First-Past-the-Post turns Canadians off politics

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socialdemocrati...

nakedApe42 wrote:

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.)

Then we should stop repeating the myth that we would need a referendum to get there.

Pass a law. And if the next government -- elected under PR -- doesn't like it, let's see them try and repeal it without retaliation from the voters.

janfromthebruce

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

nakedApe42 wrote:

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.)

Then we should stop repeating the myth that we would need a referendum to get there.

Pass a law. And if the next government -- elected under PR -- doesn't like it, let's see them try and repeal it without retaliation from the voters.

I'm with SDM on this one: if you win a majority govt and a party ran on a central plank like PP, one has an obligation to put it in place. Same thing, if you didn't run on something major you shouldn't be inacting.

So take the liberals in 1993, they ran on getting rid of the GST, and aberrgating the NAFTA deal. They had an obligation to do that and they didn't. In the end, they tricked the public into voting for them. Ditto for national childcare.

CanadaOrangeCat

Alberta should quit whining about equalization payments while their oil companies are hosing us all at the pumps every day. Maybe a threat of a new National Energy Policy would be two steps forward and one step back towards national unity, especially with increased west - to - east oil transportation facilities as proposed.

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

Aristotleded24 wrote:

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.

I'm not saying all Liberal and NDP votes would interchange. But center-left votes would interchange.

The total conservative vote in Canada is about 38%. Before the united Conservative party, the total vote was: 35%, 38% and 38% (1993, 1997, 2000.) What happened when the Reform party swallowed up the PCs was that many moderate conservatives started voting Liberal. In the 2004 election, the Harper Conservatives got 30% — the lowest combined conservative vote in history.

So if one looks at the 2011 election results, the 40% vote is broken up approximately: hard-core con: 30%; red Tory: 8%; blue Liberal 2%.

If we had PV back in 2011, the 40% center-right vote would not have been enough for a fake majority. But the combined NDP and Liberal center-left vote of 50% would have produced 53% of the seats (instead of 44%.) The likely outcome (given the history of cooperative minority governments between the Liberals and NDP,) would've been a NDP-Liberal coalition government. 

So although PV won't be as accurate as PR, it will end center-left vote splitting and the unearned advantage a united Conservative party gets from it. It will also prevent the Liberals from getting 39% fake majorities as well. (That would mean more NDP-Liberal majority governments; PR would mean regular NDP-Liberal governments.)

PV is a good first step on the road to electoral reform. Given PR went down in flames in provincial referendums, it's probably a necessary first step.

 

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

nakedApe42 wrote:

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.)

Then we should stop repeating the myth that we would need a referendum to get there.

Pass a law. And if the next government -- elected under PR -- doesn't like it, let's see them try and repeal it without retaliation from the voters.

I like the aggressive position. The Liberals have handed us 4 designed-to-fail PR referendums. Their interest was in seeing the reform fail. With the NDP at the helm, who want the reform to succeed, they could take a bolder approach.

They could create a citizens' assembly, hold cross-countries hearings, then draft an electoral reform bill based on the assembly's findings and make it law. If the NDP runs on this platform, then it has its mandate.

The problem is getting enough support. An NDP majority would suffice, but seems unlikely. If the NDP won a strong minority government, they could split the Liberal caucus over the issue. About 30% of Liberals support PR. They could break party ranks over the vote and help make PR law.

But I would strongly suggest that the NDP back the Liberals on PV ranked ballot if they do poorly in the next election. (According to the latest seat projections, the NDP would be reduced to 44 seats from 103.)

The simple reason for this? It will be much easier for the NDP to make a breakthrough under PV than FPP.

Under FPP, it took the NDP 75 years to become the Official Opposition (including CCF.) They averaged 15% of the vote during this time; 9% of the seats. If the NDP bugger PV, that will likely be just fine with the Liberals (who have historically supported FPP and wound up with NDP seats.) Trudeau would probably like to roll the dice on a 39% dictatorship in 2017.

Electoral reformers need to spend much more time thinking about strategy. Clicking one's heels together three times and repeating "76% of Canadians support PR" ain't going to make it happen… 

 

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

Michael Moriarity wrote:

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.

