First-Past-the-Post turns Canadians off politics

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ERik Ar

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.

 

You give me too much credit.  I'm really not arguing that NDPers should only support PR if and when it benefits them directly, I'm arguing that PV is not PR and the Liberals know this only too well.   BUt OC its always the NDP's responsibility, even when theyre rarely given the mandate needed.   

JKR

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.

Electoral reform should be based on objective unbiased criteria. Article 21 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) states the basic principles that a democratic electoral system should fulfill:

Quote:
Article 21.

  • (1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
  • (2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.
  • (3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

PR adheres to these principles while PV partially adheres to them and FPTP contravenes most of them. By not respecting the will of the majority of voters, FPTP, unlike PV and PR, does not make the will of the people the basis of the authority of government. And unlike FPTP and PV, PR respects the principle that everyone has the right to take part in the government of their country through freely chosen representatives.

If our electoral system had to meet the conditions of Article 21 of the UDHR, FPTP would have to be replaced with PR.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

nakedApe42 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.

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.

I usually stick to the issues, rather than personalities, but you really are showing what a hopeless fool you are. Ignatieff, and more importantly, his big-money backers, were always far closer to Harper in their policies and beliefs than they were to Jack Layton and the NDP. Only fools like you think otherwise. As for your claim to have "debunked" the arguents in favour of PR over PV, you have done no such thing. You have repeated ad nauseam the same 3 or 4 sentences, which are solely your opinion, backed up by no facts whatsoever. You think you are a prophet, but you are actually just a foolish loudmouth.

gadar

ERik Ar wrote:

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.

 

You give me too much credit.  I'm really not arguing that NDPers should only support PR if and when it benefits them directly, I'm arguing that PV is not PR and the Liberals know this only too well.   BUt OC its always the NDP's responsibility, even when theyre rarely given the mandate needed.   

I did not mention NDP,Liberals or the Cons. Neither did i mention PR or PV. And I didnt give you credit or discredit you as the post was a general statement. Its interesting that you thought that the post was somehow a critique on your views.

Edited to add: Thinking of giving credit. JKR is one of the very few in this thread who is actually discussing the issue objectively.

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

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.

Yes, either PR/FPP or PV/FPP referendums are doomed to failure due to invisible option vote splitting.

There are three ways to ensure the will of the people is actually decided (by a majority vote):

a) Hold a three way referendum (FPP, PR, PV) with a runoff election. (Which is similar to how New Zealand did it.)

b) Legislate PV ranked ballot direct. Then hold a PR/PV referendum — only democratic voting systems in the running. (The Liberals propose to legislate PV as part of their democratic reform platform.)

 

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

Policywonk wrote:

JKR wrote:

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.

According to a seat projection of the 2011 election, the Liberals would've gained 12 seats on 19% of the vote under PV ranked ballot (from 34 to 46.)

Under FPP, the leading minority party wins dozens of seats due to vote splitting. PV stops vote splitting and distributes those seats among parties that occupy the same general area of the political spectrum. That will tend to increase the number of seats a 20% party would get. (Of course, PV does nothing for small parties, except offer them indirect representation for their alternative votes.) 

 

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

ERik Ar wrote:

And using Andrew Coyne as an authority isn't going to win you any points here.

I disagree with Coyne on many issues. But he's the only mainstream journalist I've read that supports electoral reform. (He prefers PR but also supports PV ranked ballot.) The rest of the media is fiercely anti-PR when they're not ignoring the issue. 

I find Coyne's an objective source because he's a conservative columnist with no vested interest.

ERik Ar wrote:

FYI, the father of the succesful 'Unite-the-Right' movement has openly stated he personally wants a more ideologically based two-party system.

Perhaps you have a link? He supported the Liberal party in the last election because he was opposed to Harper's "know-nothing strain of conservatism." 

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

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.

I agree that all the partisan politicking is destructive to the electoral reform cause.

The two democratic voting systems on the table are Preferential Voting (ranked ballot) and Proportional Representation (MMP or STV.) It's far better to promote one's system of choice based on its merits than wage a war against the competing system to try and weasel an advantage.

If both sides work together we can get something accomplished. Let's have a rational federal debate that gets Canadians involved and lets Canadians decide.

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

Michael Moriarity wrote:

nakedApe42 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.

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.

I usually stick to the issues, rather than personalities, but you really are showing what a hopeless fool you are. Ignatieff, and more importantly, his big-money backers, were always far closer to Harper in their policies and beliefs than they were to Jack Layton and the NDP. Only fools like you think otherwise.

Didn't mean to upset you so much… But resorting to name-calling does not add any weight to your position.

Federal politicians don't have big money backers anymore. Chretien banned corporate and union donations.

The Liberals weren't as supportive of Con policy as some might think. The problem was that Harper was making most of his bills confidence votes. Meaning, if they failed to pass that would force an election. The Liberals were low in the polls and feared a potential backlash would lead to a Con majority. (Clearly their fears were justified…)

Michael Moriarity wrote:

As for your claim to have "debunked" the arguents in favour of PR over PV, you have done no such thing.

Your reading comprehension skills could clearly use some work. I have always maintained that PR is the superior system to PV ranked ballot. My position is that PV is a tremendous improvement over FPP. Some PR supporters feel they can wage a war against PV to better the chances of PR winning. But this corrupt strategy has utterly failed to produce results (4 provincial PR referendums have crashed and burned.)

