Rise and fall of the Green movement

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Snert Snert's picture

Quote:

 

I think if we believe in a fair voting mechanism, we should support her in being in the debates, because the GPC would have seats if we had a fair voting system in place. I think any party trying to exclude her is going to look small.

 

Should we let her ask questions in the HoC, too? Why not? After all, "IF" things were different, they'd be different, right?

 

And if you had a square anus, you could shit bricks.

George Victor

Life, the universe, everything wrote:

Interested Observer wrote:

KenS wrote:

I am SO worried.

And I'll bet all the reporters are quivering in their boots over the pending earthquake.

 

I wasn't talking about you. However, you do seem to be curiously attracted to any and all threads about the Greens on the net - There must be a solid reason for that.

 

Snert wrote:
Quote:
They've been saying this stuff for years! It just proves they're worried.
What's the nightmare scenario here? The Greens get 7% this time around? Or a whopping 8? Elizabeth May gets a single seat, just like an independent? Ya, everyone get ready to be rolled over by the Green Juggernaut. LOL!!

I wasn't claiming there was going to be a Green Juggernaut around the corner (However, movement can happen when people are disgusted enough with politics as usual and are given a good enough reason to vote for something, as can be seen with the doubling of the Greens support in Germany in the past year), but the Liberals are worried about the Greens given how little support they have right now and that they're probably easier prey for them than the Ndp. i.e. They're worried about losing their seats, not what the Greens could gain. 

As for the Greens imminent demise, it's not like Climate Change is going away anytime soon, young people in general support them heavily, and I haven't seen any evidence that people are coming to the conclusion that the SocialDemocratic ideas as espoused by the NDP are seen widely as being an adequate enough response towards dealing with the Crisis. 

You see this is the silly stuff that made me leave the Greens.  The Green party under May and Harris before her do not espouse solutions that will get anywhere near dealing with any of the problems you mention.  Their market drive, conservative flimflammery is not only not the answer, it is getting in the way of serious people who are proposing real solutions.  There are some good people in the Greens but they are hopelessly lost in a party that doesn't deserve them.

And with respect as someone who was inspired by the German Greens in the 80s after living there, the Canadian Green party is the to German Greens as a pebble is to a mountain.  You can not have intellectual honesty and pretend they share anything other than a name. 

 

On the issue of the debate.   I have to wonder what would happen if pollsters started prompting for the Christian Heritage party?   They run candidates in every province as far as I know.   Have serious candidates in many ridings and might well show better if they were given even a slice of the attention the Greens get undeservedly.   Would we have a bunch of progressive voices clammering to have this voice heard.  Somehow I doubt it.

It is wonderful to have a fellow party founder hereabouts to confirm old doubts and criticisms.

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:

I think only serious contenders for votes should be in -- I think the Greens qualify. In the FPTP system they may not get seats but they are certainly considered by enough to make it worth hearing from them.

 

It's always fun to see people who think that excluding the Greens from the televised debates is abitrary then turning around and resetting the same arbitrary goal posts to make sure that no other parties but the Greens get in!

 

"Arbitrary rules are unfai... huh? We're in? Arbitrary rules are FAIR!!"

D V

The Green party "doesn't deserve" me, whether or not I am included among "some good people"; so I quit trying to help them, even after seeing the influence I had among them. Just how coincidental or not, their internal slide & mess set in in earnest right after my departure early fall '09. Funny thing, I had contributed so much for them, some BQ advisor must have mistaken me for the previous Green leader (couldn't have been on content or close reading, though), for the BQ leader (I think it was) actually said that that previous leader said he could vote BQ, when it was only I who had said as much (Harris of course denied saying so).

Further interesting, right after I quit, the prominent Jacques Rivard was recruited, only to jump to the BQ not long thereafter, to be in charge of their St. Lawrence file or something like that. I had been musing about St. Lawrence bioregional couple (Ont-Que after their historic joint cabinet meeting a while ago). I recall another funny one, when I mentioned Roy Romanow only to draw attention to a CIW item, next day or so I noticed a Jacqueline Romanow had been recruited as candidate..."influences" in strange ways?

I sure hope my musing (but here, not at the Green site) about an upcoming INSPQ report which could be at sharp odds with the federal dept. of "health" re cell mast dangers, I sure hope it is being delayed to maximize eventual political punch for the BQ (wishful thinking...).

If "Canadian Green party is the to German Greens as a pebble is to a mountain", it is mainly due to the general level of Canadian political ignorance; but of all Greens internationally, the ones here have tried to resemble the ones there more than anywhere probably, so the distinction isn't that well taken. I recall interviewing one academic while preparing a discussion paper for the Greens a few years ago -- as an example of that "influence", the paper formed the immediate basis of the leader's responses on topic, although with an odd twist, as usual -- and the academic admitted unknown to us (as had other such interviewees) having been a Green supporter, but that he preferred the party go the way of Fischer & German Greens.

I've read Sarkar (on Soviet demise) with his valuable perspective, and he had on principle quit the "mountain", hadn't he, in a way like I quit the "pebble". I certainly wish the Greens no harm, I hope they can internally get over the mess that's been made under ELizabeth, and, worse, the excess of superficial politicoes recruited since Harris. Maybe they'll ask me back to help. Canadians are so largely "out of it", what is a politically logical development might not apply, as in a Green slide to oblivion. In our riding, among so very many now that they have foolishly thrown just about all into one riding basket, they are casting about desperately for a candidate, and given the number I saw interested before here, that is indicative of that "mess".

I'd like to see poll-prompting for the Heritage Party & others. A sensible Senate e.g. should have one of them in to voice their viewpoint. Time to tuck in the fringes to be a part of the whole cloth.

 

Brian White

What about Belgium?

Switzerland has 4 languages.

A lot of countries give seats if a party has 5% of the vote. If they had a 5% rule here a lot more people would be voting green.

Many greens vote their second choice. They partially waste their vote to avoid completely wasting it due to fptp.

Lens Solution wrote:

Canada's debates are already more complicated than those in many other countries because they have multiple party leaders AND take place in two languages.

Adding a non-elected party to the debates is something that should only occur after serious thought.

Brian White

Just a note that the environmental situation continues to worsen. I don't know what year it will reach an "electoral tipping point" but it may be sooner than we think.   There are strange animal deaths in the US right now that are linked to a new microbe that grows in gm plants. There is every reason to think they can spread to humans.  You see a few thousand mothers with babies dieing and the tide might turn real quick.

People across the world are crapping themselves over honey bees but all other insect species are being hit hard. Butterflys, dragonflys, ladybugs, fireflys are being wiped out quicker than the honeybees. Also, birds are decreasing very quickly.

