What will the NDP do to prevent a Conservative Majority?

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Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I agree that each political party needs to look after its own interests, but I also believe Opposition parties should target the government, not each other.

ReeferMadness

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Well it never occurred to me that you would provide a list of two things that could in theory be done that you do not advocate doing. Why not list 99 more absurd things that you don't recomend and not say so?

I was responding to the OP, which I consider to be a rhetorical question.  I don't think the NDP will do anything that will significantly affect Harper's chances at a majority.  NDP supporters may hang off of Layton's every word but most people ignore him.  So I turned it around and listed 2 things which I thought might work.  The first is unpalatable and the second is difficult.

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As for strategic voting -- I have never advocated it -- not for NDPers and not for other parties-- I think it is anti-democratic and further perverts an already twisted electoral system. I have never suggested that Liberals should vote NDP-- perhaps that they convert to NDP as their first choice but not for so-called strategic reasons. I always have said the best strategy is to vote for your first choice.

Agreed.

However, it seems every election, there is a waterfall effect as Liberals try to convince NDPers to help stop the Conservatives and NDPers try to convince Greens their votes don't matter.  In provincial elections where the NDP play the role of the federal Liberals, it's common for NDPers to advocate strategic voting to stop someone else. 

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As far as the Liberal party collapsing-- that is beyond the scope of what people here can do never mind if they are itnerested in it-- that is for Liberals to figure out. The few Liberals here can work that out for themselves. The Liberal party is not going to collapse to nothing. It may become a third or fourth party but that again is their problem. As far as Harper gettiong a majority, it will not take a collapse of the Liberals to allow that-- just a little more weakness than they currently have-- or a weakness in the BQ with votes falling to the Cons alone could do that. Each party must promote themselves and stop being caught up in the strategizing about what other opposition parties will do.

Agreed - except for the part about what happens if the Liberals become a "third or fourth party".  I'll cover that below.

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As far as the NDP becoming more or less progressive by virtue of votes moving towards them is also ridiculous. That in itself does nto change what the party is. If the party is progressive and convinces people who are less progressive to move to them that makes more progressive people not a less progressive party. Only by having the eladership and members become less progressive does a party become less progressive. This part of your post makes no sense on several levels.

It's not ridiculous in the least.  If the Liberal Party didn't exist, the NDP would become a version of the Liberal Party.  In fact, I would say that has happened already at the provincial level here in BC.  It's probably happened in other provinces as well, I'm just not familiar enough to say.

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Votes and hearts and minds are not seperate-- they come together. There is no lag.

In a perfect world, maybe. 

My point is that you can come up with strategies to manipulate the vote without changing hearts and minds.

ReeferMadness

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

And in politics real success is power. You only deserve that when you have something meaningful to do with it but let's not confuse what the bar for success is. It is like any race-- "real success" is coming first. Suggesting otherwise is advocating disillusionment.

That could have been written by Machiavelli.  Maybe even Stalin.  It's anti-democratic and I find it repugnant.

If you believe in democracy then you believe in rule by the people - even when they do something you don't agree with.  Therefore democratic success is achieved by educating or otherwise convincing people of what you believe to be true - not by gaining power with strategic games.

David Young

After Gordon Earle finished just 932 votes behind Gerald Keddy in the 2008 election, it's going to be very easy to say to previously Liberal (and Green!) voters that the best way to prevent a Conservative majority is to vote NDP here in S.S.S.M.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Sorry I got Keddy mixed up with Kennedy. Dunno how that happened! I hope Earle wins next time. Smile

Colin Ferrie

Boom Boom wrote:

I understand your rhetoric born of frustration with the Liberals, Scott, but if you truly want to address the thread question, "What will the NDP do to prevent a Conservative Majority?", then the answer is to target Conservative ridings, not other Opposition seats. Yes, it's great to unseat Liberals to get more NDP members, but that doesn't stop the Conservatives. Targetting Conservative seats ought to be the objective.

Why would the NDP be required to compete with Conservatives anyways?  As a parallel, one can look to the UK, where the Independent Labour Party squeezed the Liberals, who had been the dominant party of the 19th century.  The Liberals were clearly sacrificed by the Left, since possessing the Center is important in order to be elected, but is anethmatic to the socialist cause.

People seem to have a doomsday scenario in mind, thinking that if the Liberals happen to fail in the long term, that the country will somehow be derailed.  This clearly did not happen in the case of the UK, nor is it in the case in those provinces that have failed Liberal parties of little consequence.

If the goal of the NDP is to gain power, then they must squeeze the Liberals hard, and shove them off the cliff, because without the center, the NDP will have a great deal of futility to deal with.  The biggest problem the NDP has is that a third of their support is ensconced within the Green Party.  The Green Party is also more agile, since they are not committed to the socialist causes, and if they choose, can engage in policies that not only support environmentalism, but also appeal to the progressive side of the conservative cause, in the form of those who wish to invest in the emerging green industries and green businesses.

Layton will be best off in Ontario to remind Ontarians that Bob Rae is now a Liberal, since it was the Rae government that drove away massive NDP support when the public service sector and trade unions abandoned the NDP after the fiasco of the Social Contract.  He also can't identify too closely with costly socialist programs, especially at this time when overtaxation is a very real issue - and let McGuinty continue to frag the support for Liberals in Ontario through his ersatz programs and unbridled shovelling of money into losing ventures.

Colin Ferrie

ReeferMadness wrote:

If the Liberal Party collapsed tomorrow, it would be an unmitigated disaster for Canada.