So let's dispense with the lame politicking and silly rhetoric. This is a self-defeating approach to getting Canadians involved with voting reform and making it a key 2015 eleciton issue.

wage zombie

nakedApe42 wrote:

b) Legislate PV ranked ballot direct. Then hold a PR/PV referendum — only democratic voting systems in the running. (The Liberals propose to legislate PV as part of their democratic reform platform.)

That would be viewed as an economic boondoggle.  Go through all the cost of implementing a new voting system, and then potentially not even use it before switching to something else?

 

Ippurigakko

Sorry but you cant let us change our mind pick PV over PR. We so stick with PR.

PV is garbage sorry its for liberal supporters only.....

Policywonk

nakedApe42 wrote:

Michael Moriarity wrote:

nakedApe42 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.

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.

I usually stick to the issues, rather than personalities, but you really are showing what a hopeless fool you are. Ignatieff, and more importantly, his big-money backers, were always far closer to Harper in their policies and beliefs than they were to Jack Layton and the NDP. Only fools like you think otherwise.

Didn't mean to upset you so much… But resorting to name-calling does not add any weight to your position.

Federal politicians don't have big money backers anymore. Chretien banned corporate and union donations.

The Liberals weren't as supportive of Con policy as some might think. The problem was that Harper was making most of his bills confidence votes. Meaning, if they failed to pass that would force an election. The Liberals were low in the polls and feared a potential backlash would lead to a Con majority. (Clearly their fears were justified…)

Michael Moriarity wrote:

As for your claim to have "debunked" the arguents in favour of PR over PV, you have done no such thing.

Your reading comprehension skills could clearly use some work. I have always maintained that PR is the superior system to PV ranked ballot. My position is that PV is a tremendous improvement over FPP. Some PR supporters feel they can wage a war against PV to better the chances of PR winning. But this corrupt strategy has utterly failed to produce results (4 provincial PR referendums have crashed and burned.)

So let's dispense with the lame politicking and silly rhetoric. This is a self-defeating approach to getting Canadians involved with voting reform and making it a key 2015 eleciton issue.

It may or may not be an ineffective strategy, but to call it corrupt is ridiculous. The first referendum in BC actually came very close to succeeding.

Policywonk

nakedApe42 wrote:

Policywonk wrote:

JKR wrote:

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.

According to a seat projection of the 2011 election, the Liberals would've gained 12 seats on 19% of the vote under PV ranked ballot (from 34 to 46.)

Under FPP, the leading minority party wins dozens of seats due to vote splitting. PV stops vote splitting and distributes those seats among parties that occupy the same general area of the political spectrum. That will tend to increase the number of seats a 20% party would get. (Of course, PV does nothing for small parties, except offer them indirect representation for their alternative votes.) 

If you are saying that PV tends to increase the number of seats a 20% party will receive you might be correct, but it still depends vote concentrations. You do not prove your case on a sample size of one election though, even assuming the assumptions in the projection are correct (second choice polling may be even less accurate than first choice). PV might have given the Greens two seats in the last BC provincial election instead of one. Recounts would be really interesting under PV, especially if the margin between second and third place were close. Actually both PV and FPP can produce equally perverse results; the best you can say is that they may be more likely under FPP.

chamberred

nakedApe42 wrote:

chamberred wrote:

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.

Thanks, I have noted that. My point, that you missed, is that PV would not have delivered a result much different than FPP in terms of the number of Reform and PC seats in 1993.

PV might have added second-choice votes to make the final percentage for Reform look better, and worse for the PC's, in '93. This would have given Reform seats more (arguable) legitimacy, while downplaying the fact that the PCs deserved a higher proportion of seats based on first choice votes. It's possible then, that PV could help wipe out nationally-spread parties (eg. PCs) in favor of regionally-based ones (eg. Reform), a situation counter to your claim that PV allows more room for diverse parties.

Policywonk wrote:

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.

Good point.

ERik Ar

gadar wrote:

ERik Ar wrote:

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.

 

You give me too much credit.  I'm really not arguing that NDPers should only support PR if and when it benefits them directly, I'm arguing that PV is not PR and the Liberals know this only too well.   BUt OC its always the NDP's responsibility, even when theyre rarely given the mandate needed.   

I did not mention NDP,Liberals or the Cons. Neither did i mention PR or PV. And I didnt give you credit or discredit you as the post was a general statement. Its interesting that you thought that the post was somehow a critique on your views.

Edited to add: Thinking of giving credit. JKR is one of the very few in this thread who is actually discussing the issue objectively.

 

I meant giving me too much credit for blocking progress by my 'partisan' refusal to play ball with every Johnny-Come-Lately who insists that their latest flavour is the only 'realisic' option.  After years of online experience I don't find it  difficult to read what's being implied.   JKR has done a yeoman job in persisting with thissubject , but I also like to look at the political realities, forces and context within which the mechanical details are fought.  Since the LPC has officially made PV part of their platform, rejecting Murray's more cooperative multi-party approach, I'm sure we can all dream of better days again.

ERik Ar

nakedApe42 wrote:

ERik Ar wrote:

And using Andrew Coyne as an authority isn't going to win you any points here.