Plant species are suffering an incredibly fast decline too.  The human species becomes very vunerable indeed if we can only eat rice, wheat and barley. There simply isn't enough variety in those crops to protect against pathogens. 

Anyways,  if we get a few savage hot summers, or desert conditions in middle canada, or if the mountain pine beetle spreads into Ontairo, people might change their tune pretty quick.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

They may change their tune, but not necessarilly to the Greens. If the electorate cares to investigate, they may find that the NDP has better environmental policies. However, I'll concede that the "Green" label in their name may draw converts who really know nothing about the GPC at all.

David Young

Lens Solution wrote:

The increase in the Green vote probably did take away votes from the NDP and Liberals in 2008.  There were certain NDP and Liberal held ridings where the Green vote went up and the NDP and Liberal vote went down.  Trinity-Spadina is an example.

If the Green vote goes down in this election, it will probably help the NDP and the Liberals and hurt the Conservatives.

Exactly the case here in South Shore-St. Margaret's.

In 2006, the Green candidate got 1198 votes, while Conservative Gerald Keddy won by 3419 votes over New Democrat Gordon Earle.

In 2008, the Green candidate got 2090 votes, while Keddy won by just 932 votes over Earle.

Fewer Green votes equals fewer Conservative M.P.s is how the numbers look to me!

 

Sean in Ottawa

Christian Heritage party

Popular vote

1988 0.78%

1993 0.22%

1997 0.22%

2000 0.08%

2004 0.30%

2006 0.19%

2008 0.19%

The most candidates they ever ran were 63 in 1988

Green Party of Canada

1988 0.36%

1993 0.24%

1997 0.43%

2000 0.81%

2004 4.32%

2006 4.48%

2008 6.80%

The Greens used to only have some 60-79 Candidates. But in 2004 and 2006 they had full 308 candidate slates and 303 last time.

Comparing the Greens to Cristian Heritage made sense from 1988 to 2000 but the last 3 elections there is no comparison.

There is nothing arbitrary about a party running in almost every seat for three elections in a row with almost a million votes in the last one. And Snert re post 53-- I'm not a Green supporter so the "we" does not apply to me.

Knowing almost a million voted Green in a hopeless FPTP race, how many do you think considered voting Green and did not? The debates are to help people decide. Clearly a lot of people consider the Greens. Personally I'd like them to consider the Greens and the NDP and choose the NDP but that does not mean I want the Greens out of the debate.

Life, the unive...

How much woud the CHP go up though if they were prompted for in polls?  It is a chicken and egg thing.

KenS

Message to Life,....

Where did you get that list of fracking chemicals you posted at

http://rabble.ca/babble/environmental-justice/how-much-natural-gas-global-warming-methane-leaking-fracking-rock

post41

you can send me a PM

You have one of the thingies for PM, but they are blocked

Brian White

I know it is not pro rep but maybe someone in one of the bigger partys would concider introducing IRV?    Then you would have the true green vote and most of it would transfer when they get eliminated. It would end the boo hoo hoo that everyone does against each other (complaining that other partys run for election).  Under Irv, probably the greens would get more votes, maybe even one or 2 seats  but practically all their votes would transfer to other parties.  I would guess 50% to ndp, maybe 35% to liberal and 15% to conservatives.  The greens would still get their dollars per vote, the liberals and ndp would get more seats and the cons would be safely in opposition forever.  Actually the libs and NDP should try to set up IRV as soon as they can. Because if Harper ever actually "wins",  he is utterly ruthless, and we might not even have a country to govern.

Life, the universe, everything wrote:

How much woud the CHP go up though if they were prompted for in polls?  It is a chicken and egg thing.

Merowe

sorry I'm slow getting back KenS, I guess my thought was just that, the issues which gave rise to the Green Party aren't going away and havent been addressed as fulsomely by the other parties though the Dippers get some credit. So the ground for their existence is as substantial as ever. That's all.

George Victor

Merowe, the New Democrats damned near got a vital piece of environmental legislation past the Cons, but it ended in the chamber of sober second thought.  Years ago there was the "Kyoto plus bill" (C-377)

The original Green Party idea - conceived by its old conservative cadre of libertarians grouped around fundraiser Harris - of using the market to reduce carbon emissions, has not been heard about lately...something to do with people having trouble eating and heating at the same time.

What is there about that moribund grouping of wishful thinkers and latter day Conservatives that stimulates?

ReeferMadness

I vote for the GP for 2 reasons:

  1. I like that they are not afraid to take controversial stands like taxing carbon or legalizing drugs.
  2. I've lived under Conservative governments, Liberal governments, NDP governments and a Social Credit government.  And. They. All. SUCKED.

It's hard not to notice that many of you treat the NDP more like a church than a political party.  Fine.  I suppose we all have to believe in something bigger than ourselves.  Personally, I see the NDP in almost exactly the same terms as I see the Liberals - an organization built not on recognizable principles but rather on staking out whatever political ground happens to be open at the time.  Let me tell you, the bunch that ran BC in the 90's had nothing in common with Tommy Douglas.  Or even Ed Broadbent.  The Trudeau era Liberals were a more progressive bunch than any of the NDPers around today.

Stockholm wrote:

Given that the NDP has better "green policies" than the so-called green party does

Well that's a mighty big given, isn't it?  Which NDP are you talking about?  The ones that threw Betty Krawczyk in jail for protesting at Clayquot?  The ones who built the fuel guzzling, environmentally destructive fast ferries?  Or the one who is currently shilling for the oil sands in Washington?

Don't make me laugh.

mimeguy

"The increase in the Green vote probably did take away votes from the NDP and Liberals in 2008.  There were certain NDP and Liberal held ridings where the Green vote went up and the NDP and Liberal vote went down.  Trinity-Spadina is an example.

If the Green vote goes down in this election, it will probably help the NDP and the Liberals and hurt the Conservatives."

 

Christine McGirr ran for the conservatves in Trinity-Spadina and they increased their vote by 5% as well compared to the 2006 election. It was not a very strong campaign either. Our Green campaign was weaker than the others but by far a stronger 'Green Party' campaign than in previous years. Conservatives and Greens increased by 5% and the Liberal and NDP vote went down by 5% each. I ran for the Greens here and I can't honestly tell where the crossover was exactly. However one thing was certain and that was the fact that riding is changing and there is increased conservative support here. Even if the Green vote is decimated in the next election the NDP and Liberals will have to contend with a rise in conservative voters here.

 

Stockholm and others are right that the green movement should never be confused with green party political parties and their movements. Yes there is a global green charter and organization and each national party must sign on to the charter in order to be recognized by the global greens. However the interpretation of that charter and how it applies culturally and nationally for each country is not the same.