The corporate media and business community would certainly raise hell if a government tried legislating PR direct, giving all the nasty things they have to say on the subject. But under PR, the effects of a backlash are moderated. Under FPP, which produces polarizing results, a small swing in the vote can produce a huge swing in seats.

It's certainly possible, however, to legislate PR direct if the NDP formed a minority government and got pro-PR Liberals (about 30% of party members) to break ranks and support the bill. 

BTW, the plutocrats are totally wrong about FPP. They say it produces "strong, stable government." But if one compares post-war government in Canada under "strong, stable" FPP to Western European countries using "chaotic" PR, the fact is PR provides more stable government. Canada ranks #11 among 12 countries.

JKR

Hopefully the Liberal party will support proportional representation during their next convention. This is a resolution that the Liberals will hopefully support at their 2014 policy convention:

electoralreformforcanada.ca

Quote:
A Continuation of Electoral Reform Policy

WHEREAS the Liberal Party of Canada is committed to formulating policy on the basis of sound and appropriate evidence;

WHEREAS the Liberal Party of Canada has an existing statement that Liberals are committed to exploring electoral reform to ensure more meaningful and effective representation and an Open Parliament Plan to enact electoral reform and embrace evidence based scrutiny; and

WHEREAS compelling evidence points to an element of proportional representation in the election of Parliamentarians as being a necessary component for a healthy electoral system in a country as diverse as Canada;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Liberal Party of Canada add an element of proportional representation to its preferential ballot policy;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that immediately after the next election, the Liberal Party of Canada will institute an all party process involving expert assistance and citizen participation to report to Parliament within 12 months with detailed recommendations for an electoral system to represent all Canadians fairly and allow Parliament to better serve Canada; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that within 18 months after the next election a comprehensive, fair, and unbiased plan for public education about the recommended electoral system will be presented to Parliament.

If the Liberals back this policy and pledge to put in on their election platform, I would hope that the Liberals, NDP, and Greens could agree on a higher level of cooperation with each other. If the Liberals support PR I would even support joint NDP-Liberal-Green nominations in swing ridings for the next election.

Winston

First-past-the-post sucks, but it is better than that PV cop-out the Liberals are pushing. Here's to hoping Fair Vote Canada can move the Liberals over to PR, but I'm not holding my breath.

socialdemocrati...

Proportional representation is really important. It would transform politics by leaps and bounds. Hypothetically, I might even vote for a right-wing government if they promised PR, and if I could even trust them. As unfathomable as that is.

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

JKR wrote:

Hopefully the Liberal party will support proportional representation during their next convention. This is a resolution that the Liberals will hopefully support at their 2014 policy convention:

electoralreformforcanada.ca

Quote:
A Continuation of Electoral Reform Policy

WHEREAS the Liberal Party of Canada is committed to formulating policy on the basis of sound and appropriate evidence;

WHEREAS the Liberal Party of Canada has an existing statement that Liberals are committed to exploring electoral reform to ensure more meaningful and effective representation and an Open Parliament Plan to enact electoral reform and embrace evidence based scrutiny; and

WHEREAS compelling evidence points to an element of proportional representation in the election of Parliamentarians as being a necessary component for a healthy electoral system in a country as diverse as Canada;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Liberal Party of Canada add an element of proportional representation to its preferential ballot policy;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that immediately after the next election, the Liberal Party of Canada will institute an all party process involving expert assistance and citizen participation to report to Parliament within 12 months with detailed recommendations for an electoral system to represent all Canadians fairly and allow Parliament to better serve Canada; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that within 18 months after the next election a comprehensive, fair, and unbiased plan for public education about the recommended electoral system will be presented to Parliament.

If the Liberals back this policy and pledge to put in on their election platform, I would hope that the Liberals, NDP, and Greens could agree on a higher level of cooperation with each other. If the Liberals support PR I would even support joint NDP-Liberal-Green nominations in swing ridings for the next election.

The Liberals voted for PV ranked ballot at their 2012 convention — by 70%. This is an unprecedented move by a party which has traditionally favored FPP.

PR is dead. It was rejected by Canadians in provincial referendums by over 60% in BC, ON and PEI. If we hold another PR referendum, the corporate media will trash it and it will crash and burn killing electoral reform for good.

