Author Topic: Electoral reform in BC  (Read 17213 times)

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Storm

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Electoral reform in BC
« on: October 25, 2004, 19:10:32 »
Well, the news today is that the Citizen's Assembly on Electoral Reform in BC has voted overwhelmingly in favour of a STV system. http://www.citizensassembly.bc.ca/public WOOOOOHOOOOOO!!!!   ;D :salute:

Personally I was a little bit skeptical when the format of the assembly was announced a while back, but that skepticism has been blown away by the end result. It's very close to what I had been hoping for (not exactly, but hey nothing's perfect). I can't wait to vote in favour of this change in May. The only downside of course is that we have to wait until 2009 to actually vote under the system (just in time to choose the government for the olympics!)

What do you think of this decision?

Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2004, 19:22:21 »
I like the idea.  Be interesting to see how it works out at provincial level.

If its implemented there then we can take a look at it in the Canadian context and see if it is applicable to the Federal situation.

I like the single transferable vote.  I am intrigued but not totally sold on the multi-representative ridings.  2 reps per riding I can tolerate but 7 (as they are suggesting for some ridings) seems to be a bit too much dilution of responsibility and direct representation.

At the federal level I definitely would not be in favour of such large riding lists.  Also if the STV were implemented I would want to see a change to the Senate and an elected GG.  If we are going to bust up the party system then lets bust it up good.

Where would authority lie then? Where it is supposed to lie.  In the hands of a Prime Minister in the Commons, answerable to the House on a daily basis, cognizant of the Senate representing entrenched interests (in our case the Provinces primarily) with elections being adjudicated by the GG and Elections Canada (elect the GG and put the Chief Electoral Officer directly responsible to the GGs  office).
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Storm

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2004, 19:47:32 »
I like the single transferable vote.   I am intrigued but not totally sold on the multi-representative ridings.   2 reps per riding I can tolerate but 7 (as they are suggesting for some ridings) seems to be a bit too much dilution of responsibility and direct representation.

It seems we think very much alike - that's the "not exactly" that I was referring to. I'm quite fond of having someone I can directly call to account on things that get screwed up in my area. With seven people I can see a lot of responses to constituents' questions/complaints shifting the blame saying "I agree it's a shame, but really it's the fault of representatives #4 and 5 for not fighting harder against this legislation, not mine." Two is ok. Three I can handle. Four or more seems excessive.

Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2004, 01:39:00 »
Just for giggles I downloaded the riding-by-riding results for 1991, 1996, and 2001 and plugged them into an Excel spreadsheet so I could play with them.

Disregarding the 2001 blowout, I'd guess that under STV with one-member ridings we'd never have NDP government again; we'd either have a majority or coalition government of Liberals, Socreds, and PDA (if they ever resurface).  Suits me.

Multiple-member riding results are difficult to envision; I suspect the right-leaning parties parties will still carry a net advantage.  However, I object purely on the loss of accountability and representation.  I will find it interesting if the NDP supports this reform, given the posture of their ideological counterparts in the recent Vancouver referendum on moving municipal elections to a ward-based system.
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Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2004, 11:59:20 »
Interesting conundrum for the NDP there Brad....  Especially if you add in the notion that the NDP and similar "activist" based parties may lose a lot of clout by not being able to control their own slate to the same extent.  They will have to deal with the candidates the populace at large will effectively "nominate" for them.  I think we picked up the first murmur of the problem with the Green Party's leader complaining about not have a "pure" proportional representative system where she would get to pick those people she wanted in the House.

And as I noted before I am in complete agreement with you on the multi-rep ridings.  Two reps per riding in order to get the STV I could easily accept.  7 per, I'm having more trouble with though I have to say I am leaning towards tolerating those particular warts if it is the price of a less party/ideology driven legislature and government.
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dutchie

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2004, 13:54:36 »
Pardon the ignorance regarding proportional representation, but I am a little confused....