 

Skinny Dipper refers in a post above to the framing of the last election. The environmental issues and the carbon tax was a factor in the last election as was the questionable manouverings of the so-called green MP convert that supposedly got us into the debate. Only a very foolish or blatantly blind GPC loyalist will still try to get any real legitimacy out of that individual event. The green MP convert was a convenient excuse used by everyone including the networks. The real reason for the admission into the debates was a legitimate sense among many in the public that the Green Party deserved to be there and this may very well be an issue in the next election again.

The Green Party had its economic policies in Vision Green effectively critiqued at the convention by Don Drummond, formerly of the TD Bank and although he was straight forward in his critcism he also made the point that it was a strong set of policies with a sound economic base. We just haven't, for some inexplicable reason followed up with that encouragement and shaped effective economic messages.

 

The Green Party earned the vote subsidy by exceeding the 2% requirement with a 4.3% vote. The Party may not have increased by much but it still held onto that share. In 2008 it increased again. Since 2004 none of the other parties have convinced the voting public to regress back to the other parties. 6 years is a long time to 'park' a vote.

 

The weakest aspect of the party is the most important one and that's not clever or tactical media exposure or single riding strategies. It's serious, long term, grassroots organization and a commitment to it by the GPC leadership. Anyway for now I've realized that this post is getting long so I'll stop here. For now.

George Victor

The  capacity of some folks here for selectivity is awesome. The libertarian approach of the Green Party - screw the poor - is also awesome.Wink

JKR

Brian White wrote:

I know it is not pro rep but maybe someone in one of the bigger partys would concider introducing IRV?

If given the chance I wouldn't be surprised to see the NDP and Liberals agree to establish IRV immediately and have a referendum afterward to establish some form of PR. That's the deal Labour offered the Liberal Democrats last year before the LD's decided to go with the Conservatives plan to have a referendum on IRV/AV. The referendum on AV in the UK is set for May 5th and the election here will likely happen just 3 days before the AV referendum on May 2. If the AV referendum passes in the UK it could have a big impact on negotiations here between the parties in the event that no party gets a majority.

It would be very easy to quickly pass legislation to implement AV as it would require almost no change from the present electoral system. All it would require is that people have the option of ranking their votes instead of being limited to one option on the ballot. If the Conservatives fail to win a majority, an immediate switch to AV is almost a no brainer for the NDP and Liberals.

 

ottawaobserver

Mimeguy, you're not running again in Trinity-Spadina? I don't see your name on their list of candidates now.

ReeferMadness

JKR wrote:

It would be very easy to quickly pass legislation to implement AV as it would require almost no change from the present electoral system. All it would require is that people have the option of ranking their votes instead of being limited to one option on the ballot. If the Conservatives fail to win a majority, an immediate switch to AV is almost a no brainer for the NDP and Liberals.

"no brainer" is an excellent way to put it.  AV is no more proportional (and often less so) than FPTP.

JKR

ReeferMadness wrote:

"no brainer" is an excellent way to put it.  AV is no more proportional (and often less so) than FPTP.

AV is not as good as PR but it's a lot better then FPTP.

AV would be an improvement over FPTP as it would get rid of the problem of vote splitting and strategic voting campaigns. AV is no more or no less proportional then FPTP.

AV is only less proportional then FPTP when the party or candidate that's in first place is generally disliked by the rest of the voters. FPTP allows a party that's in first place with a minority of the vote, lets say 35%, and is generally disliked the most by the rest of the voters, to win elections and govern as if it had a majority. Unlike FPTP, AV would not allow for this kind of travesty.

In France there have been polls recently that show that the right wing Front National is leading in many races. The massive majority of France detests the Front National but nonetheless the Front National often leads in races with little over 20% support. If France used single-round FPTP like we do in Canada, the Front National could easily win many seats and would have a shot at the presidency. Luckily France uses a two-round FPTP system that prevents the Front National from winning with a minority of the vote. In that respect two-round FPTP is better then one-round FPTP used in Canada. But unfortunately the two-ballot system still allows the Front National to be on the second ballot eventhough 75% of the population id disgusted by them. This often forces centrists and left wing people in France to choose between a right-wing candidate and a fascist candidate as they are the only choices available on the second FPTP ballot. AV prevents these kind of perversities created by FPTP and two round FPTP.

 

Marine Le Pen's poll position

ReeferMadness

JKR wrote:

AV is not as good as PR but it's a lot better then FPTP.

Sez you.  AV is a "majoritarian" voting system - it produces a majority whether one naturally exists or not.  It provides a false mandate to the winning party.  It serves to support the largest parties and thereby helps suppress innovative and non-mainstream ideas.

Quote:

AV would be an improvement over FPTP as it would get rid of the problem of vote splitting and strategic voting campaigns.

That's what you think.  Prior to the 1952 BC election, the Liberals and Conservatives brought in AV to prevent the upstart CCF from winning an election victory under FPTP rules.  Nothing strategic about that, eh?

Quote:

In France there have been polls recently that show that the right wing Front National is leading in many races. The massive majority of France detests the Front National but nonetheless the Front National often leads in races with little over 20% support.

No wonder we can't fix the voting system.  It seems like everyone wants to use a party they don't like as an excuse to manipulate democracy.  What if this was a socialist party with 20% of the support??  If France had a real voting system, there should be no cause for concern.  The Front National would get seats (as they should if they can get 20% of the vote) but they would be outnumbered.

 

JKR

Moving from FPTP to PR is inherently more difficult then moving from FPTP to AV because moving to PR requires a much greater major change to our current political system then AV does.

Changing from FPTP to AV requires answering one question:

1 - Do you think Canada should have a two-party electoral system or a multi-party electoral system?

Since Canada already has a multi-party system, this should be a very easy question to answer in favour of AV.

But changing from FPTP to PR requires answering two questions. This makes changing to PR inherently more contenscious. The two questions changing from FPTP to PR require are:

1 - Do you think Canada should have a two-party electoral system or a multi-party electoral system?

2 - Do you think Canada should have an electoral system that tends toward majority governments or toward continual coalition governments.

Many Canadians dislike coalition governments. This is one of the reasons it is difficult to get PR established. That's why NDP'ers like Tieleman were against STV. Like many others he dislikes the idea of permanent coalition government.

It's very easy to argue for multi-candidate and multi-party politics, as that's what we have now. So its easy arguing for AV to replace FPTP. It is much more difficult to argue for permanent coalition government and this makes it a harder sell to argue for PR to replace FPTP. That's why Labour in the UK proposed changing to AV immediately and having a referendum on PR within 3 years.