I disagree with Coyne on many issues. But he's the only mainstream journalist I've read that supports electoral reform. (He prefers PR but also supports PV ranked ballot.) The rest of the media is fiercely anti-PR when they're not ignoring the issue. 

I find Coyne's an objective source because he's a conservative columnist with no vested interest}

I find the idea that a rightwing ideologue like Coyne is anymore 'objective' in his interests than anyone else rather amusing.  

Quote:

ERik Ar wrote:

FYI, the father of the succesful 'Unite-the-Right' movement has openly stated he personally wants a more ideologically based two-party system.

Perhaps you have a link? He supported the Liberal party in the last election because he was opposed to Harper's "know-nothing strain of conservatism." 

What, a quote thats he's the presiding god-father of our present far-right government, or that he said that he prefers a more ideological poliotical landscape?  I think one pretty much supports the other, but if you want you can try googling it.  I saw him saying this on one of the dreary public panels he's regularly invited to, I have no idea if CBC posted it online, the rest is common knowledge, as is pretty much everything else I've written here.    

ERik Ar

Anyhow, issues of 'reading comprehension' aside, if the Liberals are willing to get together with the Greens, NDP or even the Bloc on whether we want a Different voting system versus our present one, like they did in NZ, then alot of these issues could be resolved at the starting gate.  If the majority of Canadians agree to it (which most say they do) then we could have a second round where advocates favouring all the most popular models could argue their case in the best democratic tradition. 

If, however, the Liberal Party refuses to give Canadians a choice aside from PV or FPTP, my way or the highway, then we can reasonably assume that it is just another attempt to coopt a movement they've had no interest in until now.  The blame at least would then be fairly clear, as will the reformist voters remaining options. 

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

Policywonk wrote:

Actually both PV and FPP can produce equally perverse results; the best you can say is that they may be more likely under FPP.

PV ranked ballot stops vote splitting and moderates perverse election results produced by FPP plurality ballot. In Canada, a united Conservative party gets a big unearned advantage due to three-way center-left vote splitting. (Just like the Liberals did when the right-wing vote was split.) That would evaporate under PV. 

No doubt hard-core PR supporters are perfectly fine with radical cons changing Canada beyond all recognition against the wishes of Canadians... 

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

Policywonk wrote:

nakedApe42 wrote:

I have always maintained that PR is the superior system to PV ranked ballot. My position is that PV is a tremendous improvement over FPP. Some PR supporters feel they can wage a war against PV to better the chances of PR winning. But this corrupt strategy has utterly failed to produce results (4 provincial PR referendums have crashed and burned.)

So let's dispense with the lame politicking and silly rhetoric. This is a self-defeating approach to getting Canadians involved with voting reform and making it a key 2015 election issue.

It may or may not be an ineffective strategy, but to call it corrupt is ridiculous. The first referendum in BC actually came very close to succeeding.

Yes and the second one was soundly defeated by over 60%. So were the ON and PEI referendums.

Since that time electoral reform has remained a fringe issue. That's why it's better to promote both PV ranked ballot and PR: to get more Canadians involved in the debate. Although most Canadians feel our election system is broken, the seemingly high support for PR evaporates in referendums. PV is a moderate choice that will appeal to voters who think PR is too much. Once they are on the hook, they will be more open to the benefits of a fully proportional system.

No doubt, the more zealous of electoral reformers are all-or-nothing types who will gladly live with nothing. Hopefully, these are not the people who will come to define the debate during the 2015 election campaign.

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

chamberred wrote:

nakedApe42 wrote:

chamberred wrote:

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.

Thanks, I have noted that. My point, that you missed, is that PV would not have delivered a result much different than FPP in terms of the number of Reform and PC seats in 1993.

I didn't miss it. I flat out rejected it because it's ridiculous and has no factual basis.

The Liberals picked up dozens of seats due to right-wing vote splitting. The seats the right-wing parties did get were arbitrarily awarded. (That's what happens when representation is doled out to the arbitrary leading candidate.)

Australia has 4 right-wing parties that can exist without producing absurd election results (due to vote splitting) because they have PV ranked ballot. That is not a hypothesis. It's a fact based on actual election results going back nearly a century:

Coalition arrangements are facilitated by Australia's preferential voting systems which enable Liberals and Nationals to compete locally in "three-cornered-contests", with the Australian Labor Party (ALP), while exchanging preferences in elections. Such contests would weaken their prospects under first past the post voting. …

Indeed, the whole point of introducing preferential voting was to allow safe spoiler-free three-cornered contests. It was a government of the forerunner to the modern Liberal party that introduced the legislation, following Labor's win at the 1918 Swan by-election where the conservative vote split.

chamberred wrote:

PV might have added second-choice votes to make the final percentage for Reform look better, and worse for the PC's, in '93. This would have given Reform seats more (arguable) legitimacy, while downplaying the fact that the PCs deserved a higher proportion of seats based on first choice votes.

This lame theorizing ignores the fact that the PCs would've picked up seats from alternative votes as well. It's up to voters to decide which party deserves legitimacy, not you. 

Obviously the Liberals received actual fake legitimacy from vote splitting back then, just as the Conservatives do now. Although PV ranked ballot doesn't ensure proportionality, it clearly stops vote splitting.

chamberred wrote:

It's possible then, that PV could help wipe out nationally-spread parties (eg. PCs) in favor of regionally-based ones (eg. Reform), a situation counter to your claim that PV allows more room for diverse parties.