Electoral cooperation has been rejected by Mulcair and Trudeau. Of course, if we had PV ranked ballot we'd have permanent electoral cooperation where voters decide which center-left candidate they like best. No doubt that's not good enough for the all-or-nothing types. But it's pretty obvious they are not going to end up with it all… 

 

 

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

Winston wrote:

First-past-the-post sucks, but it is better than that PV cop-out the Liberals are pushing. Here's to hoping Fair Vote Canada can move the Liberals over to PR, but I'm not holding my breath.

No doubt there is a lot of ignorance about PV ranked ballot among ideologues. But the fact is, according to the Globe and Mail, if we had PV in 2011, Jack Layton would've become prime minister.

Instead of a Harper winning 54% of the seats on 40% of the vote — getting 100% of the power — the NDP and Liberals would've formed the government on 50% of the vote and 53% of the seats.

It takes an awful lot of brain-wasting fundamentalism to believe that is worse than a Harper majority. 

 

Bacchus

If it means Liberals in power then it might not be worse but at least just as bad

 

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

nakedApe42 wrote:

No doubt there is a lot of ignorance about PV ranked ballot among ideologues. But the fact is, according to the Globe and Mail, if we had PV in 2011, Jack Layton would've become prime minister.

Instead of a Harper winning 54% of the seats on 40% of the vote — getting 100% of the power — the NDP and Liberals would've formed the government on 50% of the vote and 53% of the seats.

You keep repeating this wrong-headed statement. Ignatieff had a chance to be Prime Minister in a coalition with the NDP in early 2009, and he turned it down. There is no evidence whatsoever that he would have accepted a position as junior coalition partner had the 2011 election turned out as you project. All available evidence indicates that he would have led the Liberals in voting to continue the minority Con government. Repeating a falsehood will never make it any more true.

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

Michael Moriarity wrote:

nakedApe42 wrote:

No doubt there is a lot of ignorance about PV ranked ballot among ideologues. But the fact is, according to the Globe and Mail, if we had PV in 2011, Jack Layton would've become prime minister.

Instead of a Harper winning 54% of the seats on 40% of the vote — getting 100% of the power — the NDP and Liberals would've formed the government on 50% of the vote and 53% of the seats.

You keep repeating this wrong-headed statement. Ignatieff had a chance to be Prime Minister in a coalition with the NDP in early 2009, and he turned it down. There is no evidence whatsoever that he would have accepted a position as junior coalition partner had the 2011 election turned out as you project. All available evidence indicates that he would have led the Liberals in voting to continue the minority Con government. Repeating a falsehood will never make it any more true.

All available historical evidence shows the Liberals and NDP tend to work together in minority situations especially when they share a majority of seats. Ignoring the facts will not change reality. Take the 1985 ON election. The PCs won, but the Liberals and NDP formed a majority coalition and ousted them.

Iggy didn't reject the 2008 coalition with the NDP and Bloc separatists. Canadians did. There was a huge public backlash against the idea. Liberals tend to stay away from radical ideas. The same would not have happened against an NDP/Liberal government commanding 50% of the vote and 53% of the seats if we had the ranked ballot.

Fact is, after an election when parties negotiate over who will form the government, there's no place for the hyper-partisan bigotry of the lower ranks. Take for instance the situation in ON. The Wynne Liberals are working with the Horwath NDP. No doubt the hard left Dippers can't stand that either.

 

Winston

You know, Naked Ape, your incessant peddling of PV is getting old and disruptive. The scheme has been panned and debunked multiple times over the last several months in several threads and yet you keep bringing it up.

Your repeated assertions that only the Liberals can defeat Conservatives are also getting tiresome and boring, not least because of how anti-democratic they sound. People have a choice: they can vote NDP, they can vote Green, or they can vote for any number of other parties. Most of us think that in a healthy, multi-party democracy their voices should be heard PROPORTIONALLY in Parliament.

I understand that trying to force people to plug their noses and swallow voting for a corrupt Liberal party that is bereft of ideas is a time-honoured Liberal strategy, but it is the single most distasteful aspect of that party that I can think of.

We get it, you like the Liberals. That's fine, but try then convincing us why the Liberals are so awesome, with policy proposals (if they have any) and how things might be different and improved from how they were under Harper and Martin/Chrétien.