During the most recent Federal election, Layton was pushing for proportional representation, and the Conservatives were against it. I read that proportional representation, if implemented, would favor the left/NDP, and negatively affect the right and especially the Liberals. I understand that with the first past the post system, the 'activist' parties, while they may get 10% (for instance) of the popular vote, never seem to get the equivalent share of seats in the House. I was under the impression that with PR, they would get those seats, at the expense of the Tories/Grits.

I (until now) favored the old system because it meant less Jack Latyon's & Co. in the House. Could someone explain why 3 obviously right-wing members (Kirkhill, Brad Sallows, Storm) all support PR if it means more NDP/Greens and other left-wing nutbars elected to the House?

Boydfish

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2004, 16:53:49 »
I'd say that there are no "absolutes" in terms of which parties it will help and which it will hurt.

I'm not sure that the proposed system will do much to either shift the balance either way in terms of right or left, nor would we want to create a system that would do so.  I don't agree with the NDP or lefties in general, but I agree much less with anything that would supress them or otherwise devalue thier votes.

The solution of a "single transferrable vote" seems to be a solution looking for a problem, for the most part.  It doesn't address the real electoral problems in British Columbia, but instead tries to manufacture a majority from roughly same amount of people that actually vote.  No matter if you use FPTP, PR or STV, you're going to have a credible case for how "unfair" it all is.  Democracy is by definition "unfair", but it seems to work better than most of the other options(Well, the only other option I'd support would be a benevolent dictatorship under me, but I'm having trouble getting the support I'd need to impose it.).

The real problem in BC is two-fold: 

First, the divide between urban and rural British Columbian's priorities creates a huge amount of push-pull between those groups, with the urban priorities often simply brushing aside the rural priorities on simple numbers.  The problem here is that both the rural and urban economies are extremely dependent on each other.

Second, British Columbia hasn't elected a government in a generation, but we've damn sure voted out several of them.  Our inability to put together a long range plan since the days of W.A.C. Bennett shows.  We tend to swing from one extreme to another, pushing first to the right, then the left, then back again.

I'd suggest that BC would be better served by restoring it's bicameral Legislature, which we were forced to reduce to a unicameral house when we were added to confederation.  According to the Canadian government of the time, it was unthinkable for a democratically elected government to have an unelected upper house(I'm far too polite to point out the obvious contradiction in that).  If BC were to restore it's bicameral house, with a smaller elected upper chamber based on regions and the current Legislature being based strictly on population levels, you'd see a great deal of long term stability develop.

I suspect that there is something cultural about us British Columbians that means we need the stabilizing effect of a bicameral house.  For example, if we elected our upper house for six year terms and kept our lower chamber on fixed four year terms they're on now, you'd avoid having the landslide "about-faces" that seem to be a British Columbian political hallmark.

dutchie

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2004, 16:59:19 »
Thanks very much Boydfish. That cleared up a lot.

I think I have some reading to do.   ::)

Cheers

Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2004, 17:09:35 »
STV and PR are not the same thing, and I am entirely opposed to PR.

STV ensures that within each riding the winning candidates must have what is interpreted as a "clear mandate" (in a single-member riding, 50%+1 of the votes; in a dual-member riding, the quota would be 33%+1).   This assumes that all voters rank all candidates; if, for example, everyone only indicates a "number one" choice, it will still be possible for no candidate to reach the quota.

PR ensures that each party has a share of seats in government proportional to its share of the popular vote.

My problems with PR include these: who decides to whom the seats are assigned (PR is well-suited to patronage), and how is riding accountability assigned?

I have no interest in any system which gives more power to parties over independents than they already have.   Under STV, an independent still has a fair shot at election.
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Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2004, 17:18:44 »
To add to Brad's comments, as I see it.

Proportional Representation is a lot of different things to different people.

Actually the Conservatives are on record as favouring some sort of electoral reform, including Proportional Representation as an option.

As far as I can tell PR systems boil down into three large groups.   

In one group people within a geographic area vote for parties.   The Electoral Officer then divvies up the number of seats in the legislature to each party according to the percentage of the vote.   The parties then get to assign bodies to fill the seats from a previously announced list of candidates.   People vote for the Party and the Members of the Legislature owe their jobs to the Party leadership.