It's possible if one ignores all the facts and evidence from the Australian experience and lives in an alternative universe where reason and logic do not apply.

chamberred

nakedApe42 wrote:

I didn't miss it. I flat out rejected it because it's ridiculous and has no factual basis.

NakedApe, hurling insults is weak argumentation. If something doesn't make sense, one should be able to refute it reasonably and without invective. There are facts to go on. We have to crunch the numbers for the '93 election. In any case, what I have "theorized" could happen in the real world under PV. Empirical examples do not eliminate possible political outcomes.

[eta: Regardless of how the '93 election numbers work out, a situation is entirely possible in which Party X and Party Y (which strongly tend to be first and second choices of a segment of voters) each receive say 20% of the first-choice votes counted nationally. However, X's are concentrated in one region, and Y's support is spread thinly across the country, practically in every riding. Under these conditions, the rest is logic. Under PV, in X's stronghold region, it will receive many Y second-choice votes. In the rest of the country, the low X votes and their second choices for Y will not amount to much more support added to Y's already thinly spread support. Y would need a couple bastions of its own. So how much could PV magnify regionalism?...That said, to stop another false Con majority, I wish the left would cooperate in the next election, ie, listen to Joyce Murray and Nathan Cullen.]

nakedApe42 wrote:

PV is a moderate choice that will appeal to voters who think PR is too much. Once they are on the hook, they will be more open to the benefits of a fully proportional system. 

 

Theoretically possible. But where's your evidence for this?

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

ERik Ar wrote:

What, a quote thats he's the presiding god-father of our present far-right government, or that he said that he prefers a more ideological poliotical landscape?  I think one pretty much supports the other, but if you want you can try googling it.  I saw him saying this on one of the dreary public panels he's regularly invited to, I have no idea if CBC posted it online, the rest is common knowledge, as is pretty much everything else I've written here.

None of what you said is common knowledge. All rhetoric aside, Andrew Coyne is the only mainstream journalist who supports proportional representation. (The rest either ignore it or say it will destroy the economy and the country.) That he is a non-partisan conservative makes him a greater asset to the electoral reform movement. (He's a more credible source because has no partisan agenda.)

Coyne even supports Murray's and May's idea of electoral cooperation. Electoral reformers won't find a greater friend in the media that Andrew Coyne.

 

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

ERik Ar wrote:

I meant giving me too much credit for blocking progress by my 'partisan' refusal to play ball with every Johnny-Come-Lately who insists that their latest flavour is the only 'realisic' option.  After years of online experience I don't find it  difficult to read what's being implied.   JKR has done a yeoman job in persisting with thissubject , but I also like to look at the political realities, forces and context within which the mechanical details are fought.  Since the LPC has officially made PV part of their platform, rejecting Murray's more cooperative multi-party approach, I'm sure we can all dream of better days again.

The only experience PR true-believers have had over the past decade is blowing PR referendums (BC, ON and PEI rejected PR by over 60%) while being completely oblivious to political realities.

The NDP also rejected Murray on electoral cooperation. The Liberals voted 73% in favor of PV ranked ballot. Apparently they believe PV is superior to PR. It's up to PR supporters to convince them otherwise.  

Given electoral reform is an issue that has gotten nowhere over the past decade, I'm glad the Liberals are stepping up and committed to getting something done. Fact is, a united Conservative party is positioned to become Canada's natural governing party of the 21st century. That will change our country beyond recognition — against the wishes of the vast majority of Canadians! 

Better to put out the fire first (with a simple change of the ballot) and worry about interior decorating later... 

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

ERik Ar wrote:

If, however, the Liberal Party refuses to give Canadians a choice aside from PV or FPTP, my way or the highway, then we can reasonably assume that it is just another attempt to coopt a movement they've had no interest in until now.  The blame at least would then be fairly clear, as will the reformist voters remaining options.

Actually, PR ideologues have taken the "my way or the highway" approach to voting reform over the past decade. Where has it gotten us? Nowhere. When the media wasn't ignoring the issue, they were attacking it. Canadians rejected PR 4 times in provincial referendums.

The beauty of fixing our existing Westminster system by changing the ballot from single-choice to ranked, is that it's not the final word on voting reform. It leaves the door open to an eventual PR/PV referendum (when PR actually has a chance of winning.)

Under FPP, a united Conservative party enjoys a huge unearned advantage due to 3-way vote splitting. They are positioned to change Canada beyond recognition. Although PV ranked ballot will not fix all electoral problems, it will stop that. It also offers a number of advantages to NDP and Green voters.

 

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

ERik Ar wrote:

Anyhow, issues of 'reading comprehension' aside, if the Liberals are willing to get together with the Greens, NDP or even the Bloc on whether we want a Different voting system versus our present one, like they did in NZ, then alot of these issues could be resolved at the starting gate.  If the majority of Canadians agree to it (which most say they do) then we could have a second round where advocates favouring all the most popular models could argue their case in the best democratic tradition.

The problem with the NZ referendum approach was that it gave too much weight to corrupt FPP. First referendum: do you want to keep FPP? If not, what democratic voting system do you want to replace it with? Second referendum: keep FPP or change to MMP (PR)?

