Rise and fall of the Green movement

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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.

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.

Life, the unive...

ReeferMadness wrote:

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?

yeah that's exactly what I said.  How has your approach been working for you so far?  Oh yeah, you keep losing referendums.

mimeguy

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

 

Hey OO. No I'm not running in TS this time. I was re-nominated in 2009 but the local riding executive has changed hands recently and they wanted a new candidate and asked me to resign. That's life.

 

Eric Redburn - " 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."

This is true. It should also be noted that a portion of of the green movement chooses to make social change rather than political change. I suspect many are a part of those who don't vote and choose to make immediate social change through personal choices and lifestyle changes rather than political change. I suspect that many people in the green movement don't trust the Green Party or NDP any more than they trust other political parties. Politics is about compromise and the Irish Greens, for one, just learned that it really does matter which principles you choose to compromise on.

JKR

I think it may be best to look at the rest of the modern democratic world to see how electoral reform fits into general politics and how it has been established elsewhere. It's hard for Canadians to believe but Canada is basically the only modern developed multi-party polity left that still maintains FPTP. FPTP was spread by the British to its colonies but it has not been accepted by the rest of the modern democratic world. Most of the former British colonies have also outgrown FPTP.  The US has a two-party primary system so it has less difficulty maintaining FPTP then multi-party polities. New Zealand, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, and Northern Ireland have all dropped FPTP. And the UK itself may get rid of FPTP this May.

In all these areas FPTP was banished once the parties in power felt it was in their interests to get rid of it. The same will likely happen here. The referendum process here in Canada has been used by parties that currently benefit from FPTP but that will likely change as political pluralism grows stronger. The steady growth of the NDP, BQ, and Greens is part of this process of political pluralism. All around us, modern technology has increased pluralism in all areas of life. Politics is being a straggler but it will inevitably fall in with the march of progress. I don't think Canadians will go back to 2-party dominant system of yesteryear. Before the Alliance and PC partys merged people like Steven Harper were already arguing for electoral reform. Just a decade later the Liberals and NDP may well form a coalition government that persues electoral reform because it is in their mutual interest. It's clear now that we are entering an era of coalition governments. Even if the Conservatives can win a majority, this will be the exception to the rule within a 5-party universe that may grow even larger if the Conservatives create desension that leads to the birth of yet another party.  Coalition governments are the new norm and electoral reform is the inevitable result of coalition government.

People like to think that things happen because they've consciously chosen them to happen. People don't like to think that circumstances have determined their actions. But its usually circumstances that motivate action. The recent movement in the former British colonies toward electoral reform is part of a world wide process of growing pluralism. Growing political pluralism will inevatbly make coalition governments the new norm in Ottawa. Because of this electoral reform will eventually be established. That's why its in the interest of the major parties to establish a form of electoral reform that best suits its interests now while the getting is good.

George Victor

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.

Laughing

You'll recall the opening years of Green Party existence. This party was to be absolutely democratic in structure...and have no structure at all.  And no reason for existence in contests for power.

It all comes back.

p.s. Your PM system doesn't work worth a fiddler's fart (in case you're wondering at the scarcity of feedback). 

MegB

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