the NDP leadership race is our chance to make democracy more democratic.

64 posts / 0 new
Last post
philwalkerp

AV results in fewer women and minorites getting elected.

Strategic voting under AV is different from under FPTP - but it still exists. It is just institutionalized.

Neither system is true to the populr vote (they are not proportional), with AV being, at times, less proportional than even FPTP.

 

I agree with you that "Multi-member assemblies should use proportional representation to fairly elect their representatives."

 

JKR

philwalkerp wrote:

AV results in fewer women and minorites getting elected.

Fewer than FPTP?

 

philwalkerp wrote:

Strategic voting under AV is different from under FPTP - but it still exists. It is just institutionalized.

 

The difference between the systems is still significant. Under FPTP the NDP, Liberals, and Greens have to contemplate formally cooperating with each other or even dissolving their parties and merging into one party in order to end vote-splitting. AV does not put parties into this undemocratic position of having to dissolve in order to make up for the inadequacies of an electoral system. If we had AV, the PC Party would still be with us today. Wouldn't that be more democratic?

It's important to remember that FPTP is a two-candidate majoritarian system while AV is a muti-candidate majoritarian system. If we had just two parties, FPTP and AV would be equally bad but because we have more than two parties, FPTP is worse than AV.

FPTP is based on 2 basic contentions:

1 - Politics is best served when there are two big-tent parties that bring people together to the greatest degree possible while still maintaining politcal alternatives.

2 - Politics is best served when governments are administered by single-party majorites that have had their platforms clearly approved by the voters in an election.

AV supports contention #2 but, unlike FPTP, it does not support contention #1. So arguing that AV is worse than FPTP is equivalent to arguing that a two-party majoritarian system is better than a multi-party majoritarian system.

I understand why people don't want the diversion of AV to hurt the chances of getting real electoral reform, namely fair voting/PR. But that shouldn't lead people to minimize the weakness of FPTP vis a vis AV.

Wilf Day

Discussion of AV is a diversion. But if you want to argue that AV serves political diversity, compare India with Australia. With First-Past-The-Post, India has 39 political parties. In the last election they tended to be in four Fronts. FPTP let a diverse range of candidates get elected with less than 50% of the vote. Australian voters have two choices: Labor, or the Liberal/National Coalition. AV offers the illusion of accommodating diversity, while in reality funneling voters into two choices. Actually even worse than FPTP. Not that I want to waste any time debating which of two winner-take-all systems is worse.

JKR

Wilf Day wrote:

Discussion of AV is a diversion. But if you want to argue that AV serves political diversity, compare India with Australia. With First-Past-The-Post, India has 39 political parties. In the last election they tended to be in four Fronts. FPTP let a diverse range of candidates get elected with less than 50% of the vote. Australian voters have two choices: Labor, or the Liberal/National Coalition. AV offers the illusion of accommodating diversity, while in reality funneling voters into two choices. Actually even worse than FPTP. Not that I want to waste any time debating which of two winner-take-all systems is worse.

 

I also don't want to get caught up in unnecessary diversions regarding inferior electoral systems but in India political parties avoid vote splitting by not running candidates in all constituencies. Maybe this is where Cullen got his joint nomination plan from? Indians seem willing to do what Canadians are not willing to do to accommodate the flaws of FPTP. That's why FPTP may work for Indians but not Canadians. And that's why FPTP is even worse for Canada than AV.

If Australia used FPTP instead of AV, the Liberal/National Coalition would have won the last election because of vote splitting on the centre-left. But fortunately, Labour was able to win the election because AV did not allow vote splitting between Labour and the Greens to unfairly hand the Liberal / National Coalition a phony FPTP majority government. Sound familiar?

That being said, Canada should evolve beyond 19th century winner-take-all systems and establish PR / fair voting.

Wilf Day

Quote:
How will this Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) system work? What design options will the public be consulted on?

There are lots of working models, such as Germany, Scotland, New Zealand, and different variations in different German provinces. They have already been reviewed in detail by the Law Commission of Canada, after holding 16 public consultations across Canada. The Commission's goal was to balance the benefits of introducing some element of proportionality into the existing system with the capacity to maintain accountable government, most notably as a direct link between elected politicians and their constituents.

But that was in 2004. Designing today's model needs new consultations.

The model designed by the Ontario Citizens Assembly in 2007 was, in hindsight, not the best with its province-wide closed lists. As the Jenkins Commission in the UK said, "additional members locally anchored are, we believe, more easily assimilable into the British political culture and indeed the Parliamentary system than would be a flock of unattached birds clouding the sky and wheeling under central party directions."

Five important decisions must be made, with consultation, about how to combine direct election by electoral district with proportional representation.

http://wilfday.blogspot.com/2012/03/how-to-get-to-fair-voting-system.html

Leigh

in addition to dialogue about PR, and public money creation, power can be 'devolved' to the grassroots  ie) away from the 1%, by clearly denouncing the investor-state provisions of 'trade' deals which allow wealthy bankers and their affiliated corporations to sue governments for laws which support the 99% and the earth.

 

janfromthebruce

I agree with you Leigh. Which is why we need to change our trade deals.

Wilf Day

I'm satisfied all the contenders have similar positions on proportional representation and give it similar priority. However, credit where credit is due: in today's Hill Times are interviews with all the candidates. Peggy Nash mentions PR four times. None of the others do.

JKR

It's great that a political heavyweight like Nash is supporting PR. Even if she doesn't become leader, she'll be able to press for fair voting from the front bench.

Nash understands that fair voting is the best way to give social democrats a voice within Canadian politics.

 

Hoodeet

terra1st wrote:

So far as I can see, Nathan Cullen has the most fleshed out stand on this, but even then his policy seems a bit thin on info for me.

 

Nathan Cullen has endorsed PR (MMP), abolishing the senate, getting rid of the monarchy, and reinstating party financing are all good ideas.  By and large, I'm sure all the candidates support these.

I would like to see something on Open Source Governance, steps to move power away from the PMO, ideas to make question period more useful, and steps to make committies more effective would all be great to see.

 

If anyone knows where to find the policies of other leadership candidates about strengthening democracy, please post them here!

Hoodeet (JW)

"getting rid of the monarchy" would be a disastrous idea for a party trying to become the government and even for the first years of an NDP government.  Too many monarchists in Canada, and the monarchy has stepped up its propaganda big time to keep the plebes in their ideological fold.  A foolish and divisive battle to initiate, I'd say.

Lots of good educational and organizational work can be done around the issue of consolidation of power (unaccountability) in the PMO, and around P.R.   You mentioned two  very practical,useful things the party could work on first.

Grandpa_Bill

On the subject of the leader's accountability and the power of the PMO:

Good luck convincing any popularly elected party leader that the party leader's power should be devolved to backbenchers and others in the party.

Leigh

thank you for the posts and notes in this thread.

regarding the last one, my sense of NDP practice is that it is very different from how Harper runs the PMO and governance.

Leigh

other comments on banking/ money referenced at

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/policynote/2012/03/bc-isnt-broke-putting... .

It seems that with good policies, a lot can be done.  There may be times when we do need to use more public money creation, and restrict private money creation, for example, if corporations, bankers, and politicians aren't sensible and fail to implement good policies including proper regulation, and the economy and ecology get worse.

 

Pages