It's better to have a 3-way referendum with a runoff election. First referendum: FPP, PR or PV. Second referendum will be narrowed down to two choices (which can exclude undemocratic FPP.) If PR makes it to the second referendum, have a second ballot: which PR system do you support: MMP 4%, MMP 5%, STV 5 member, STV 8 member (for example.)

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

chamberred wrote:

nakedApe42 wrote:

PV is a moderate choice that will appeal to voters who think PR is too much. Once they are on the hook, they will be more open to the benefits of a fully proportional system. 

 

Theoretically possible. But where's your evidence for this?

There is no evidence. The problem is that PR failed in 4 provincial referendums largely because voters didn't know much about the subject. (Normally there is a for and against campaign.) Plus the corporate media incited a lot of prejudices and ignorance about the issue.

Therefore a new strategy is required to try and engage Canadians in electoral reform and make it a 2015 election issue from the ground up.

By putting forward PV as an alternative solution to our broken voting system, electoral reform will reach twice the audience. That will increase the interest in the topic and the number of people talking about it. As Canadians debate the matter they will become more informed. That will weed out a lot of nonsense like PR will turn Canada into Israel or destroy the economy or allow neo-Nazis to rise to power, etc.

PR can beat PV based on its merits. PR is used by 85% of developed countries; runoff voting 6%. Strident politicking against either system, however, is disrespectful and will just cause Canadians to tune out the debate.

janfromthebruce

nakedApe42 wrote:

ERik Ar wrote:

 

The NDP also rejected Murray on electoral cooperation. The Liberals voted 73% in favor of PV ranked ballot. Apparently they believe PV is superior to PR. It's up to PR supporters to convince them otherwise.  

Given electoral reform is an issue that has gotten nowhere over the past decade, I'm glad the Liberals are stepping up and committed to getting something done. Fact is, a united Conservative party is positioned to become Canada's natural governing party of the 21st century. That will change our country beyond recognition — against the wishes of the vast majority of Canadians! 

Better to put out the fire first (with a simple change of the ballot) and worry about interior decorating later... 

Trudeau who won the liberal leadership rejected Murray's idea of electoral cooperation. And to transparent, when Liberals had a chance for "electorial cooperation" during the Harper minority govt, Iggy the leader rejected it and that was after sticking a knife in Dion's back. So the history of cooperation when there was a chance was rejected by the libs in favour of back stopping the Harper Conservative govt.

Remember all those votes, including manditory minimums that even Trudeau voted on! High 5's all around for hypercrisy. But I digress (because it's so much fun to walk down memory lane when Libs love to fake left and sucker Canadians in).

The only national party (who had elected members) of have a consistent history of openly campaigning on electorial reform is the NDP. And as for Libs getting things done and making promises, I'm still waiting for that national childcare program....

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

janfromthebruce wrote:

But I digress (because it's so much fun to walk down memory lane when Libs love to fake left and sucker Canadians in).

That's why voting reform is so important: the Liberals tend to sucker in the center-left vote and deliver right-of-center government. 

This is due to a major/minor party dynamic between the Liberals and NDP under FPP. Center-left voters tend to want to back the winning horse. They don't want to waste their vote on the minor party. They also fear vote splitting will allow neo-cons to win.

No doubt PR will stop this. But PV ranked ballot will stop it as well. Under PV, it makes little difference to a voter who they rank #1 and who they rank #2. So when Liberals campaign from the left and govern from the right, center-left voters can vote: #1 NDP, #2 Liberal.

Also under corrupt FPP, a united Conservative party means conservatives call the shots. This is evident with Mulcair's recent right-wing statements on taxation. Since 40% of voters are right-leaning, and a fake majority is at 39%, any center-left party must appeal to moderate conservatives to keep the Cons away from majority territory.

Either PR or PV ranked ballot will ensure all voters are equal. 

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

janfromthebruce wrote:

The only national party (who had elected members) of have a consistent history of openly campaigning on electorial reform is the NDP. And as for Libs getting things done and making promises, I'm still waiting for that national childcare program....

The whole problem is that partisans prefer FPP because it delivers absolute power on 39% of the vote. Right-leaning voters only favored electoral reform when right-wing vote splitting produced perpetual Liberal majorities. The Liberals only adopted PV ranked ballot when they fell to 3rd place status. The BC NDP only decided to back PR after 4 straight eleciton losses. 

So in order to get something done, we need to make voting reform a 2015 election issue from the ground up. The best approach is to promote both PR and PV ranked ballot to cast a wider net and get more Canadians involved in the debate. 

janfromthebruce

Please don't try to smear me with that "partisan" rhetoric. I have supported PP since my time and involvement in electorial politics. And liberals campaign strategy has always been don't vote NDP because the cons will get in and thus they get elected and act as cons with smiley faces.

We are talking about federal NDP politics in which the long term policy has been electorial reform and in which the federal campaign has run on. I prefer PP as it provides opportunity for smaller parties to get elected and make an easy entry on the political scene.

And I am partisan to progressive politics and the pretend kind - been there and got that t-shirt in 1993 and never looked back again.

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

janfromthebruce wrote:

Please don't try to smear me with that "partisan" rhetoric.