In the second type people within a geographic area vote for individuals but the individuals are elected to represent the entire geographic area.   The individuals owe their jobs to the electors but no one elector can be held accountable for their actions and don't represent a particular body of people.   People with the most votes win.   Power resides with the individual councillors.   Think Vancouver City Hall.

The third type uses the transferrable vote.   As in the first past the post system the geographic area is subdivided. Candidates run in a specific region within the area.   Just like first past the post, most votes wins.   However in First Past The Post, in a five man race 20% +1 can get you a win.   In the Tranferrable vote you have to achieve support of 50%+1 to win.   This is done by the voters ranking their preferences,   1,2,3..... not just marking an X.   Least number of high scores gets knocked of the ballot and the votes that were assigned to that individual get transferred according to the voters preferences to other candidates.   Votes keep getting reassigned as low scores get knocked off until you have a winner.   Or in the case presented in BC, winners.

The   kicker here is that some ridings will be electing more than one candidate, so instead of having one MLA you will have anything from 2 to 7 MLAs to complain to.

In the end what this means is that the parties won't have such a tight grip on which candidates get elected, nor will one party be as likely to dominate the House.   This means that individual members will have more power. Iit will also be harder to form Government.   It also means that coalitions of parties and MLAs will likely be the order of the day with more compromise and less ideology.   Government stability is likely to be less, governments will fall more often, but with fixed election dates it means that the sitting members will have to sort themselves out and cobble something together.

I hope it means fewer radical swings in policy, from rabid capitalist to rabid socialist.   The conclusions that I draw from looking at countries like Denmark which have multi-party houses is that while the Government may change and policies may veer, the need to find compromise has a dampening effect on policy.   There are fewer radical changes in policy and thus planning by citizens, partners, bureaucracy and allies is made easier.   On the other hand it is possible that the bureaucracy under this system can gain in power - being   the calm centre surrounded by the storm of changing government coalitions.

All muddy now....? Cheers.
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Offline Infanteer

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2004, 17:38:15 »
Proportional Representation is a scam to further reduce the level of thought (you thought it couldn't get any lower?) in politics to monolitihic, undemocratic, party by-lines.

Is there any advantage of an SVT system as opposed to a run-off election?

Is it worth implementing a complicated ballot system (hell, I may only want X to represent me, so I'll only put a "1" on my ballot) when the 50+1 may be achieved by a second election?   I think this question is more valid in the Federal, multiparty context as opposed to BC's current situation (2-party system).

As well, I think Boydfish raises a good point.   For some reason, many people seem to believe that changing the way we elect representatives will cure the democratic deficit.   However, the efforts of the Citizen's Assembly on Electoral Reform may be for nought as a single governing body cannot be the "wonderbread" to everybody in a pluralistic, liberal democratic society:

This, I believe, is one of the weaknesses of the Westminster system we inherited - we attempt to shoehorn the House of Commons into (often conflicting) postions like:

"representatives of the people" and "speaker for regional interests"

"executor of laws (Cabinet and PMO)" and "legislator of state (MP)"

"place for discourse on the affairs of state" and "solidarity to drive thorough effective government mandate (for fear of Non-Confidence vote)"

etc,etc.

You see what I'm getting at.   Simply changing the way we delegate representatives in what is a de facto unicameral system with a fused legislative-executive body will not address the "democratic deficit".   The heart of the problem lies in the fact that, much like the "Wheeled vs. Track" debate, no single system can adequately fulfill all the roles mentioned above; rather, it leaves everyone dissatisfied with the entire process which does everything satisfactorily but nothing well (hence one reason why voter turnout is constantly falling).
"Overall it appears that much of the apparent complexity of modern war stems in practice from the self-imposed complexity of modern HQs" LCol J.P. Storr

Boydfish

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2004, 18:18:45 »
Infanteer
Quote
You see what I'm getting at.  Simply changing the way we delegate representatives in what is a de facto unicameral system with a fused legislative-executive body will not address the "democratic deficit".  The heart of the problem lies in the fact that, much like the "Wheeled vs. Track" debate, no single system can adequately fulfill all the roles mentioned above; rather, it leaves everyone dissatisfied with the entire process which does everything satisfactorily but nothing well (hence one reason why voter turnout is constantly falling).