And why would it be a disaster?  We could put behind us a half century of short sightedness, ceaseless crass acts, and self aggrandizement - and get on with bringing about a decent system where the people of this nation not only have a voice, that we also have a system by which those vested with power would be accountable when that power is perverted or abused.  Getting rid of that cesspool of corruption and self indulgence would be a welcome relief in the halls of Parliament, and a major, heart attack inducing shock to the CBC.

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Stephen Harper would easily get enough support to gain a majority and would feel emboldened to do what he wanted with it.  If you think he's regressive today, think about what he might do if he had a majority and felt there were no viable alternative.

I for one do not think Harper is "regressive", nor does he appear to have any such inclinations.  This is different from say, the Liberals, that have a strong track record of being regressive, from anything from such turgid policies like the NEP, to a myriad of useless "programs" that are nothing more than ways to shovel cash into the pockets of their organized crime cronies, like AdScam.  I can't imagine anything Harper could dream of that would do more damage than the shenanigans the Liberals have long engaged in to stifle free enterprise, and to send thousands of companies packing for other, more reasonable places to do business.

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Even for the NDP, things would not be great.  If large numbers of Liberal supporters suddenly switched to the NDP, that would also serve to make the NDP a less progressive voice.

I can't imagine the NDP becoming any less progressive - seeing that they haven't had a new idea since Tommy Douglas invented health care.

JKR

ReeferMadness wrote:

It's not ridiculous in the least.  If the Liberal Party didn't exist, the NDP would become a version of the Liberal Party.  In fact, I would say that has happened already at the provincial level here in BC.  It's probably happened in other provinces as well, I'm just not familiar enough to say.

 

It's happened in Manitoba and Saskatchewan.  Just ask Gary Doer.

If Canada sticks with FPTP it might be in the interest of progressives to desolve the NDP and takeover the Liberals. This stragedy sure worked well for Harper and his fellow neo-cons. What could the Liberals do if progressives bought Liberal memberships en masse?  The Liberals would be in the same potion PCers found themselves in when the Reformer-Alliance took over their party from within. Layton and Rae could play the roles of Harper and McKay. And Ignatieff could be Joe Clark.

At every turn FPTP favors a two-party system.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Colin Ferrie wrote:
If the goal of the NDP is to gain power, then they must squeeze the Liberals hard, and shove them off the cliff, because without the center, the NDP will have a great deal of futility to deal with. 

I understand your point, but I think in reality squeezing the Liberals instead of the Conservatives - and therefore almost certainly allowing the Conservatives a dramatic majority - would simply piss off most NDP voters.

JKR

Boom Boom wrote:

Colin Ferrie wrote:
If the goal of the NDP is to gain power, then they must squeeze the Liberals hard, and shove them off the cliff, because without the center, the NDP will have a great deal of futility to deal with. 

I understand your point, but I think in reality squeezing the Liberals instead of the Conservatives - and therefore almost certainly allowing the Conservatives a dramatic majority - would simply piss off most NDP voters.

 

And by the time the Liberals fall off that cliff, if they ever do, the neo-cons will have signed so many free-trade deals that it won't matter who governs Canada.

The fact remains that, even at historic lows, the Liberals are still well ahead of the NDP in the polls. I'm not sure if I'll ever see the day that the NDP  surplants the Liberals federally. But I'm pretty sure I'll see the day soon when progressive legislation is passed with the help of the NDP'ers, Liberals and  BQ'ers.

madmax

JKR wrote:
At every turn FPTP favors a two-party system.
Two threads semi hijacked as FPTP is claimed to be the culprit. It may be fairer but....

In Australia, with 95% enforced voter turnout, the number of parties holding Senate Seats.

THREE!!!

Labour 37 Seats

Liberal 32 Seats

Green 5 Seats

From 12 Million Voters.

 

..... back to our regular channel  Tongue out

 

Sean in Ottawa

ReeferMadness wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

And in politics real success is power. You only deserve that when you have something meaningful to do with it but let's not confuse what the bar for success is. It is like any race-- "real success" is coming first. Suggesting otherwise is advocating disillusionment.

That could have been written by Machiavelli.  Maybe even Stalin.  It's anti-democratic and I find it repugnant.

If you believe in democracy then you believe in rule by the people - even when they do something you don't agree with.  Therefore democratic success is achieved by educating or otherwise convincing people of what you believe to be true - not by gaining power with strategic games.

You have a twisted way of adding in things to people's writing while you read it. Your post is very offensive and insulting.

By coming in first I am referring to winning an election fairly -- and that means getting people to vote for you. Winning a fair election is quite democratic-- suggesting that what I am saying is comparable to a mass murderer-tyrant-dictator is absurd and deeply offensive. When did Stalin refer to winning elections????

My point is that if you want to make the lives of ordinary people better you need to change policies and to do that you need to win power in an election - that is the point of the political process.

The objective of political campaigns is to get people to vote for you so that you can do those things you believe in -- this has nothing to do with strategic games-- I do not advocate strategic games or strategic voting.

The ultimate test of whether you ahve won the hearts and minds of the electorate is if they vote for you-- liking you, trusting you on some things but not giving you power to implement the policies you advocate for is not good enough.

 

There is nothing anti-democratic about what I am saying--

You are the one advocating politcal games--and antidemecratic moves like trying to convince poeple who believe in one party to vote for another. Your post was way, way way over the line.

 

JKR

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

The objective of political campaigns is to get people to vote for you so that you can do those things you believe in -- this has nothing to do with strategic games-- I do not advocate strategic games or strategic voting.