 

Brian White

We have no chance of getting pro rep in my lifetime in Canada, so we might as well get a system that turfs out Harper. Last time we had a decent chance, Campbell and James betrayed democracy and  Adrianne Carr betrayed the greens. (Why she is not booted out of the party forever is beyond me).

Sorry guys, pro rep is dead.  (Just ask Stockholm).

Every party has stabbed it in the back.

I know IRV is not proportional but it at least allows the anti harper people to line up against fascism.  Under the present system, the ndp and liberals act like babies and cannot ever do the right thing for Canada.  Ignatief and coalition is an example.

  I think it will be difficult for partys to object as more and more of them are using irv to elect their own leaders.   If they don't trust fptp for their own leadership elections, why should we accept it?  And all the ndp people here who have a hate on for greens will finally have a reason to shut up.

Because the greens can vote 1 or 1 2 3, depending on the level of respect that they are shown.

ReeferMadness wrote:

JKR wrote:

It would be very easy to quickly pass legislation to implement AV as it would require almost no change from the present electoral system. All it would require is that people have the option of ranking their votes instead of being limited to one option on the ballot. If the Conservatives fail to win a majority, an immediate switch to AV is almost a no brainer for the NDP and Liberals.

"no brainer" is an excellent way to put it.  AV is no more proportional (and often less so) than FPTP.

ottawaobserver

Oh nuts. Just because people didn't support STV, doesn't mean they don't support some kind of PR. I support MMPR + regional open lists federally, and I would have voted NO on the BC STV referendum.

JKR

ReeferMadness wrote:

JKR wrote:

AV is not as good as PR but it's a lot better then FPTP.

Sez you.  AV is a "majoritarian" voting system - it produces a majority whether one naturally exists or not.

Both AV and FPTP are majoritarian systems.

JKR wrote:

AV would be an improvement over FPTP as it would get rid of the problem of vote splitting and strategic voting campaigns.

ReeferMadness wrote:

That's what you think.  Prior to the 1952 BC election, the Liberals and Conservatives brought in AV to prevent the upstart CCF from winning an election victory under FPTP rules.  Nothing strategic about that, eh?

Like it or not, most BC'ers in '52 didn't want a CCF government. They preferred to have a Social Credit, Liberal, or Conservative government.  AV allowed this preference of the voters to be reflected in the results. If the CCF had won government in '52 because of vote splitting on the right, their government would have been seen as illegitimate as Glen Clerk's was in the late 90's. And the result for the CCF in '56 would have likely been the same as the NDP's was in '01- total decimation.

And as it was under FPTP, the CCF/NDP was out of power for 20 years because the Liberals and Conservatives decided to link up under a large right wing tent within a Social Credit government. If you want a system that forces parties to merge, FPTP is for you. People who support FPTP should not complain if the Liberals and NDP start serious talks about merging.

JKR wrote:

In France there have been polls recently that show that the right wing Front National is leading in many races. The massive majority of France detests the Front National but nonetheless the Front National often leads in races with little over 20% support.

ReeferMadness wrote:

No wonder we can't fix the voting system.  It seems like everyone wants to use a party they don't like as an excuse to manipulate democracy.  What if this was a socialist party with 20% of the support??  If France had a real voting system, there should be no cause for concern.  The Front National would get seats (as they should if they can get 20% of the vote) but they would be outnumbered.

I agree that the way to go is PR. All parties should get representation according to their support be it the Front National or socialists.  I also agree that coalition governments would be more democratic then fake majority governments. Unfortunately, many people like authoritarian one-party rule created by majoritarian systems like FPTP and AV.

That said, a real democratic system precludes any party from winning outright power with just 20% support. FPTP does not preclude that and thus it is not a system suited for contests with more then two candidates.

JKR

ottawaobserver wrote:

Oh nuts. Just because people didn't support STV, doesn't mean they don't support some kind of PR. I support MMPR + regional open lists federally, and I would have voted NO on the BC STV referendum.

Establishing AV immediately does not preclude having a referendum to establish a form of PR.

Personally, I think it would be best if the politicians went ahead and established PR without a referendum but I don't see that happening since most politicians love the idea of one-party rule, their party being that one-party of course.

Maybe the Supreme Court will step in and rule in favour of PR and force our politicians to support basic democracy?

 

Erik Redburn

ReeferMadness wrote:

I vote for the GP for 2 reasons:

  1. I like that they are not afraid to take controversial stands like taxing carbon or legalizing drugs.
  2. I've lived under Conservative governments, Liberal governments, NDP governments and a Social Credit government.  And. They. All. SUCKED.

Perhaps, but did they 'all suck' equally badly, as Green Party loyalists would have us believe?

Quote:

It's hard not to notice that many of you treat the NDP more like a church than a political party.  Fine.  I suppose we all have to believe in something bigger than ourselves.  Personally, I see the NDP in almost exactly the same terms as I see the Liberals - an organization built not on recognizable principles but rather on staking out whatever political ground happens to be open at the time.  Let me tell you, the bunch that ran BC in the 90's had nothing in common with Tommy Douglas.  Or even Ed Broadbent.  The Trudeau era Liberals were a more progressive bunch than any of the NDPers around today.

 

Untrue.  Not "any" NDPer, just the rightwing of the party which remains as dogmatic in their belief of winning over so-called "centrists" as...well, the present Green Party is.  And let's not forget that Trudeau was not nearly as progressive as present babyboom nostalgia dictates.  Let's also be clear about another thing to start, the Green Party nomore presents the Green Movement than the NDP represents the Socialist Movement.   Another thing which Green Party loyalists like to play both ways.  The NDP is either as "regressive" as the (BC) Liberals or they are scarey communists in disguise, as extreme in their way as the Liberals in their's.   Well, which is it guys?

Quote:

Stockholm wrote:

Given that the NDP has better "green policies" than the so-called green party does

Well that's a mighty big given, isn't it?  Which NDP are you talking about?  The ones that threw Betty Krawczyk in jail for protesting at Clayquot?  The ones who built the fuel guzzling, environmentally destructive fast ferries?  Or the one who is currently shilling for the oil sands in Washington?

Don't make me laugh.

 

The fast ferries fiasco was a tempest in a teapot created by our reactionary media to scare voters into voting for the most eactionary premier in BC history.   Glen Clark is history.   So is Mike Harcourt and Davey Barrett, both of whom also did some tangeable good preserving our environment. 

The holier than thou BC Green Party OTOH believes that:

"BC Greens will foster the building of green and clean, renewable energy facilities with an emphasis on cooperative and municipally-owned utilities, while providing the opportunity for private producers and transmission operators to participate in a mixed public / private energy system."

http://www.adamsaab.ca/2009-campaign/economy.html

 

 

 

 

Erik Redburn

JKR wrote:

ReeferMadness wrote:

JKR wrote:

AV is not as good as PR but it's a lot better then FPTP.