The "democratic defict" question is simply too complex to fix with any one solution, even with bicameral government houses.  But it is a good first step.

A big part of the problem is that Trudeau and his ilk tried to staple concepts from a republic system onto our Westminster government, not only making a hash of our government, they studiously avoided bringing the bits of a republic system that involved politicians being lead from thier offices in handcuffs or actually limited thier personal power(Which is why Trudeau put the CCRF in the BNA/CCA, but kept the Supreme Court, which is it's enforcement mechanism, out of the same).

I personally think the Westminster system is superior to a republic model, as it not only reflects our cultural heritage far more than a franco-republic model, it's far more stable.  France is on what, it's fifth or sixth republic since the late 1700's?  The US fought the largest land war in North American history barely keeping it's first republic intact.  I have no desire to see any part of the confederation or the confederation in general going through either of those.

Brad Sallows
Quote
I have no interest in any system which gives more power to parties over independents than they already have.  Under STV, an independent still has a fair shot at election.

I think that until, at both the federal and provincial levels, the electorate stops and asks "Why do we need to have government approval to be a political party?", you won't see much done to break the hold that political parties have.

Offline Infanteer

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2004, 18:47:46 »
You're right, the organization of government is only one facet of the "democratic deficit"; however, I think it is an important one to be addressed.   If government is not seen as an outlet for the public discourse of the citizenry and a facilitator to civil society, then there is a serious undermining of the legitimacy of the state (eg - "who needs politicians, they're all criminals anyways" and similar common conceptions).

As well, I wouldn't be so quick to hold the blemishes of previous republican governments as proof of the superiority of the Westminster system.   If I recall correctly, England suffered from it's own debilitating Civil War (At least Abe Lincoln or Jefferson Davis weren't beheaded...).   If we are going to debate the concept of Republicanism vs Parliamentary Monarchies any further, I'd like to see what others view as the differences between the two are.
"Overall it appears that much of the apparent complexity of modern war stems in practice from the self-imposed complexity of modern HQs" LCol J.P. Storr

Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2004, 19:29:58 »
Personally I think everything went off the rails at the time of the American Revolution.

Parliament assumes an independent authority that governs and that authority must be kept in check.  That's what came out of the English Civil War and the Restoration.  The King Rules through his bureaucrats but only with the consent of the governed with the Commons representing the people (and money) and the Lords representing power (and money).

Things started to go off the rails when George I let somebody stand in for him while he busied himself about the house contemplating his dogs and lamenting the lack of good bratwurst.  A duplicitous Englishman took to standing in his stead and making decisions in his name.

George II thought this was a pretty cushy number so followed his father's example.  He couldn't speak english either.

By the time George III took the throne and tried to re-establish Royal Authority he had to fight an entrenched party system and politicians. Those politicians didn't treat their business competitors in America particularly well.  The Americans took umbrage and decided to do things for themselves.

Their solution was to return to the status quo ante.  Meaning get back to the balance of powers that existed before George I took the throne and handed off the reins.  The only difference they made in the system was that they decided to elect their King for a limited period of time and opened the job up to all comers.

In short the Westminster Parliamentary system and the American Republican system were virtually identical at one point in there histories.  The thing is the American system was codified in a constitution never more to change.  Meanwhile the Westminster system was subjected to creeping republicanism as the powers of the monarch were circumscribed and reduced by stealth, as were the powers of the Lords until you have the situation that you have today.  Power resides in the hands of the PM and all the checks in the system are designed to control the powers of a Monarch that has been sidelined. 

To Tony Blair and Pierre Trudeau the principal advantage of a monarch was that it diverted attention from their ability to do as the dammed well please.  Trudeau's comment on the GG was that rather than remove the office and precipitate a crisis he was happier to leave it in place until it withered away like a useless appendage.  The corollary to that is that the GG is the only effective check on the PM that exists in our system.