 

But our political campaigns, allow the neo-CONS to form governments with 1/3rd of the vote. And our political system short changes parties like the NDP and Greens. That's why so many people vote strategically. The political system does not reflect peoples' voting intentions. So the voters are forced to overcome this defect by voting strategically.

FPTP only works properly when there are only two parties. So either we change the electoral system or we all fit ourselves into one of two parties. Strategic voting is just another way FPTP forces people to fit into one of two poilitical camps.

ottawaobserver

It happens every election ... Liberals and Conservatives show up at Babble for a few days to tell the NDP what's best for them.  As you were fellas, your talking points are showing ....

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Have the Cons or Libs ever seriously embraced PR in this country? I can't see either of them letting go of FPTP which is like manna from heaven for them.

Sean in Ottawa

JKR wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

The objective of political campaigns is to get people to vote for you so that you can do those things you believe in -- this has nothing to do with strategic games-- I do not advocate strategic games or strategic voting.

 

But our political campaigns, allow the neo-CONS to form governments with 1/3rd of the vote. And our political system short changes parties like the NDP and Greens. That's why so many people vote strategically. The political system does not reflect peoples' voting intentions. So the voters are forced to overcome this defect by voting strategically.

FPTP only works properly when there are only two parties. So either we change the electoral system or we all fit ourselves into one of two parties. Strategic voting is just another way FPTP forces people to fit into one of two poilitical camps.

Strategic voting is a fraud. It is an attempt to cover up and remove the record of the problems of a flawed unrepresentative voting system by having people select options they do not believe are their best choice. The more people do that the less there is a reason to reform the system. Alternatives do not disappear when you force yourself in to a two party system-- they just get covered up and papered over and reform becomes more elusive. In theory you can pretend that there is more democracy when you limit people to two parties because then the result will represent the votes more accurately but that is backwards-- to follow that logic why not limit people to just one choice? Then the result will perfectly reflect the voting pattern every time? Of course people here would not propose that because it limits choice removes real decision-making from the people and is profoundly antidemocratic. Yet somehow many of those who would find the idea of limiting our choice to one see no trouble with eliminating distinct choices from 3 or 4 to just two. Somehow they think that fitting in to two choices is not as much of a loss as fitting in to one. By taking a choice off the table we guarantee that not only will that choice never prevail-- it can no longer even be considered and we can never know how many people wanted it. I assume as many do here that the people who propose to remove a choice believe that the one they advocate will survive the cull and so we assume they are Liberals as that party presumes to be one of the two surviving parties. Of course this would fix that for all time-- so eventually if people decide that nobody wants either of the two selected parties they will never have another choice as they can't be allowed to grow in a two party system.

We have a problem with the way votes are applied to electing people but we do count votes. Having people effectively lie about who their first choice is is a strategy but it is one that will take a damaged electoral system and render it more useless and less relevant than ever with problems so concealed that we won't even know where to start when it comes to reforms. I agree it is frustrating to see your votes counted but not translate into the right number of seats but let's not frig up the counting of the votes to make up for the translation into seats problem -- let's push for the representative translation into seats. Strategic voting is the enemy of reform and is antidemocratic and is effectively a fraud perpetrated on the public by the public. That is why I always honour my vote with my first choice and advocate for the reform that will make that process better. I do respect people who vote for other parties and while I'd like them to be convinced that my party is the best one I do not want them voting for it if they do not believe that it is the best. I want those other people to respect my choice and to respect their own choices rather than run toward a fraudulent illusion of a fair voting system created by hiding the real preferences of voters inside parties they do not want to support for any other reason. the purpose of strategic voting appears to be a negative one-- the damaging of a third party, removal of a bad government. That this is tarted up to be the focus of an electoral choice is pathetic. People should not just vote against-- they need to vote for and to do that they need to acknowledge that they have more than two choices for government.

Sean in Ottawa

People who favour reform need to see that not only is strategic voting not a solution it literally buries the case for reform

NorthReport

 

Ignatieff lacks vaccine to halt Liberal pandemic  Laughing

But the opposition promptly returned the favour with its handshake-sealed deal to form a Liberal-NDP-Bloc coalition, a Christmas present that keeps on giving. 

Compounding opposition party misfortunes is what's on the horizon. Canada is heading into what most experts predict will be the greatest outburst of national pride in decades. The Canadian Olympic team is hoping to deliver plenty of medals in less than one hundred days, including the elusive host country gold. They could even win the Games outright by delivering the top medal haul of any country.

For the Conservatives, who tend to wear patriotism on their sleeve (or on their red mittens) more than any other party, that's an advantage akin to setting up on the bobsled track start line with a five-second lead. They could wipe out before the finish line and still win the race. 

All this means Mr. Harper can continue to govern with a majority government mentality for the foreseeable future. With the brimming confidence of the byelection results in his sails, particularly that win in Quebec's poorest riding, he's even got the usually-defiant Bloc Quebecois in knee-knocking election-averting mode. The way the polls are unfolding, the opposition trio may well be too timid to force an election over next spring's budget.

If the next vote is indeed a year away, that sets up the Conservatives for a lower-profile win, no matter what the election outcome. 

Conservative senators will inherit the top party spot in the Red Chamber in early January, and will command an absolute majority over all Liberals and the pair of remaining Progressive Conservatives next November assuming, of course, Mr. Harper doesn't get soft and appoint any non-Conservatives to the trough.  As if... 