I wasn't saying you were partisan. I was saying partisans in major parties across the country tend to want to keep FPP because it gives them the chance at an easy dictatorship on 39% of the vote. That's why we've been stuck with corrupt FPP, while 91% of developed countries have adopted voting reform decades ago (85% PR.) 

janfromthebruce wrote:

We are talking about federal NDP politics in which the long term policy has been electorial reform and in which the federal campaign has run on. I prefer PP as it provides opportunity for smaller parties to get elected and make an easy entry on the political scene.

And I am partisan to progressive politics and the pretend kind - been there and got that t-shirt in 1993 and never looked back again.

Yes, well FPP allows the Liberals to govern from the right-of-center while pretending to represent centrists and left-leaning Canadians. That will never change unless we change our voting system. No doubt, PR would be ideal. But it's not ideal if Canadians reject it in a federal referendum. (Which seems likely the way the media attacks the system.)

PV ranked ballot offers a lot of benefits to NDP and Green voters. If we had PV in 2011, we'd have an NDP government now. Something is better than nothing. Nothing (FPP) oppresses NDP and Green voters the most. 

janfromthebruce

I disagree with your first statement. From my political experiences both provincially and nationally, it's those progressives who tend to support the NDP who want PP. I heard the Greens do too. Who I have found not interested are those who tend to overwhelmingly support Liberals and conservatives.

As for referendum, who says we must have one?

And I am quite aware that most major democracies have some form of PP in the world.

chamberred

nakedApe42 wrote:

center-left voters can vote: #1 NDP, #2 Liberal.

It would indeed be nice to know the numbers of first choice vs. strategic votes.

CanadaOrangeCat

FPP also allows the NDP to govern from the right of centre while taking the votes of leftist elements. And allows the Conservatives to spend like drunken sailors while taking the votes of non-leftist elements. You honestly think changing the voting system will eliminate hypocrisy in politics? Down to the two drunks I saw in a bar complaining about Rob Ford being like them, hypocrisy is an essential part of our character. Where would we be without it?

janfromthebruce

I haven't noted that the NDP got elected to run the prov of Ontario since early 1990s under Rae who is now a big time liberal. So don't know what you are talking about COC.

And the only pretend lefties who let the cons spend like drunken sailors were the years of Harper minority con govt and back stopped repeatedly by the Libs.

ERik Ar

CanadaOrangeCat wrote:

FPP also allows the NDP to govern from the right of centre while taking the votes of leftist elements. And allows the Conservatives to spend like drunken sailors while taking the votes of non-leftist elements. You honestly think changing the voting system will eliminate hypocrisy in politics? Down to the two drunks I saw in a bar complaining about Rob Ford being like them, hypocrisy is an essential part of our character. Where would we be without it?

 

Maybe if the oh-so cynical left spent less time bemoaning how unworthy 'we' all are and more time trying to win a few more unworthies over, say with some actual program that could possibly be instated sometime within our lifespans, then maybe you wouldn't have to act so cynical all the time.  I mean it hardly helps anyone's morale does it?  And it doesn't really square very well with our supposedly socialist beliefs either, regardless of whether some elements on the far left still share the far right's belief in economic determinism and the manic depression it always seems to inspire. 

ERik Ar

nakedApe42 wrote:

janfromthebruce wrote:

Please don't try to smear me with that "partisan" rhetoric.

I wasn't saying you were partisan. I was saying partisans in major parties across the country tend to want to keep FPP because it gives them the chance at an easy dictatorship on 39% of the vote. That's why we've been stuck with corrupt FPP, while 91% of developed countries have adopted voting reform decades ago (85% PR.) 

janfromthebruce wrote:

We are talking about federal NDP politics in which the long term policy has been electorial reform and in which the federal campaign has run on. I prefer PP as it provides opportunity for smaller parties to get elected and make an easy entry on the political scene.

And I am partisan to progressive politics and the pretend kind - been there and got that t-shirt in 1993 and never looked back again.

Yes, well FPP allows the Liberals to govern from the right-of-center while pretending to represent centrists and left-leaning Canadians. That will never change unless we change our voting system. No doubt, PR would be ideal. But it's not ideal if Canadians reject it in a federal referendum. (Which seems likely the way the media attacks the system.)

PV ranked ballot offers a lot of benefits to NDP and Green voters. If we had PV in 2011, we'd have an NDP government now. Something is better than nothing. Nothing (FPP) oppresses NDP and Green voters the most. 

 

Still at it are we?  Sorry but linking to your own web page doesn't win me over either.  Until I can find some polling data spelling out Canadian's voting preferences over several elections I will remain skeptical about the good intentions of the aging Liberal centre.  Since they won over the far right in BC yet again and gave Harper his majority I'm going to bet that their demonstrated lack of support for PR will remain firmly in place awhile longer.    Feel free to call us 'PR fanatics' in the meantime. 

JUst FYI though a bit of recent history.  Andrew Coyne and a few other neo-con/liberals organized and publicized a so-callled "Winds of Change" conference during the nineties with big money brokers, to promote a united right, which caused a bit of controversy about jouranlistic independence, back when it was still a bit of an issue within the craft.  Being a neo-con/liberal though his continued employment as an 'independent source' didn't seem to be affected.  I do note that he's not so hot on uniting the left though --funny that.

http://www2.macleans.ca/2011/09/09/a-merger-just-doesnt-add-up/

I do tend to agree with him on this, but I suspect for rather different reasons. 