Theoretically it is the GG that can fire him, the GG that can hire his replacement (by tradition from the ranks of the Parliament - either Commons or Senate), that can have her Solicitor-General arrest him, her Attorney-General prosecute him and her Chief Justice try him.  All of those jobs are in the gift of the GG, not the PM.  She could do this on the advice of her Privy Council all of whom are appointed by her as is the entire Cabinet.   The only reason she doesn't..... she wasn't elected and Canadians were convinced long ago by MacKenzie King that the only legitimacy that counts is the legitimacy conferred by the ballot box.

Now in King's case, and in Diefenbaker's case and Trudeau and Chretien's case it was kind of difficult to pin down exactly which ballot box they respected.  Was it the vote of the Parliament, the Commons, the Caucus, the Cabinet or the Party outside the House.  All of them claimed to be the legitimate Leader of the country based on different ballot boxes at different times.  All the while staying in power and doing what they liked. 

Meanwhile we can rest assured that the GG wont be imposing any unnecessary taxes on us and sending us off to war, or arresting the Prime Minister.
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Boydfish

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2004, 21:45:25 »
Quote
You're right, the organization of government is only one facet of the "democratic deficit"; however, I think it is an important one to be addressed.

I think we agree on much here.

Quote
If government is not seen as an outlet for the public discourse of the citizenry and a facilitator to civil society, then there is a serious undermining of the legitimacy of the state (eg - "who needs politicians, they're all criminals anyways" and similar common conceptions).

The first problem you're going to run into on this point is that the current Canadian political structure will not accept that they are not beloved dictators in Ottawa.  The current political structure in Ottawa hasn't yet agreed that there is such a thing as western alienation and if there is such a thing, who are they alienated from?  It quite simply doesn't occur them that it's Upper and Lower Canada that the west has become alienated from.  How could we dislike them?  They're popular!

This phenomenon isn't simply limited to Ottawa either.  The Campbell government's actions and behaviour is actually pretty rational if you view it from the prism that they were given an overwhelming mandate by the people of British Columbia.  Of the 77 seats in BC, 75 voted for the BC Liberal platform of less taxation and smaller government.  The problem is that while a good percentage of the people who voted for Campbell, likely an equally large percentage were voting against the NDP, not for Campbell.

Heck, it's not even unique to the confederation:  Look at the US revolt.  They revolted under the trigger of what they saw as excessive taxation.  Despite that, they not only adopted the British tax system wholesale at the end of the revolt, they also put zero restrictions on how high the government could tax them!

The reason that this important is because the only people who can fix the current problems with BC's democratic process are invested personally and ideologically that everything is A-OK(Or phrased another way, a person who would seek to fix the problem would have to admit that the system that chose them was flawed).

Kirkhill

I'm not sure I agree with quite everything, but a good post nonethless!

Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #15 on: October 27, 2004, 23:31:12 »
Thanks, glossed over much of the sub-text.

Cheers boydfish.
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Offline Aden_Gatling

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #16 on: October 28, 2004, 13:45:51 »
The corollary to that is that the GG is the only effective check on the PM that exists in our system.

This is the crux of the problem: the structure of Canadian Government, along with the 'First Past the Post' electoral system, ensures that pretty much *ALL* of the Executive and Legislative powers are in the hands of the PMO: in the longer term, the PMO also controls the Judiciary.  The of the 'Spill-Over Effect' of the FPP system (i.e., elections typically won with FAR less than 50% of the popular vote) we effectively have complete power in the hands of a single individual (the PM) who only holds this pwoer by a tyranny of a MINORITY.  Trudeau, Chretien, etc., only needed about 40% of the popular support to impose their will on 100% of the population.

There's a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.