Sez you.  AV is a "majoritarian" voting system - it produces a majority whether one naturally exists or not.

Both AV and FPTP are majoritarian systems.

 

And your point is?  

 

 

JKR wrote:

AV would be an improvement over FPTP as it would get rid of the problem of vote splitting and strategic voting campaigns.

ReeferMadness wrote:

That's what you think.  Prior to the 1952 BC election, the Liberals and Conservatives brought in AV to prevent the upstart CCF from winning an election victory under FPTP rules.  Nothing strategic about that, eh?

Quote:

Like it or not, most BC'ers in '52 didn't want a CCF government. They preferred to have a Social Credit, Liberal, or Conservative government.  AV allowed this preference of the voters to be reflected in the results....

 

Thanks for coming out of the closet JKR.   AV is the reverse of a proprtional system, suitable for a leadership convention not a general election.    Those who present themselves as campaigners for PR shouldn't defend unfair voting systems just because they happen to prefer the final results.

 

Quote:

JKR wrote:

In France there have been polls recently that show that the right wing Front National is leading in many races. The massive majority of France detests the Front National but nonetheless the Front National often leads in races with little over 20% support.

ReeferMadness wrote:

No wonder we can't fix the voting system.  It seems like everyone wants to use a party they don't like as an excuse to manipulate democracy.  What if this was a socialist party with 20% of the support??  If France had a real voting system, there should be no cause for concern.  The Front National would get seats (as they should if they can get 20% of the vote) but they would be outnumbered.

I agree that the way to go is PR. All parties should get representation according to their support be it the Front National or socialists.  I also agree that coalition governments would be more democratic then fake majority governments. Unfortunately, many people like authoritarian one-party rule created by majoritarian systems like FPTP and AV.

That said, a real democratic system precludes any party from winning outright power with just 20% support. FPTP does not preclude that and thus it is not a system suited for contests with more then two candidates.

And STV would have given an 8-15% minority permanent leverage over any future incoming government, which is the number one reason I initially opposed it despite my support for PR in principle.   FPTP rarely if ever allows a government to form OTOH with less than 35-40% of the vote in a multi-party race.

And please stop comparing the National Front of France with the NDP.   The National Front is an openly racist and fascistic movement,  with a clear mandate to deny minorities their most basic rights as citizens.    And very likely the majority too if they ever fluked therir way in.

JKR

Erik Redburn wrote:

And your point is?  

My point is that AV is better then FPTP. (But not better then PR)

Erik Redburn wrote:

Thanks for coming out of the closet JKR. AV is the reverse of a proprtional system, suitable for a leadership convention not a general election.

If FPTP is better then AV, why don't the parties use FPTP for their own elections? Why do they use AV to elect their leaders, candidates, and party officers and not FPTP? If the parties and politicians feel it is wrong to use FPTP for elections within their parties, why is it ok for them to foist this undemocratic system on Canadians? By choosing AV over FPTP for their own elections, the parties and politicians show us what they really think, that AV is better then FPTP. I'll only believe politicians who says that FPTP is better then AV when they start using FPTP for elections within their own parties. But of course they never will because using FPTP in multi-candidate elections is makes no sense.

Erik Redburn wrote:

And STV would have given an 8-15% minority permanent leverage over any future incoming government, which is the number one reason I initially opposed it despite my support for PR in principle.  FPTP rarely if ever allows a government to form OTOH with less than 35-40% of the vote in a multi-party race.

If you don't support STV because it gives 8-15% leverage over future governments, then you don't support PR. The principles of PR support small parties having much more leverage over governments then FPTP. Judging by your statements, I think you're a "closet" supporter of FPTP.

Before commenting on PR, STV, and electoral systems in general it would be a good idea to understand that how STV is a PR system.

Eric Redburn wrote:

And please stop comparing the National Front of France with the NDP.   The National Front is an openly racist and fascistic movement,  with a clear mandate to deny minorities their most basic rights as citizens.    And very likely the majority too if they ever fluked therir way in.

I never compared the National Front with the NDP. What I said was that FPTP could allow a 1st place party like the National Front to win a FPTP election. The same can't be said for AV or PR.

adma

mimeguy wrote:
Christine McGirr ran for the conservatves in Trinity-Spadina and they increased their vote by 5% as well compared to the 2006 election. It was not a very strong campaign either. Our Green campaign was weaker than the others but by far a stronger 'Green Party' campaign than in previous years. Conservatives and Greens increased by 5% and the Liberal and NDP vote went down by 5% each. I ran for the Greens here and I can't honestly tell where the crossover was exactly. However one thing was certain and that was the fact that riding is changing and there is increased conservative support here. Even if the Green vote is decimated in the next election the NDP and Liberals will have to contend with a rise in conservative voters here.

Keeping in mind, of course, that as in the past, said conservative voters may not be necessarily firmly Conservative voters.

Beyond condo development, bear in mind that McGirr had dead-cat-bounce factors working on her behalf: the Conservatives now being the governing party + Dion's perceived weakness.  Otherwise, while the "conservative" vote is usually perceived as defaulting to Liberal as the "electable non-Socialist option", elements of it can also default to NDP, particularly when they're incumbent (as here) and a bit of "David Miller coalition" strategizing is in play--they don't need to win the condos, as long as they have enough of their vote and good will.  (Thus, in 2008, the NDP lost less advantage in their naturally "weaker" zones than they did in the Green Shift-loving Annex.)

As it stands, even with condofication, I can see but a 20%-or-so ceiling for the Tories in T-S--redistribution, of course, can change everything; if growth leads to a hypothetical waterfront-based "Liberty-St Lawrence" seat, then, maybe, we can see them contending for a win, or at least a solid displacement of the NDP for second...

ReeferMadness

JKR wrote:

Many Canadians dislike coalition governments. This is one of the reasons it is difficult to get PR established. That's why NDP'ers like Tieleman were against STV. Like many others he dislikes the idea of permanent coalition government.

Tieleman???  It isn't coalition governments that he dislikes, it's democracy.  The backroom boys like the power to stay with the party and the unelected hangers on (like him).  Keeps the citizens from getting too uppity. 

Did you know that after doing a hatchet job on STV, Tieleman advocated mandatory voting on his useless blog?  What a hoot!!  After making my vote irrelevant, this guy wants to pass a law to force me to cast it anyway.

Quote Tieleman - that'll win me over.