 

mark_alfred

nakedApe42 wrote:

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.

Sometimes I read freedominion.ca, and while Justin Trudeau doesn't thrill them, they generally don't absolutely dread him either.  Mulcair, on the other hand, they completely loathe.

Unionist

ERik Ar wrote:
I do note that [Andrew Coyne]'s not so hot on uniting the left though --funny that.

http://www2.macleans.ca/2011/09/09/a-merger-just-doesnt-add-up/

That was two years ago. This year, he took a slightly different tack:

[url=http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2013/01/25/andrew-coyne-no-oppositio... opposition party is going to beat the Tories until they unite behind electoral reform[/url]

Coyne suggests a one-time alliance of Liberals, NDP, and Greens to run a single candidate per riding, with the sole aim of instituting electoral reform - then calling fresh elections.

 

chamberred

Unionist wrote:

Coyne suggests a one-time alliance of Liberals, NDP, and Greens to run a single candidate per riding, with the sole aim of instituting electoral reform - then calling fresh elections.

Nathan Cullen, Joyce Murray and Elizabeth May should be all in on that. Also needed is a permanent all-party body on democratic reform and ethics in government.

socialdemocrati...

Implementation is a whole other issue. But in theory, Coyne is repeating a good idea that others have come up with. A one-time "reform the system" coalition would be another way to implement PR.

But in all the hand-wringing about the Conservative juggernaut, people fail to recognize that the Conservatives had to fight tooth and nail to capture a majority. If the election had happened a few days earlier, the Liberals would have held the Conservatives to a minority. If the election happened a few days later, the NDP would have held the Conservatives to a minority. In almost every poll since the 2011 election, the combined Liberal + NDP votes would hold the Conservatives to a minority, even in FPTP, even with the 30 new ridings.

As long as the Bloc Quebecois doesn't suddenly resurge in popularity, it's VERY likely that the NDP+Liberals will have more seats than the Conservatives in 2015. That's a potential coalition government that could emerge (with no assistance from the Bloc Quebecois, which was a bad PR for the 2008 coalition). And electoral reform would almost certainly be a precondition for such a coalition, with the "senior partner" having more sway over the form that policy would take. Whether we'd see the Liberals cooperate with the NDP is another story, but post-election cooperation is an option that few people talk about.

I'm just sick of people saying we need to have a referendum on it, as if Conservatives have a referendum on any of their ideas before they shove them down our throat.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

I'm just sick of people saying we need to have a referendum on it, as if Conservatives have a referendum on any of their ideas before they shove them down our throat.

Absolutely. There have been many instances where policies at least as consequential have been enacted with no referendum. For example, the Mulroney FTA and the Chretien Nafta agreements actually limited what future Canadian governments can do, but nobody insisted on a referendum. There was also no referendum on the new constitution we got from P. E. Trudeau and company in 1982. It is ludicrous to suggest that an amendment to the Elections Act should require one.

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

janfromthebruce wrote:

As for referendum, who says we must have one?

It would be nice to legislate PR direct. In order for that to happen, however, the NDP would have to win a majority. (The Liberals don't support PR — they voted 73% in favor of PV ranked ballot.)

But it could also happen if we take the incremental approach to voting reform. First step, fix our existing system with PV ranked ballot (as the Liberals propose.) That will make it easier for the NDP to make breakthroughs and form governments. (It took them 80 years to make a breakthrough last time...)

When the NDP comes to power they could either legislate a semi-proportional addition to PV, or full out PR.

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

chamberred wrote:

nakedApe42 wrote:

center-left voters can vote: #1 NDP, #2 Liberal.

It would indeed be nice to know the numbers of first choice vs. strategic votes.

I think the 2011 election demonstrated that strategic voting doesn't work. The Green party was polling as high as 10% and ended up with 3.9%. One can guess half of Green voters voted strategically. But they probably all cancelled each other out.

Harper's sleazy method of micro-targeting votes in strategic ridings proved much more effective.

That's why PV ranked ballot is a huge improvement over FPP. It allows perfect strategic voting (Anyone But Conservative). It provides automatic electoral cooperation. It ends micro-targeting. Liberals and NDP will also have to entice Green voters for alternative votes.

Although PV is not as good as PR, it would accomplish a lot as an intermediate step.

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

CanadaOrangeCat wrote:

FPP also allows the NDP to govern from the right of centre while taking the votes of leftist elements. And allows the Conservatives to spend like drunken sailors while taking the votes of non-leftist elements. You honestly think changing the voting system will eliminate hypocrisy in politics? Down to the two drunks I saw in a bar complaining about Rob Ford being like them, hypocrisy is an essential part of our character. Where would we be without it?

Yes, either PR or PV ranked ballot will end the hyper-partisan polarizing politics that currently plague Parliament.

Andrew Coyne makes a good point about it:

 

“When a candidate needs only a small slice of the electorate to win he has little incentive to make himself less obnoxious to the rest; indeed, he has every incentive to amp up the us-and-them rhetoric, the better to lock down his support.