Please cease from trolling us by trying to force us all to accept "improvements" to the voting system that are anything but, or with threats that Harper will be re-elected if we dare to vote anything other than Liberal.

PS: And please stop calling us "hard-left Dippers" and other pejoratives. Some of us consider ourselves to be quite centrist social democrats who actually want to see a competent government that works in the public interest. 

JKR

nakedApe42 wrote:
PR is dead. It was rejected by Canadians in provincial referendums by over 60% in BC, ON and PEI. If we hold another PR referendum, the corporate media will trash it and it will crash and burn killing electoral reform for good.

You are justifiably scared that attempting to establish PR will lead to another failed referendum that will doom the chance of much needed democratic reform in Canada. Unfortunately I think any electoral reform is doomed if it requires a referendum to pass. Since so few people in Canada understand electoral systems, it is very easy for the status quo FPTP side in a referendum to make untrue arguments against any untried and generally unknown system, be it PR or PV. PV's losss to FPTP in the UK shows that the status quo FPTP has a huge advantage over an untried and unknown PV.

Fortunately, I believe that electoral reform can be established without a referendum. I also believe that since Liberals like Bob Rae, Stephen Dion and Joyce Murray support PR, there's a good chance that the NDP and/or Liberals will be able to establish PR if the Conservatives don't win another phony FPTP majority in the next election.

I think that all sides in the electoral reform debate have principled arguments to make. I think the pro-FPTP side also has a principled and ethical argument on its side. This is the principled argument that I think can be made for FPTP: that FPTP brings people together as much as possible. That FPTP forces people to set aside their differences for the greater good. A FPTP supporter can justifiably argue that the NDP, Liberals, and Greens, don't deserve to lead because they aren't able to put aside their differences and work together for the greater good of establishing social programs. Proponents of FPTP could also make a good case that the Conservatives deserve to lead because they were able to put aside their egos for the greater good of lowering taxes when they merged the Reform Party with the Progressive Conservative Party.

Personally I dislike FPTP because I dislike being limited to just two big-tent parties. That's why I prefer PR and why I think that PV is better than FPTP. Both PR and PV allow for many parties to co-exist without vote-splitting but PR allows all parties and all voters to be fairly represented while PV does not.

I also think that since we are currently operating under FPTP, the NDP, Liberals, and Greens should put aside their differences and cooperate much more with each other for all those Canadians whose primary goal isn't lowering their taxes. The first thing I think they should cooperate on with each other is supporting PR.

nakedApe42 nakedApe42's picture

JKR wrote:

I think that all sides in the electoral reform debate have principled arguments to make. I think the pro-FPTP side also has a principled and ethical argument on its side. This is the principled argument that I think can be made for FPTP: that FPTP brings people together as much as possible. That FPTP forces people to set aside their differences for the greater good. A FPTP supporter can justifiably argue that the NDP, Liberals, and Greens, don't deserve to lead because they aren't able to put aside their differences and work together for the greater good of establishing social programs. Proponents of FPTP could also make a good case that the Conservatives deserve to lead because they were able to put aside their egos for the greater good of lowering taxes when they merged the Reform Party with the Progressive Conservative Party.

There is nothing principled about FPP. The Cons like it because it awards power to the party with the biggest block of voters, not the one (or ones) that commands a majority. FPP is a primitive 19th century system of voting that most developed countries got rid of a century ago. It doesn't bring the people together. It marginalizes most voters. 

Take a look at the Democratic party in the US. Centrists and progressives have no say. Look at the Republican and Conservative parties. Moderate conservatives have no say. 

97% of developed countries have multi-party systems. Only the US is two party. Having more parties allows for better representation of voters.

The ranked ballot fixes many of the problems FPP has. It's a good, practical starting point after the PR failures. It can be legislated on a party platform which is what the Liberals are running on. From there PR supporters only have to battle one alternative voting system, instead of having 3-way vote splitting kill PR referendums.

The biggest problem with voting reform is the media. In countries like Canada, the US and the UK, the media is controlled by the upper-class business community. They demand FPP because it's easier to lobby single-party dictatorships than democratic coalitions. Democracy is the enemy of plutocracy. So the media either ignores voting reform or wages a war against it. But with the advent of the social media, this can eventually change. 