Quote:

It's very easy to argue for multi-candidate and multi-party politics, as that's what we have now. So its easy arguing for AV to replace FPTP. It is much more difficult to argue for permanent coalition government and this makes it a harder sell to argue for PR to replace FPTP. That's why Labour in the UK proposed changing to AV immediately and having a referendum on PR within 3 years.

Why don't I share with you a little secret I learned during the STV campaign.  The citizens out there don't get it.  Not only did they not get STV, they don't really understand FPTP or what's wrong with it.  So your facile explanation about how easy it is to argue for AV is complete bullshit. 

The parties can get together and decide they want to change to AV without consulting the voters.  They could have also done that with STV.  Or MMP.  Or any other system.  And make no mistake.  During the STV campaign the parties (with the exception of the Green Party) were the problem.  Especially the NDP, that wanted nothing more than for STV to die without a peep.

 

ReeferMadness

JKR wrote:

Unfortunately, many people like authoritarian one-party rule created by majoritarian systems like FPTP and AV.

People who don't understand the system (and that is the great majority) have trouble knowing what they want.  That's why it's so nice to have the parties and their unelected hangers on to decide for them.  And that's where your buddy Tieleman comes in.  Those "communications" experts come in handy when you need to manipulate perceptions or just plain toss out the odd lie to discredit an idea.

ReeferMadness

Erik Redburn wrote:

Perhaps, but did they 'all suck' equally badly, as Green Party loyalists would have us believe?

Does voting Green because I like some of their ideas and I have little use for the rest of the parties qualify me as a "loyalist"?  With loyalists like me, no wonder greens can't get elected.

Quote:

Another thing which Green Party loyalists like to play both ways.  The NDP is either as "regressive" as the (BC) Liberals or they are scarey communists in disguise, as extreme in their way as the Liberals in their's.   Well, which is it guys?

Actually, it's more like the NDP will go to any lengths to avoid antagonizing the unions, the same way the Liberals will go to any length to avoid antagonizing business.  After that, anything that will get a few votes is fair game.  Out here in Looney Land, the NDP was running an "axe the tax" campaign.  And there was another brainchild of our buddy Tieleman.

Quote:

The fast ferries fiasco was a tempest in a teapot

A tempest in a teapot?  So you're telling me the $500 million that went down the toilet couldn't have been better spent somewhere else?  Not to mention that it gave the Liberals an excuse to do what they did to BC Ferries.

Quote:

The holier than thou BC Green Party OTOH believes that:

"BC Greens will foster the building of green and clean, renewable energy facilities with an emphasis on cooperative and municipally-owned utilities, while providing the opportunity for private producers and transmission operators to participate in a mixed public / private energy system."

http://www.adamsaab.ca/2009-campaign/economy.html

"cooperative and municipally owned facilities".  Gee, you're right.  That sounds pretty frightening.  I can see why you're afraid those neo-con Greens will get elected.

And I noticed you got this from a candidate's website from 2009, not from the current official website.  Is that the best dirt you can come up with?

Laughing

 

 

 

Erik Redburn

JKR wrote:

Erik Redburn wrote:

And your point is?  

My point is that AV is better then FPTP. (But not better then PR)

 

 

But you don't make that point.

JKR wrote:

Quote:

Thanks for coming out of the closet JKR. AV is the reverse of a proprtional system, suitable for a leadership convention not a general election.

If FPTP is better then AV, why don't the parties use FPTP for their own elections? Why do they use AV to elect their leaders, candidates, and party officers and not FPTP? If the parties and politicians feel it is wrong to use FPTP for elections within their parties, why is it ok for them to foist this undemocratic system on Canadians? By choosing AV over FPTP for their own elections, the parties and politicians show us what they really think, that AV is better then FPTP. I'll only believe politicians who says that FPTP is better then AV when they start using FPTP for elections within their own parties. But of course they never will because using FPTP in multi-candidate elections is makes no sense.

 

If you really don't understand the difference between general elections and leadership conventions then I suggest you either study the subject more seriously or refrain from speaking on it.  AV offers final results that are the exact Opposite of proprtionality, even if it offers a multiple choice format.

Quote:

Erik Redburn wrote:

And STV would have given an 8-15% minority permanent leverage over any future incoming government, which is the number one reason I initially opposed it despite my support for PR in principle.  FPTP rarely if ever allows a government to form OTOH with less than 35-40% of the vote in a multi-party race.

If you don't support STV because it gives 8-15% leverage over future governments, then you don't support PR. The principles of PR support small parties having much more leverage over governments then FPTP. Judging by your statements, I think you're a "closet" supporter of FPTP.

Before commenting on PR, STV, and electoral systems in general it would be a good idea to understand that how STV is a PR system.

I have a better understanding of it than you do obviously.   By giving one single party defacto king-making power in every election, STV does the opposite of what PR is supposed to do, offer voters proprtionality without sacrificing choice.    STV by virtue of its extraordinarily high thresholds and low proprtionality only offers one other party a reasonable chance of winning seats, thereby giving that one party undue inluence.  Other forms of PR don't.    That is why i didn't support it the first time.   Or rather the single biggest reason.

Quote:

Eric Redburn wrote:

And please stop comparing the National Front of France with the NDP.   The National Front is an openly racist and fascistic movement,  with a clear mandate to deny minorities their most basic rights as citizens.    And very likely the majority too if they ever fluked therir way in.

I never compared the National Front with the NDP. What I said was that FPTP could allow a 1st place party like the National Front to win a FPTP election. The same can't be said for AV or PR.

You were making the threat sound equal, which it isn't, and you ignored my point that FPTP in practice actually demands something closer to 35-40% of public support before any party can command a parliamentary majority.   That has been the history so far.

ReeferMadness

Brian White wrote:

I know IRV is not proportional but it at least allows the anti harper people to line up against fascism.  Under the present system, the ndp and liberals act like babies and cannot ever do the right thing for Canada.  Ignatief and coalition is an example.

Well, shit Brian!  Why didn't you just say so??  Obviously, the answer is to just have a two party system and outlaw the rest.  No Green Party.  No NDP.  No Bloc.  Certainly not any National Christian Coalition or Marijuana Party.  It'll be simple.  You vote blue or you vote red.  No more getting all confused in the voting booth with too many choices.

And you'll learn to like it!

Erik Redburn

And back to the question, I don't believe either the Green Party or Green Movement is in danger of disappearing from our political scene.  They maybe in decline at present however because of poor leadership and strategy, which resonates with neither their base support nor those they're trying to attract.      

Erik Redburn

ReeferMadness wrote:

Erik Redburn wrote:

Perhaps, but did they 'all suck' equally badly, as Green Party loyalists would have us believe?