So if the cop on the Hill accurately reflects Liberal fortunes today, Michael Ignatieff did not get off with a friendly warning. His party is in arrested development. 

http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2009/11/11/don-martin-ignatieff-lacks-vaccine-to-halt-liberal-pandemic.aspx

Colin Ferrie

Boom Boom wrote:

I understand your point, but I think in reality squeezing the Liberals instead of the Conservatives - and therefore almost certainly allowing the Conservatives a dramatic majority - would simply piss off most NDP voters.

The NDP can't squeeze the Conservatives, since they are on opposite ends policy wise.  What would anger NDP supporters is if the NDP all of a sudden adopted right wing policies, just like Bob Rae did in Ontario when he went on a binge of union bashing and taking worker's rights away.  And really, those things though purported to be a "Conservative" thing to do, simply wouldn't be done by a Conservative unless they wanted to frag themselves.  NDP supporters want to win, and if that means shoving Liberals off the cliff, really, they don't care so long as they can win.

While the NDP were out preaching their homily of welfare for all, putting individuals and corporations on the dole - the Green Party stepped in and stole those things that are the new core of socialism.  That is, of ecological minded policies geared towards making people self-sufficient, rather than some grandiose schemes of band-aid solutions.  It's not like the environment is some kind of new issue, it's just the NDP fumbled it worse than the Argos fumble a football.  The left is split much like the right has been split since Sir MacDonald crossed the bar.

Sean in Ottawa

Colin, I am not convinced that you and I share enough vocabulary for me to even respond to you. I don't think we mean the same by socialism, welfare, rights etc. so I can't use any of those in a reply.

I am not sure if I can respond other than to say based on your last paragraph, that you clearly are so far from me politically that there is hardly any point in trying to find common ground. Perhaps I'll feel more optimistic later.

Colin Ferrie

JKR wrote:

And by the time the Liberals fall off that cliff, if they ever do, the neo-cons will have signed so many free-trade deals that it won't matter who governs Canada.

And free trade is somehow bad for the country?  Now, it would be better if we had free trade as well as free enterprise, but free trade has allowed thousands of companies to compete in the world markets, markets that are dominated by many free trade blocks.  It is no different from the old days when we had free trade with the Commonwealth - it was all about freedom to trade and do business, which means people end up employed.

Do not blame free trade for the failures of our own capitalist ventures that entirely failed to compete simply because they wanted to score maximum profits with the least amount of effort.  Neo-cons did not invent the failure to do business.

Quote:

The fact remains that, even at historic lows, the Liberals are still well ahead of the NDP in the polls. I'm not sure if I'll ever see the day that the NDP  surplants the Liberals federally. But I'm pretty sure I'll see the day soon when progressive legislation is passed with the help of the NDP'ers, Liberals and  BQ'ers.

You must be planning on living into your 300th year...  If "progressive legislation" ever came to the pass, the Bloc would be off wandering around looking for loot, the Liberals would be off wandering around looking for shiny things, and the NDP would be denouncing it because it is not a welfare program.  I think the NDP have the greatest chance of coming up with something progressive, while the Liberals will simply continue to fool around, looking to score some fast cash or to buy some more glad handlers.

 

hsfreethinkers hsfreethinkers's picture

Colin, I think if you do some research you'll find that NAFTA has indeed been bad for Canada, and that there are many serious problems with free-trade agreements. For example, see the CCPA report [URL=http://www.policyalternatives.ca/reports/2006/09/ReportsStudies1447/]Rev... NAFTA[/URL]. Also, here's a book recommendation for you: [URL=http://www.amazon.ca/No-Nonsense-Guide-Globalization-Wayne-Ellwood/dp/19... No-Nonsense Guide to Globalization[/URL].

Sean in Ottawa

Colin is all on a poor bashing, the NDP is only about welfare kick.

He needs to do some reading assuming he is as ignorant as he sounds otherwise he is just trolling to get a reaction to the NDP is the welfare party thing. He doesn't appear interested in learning anything so I am leaning towards thinking his real purpose here is to annoy and provoke. For now I'll hold out some hope that he is here for more than that but I won't invest much until that is more obvious than it is now.

BTW the so called free trade agreement is not about free trade.It is highly managed trade not free trade at all. These trade agreements are about much more than knocking down tariffs. The original FTA from 1988 was so big the minister who tabled it in the house admitted that he had not read it.

Now Colin I'll ask you directly-- did you come here with an open mind? If you keep singing the one-note song about the NDP be only about welfare then I suspect your stay here will be short although it is not up to me to decide that. Colin-- why don't you read some more threads before writing so people don't have to repeat so much of what already has been said.

Debater

David Young wrote:

What will the NDP do to prevent a Conservative Majority?

Here in South Shore-St. Margaret's, we're going to defeat Gerald Keddy in the next election, that's what!

We have our candidate nominated already, Gordon Earle; we've started fund-raising for the next campaign; we've been gathering new lists of supporters/sign locations/campaign workers, etc. from the recent provincial election; plus we've been watching Gerald put one foot into his mouth after another.

We're ready to do our part here in S.S.S.M.

I would like to see the NDP win South Shore-St. Margaret's too.  I wish your campaign luck.

kathleen

Sean - totally agreed with your long post on NDP strategy. Thanks for that. Jack's swell, but it's the MP's who really shine, in their communities first and then in parliament.

"...In theory you can pretend that there is more democracy when you limit people to two parties because then the result will represent the votes more accurately but that is backwards-- to follow that logic why not limit people to just one choice...?"