 

JKR

nakedApe42 wrote:
There is nothing principled about FPP. The Cons like it because it awards power to the party with the biggest block of voters, not the one (or ones) that commands a majority. FPP is a primitive 19th century system of voting that most developed countries got rid of a century ago. It doesn't bring the people together. It marginalizes most voters. 

Take a look at the Democratic party in the US. Centrists and progressives have no say. Look at the Republican and Conservative parties. Moderate conservatives have no say. 

97% of developed countries have multi-party systems. Only the US is two party. Having more parties allows for better representation of voters.

The ranked ballot fixes many of the problems FPP has. It's a good, practical starting point after the PR failures. It can be legislated on a party platform which is what the Liberals are running on. From there PR supporters only have to battle one alternative voting system, instead of having 3-way vote splitting kill PR referendums.

The biggest problem with voting reform is the media. In countries like Canada, the US and the UK, the media is controlled by the upper-class business community. They demand FPP because it's easier to lobby single-party dictatorships than democratic coalitions. Democracy is the enemy of plutocracy. So the media either ignores voting reform or wages a war against it. But with the advent of the social media, this can eventually change.

NA42, it seems to me that you are frustrated because FPTP unfairly marginalizes you and most other voters. I am also frustrated by our electoral system's marginalization of the social democratic left. I also notice that voters have chosen to stick with FPTP in five referendums on electoral reform in PEI, BC, and Ontario, and the UK. This indicates to me that these voters don't feel very marginalized by FPTP. If these voters felt marginalized by FPTP, they would presumably have voted for an alternative system. The voters in the UK chose to keep FPTP and not establish PV. Presumably if they had felt very marginalized by FPTP they would have chosen PV over FPTP. If the voters in Canada felt marginalized by FPTP they would likely have chosen PR over FPTP. So I think it's fair to say that the voters in Canada and the UK don't feel very marginalized by FPTP.

I find it interesting that in the UK, in Wales and in Scotland, they were able to establish electoral reform and abolish FPTP. In Scotland and Wales they were able to establish open-list MMP. This was done without a referendum that would have likely favoured the status-quo FPTP. I think the same scenrio can happen here in Canada where open-list MMP could also be established without the hinderence of a referendum.

I think we both feel frustrated that the left in Canada has been historically underrepresented because FPTP does not mirror the voters' political preferences. I think that when the left is in a position to do so, without using a referendum, it should establish the only system that fairly reflects the voter opinions, PR.

I sense that you prefer PR over PV but you feel that PR can not be realistically established in Canada. Looking at what has happened in Scotland and Wales, why don't you think that open-list MMP could be established in Canada as it was in the UK?

janfromthebruce

Embedded image permalink

Wilf Day

nakedApe42 wrote:
Iggy didn't reject the 2008 coalition with the NDP and Bloc separatists. Canadians did. There was a huge public backlash against the idea.

This Liberal excuse is a media myth, repeated without looking at the evidence.

The hysteria against the coalition largely vanished after Christmas, 2008.

On Jan. 15 - 17 EKOS found 50% support for the Coalition, while 43% would prefer the Conservative government to the Coalition, and 6% were undecided, although only 36% would vote Conservative.

JKR

Wilf Day wrote:

nakedApe42 wrote:
Iggy didn't reject the 2008 coalition with the NDP and Bloc separatists. Canadians did. There was a huge public backlash against the idea.

This Liberal excuse is a media myth, repeated without looking at the evidence.

The hysteria against the coalition largely vanished after Christmas, 2008.

On Jan. 15 - 17 EKOS found 50% support for the Coalition, while 43% would prefer the Conservative government to the Coalition, and 6% were undecided, although only 36% would vote Conservative.

I thought the hysteria vanished prior to Christmas of 2008 when Dion, the one who was supposed to become the Prime Minister of the Liberal-NDP coalition government was removed as Liberal leader and replaced by Ignatieff who opposed entering into a coalition with the NDP that required support of the BQ. I think the BQ's apparent participation with the Liberal-NDP coalition severely damaged its chances of succeeding and I find it hard to understand why politicos like Dion, Layton, Duceppe, (and Topp), weren't able to realize that a picture of Dion, Layton, and Duceppe, shaking hands would not go over well in many parts of the country.