“With a ranked ballot, on the other hand, it’s not enough merely to have the most votes. You have to get a majority. Vote-splitting thus ceases to be an issue: Voters can mark a 1 beside their preferred candidate in good conscience, knowing that their second and third choices will also be counted. And because a candidate will typically need those second and third choices to win, he now has an incentive, not to attack and divide, but to reach out to supporters of other parties.”

Corrupt FPP also makes conservatives more equal than other voters. This is because conservatives make up 40% of the vote and a fake majority is at 39%. So both the Liberals and NDP have to appeal to conservatives on economic issues to split the right-wing vote and stop a Conservative majority. That explains Mulcair's recent right-wing position on taxation.

 

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

ERik Ar wrote:

nakedApe42 wrote:

Yes, well FPP allows the Liberals to govern from the right-of-center while pretending to represent centrists and left-leaning Canadians. That will never change unless we change our voting system. No doubt, PR would be ideal. But it's not ideal if Canadians reject it in a federal referendum. (Which seems likely the way the media attacks the system.)

PV ranked ballot offers a lot of benefits to NDP and Green voters. If we had PV in 2011, we'd have an NDP government now. Something is better than nothing. Nothing (FPP) oppresses NDP and Green voters the most.

Still at it are we?  Sorry but linking to your own web page doesn't win me over either.  Until I can find some polling data spelling out Canadian's voting preferences over several elections I will remain skeptical about the good intentions of the aging Liberal centre.

Actually my blog references polling data and seat projections published in the Globe and Mail.

It makes perfect sense that PV ranked ballot would stop a Harper majority. It stops center-left vote splitting. It allows Anyone But Conservative voting and distributes votes to parties in the same part of the political spectrum. (Which is how it has worked in Australia for nearly a century.) Harper won the election by microtargeting voters in a couple dozen of ridings. PV would put a stop to that nonsense as well. 

BTW, do the NDP and Green parties have good intentions trying to bring PR to Canada, or are they doing it out of self-interest?

The fact is the Liberals have traditionally supported FPP. They only adopted PV ranked ballot when they fell to third place. It's a fallacy PV will give the Liberal party an advantage. The Liberals choose PV because it appears to be the moderate option. But like the NDP in BC, they will abandon electoral reform if a 39% dictatorship is in reach.

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

ERik Ar wrote:

JUst FYI though a bit of recent history.  Andrew Coyne and a few other neo-con/liberals organized and publicized a so-callled "Winds of Change" conference during the nineties with big money brokers, to promote a united right, which caused a bit of controversy about jouranlistic independence, back when it was still a bit of an issue within the craft.  Being a neo-con/liberal though his continued employment as an 'independent source' didn't seem to be affected.  I do note that he's not so hot on uniting the left though --funny that.

http://www2.macleans.ca/2011/09/09/a-merger-just-doesnt-add-up/

I do tend to agree with him on this, but I suspect for rather different reasons.

Yes mergers are bad for the center-right and the center-left. When the Reform party swallowed up the PCs, moderate conservatives were left without a home. Many were forced to vote Liberal. 

If the center-left unites, left-leaning voters will be marginalized in a Democrat-like party.

Either PR or PV ranked ballot is needed to stop the merger nonsense. It's absolutely ridiculous for parties to have to merge to get democratic voting results. Obviously the smart option is to adopt a democratic voting system.

Obvioiusly PR would fix the situation. But so would PV ranked ballot. In Australia, there are 4 right-of-center parties that are a part of a voting coalition that ensures right-wing votes go to right-wing parties. If PV was brought to Canada, we would likely see the formation of a moderate conservative party.

PV would also make it easier for the NDP to make a breakthrough sticking to their social democratic values (as opposed to waiting every 80 years for one to come along...) There would be no worry of the Conservatives getting a majority on 39% of the vote. All voters would be equal.

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

And electoral reform would almost certainly be a precondition for such a coalition, with the "senior partner" having more sway over the form that policy would take. Whether we'd see the Liberals cooperate with the NDP is another story, but post-election cooperation is an option that few people talk about.

Post-election cooperation is the reason I write the blog Democratic Voting Canada. Yes if the Liberals form a minority government the NDP should cooperate and back their proposal for PV ranked ballot (as a stopgap measure.) If the NDP forms a minority government, the Liberals should back the NDP on their PR initiative.

The problem I worry about, is that the Liberals tend to back FPP. So if they form the government, and the NDP demands a citizens's assembly and eventual PR/FPP referendum, Trudeau might very will give them one. With his eye on a 2017 fake majority, he'll put forward another designed-to-fail referendum. Then electoral reform is toast in Canada. (PR lost by over 60% in BC, ON and PEI with designed-to-fail referendums put forward by Liberal governments.)

Aristotleded24

nakedApe42 wrote:
It makes perfect sense that PV ranked ballot would stop a Harper majority. It stops center-left vote splitting. It allows Anyone But Conservative voting and distributes votes to parties in the same part of the political spectrum. (Which is how it has worked in Australia for nearly a century.) Harper won the election by microtargeting voters in a couple dozen of ridings. PV would put a stop to that nonsense as well.

What about the fact that right-wing Liberal voters in Ontario switched to the Conservatives to stop the NDP? The assumption that the Liberals and NDP would be each other's second choices is quite fallicious.

Malcontent

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. 

 

 

You can say that about every federal and provincial election in Canada except for Alberta..

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