But I don't entirely agree that a one-party system would be any worse. As long as we have the FPTP system, we might as well have a one-party system. Call it "The Party". Then everybody can vote for the MP's who best represent their interests and the interests of their community and that of the larger nation - and world. Maybe it's the party system that's obsolete. I might be wrong, but it is possible that there are Conservatives even in Alberta who would support public health, education, and rural/agricultural/environmental sustainability, even while they support the oil industry. I don't know why I think so, but as long as Harper prevents them from speaking, we'll never know.

In a one-party system, MP's could align on issues/policies with any other MP's instead of towing the party line. There could be real negotiation among members of parliament, unconstrained by party platforms. Gun registration would not decide an election to the neglect of foreign affairs. Candidates would have to really listen to their electorate's concerns and respond to them before they bring them, if elected, to the parliament. The people would judge their MP's performance based on their ability to pursuade other MP's of their constituents' concerns, and the result could be an informed, democratic decision that everybody would have to live with. The House would debate real issues. Everybody would get equal access to finances and budgets. Anybody could become an ally or an enemy - be independent like Bill Casey.

I am a loyal NDP voter. A sporadic member. I am tired of Jack's mug, although I love the guy. I volunteer for elections. I don't have any influence on their agenda. And as was noted above, provincial NDP's have to be pretty tame to win - although I don't think Tommy Douglas was exactly radical so why should Dexter or Doer have to be?

We have just experienced the most prosperous, profitable? years in this country's history while people lined up at  food banks. Now we're "strapped" again and we apparently can't afford to pay decent wages and benefits to working people. This should be an election-winning issue for the NDP but it isn't. If people don't give a shit, they should. And the NDP should make sure they do. If the NDP can't discuss income insecurity, poverty and regressive tax cuts, we don't need 2, 3, or more parties. We need people to speak the truth, regardless of their political affiliation and the odds of winning. If people are poor, they need money. If that brands the NDP as the welfare party, so be it.

 

JKR

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

People who favour reform need to see that not only is strategic voting not a solution it literally buries the case for reform

I have never heard a supporter of electoral reform say that strategic voting benefits electoral reform. Rather, supporters of electoral reform say that electoral reform is the solution to strategic voting.

People favour electoral reform to end strategic voting.

Like it or not, strategic voting is part and patrcel of FPTP. As long as we have a multiplicity of parties and FPTP, we will be saddled with strategic voting. 

Strategic voting will occur when peoples votes are not translated accurately into representation. Game theory has shown that people attempt to give as much power to their vote as possible. In FPTP, this leads some people to vote strategically. To tell people to never engage in strategic voting is to tell people they shouldn't allow their self-interest to dictate their votes.  Under FPTP, many people feel it is in their interest to vote for a party that is not their first choice. They feel it is in their best interest because FPTP does not translate their vote accurately.

Telling Green supporters that they must vote Green makes no sense because Green supporters know that blindly voting for the Greens will not put the environment first.  This is why eventhough some polls put the Greens in the low-teens, they never attain that kind of support in actual elections.

ottawaobserver

JKR wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

People who favour reform need to see that not only is strategic voting not a solution it literally buries the case for reform

I have never heard a supporter of electoral reform say that strategic voting benefits electoral reform. Rather, supporters of electoral reform say that electoral reform is the solution to strategic voting.

I have.  Quite vociferously, and from people with (I thought) a pretty good grounding in how politics works.  The one person I'm thinking of tried to persuade me that VoteForEnvironment.ca was the vehicle that was going to bring us electoral reform.  It was hard to argue with because we just didn't share any common assumptions about how things worked.

Sean in Ottawa

But not enough people who argue for electoral reorm make the case that strategic voting actually damages that cause.

I do not consider a vote powerful if it can't be for my first choice. After all my first chocie is already a compromise-- it is not what I would consider ideal but at least it is the best choice that actually exists--

I really wish more people would realize that strategic voting hides people's intentions -- as I said a fraud perpetrated by the people on the people. It does not serve to make a more representative government-- just the illusion of that

thanks

All opposition parties need to focus on the economy and changes that are needed so that all constituencies have their basic needs met.

Public meetings are a good idea, for members of the public who have time and hope that attending will make a difference.  Actual meetings are important for everyone to hear others, and are preferable to just IT polls, but the challenge is to find a way to get people out.  promise of their words on some blog likely won't do it.  i could be wrong.

Parliament is important.  A fair vote system is important.  The Harper-and-media-instigated revulsion to an opposition coalition last fall was ridiculous, but it also indicates that people have little trust of organizing that happens beyond their view or participation.

A joint advertising campaign would also speak of backroom deals.  People feel disempowered.  It may just be because it's different from the way our Parliament or parties have functioned in the past, but the result is that people feel they have less control over how things are determined.  This leads to frustration, anger, and reaction.

I think that at the grassroots there are a lot of similarities between people who end up voting either con, lib, ndp, green or what-have-you.  the similarity exists in the struggle to survive.  the Harper gov't pulls the strings of that sensibility in people who vote Conservative, while undermining the reality.   The other parties need to point this out and not fight so much against eachother.

Strategic voting is very confusing.  It seems we're still in a lousy place with the economy even though lots of people on the left advocated for strategic voting last fall.  maybe it would have been worse with a Harper majority.  likely. but right now, while there's still no election in sight, it seems that time could be put better to use doing the talking and listening around the economy. 

targetting seats seems precarious. 

a focus on the economy- how it works, not just HST or credit card bullets, and how it determines environmental health, how Harper has failed - would clear the fog so people can decide their votes accordingly.

a focus on parliament- how 'trade' deals and related regs have undermined democracy- would help empower people.

if people aren't clear on these basics, they'll continue to be swayed by things like gun registries.

