It's better to compromise with alternative votes than roll the dice and get shafted. 

chamberred wrote:

The ability to listen to and allow for the positions of others (collegiality, a basic human virtue) is also needed to prevent a tyranny of the majority over smaller communities of people.

What voting system accomplishes that??

Certainly not FPP. I doubt PR does either. Small parties tend to be exluded from government under PR. The major parties form coalitions.

Take Germany in 2009. Two right-leaning parties — the CDU/CSU and FDP — formed a majority government on 48% of the vote. The four other parties that got seats were shut out of government. 

The interests of minority groups have to be fought for through awareness raising (they also have protection via the constitution.) Both PV and PR tend to produce multi-party majority governments. That takes the edge off the tyranny of the majority. 

The worst of all is what FPP produces: the tyranny of a minority party that oppresses the vast majority (including minority interest groups.)

Aristotleded24

nakedApe42 wrote:
Aristotleded24 wrote:
nakedApe, seriously, what is your game here? So many people have refuted your arguments, yet you keep repeating them over and over as if you never heard them.

Nonsense. My game is to point out the facts that both PV ranked ballot and PR offer Canadians a vast improvement over undemocratic FPP which often doles out absolute power to a minority party against the wishes of the majority.

It is not a "fact" which can be verified that PV is an improvement over FPTP, it is your "opinion," or statement of belief. Many of us have provided evidence contradicting that.

As for the fact that party leaders are ranked accoring to preferences, there is a huge difference between an election in which only one person can win (for example, party leadership, President, or city mayor, as opposed to a legislative chamber where parties are represented by a percentage of the vote.

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

Aristotleded24 wrote:

nakedApe42 wrote:
Aristotleded24 wrote:
nakedApe, seriously, what is your game here? So many people have refuted your arguments, yet you keep repeating them over and over as if you never heard them.

Nonsense. My game is to point out the facts that both PV ranked ballot and PR offer Canadians a vast improvement over undemocratic FPP which often doles out absolute power to a minority party against the wishes of the majority.

It is not a "fact" which can be verified that PV is an improvement over FPTP, it is your "opinion," or statement of belief. Many of us have provided evidence contradicting that.

Instead of making a lame generalization about evidence why don't you actually provide some??

That's because you can't. I have debunked all the nonsensical prejudices against PV ranked ballot. The fact is FPP plurality ballot and PV ranked ballot are part of the same system — our present Westminster system of democracy.

Although there are many benefits to the ranked ballot — ending vote splitting; ending party mergers; preventing 40% dictatorships the super-majority is against; increasing representation (parties must reach outside their base for alternative votes); ending polarizing politics (according to Andrew Coyne); etc. etc. — there is absolutely no benefit to awarding power to leading candidates. 

FPP was designed for a two-party system. It breaks down when there are more than two parties. Those are the facts.

ERik Ar

You haven't debunked anything.  As has been pointed out repeatedly, PV ranked ballots are part of present system ONLY in limited cases like electing party leaders, where narrowing DOWN choices make sense, hardly a point in its favour.  And using Andrew Coyne as an authority isn't going to win you any points here.   FYI, the father of the succesful 'Unite-the-Right' movement has openly stated he personally wants a more ideologically based two-party system.   

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