JKR

Wynne’s chance to take a bold step for democracy

Quote:

Between low voter turnout and  sophisticated methods of voter targeting, it is
increasingly easy for  politicians to get elected by narrowcasting their
messages. If you need  relatively few votes to win office, and you have
a pretty good sense of  what potential supporters want to hear, there’s
little incentive to  address – or, if elected, try to please – the
entire electorate.

...

While Mr. Ford’s re-election prospects  are not the
issue – the activist group Ranked Ballot Initiative of  Toronto was
pushing preferential voting before he became mayor, and in  no scenario
could a change be implemented before next year’s municipal  campaign –
they offer a case in point. Even as polls suggest a strong  majority of
Torontonians would not consider voting for him, a crowded  field could
allow him to win on the strength of a relatively small but  dedicated
base in a couple of suburbs while he ignores downtown.

It  is no better, of course, that a downtown candidate could get
elected by  ignoring much of the suburbs. While the urban-suburban split
has become  more obvious since Mr. Ford was elected, few familiar with
the city’s  politics would suggest it will ever cease to be a factor as
long as  there is no incentive to try to speak to both.

Even if Ms. Wynne  wants to do something about that, there is no
guarantee she could.  Preferential balloting tends to favour centrists,
and, if it is viewed  as a potential precursor to a similar change at
the provincial level,  the Progressive Conservatives and the New
Democrats might not go along.

If  so, let them explain why they do not want politicians to have to
speak  to all residents of the province’s fractious capital. And in the
meanwhile, let Ms. Wynne explain her selective interest in deferring to
  city council’s wishes.

A ranked ballot would be much better than FPTP but why not go a step further and have have ranked ballots in multi-member ridings using STV, the single transferable vote?

Maybe the Ontario NDP and Ontario Liberals could agree on supporting STV or open-list MMP that uses preferential voting?

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

While it was clearly presented less than optimally, there was no question that a specific promise of support from the BQ would be necessary to convince the GG that the coalition, composed only of the Liberals and NDP with no BQ participation, would have the support of a majority of MPs. It could not have been done at all without a guarantee of support from the BQ. Harper and his minions naturally used propagandistic lies about this to create a brief sense of outrage, which had dissipated by the time parliament returned from the prorogation. Ignatieff refused to defeat the Harper government and then lead the coalition because he thought he could win a majority in the next election, and because he was more comfortable with Harper's policies than those in the coalition agreement made by Dion and Layton.

RANGER

JKR wrote:

 

Maybe the best way to deal with electoral reform is to have the experts on electoral systems lead the process of determining which system is best for Canada. Political science professors from across Canada who specialize in electoral systems could be brought together along with some foreign political science professors who are also international leaders in the study of electoral systems. This group of experts could form a committee that would hold public meetings across Canada and take public opinion into account. They could produce a few interim reports that allow for more input and hear any objections from the public and politicians. After a few stages of interim reports that satisfy as many objections as possible, their final recommendation could be put to a vote by the House of Commons for final approval. This process could be completed within a year or year and a half so the election after the one in 2015 could be run under a fairer democratic electoral system.

 

 

 

 

 

Something like this was done via the last Law Commission Report, and went no where, why a party hasn't picked a definite change and put it in their platform is beyond me.... to say "anything but FPTP" for decades doesnt work if people havent noticed.

JKR

RANGER wrote:
Something like this was done via the last Law Commission Report, and went no where, why a party hasn't picked a definite change and put it in their platform is beyond me.... to say "anything but FPTP" for decades doesnt work if people havent noticed.

It's likely the federal NDP, provincial BC NDP, and the federal Green parties are going to endorse open-list MMP on their next election platforms. The federal Liberals also seem likely to support preferential voting on their next election platform and are currently debating whether to also endorse PR on their next election platform too. The chances of having electoral reform seems to be getting better as time goes by. If the next election doesn't produce a Conservative or Liberal majority, there will be a lot of room for the NDP, Liberals, and Greens, to agree on some kind of electoral reform that includes PR.

Wilf Day

RANGER wrote:
Something like this was done via the last Law Commission Report, and went no where, why a party hasn't picked a definite change and put it in their platform is beyond me.... to say "anything but FPTP" for decades doesnt work if people havent noticed.