 

 

 

hsfreethinkers hsfreethinkers's picture

thanks wrote:

I think that at the grassroots there are a lot of similarities between people who end up voting either con, lib, ndp, green or what-have-you.  the similarity exists in the struggle to survive.  the Harper gov't pulls the strings of that sensibility in people who vote Conservative, while undermining the reality.   The other parties need to point this out and not fight so much against each other.

[...]

a focus on the economy- how it works, not just HST or credit card bullets, and how it determines environmental health, how Harper has failed - would clear the fog so people can decide their votes accordingly.

a focus on parliament- how 'trade' deals and related regs have undermined democracy- would help empower people.

if people aren't clear on these basics, they'll continue to be swayed by things like gun registries.

Exactly. There is a big compelling story to be told about social and global justice, and the NDP isn't telling it (or isn't telling it well). There is too much focus on narrow politico-strategic vote-getter issues like bank fees and credit cards. The NDP needs to get some smart thinkers to look at the big global justice issues (justice abroad and for people at home) and boil these down in a simple and compelling way that resonates with the public. The NDP has to hit hard and inspire people that they know their stuff, that a vote for them is a vote for a better world, while a vote for the Conservatives and Liberals means we are doomed.

JKR

hsfreethinkers wrote:

There is a big compelling story to be told about social and global justice, and the NDP isn't telling it (or isn't telling it well). There is too much focus on narrow politico-strategic vote-getter issues like bank fees and credit cards. The NDP needs to get some smart thinkers to look at the big global justice issues (justice abroad and for people at home) and boil these down in a simple and compelling way that resonates with the public. The NDP has to hit hard and inspire people that they know their stuff, that a vote for them is a vote for a better world, while a vote for the Conservatives and Liberals means we are doomed.

And the NDP can point to countries like Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway, and the Netherlands to show people the kind of Canada they envision. The NDP is often dismissed as the party with ideas that could never fly. It would help if the NDP showed Canadians that many of their ideas are already in place in the most prosperous countires in the world.

Polunatic2

Quote:
That's because nobody's come up with a model yet for a replacement that will win wide public acceptance. We've had two different models of PR rejected (sort of) in BC and in Ontario so it's kind of a dead issue at the moment.
And if no one talks about, it will stay a dead issue. That's part of the problem. The voters don't understand it. If the federal NDP wants it (there's been no federal model rejected), they'll have to talk about it - and keep talking about it. 

 

Discussing electoral reform is not "semi-hijacking" anything when talking about elections in Canada.

Quote:
FPTP only works properly when there are only two parties.
I used to think this as well but let's do the math with a two-party system with 100 ridings. 

Party A gets 51% in all ridings

Party B gets 49% in all ridings.

Party A gets 100 seats. Party B gets no seats. Party B voters get no representation at all. 

 

 

HeywoodFloyd

Boom Boom wrote:

Have the Cons or Libs ever seriously embraced PR in this country? I can't see either of them letting go of FPTP which is like manna from heaven for them.

Has any political party in this country won an election and then embraced a change to the electoral system that got them there? It's easy to blame the LPC and CPC but the NDP has held power at a provincial level at least five times and in five different provinces and yet we don't see any alternate systems in those provinces (BC, SK, MB, ON, NS).

You don't bite the hand that feeds you.

autoworker autoworker's picture

There's never been a better time to promote PR. 

ocsi

Polunatic2 wrote:

Quote:
That's because nobody's come up with a model yet for a replacement that will win wide public acceptance. We've had two different models of PR rejected (sort of) in BC and in Ontario so it's kind of a dead issue at the moment.
And if no one talks about, it will stay a dead issue. That's part of the problem. The voters don't understand it. If the federal NDP wants it (there's been no federal model rejected), they'll have to talk about it - and keep talking about it. 

 

Discussing electoral reform is not "semi-hijacking" anything when talking about elections in Canada.

Quote:
FPTP only works properly when there are only two parties.
I used to think this as well but let's do the math with a two-party system with 100 ridings. 

Party A gets 51% in all ridings

Party B gets 49% in all ridings.

Party A gets 100 seats. Party B gets no seats. Party B voters get no representation at all. 

 

 

 

Party B could actually have more votes than Party A.  If Party B lost by one vote in each riding except one riding and in that riding they got 101 votes. they have more votes but only one seat.   How fair is that?

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

HeywoodFloyd wrote:
You don't bite the hand that feeds you.

Exactly, and that was my point.

madmax

Polunatic2 wrote:

 

 

I used to think this as well but let's do the math with a two-party system with 100 ridings. 

Party A gets 51% in all ridings

Party B gets 49% in all ridings.

Party A gets 100 seats. Party B gets no seats. Party B voters get no representation at all. 

 

1st things 1st.... Why does babble have an annoying feature of shrinking the text? Posting to threads is a major drag. Sometimes if I click back and forth on disable rich text I can get rid of the crap. Other times it won't work.

Back to FPTP and getting rid of the CPC. 

Interesting observation.  Imagine what the political landscape would look like if the CPC was party B.

Would it look like this..

 "In 1993 it was reduced to only two seats in the Canadian House of Commons"

That was a good day :)

 

 

 

Polunatic2

<<aside to max>>I love rabble/babble but this new editor really sucks. Can't change font style or size. Can't do quotes. Fonts seem to have a mind of their own. I really don't get it nor am I interested in writing HTML code every time I want a larger or smaller font..<</aside to max>>. 