Offline Infanteer

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #17 on: October 28, 2004, 13:49:04 »
Hence why I am in fundamental agreement with the Republican principle of Checks and Balances.
"Overall it appears that much of the apparent complexity of modern war stems in practice from the self-imposed complexity of modern HQs" LCol J.P. Storr

Offline Aden_Gatling

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #18 on: October 28, 2004, 13:52:54 »
Heck, it's not even unique to the confederation:  Look at the US revolt.  They revolted under the trigger of what they saw as excessive taxation.  Despite that, they not only adopted the British tax system wholesale at the end of the revolt, they also put zero restrictions on how high the government could tax them!

If my history is correct, it started (among other reasons) with excessive taxation on sugar and molasses, but more to the point, only became a popular issue as a constitutional argument ("no taxation without representation"): the idea of high taxes wasn't really the problem, it was the arbitrary manner in which they were administered.
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Offline Aden_Gatling

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #19 on: October 28, 2004, 13:54:29 »
Hence why I am in fundamental agreement with the Republican principle of Checks and Balances.
The words "Triple-E Senate" come to mind ...  :o
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Offline qjdb

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #20 on: October 28, 2004, 14:31:43 »
On the web-page that was in the first post on this topic, there is a spot there to ask for a copy of the report that is due out in December.  I just ordered one, and it sounds like you all are interested in it too.  It doesn't say that you have to live in BC to get one.

Quentin
:cdn:
LT Quentin Brown
Training Officer
1725 (CME) RCACC
Chilliwack, BC

Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #21 on: October 28, 2004, 16:51:12 »
Quote
Hence why I am in fundamental agreement with the Republican principle of Checks and Balances.

Infanteer:

It is not a Republican principle.  Large R of small r, American or otherwise.

Magna Carta, Runnymede, King John and the Barons 1215, all that sort of stuff, was the imposition by the Barons of checks on the Monarch (Monarch = Government).  It was preceded by the Roman Catholic Church imposing their restrictions on the King (made councillors, granted lands, courts and taxing powers) and it was followed by an ever increasing number of people that imposed their checks and balances on the Monarch: Large land holders, small holders, merchants, the educated, labourers, all men, women.  Usually the "ear" of the Monarch and squeezing into a seat at the table required force or at least public disorder and threats.  Very little was willingly ceded.

Thing is, most people asking for the Monarch's ear supported the Monarch's continued existence.   Asking for the Monarch's head was considered counter-productive, and proved to be so, at least in Britain and arguably also in France and Russia. 

Cheers.
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Offline Infanteer

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #22 on: October 28, 2004, 17:06:28 »
Actually, I think it is a republican principle.  Republican doesn't necessarily mean French or American.  Much of what I equate republicanism to be stems from the Classical philosophers.  It seems to me that many of the ideas that developed in the European Renaissance concerning the state and citzenship resulted as an infusion of rediscovered Classical ideas with notions that grew around the dominance of the Church in Europe after the fall of Rome.

I believe much of those concepts from English history you allude to find their root in the ideas of the Roman Republic and its Greek (Aristotelian) antecedents.  Diffusion of powers or "checks and balances" was found in the Roman notion that the state was best served when power was shared between monarchical, aristocratic, and democratic powers.  You could translate the notion of King, Parliament and the People into the Cursus Honourum and Senatus Populusque Romanus.  Even the term "Commonwealth" is a direct translation from the Latin res publica.
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Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #23 on: October 28, 2004, 18:00:26 »
Infanteer:

I think that the notions of democracy and limits on the Monarch in Britain came from native soil and were not imported.  Classical influences on British thought weren't particularly common until the Enlightenment in the 1700's (rising largely out of Glasgow and Edinburgh because the Scottish population was supplied with a free education from the 1500s in support of ability for each person to be able to understand the bible for themselves and that required learning latin and greek).

The Celtic Monarchs were not Kings of Land (as in the King of England) but were Kings of People (as in the King of Scots).  The Celtic Monarchs came from proven bloodlines, meaning they were of the unaldulterated version of the pure blood of their people, but the ruled at the pleasure of the sub-kings and ultimately the people.  Of course elections were often decided by the sword but the principle is there was no divine right to rule over people or land and no primo geniture.  The powers of the King were held in check and tribal councils were important bodies.