Indeed. Both New Democrats for Fair Voting and Liberals for Fair Voting are starting to zero in on models. For example, the Law Commission's. For another example, the Jenkins Commission's.

 

RANGER

Wilf Day wrote:

RANGER wrote:
Something like this was done via the last Law Commission Report, and went no where, why a party hasn't picked a definite change and put it in their platform is beyond me.... to say "anything but FPTP" for decades doesnt work if people havent noticed.

Indeed. Both New Democrats for Fair Voting and Liberals for Fair Voting are starting to zero in on models. For example, the Law Commission's. For another example, the Jenkins Commission's.

 

 

 

They could also look at "incremental change" that would keep parts of what we're used to so not to scare people off and sell it by explaining how a vote for a party that has a lower percentage overall has a definite chance for representation, this would take away alot of excuses as to why many don't vote. A moderate MMP system would sure lure a significant amount of voters if that party actually had it on their platform IMO.

DLivings

The big issue about moving to a PR model is that Canadians identify with candidates, at least some of the time.  While there are party stories at work, Rolf Dinsdale is the favored alternate because of his name recognition in the riding...  different party from his father even helps in this case.

Wilf Day

DLivings wrote:

The big issue about moving to a PR model is that Canadians identify with candidates, at least some of the time.  While there are party stories at work, Rolf Dinsdale is the favored alternate because of his name recognition in the riding...  different party from his father even helps in this case.

Quite right. That's why the Law Commission of Canada, with not only experts but 15 hearings across Canada, concluded:

Quote:

Based on the feedback received during our consultation process, many Canadian voters would also most likely desire the flexibility of open lists in a mixed member proportional system. In essence, allowing voters to choose a candidate from the list provides voters with the ability to select a specific individual and hold them accountable for their actions should they be elected. Implementing a flexible list would send a signal to voters about their primacy in the process of determining who gets elected.

 

janfromthebruce

Liberals have no inclination of electorial reform unless it works to their advantage. And as prominent CBC reporter said last night, it's really a dead issue and nobody cares. End of story. The corporate parties and their media servants have spoken.

JKR

Ontario proposal would let municipalities adopt ranked-ballot voting

Quote:
Toronto city council voted last June to ask the province for the power to switch from first-past-the-post to ranked balloting. But Ontario is now looking at going further to allow all municipalities to change their method of voting. Whether legislation would offer a choice between the current system and ranked balloting only or whether other methods of voting, such as proportional representation, would also be allowed, is not clear.

Dave Meslin of the Ranked Ballot Initiative of Toronto, the group that successfully campaigned for council to embrace voting reform, said he’s had “positive reaction” from all three provincial parties to the idea.

He points to the fact that party leadership campaigns and nomination races already use such a method to argue it is not a particularly radical concept. Municipalities should ultimately have the right to choose the system they want, he said.

“The province should let every city in the province have this flexibility,” he said in an interview. “It’s such a normal concept we’re using all the time.”

Ontario government considering ranked-ballots for municipal elections

Quote:
"Instant runoff voting ensures that no one can win with less than 50 per cent of the vote. It eliminates the risk of 'vote splitting,' where two or more candidates ‘split’ the votes of a certain group," Ranked Ballot Initiative of Toronto (RaBIT) wrote on its website.

"It also means that no one has to vote strategically – you can vote with your heart each time. Runoff voting strongly discourages negative campaigning tactics, as candidates are trying to achieve ‘second choice’ status from all their opponents’ supporters. With ranked ballots, candidates aren’t forced to drop out of a race to prevent vote splitting."

The group adds that, in 2006, "seven incumbent Councillors were returned to office" in Toronto "even though most of their constituents didn't want them back."

 

 

 

 

 

Brachina

 If he wants to offer municaplities the choice they want is PR on the table?

White Cat White Cat's picture

Liberals throw table scraps to electoral reformers once again. The City of Toronto's democratic will should be respected (whether they choose ranked ballot voting or PR.) It's preposterous putting a major decision like this to a vote on a private member's bill.

The Liberals hold the same contempt for democracy that the Cons do. They embrace electoral reform to destroy it. They side with Cons claiming coalition governments are anti-democratic, when they are the norm in the developed world.

 

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