Quote:
There's never been a better time to promote PR.
Totally agreed. At least on the federal level. If a party really wants something, they'll keep hammering away until they get it. Blaming the public's ignorance and apathy is an easy way out of doing the hard work of raising awareness which may not be as hard as some may think given the level of cynicism about political parties, politicians and elections. 

Using words like "majority" and "democracy" without qualifiers (such as in this thread title) does a disservice to the cause of reform and helps the two mainstream parties. And just to take a dose of my own medicine, a so-called majority has nothing to do with a majority of voters. It's a majority of geographical ridings. FPTP is an undemocratic electoral system because it rejects the 50% + 1 principle. 

Rather than label voters as acting in an un-democratic fashion because they vote for their second choice because voting for their first choice is an exercise in futility , the focus should be on the voting system, not the voters. I think Sean in Ottawa had a lot of excellent ideas in Post 24 but I have to disagree with his assessment of strategic (really it's tactical) voting as un-democratic in and of itself. It's a means to an end. 

Chester Drawers

Would it look like this..

 "In 1993 it was reduced to only two seats in the Canadian House of Commons"

That was a good day :)

 

The problem with proportional representation is that those that support it only support it if it helps them and hurts the party they dissaprove of. PR in 1993 would have seen the PC's with 47 seats instead of 2, so in this instance FPTP helped those that hated the PC's. The Libs would only have 121 seats instead of 177, the Bloc would have 40 rather than 54 the RPC would have had 55 not 52, NDP would see 20 instead of 9 and indies would have 12 not 1 seat.  Either we accept the results of the electorate under PR or we accept the electorate under FPTP, neither one is perfect.

hsfreethinkers hsfreethinkers's picture

Those PR results sound fine to me. I approve of PR in principle, regardless of the way the seats are split amongst the parties.

Polunatic2

Quote:
The problem with proportional representation is that those that support it only support it if it helps them and hurts the party they dissaprove of.
That's circular logic based on one comment in this thread. PR is a fairer system for all voters. 

remind remind's picture

madmax wrote:
Why does babble have an annoying feature of shrinking the text? Posting to threads is a major drag. Sometimes if I click back and forth on disable rich text I can get rid of the crap. Other times it won't work.

If you  are responding to a quoted post and do not put a full space, using the enter key, between your words and the  in quotes portion, it will make the letters small in the first sentence/paragraph until the next full space, by use of the enter key, is done.

 

ottawaobserver

I support MMPR, but where I worked at the time, a lot of people who weren't that political, but took enough interest to think about the issue before voting on it, concluded that it might be fair for political parties, but it wasn't fair to voters.  Like it or not, people understand the FPTP system, and believe their local MP is accountable to them.  The idea that candidates they never voted for would be selected from political party lists was the killer.

All the stats and number-crunching in the world won't change their minds.  They know the current system is distorted, but they feel the other way is worse.  If MMPR ever gets to a referendum again (which we probably won't see for another decade, given that it was just voted on), it better go with an Open List or it will fail miserably again.

NorthReport

Losers like PR and winners prefer the status quo, n'est pas? 

 

Let's face it PR has had its kick at the can. It's over, done like dinner. 

 

I support it, but it's not gonna happen.

Colin Ferrie

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Colin is all on a poor bashing, the NDP is only about welfare kick.

Not at all.  The poor need to be helped, but putting them on the dole only ends up marginalizing an ever growing class of people.  Not only that, but they supported corporate welfraud which saw billions of dollars in cash being handed over to failed capitalist enterprises like GM, enterprises that simply shopuld have failed on their own because they have no value or worth in the future.  The government spends billions of dollars in examining the problems of poverty, without once even getting close to an actual solution.

Of course, the solution is simple, create an environment where business and progress is valued, and where looting and profit mongering is punished.  We need an education system that educates and rewards thinking abilities, that has ample room for the students to find real interests and to score real accomplishments, rather than it being some kind of endless daycare of indoctrination and tripe.

The problem that we have in this nation is that innovation is simply squashed beyond all belief.  Those with real talent soon leave to go elsewhere, and business only sees fit to come here and do things if it is far cheaper than doing it elsewhere.  We have too much red tape, too much glad handling, too much political panhandling - and not enough encouragement, rewards, or free enterprise.

The NDP made the mistake of creating a platform that is all about the dole, of handing out money in massive public works programs, rather than sticking with their original base of support, which was the worker.  Workers that are unionised and making big money are not liable to support the NDP because the NDP represents tax grabs - while the NDP completely ignore the fact that we have millions of people who are the working poor, who are not unionised, and who work in places that are sullied with disgraceful behaviours and degenerate, discriminatory practices that are endemic.

The NDP also sidelined any impulse to cater to the Environmental voter, which has pretty much ended up in the pocket of the Green Party.  The Green Party itself is not encumbered by the promises of massive tax hikes and massive public works that the NDP has been saddled with.

The NDP scores success when they can find an appeal with social justice issues, while they falter once they stray from that issue and pledge the kind of spending spree that Bob Rae engaged in when he ruined Ontario and bankrupted Ontario Hydro from various acts of malfeasance.

Quote:
BTW the so called free trade agreement is not about free trade.It is highly managed trade not free trade at all. These trade agreements are about much more than knocking down tariffs.