Does voting Green because I like some of their ideas and I have little use for the rest of the parties qualify me as a "loyalist"?  With loyalists like me, no wonder greens can't get elected.

Quote:

Another thing which Green Party loyalists like to play both ways.  The NDP is either as "regressive" as the (BC) Liberals or they are scarey communists in disguise, as extreme in their way as the Liberals in their's.   Well, which is it guys?

Actually, it's more like the NDP will go to any lengths to avoid antagonizing the unions, the same way the Liberals will go to any length to avoid antagonizing business.  After that, anything that will get a few votes is fair game.  Out here in Looney Land, the NDP was running an "axe the tax" campaign.  And there was another brainchild of our buddy Tieleman.

Like many NDPers I don't much like the undue influence of unions over the party, but the party has at least taken steps away from that (eg: OMOV for leadership conventions) and anyone who equates big unions with big corprations in relative power, or thinks their interests as as deeply opposed to the publics, hasn't gone far enough in escaping received wisdom.   Like many NDPers I thought the "axe the tax" campaign was poorly conceived and executed but please do not accept Campbells poorly conceived and executed carbon tax plan as an acceptble environmental strategy.

 

Quote:

Quote:

The fast ferries fiasco was a tempest in a teapot

A tempest in a teapot?  So you're telling me the $500 million that went down the toilet couldn't have been better spent somewhere else?  Not to mention that it gave the Liberals an excuse to do what they did to BC Ferries.

 

Yes, the media blew it way out of proprtion and it was only a complete writeoff because of that.  That and the fact the BC Liberals simply sold them for scrap.  Much worse in my books.

Quote:

Quote:

The holier than thou BC Green Party OTOH believes that:

"BC Greens will foster the building of green and clean, renewable energy facilities with an emphasis on cooperative and municipally-owned utilities, while providing the opportunity for private producers and transmission operators to participate in a mixed public / private energy system."

http://www.adamsaab.ca/2009-campaign/economy.html

"cooperative and municipally owned facilities".  Gee, you're right.  That sounds pretty frightening.  I can see why you're afraid those neo-con Greens will get elected.

And I noticed you got this from a candidate's website from 2009, not from the current official website.  Is that the best dirt you can come up with?

Laughing

 

 

 

 

I could add more if I wanted but, seriously now, do you as a Green think public/private energy partnerships are acceptable??    The NDP, whatever its failures, has at least gone back to its initial position of public only use of public waterways.    

 

JKR

ReeferMadness wrote:
And that's where your buddy Tieleman comes in.  Those "communications" experts come in handy when you need to manipulate perceptions or just plain toss out the odd lie to discredit an idea.

Tieleman is definitely not my "buddy".

Maybe my arguments were too nuanced? I'll try to be more succinct.

I support PR. I totally supported BC-STV. I think 9-seat STV comes as close to electoral system perfection as you can get. My preferred system for Canada, given political reality, is open-list MMP. I think plurality voting, AKA FPTP, is the worst electoral system around, especially in the the form of the block vote.  I think AV would be an improvement over FPTP, although like others, I worry that establishing AV in Canada might hinder the chances of eventually establishing PR. If the parties would go ahead and establish AV I would see it as a positive development but I would still fully support moving on to PR. I think the argument can be made that it would be easier to go ahead with PR in Canada if the government replaced FPTP with AV. If AV replaced FPTP the electoral reform logjam could be broken as many people would see that electoral systems are not carved in Canadian granite. People would see that it isn't difficult changing electoral systems. Changing systems might even spur people to think more about electoral systems and what functions they perform. If they did that, I think they would come to the conclusion that PR is the way to go.

Erik Redburn

http://www.greenparty.bc.ca/blog/new-leaders-bc-ndp-and-bc-liberals-will...

Jane Sterk:

"Take energy production for instance. The Green Party of BC says we need to move to a system of distributed energy production, transmission and use. To encourage the development of new energy sources, we see a place for small and independent power producers, cooperatives, municipal utilities and BC Hydro. And by regionalizing power, we create opportunities for new businesses in the development of renewable energy that can be generated and used locally. These projects would also create lots of new local jobs. BC Greens maintain that there doesn’t need to be a knee jerk reaction against privately generated power; and, we don’t need to turn over our precious resources to the private sector."

ottawaobserver

And here we have the perfect demonstration of why Electoral Reform never wins a referendum. No-one is capable of making a concise argument in its favour, and people's eyes glaze over.

Life, the unive...

Oh goody.  There's just nothing like an arcane spat over electoral reform to turn a thread into a barnburner that deserves hall of fame status.

JKR

Erik Redburn wrote:

If you really don't understand the difference between general elections and leadership conventions then I suggest you either study the subject more seriously or refrain from speaking on it.

The parties don't just use AV for leadership conventions, they use it for all contests involving more then two candidates. Using FPTP never works in contests involving more then two candidates because it risks having a winner that the majority clearly dislikes. The more candidates in a contest, the greater the chance of FPTP producing an illegitimate winner. Electoral reform has become a major issue in Canada because of the growing strength of 3rd parties. If third parties continue to grow in number and strength, FPTP will inevitably have to be replaced.

Erik Redburn wrote:

I have a better understanding of it than you do obviously.   By giving one single party defacto king-making power in every election, STV does the opposite of what PR is supposed to do, offer voters proprtionality without sacrificing choice.    STV by virtue of its extraordinarily high thresholds and low proprtionality only offers one other party a reasonable chance of winning seats, thereby giving that one party undue inluence.  Other forms of PR don't.    That is why i didn't support it the first time.   Or rather the single biggest reason.

You obviously don't know that STV is a proportional system. Read this (PR) and this (STV) and you'll discover why STV is considered to be a PR system.

You seem to be confusing STV with AV. STV has multi-member ridings. AV, like FPTP, has single-member ridings.

If you didn't support STV because you thought it wasn't proportional you were sadly mistaken. This shows why it is unrealistic to have referendums decide this issue as too many voters are not in position to make an informed choice.

Eric Redburn wrote:

You were making the threat sound equal, which it isn't, and you ignored my point that FPTP in practice actually demands something closer to 35-40% of public support before any party can command a parliamentary majority.   That has been the history so far.

The more parties there are in an FPTP election, the fewer the votes required for a party to get a majority. There's no rule that a party needs to get somewhere between 35 - 40% to get a majority under FPTP. If more parties become competitive in Canada's political system, the fewer votes a party will need to get a majority. France has a lot of competitive parties. That's why a party in France's splintered political system could win a majority with just 25% of the vote if they were dumb enough to use FPTP like we do in Canada. 