Free trade is all about knocking down tariffs.  Our manufacturing flourished when we had tariffs - but that paradigm is unsustainable once other nations ended up engaged in free trade agreements of various sorts.  Free trade didn't clobber Canada, but rather, the lack of will on the part of businesses in this country to engage in competition with other manufacturers around the world.  It is nothing different from seeing the electronics industry in North America basically dry up because the Japanese were better able to compete - or how auto manufacturing was clobbered because foreign makers were more willing to make practical cars of high quality, while our own industry saw fit to peddle out obsolete designs from the 60's of inferior quality.  Our businesses can not compete because they are more willing to frag themselves and take the hefty tax writeoffs from bankruptcy, rather than to sacrifice even a half percent of profit margin in order to compete.

Quote:
Now Colin I'll ask you directly-- did you come here with an open mind?

Of course - but my mind is generally far too open for Canadian style tastes.  I think our parties should stop with the peddling of "issues", since there are only hyperfine differences between our four main liberal-centrist parties anyways, and rather, start dishing out proper campaigns where we can vote based on the virtues and vices of the candidates

Sean in Ottawa

Colin didn't you mean:

The RICH need to be helped, but putting them on the dole only ends up marginalizing an ever growing class of people.?

Or do you not recognize the government's role in redistributing wealth to the already wealthy?

Your comments about the NDP are imagination combined with tired discredited stereotypes coming from the propaganda of political opponents. If you don't want to make a fool of yourself go to ndp.ca and actually read what is being proposed.

Your comments about the Free Trade Agreement and its effect on Canada are fabrication-- you have no idea what you are talking about-- I say this not because you are clearly right-wing but because even an informed right wing commentator would not (and do not) spout the pablum you just did-- in fact they make better more credible excuses for the FTA than what you made-- even though the facts do not bear them out. when you speak of OUR industry are you speaking of those companies that have Canada in brackets after their name? The branch plant replacements for real Canadian businesses put out of business in the rush to so-called Free Trade?

I like your last quote though-- "should stop the peddling of issues" I guess you agree with Campbell in that we should not discuss policy during an election. Instead we should have issues-free campaigns where we coronate presidential style republicans based on meaningless, valueless concepts of leadership devoid of purpose. In fact I bet you loved the last election campaign where the ruling party declined to release a platform until the campaign was almost over and people were noticing that they actually were not running on anything at all. In fact you can have a great attack-style campaign of negative publicity without touching on any issues-- without discussing anything at all about what you would do in government. You must have been thrilled to watch how the Cons reply to each and every threat with a disinformation campaign coupled with character assassination. I bet you would call that democracy.

I can't be anything but sarcastic when you come here and peddle ignorant comments completely devoid of any factual basis. If you want to discuss parties why not go to their sites and actually quote something.

Oh, sorry, social assistance is a provincial responsibility so you won't find anyone federally talking about it except the neocons speaking of the people who live in the East being too lazy to get a real job.

I can't believe I spent all that time even thinking about the drivel you wrote. Now I better find something more useful to do.

remind remind's picture

'virtues and vices of the candidates'

 

oh and here comes freemasonry at its finest....

janfromthebruce

"The NDP scores success when they can find an appeal with social justice issues, while they falter once they stray from that issue and pledge the kind of spending spree that Bob Rae engaged in when he ruined Ontario and bankrupted Ontario Hydro from various acts of malfeasance."

Like the Harper conservatives are doing right now??? Oh and the conservative Wall govt is doing in Sask right now?

So let's not cherry pick a govt from the past during the nineties and provide some context. Every govt both provincial and federally was in deficit in the nineties, where NDP, conservative or liberal (was there any liberals in power back in?). but I digress,

so why cherry-pick the NDP Ontario govt of the time. Why not cherry pick the corrupt conservative govt of Devin in Sask? Thank goodness the Romanono (sp) NDP govt got voted in after that mess, where the Devin Conservatives came into power (and the previous govt - NDP - no less) left zero deficit or debt and that conservative hacker ruined Sask.

And guess what Collin, can you name the 1st govt in Canada to get out of deficit and balance their books? Think Collin, you would be wrong if you first thought conservative, and next went Liberal - that's right Collin it was the NDP govt of Sask - the FIRST GOVT IN CANADA (either prov or fed) who was first to get out of deficit.

So please spare me the NDP bashing in diguise crap. We would do well to have policies put forth by an NDP govt. They are great money managers and put money where it is needed most - the people on the ground, in the everyday jobs, and making this country livable, sustainable.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

janfromthebruce wrote:
So please spare me the NDP bashing in diguise crap. We would do well to have policies put forth by an NDP govt. They are great money managers and put money where it is needed most - the people on the ground, in the everyday jobs, and making this country livable, sustainable.

Excellent, and why I took out a NDP membership this year - finally. There are times when the NDP pisses me off, but those times are rare when compared to Conservative and Liberal malfeascance.

hsfreethinkers hsfreethinkers's picture

Colin Ferrie wrote:
Not at all.  The poor need to be helped, but putting them on the dole only ends up marginalizing an ever growing class of people. ...  The government spends billions of dollars in examining the problems of poverty, without once even getting close to an actual solution.

Of course, the solution is simple, create an environment where business and progress is valued, and where looting and profit mongering is punished.  We need an education system that educates and rewards thinking abilities, that has ample room for the students to find real interests and to score real accomplishments, rather than it being some kind of endless daycare of indoctrination and tripe.

That isn't the way to reduce poverty. What we need is a system that stops the rich from exploiting the poor and middle class. According to this video (there's a book too), the rich don't really pay any tax as they get it all back through increases in property values. Therefore, to alleviate poverty, we need land reform so that the rich can't avoid paying their fair share: [URL=http://bit.ly/4vPdq7]Ricardo's Law[/URL].

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