If an FPTP election has only two parties, one party has to get at least 50% of the vote to get a majority. That's why FPTP is considered by many to be a two-party system. FPTP favours the movement toward a two-party system. In Canada FPTP has historically forced parties to merge with each other or dissolve to recreate a two-party dominant system.  AV is the way people have come up with to maintain a majoritarian system while accomodating more then two dominant parties. See Duverger's Law.

Life, the unive...

But why would the average person want to support electoral reform when the minute it is brought up some PR, or STV or what have you junkies have to break into a heated hour long discussion into which system is more perfect and the number of seats you can fit on the head of a pin.  I have news for you by then the average person has left and is off looking for something more interesting, like watching rain water dry on pavement after a good rain storm.   It isn't to say electoral reform isn't important, but that you folks really need to learn the less is more lesson.

ottawaobserver

The other thing I worry about is the move by the Greens and others to take this issue to the Supreme Court.

Has anyone thought ahead to what happens if the SCOC rules that FPTP is more democratic, or as democratic, or that there's no constitutional right to PR, or (worse) that PR was inconsistent with the constitutional seat guarantees given to the original provincial partners in Confederation?

It's the same problem as having pushed for a referendum, and not being ready with the exact method to be put to the public, or any of the communications planning. You lose the referendum and then you lose the moral authority to raise the issue again for a long time.

JKR

ottawaobserver wrote:

And here we have the perfect demonstration of why Electoral Reform never wins a referendum. No-one is capable of making a concise argument in its favour, and people's eyes glaze over.

 

Like other important issues, electoral reform is not suited for yes and no referendums. Like other important and complex issues, electoral reform is best established by Parliament. The public's role is to agitate for change. Expecting a referendum to decide this complex issue may be unrealistic as the forces for the status quo will use the inherent complexity of this issue against groups that want to improve our democracy.

Do we have a referendum on other important issues like:

- parliamentary procedures.

- minority rights.

- federal/provincial relations.

- tax policies.

- trade deals.

- healthcare, education, pensions, etc...?

My guess is that the politicians will decide the issue according to their interests. In practice that means we should encourage the NDP to fight for electoral reform without requiring a referendum to ratify it.

Would Martin Luther King and LBJ have ever conceived of of having a referendum on civil rights?

At its core, electoral reform is based on civil rights.

ReeferMadness

Erik Redburn wrote:

http://www.greenparty.bc.ca/blog/new-leaders-bc-ndp-and-bc-liberals-will...

Jane Sterk:

"Take energy production for instance. The Green Party of BC says we need to move to a system of distributed energy production, transmission and use. To encourage the development of new energy sources, we see a place for small and independent power producers, cooperatives, municipal utilities and BC Hydro. And by regionalizing power, we create opportunities for new businesses in the development of renewable energy that can be generated and used locally. These projects would also create lots of new local jobs. BC Greens maintain that there doesn’t need to be a knee jerk reaction against privately generated power; and, we don’t need to turn over our precious resources to the private sector."

The Greens are very big on a decentralized, community based economy. Personally, I don't consider it one of their strongest platform stands - I'm not sure how it would look and it could be a recipe for chaos.  But even here, Jane isn't saying she's going to give away the farm to big business - she just says there's no reason that businesses should be excluded.  If you support private business involvement in the economy (as the NDP does), I see no reason why power generation should be treated differently from other industries.  I'd need to see more details about what Sterk has in mind before I could say whether I was in favour or not.

But seriously, is this the best you can do in justifying that Greens are neo-conservatives?

ReeferMadness

JKR wrote:

I support PR. I totally supported BC-STV. I think 9-seat STV comes as close to electoral system perfection as you can get. My preferred system for Canada, given political reality, is open-list MMP. I think plurality voting, AKA FPTP, is the worst electoral system around, especially in the the form of the block vote.  I think AV would be an improvement over FPTP, although like others, I worry that establishing AV in Canada might hinder the chances of eventually establishing PR. If the parties would go ahead and establish AV I would see it as a positive development but I would still fully support moving on to PR. I think the argument can be made that it would be easier to go ahead with PR in Canada if the government replaced FPTP with AV. If AV replaced FPTP the electoral reform logjam could be broken as many people would see that electoral systems are not carved in Canadian granite. People would see that it isn't difficult changing electoral systems. Changing systems might even spur people to think more about electoral systems and what functions they perform. If they did that, I think they would come to the conclusion that PR is the way to go.

I'm with you up to the point where you start talking about the parties.  The established parties are enemies of PR.  It was amazing that PR even made it on the ballots.  If you're waiting for the people to rise up and demand voting system reform, don't hold your breath.

If, on the other hand, the two big BC parties decided STV was necessary to keep, say, the Greens from taking over, we'd have STV already.  When the parties decide on PR, they won't bother asking the people.

PR provides more choice.  AV is the opposite, it has the effect of supporting the two biggest parties and reducing choice.

ReeferMadness

Life, the universe, everything wrote:

But why would the average person want to support electoral reform when the minute it is brought up some PR, or STV or what have you junkies have to break into a heated hour long discussion into which system is more perfect and the number of seats you can fit on the head of a pin.  I have news for you by then the average person has left and is off looking for something more interesting, like watching rain water dry on pavement after a good rain storm.   It isn't to say electoral reform isn't important, but that you folks really need to learn the less is more lesson.

Wow, thanks Life.  Excellent point.  If you hadn't mentioned it, I never would have realized that people who are capable of discussing, say, hockey or shoe shopping for hours on end would immediately tune out with their eyes glazed over when it came to the state of their democracy.

Isn't it great that people have such a solid sense of priority in their lives?

ReeferMadness

ottawaobserver wrote:

The other thing I worry about is the move by the Greens and others to take this issue to the Supreme Court.

Has anyone thought ahead to what happens if the SCOC rules that FPTP is more democratic, or as democratic, or that there's no constitutional right to PR, or (worse) that PR was inconsistent with the constitutional seat guarantees given to the original provincial partners in Confederation?

It's the same problem as having pushed for a referendum, and not being ready with the exact method to be put to the public, or any of the communications planning. You lose the referendum and then you lose the moral authority to raise the issue again for a long time.

And if they lose, are we going to be any worse off than we are now?

Everyone should understand that FPTP (and AV) are forms of systematic discrimination.  They deny meaningful democratic representation to millions of people in this country alone.  What does history tell us about how to deal with large scale discrimination?  Nobody is going to apologize and offer to make everything alright.  If we want it fixed, then we need to demand that it be fixed.  And be prepared to back it up.  In the courts or in the streets.

And when you suffer from discrimination, the last thing you do is compromise and negotiate.  Which is why AV is for me, not even worth discussing.

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