The Danes and ultimately the Norman Kings couldn't claim right to rule by blood so they claimed right by force.  This claim was ultimately supported by the Catholic Church. They justified the forceful conversion of the pagans (non-Roman christians in some cases) by the faithful Normans and in return gained the King's ear, lands and taxes. 

The locals had no particular reason to accept their loss of control over their Kings and disputed the Norman Catholic right for centuries.  I believe that if you track your way through all the dynastic and civil wars of Britain you will find that essential dynamic present throughout.  Other causes may have come and gone and overlaid the discussion but that to me is the reason that Britain looked to check the power of the King.

It was not so much they were opposed to a King per se,  they were opposed to Kings that were not their kings (not sharing their blood) and to kngs that did not listen to their people.

The Anti-King Republican spirit that arose on the continent out of the Renaissance study of the Classics and the subsequent continental version of the Enlightenment appear to me to be different.  Perhaps it is due to the Island aspect of Britain buffering change.  Britain was invaded but in waves centuries apart or as slow stead incursions, drip by drip.  The peoples of the continent constantly saw their rulers change, their boundaries change on a generational basis and occasionally wholesale tidal waves of disruption.  If they ever had that personal attachment to the King that was obvious in Britain I think it could have been buried in the constant battling for power and survival.

If I think about it perhaps that is a fundamental between British conservative parliamentarianism and French radical republicanism, that basic attachment and perhaps even a personal attachment to the Monarch.  Many folks in Britain, even "anti-Monarchists" know someone of the blood, or someone who has worked for someone of the blood and feel an attachment to their history because of it, no matter how incongruous it feels when viewed rationally.  The Queen still resonates personally in the lives of many Brits.

Now for Canadians I can see there is not that personal attachment, at least not for the non-Brits and not even for all of those with Brit connections.  Especially not for the majority of Franco-Canadians.  And that is reasonable.

However, in my view, a desire to control the power of government, whether it is a monarchy, a tyranny, a democracy or anything in between does not necessarily mean that one is a Republican.  This monarchist, believes in a democratic government, held in check by the people's reps.  He does not yet wish to see the Monarchy abolished.  He is not a Republican.



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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #24 on: October 29, 2004, 04:23:05 »
Stepping back a few posts, basically the reason why I'm happy with this is not because I think it's some magical political silver bullet to solve all that ails us. Not even close.
 
Why I like STV is because it reduces strategic and wasted votes. You get to put the person you think will do the best job representing you as choice #1 without fear that this takes support away from your #2 pick who actually stands a chance.   Independents also stand at least half a chance in hell of getting some seats because of this. Since it can help the problem of wasted and strategic votes, hopefully some of the apathy towards the voting process will be broken. The first step to any sort of meaningful change as far as I'm concerned is an involved public that shows up at the polls.

After actually thinking about it beyond the "STV" title though, I think my initial joy was premature. I jumped the gun and didn't fully think through the consequences of having such large multimember districts. The more I think about ones with up to 7 people the more scared I get. 7 seats means each party runs 7 candidates. Add independents to this and you have easily at least 20 people (minimum) to try and learn about. This will negate a lot of the benefit to independents mentioned above, since far fewer people will bother to learn about all the candidates and will just vote by party affiliation.

Additionally, huge districts leave us with essentially a proportional system, complete with the high probability of coalitions (at least it's better than party lists though). If they really wanted to bow down to the all-popular buzzword "proportional,"   two seats per would have been plenty thanks. After a sober second thought I'm not as impressed with the proposal as I was at first, but I still think it's a step up from what we have now.

And finally,
I (until now) favored the old system because it meant less Jack Latyon's & Co. in the House. Could someone explain why 3 obviously right-wing members (Kirkhill, Brad Sallows, Storm) all support PR if it means more NDP/Greens and other left-wing nutbars elected to the House?

I'm not a big fan of PR, and hence the loss of excitement about the proposed system after time to reflect on it. While I think some - but definately not all - proportional options are better than our current system, I would prefer a single seat STV election above all other choices.

I never realized I'd exposed myself as obviously right-wing in only a couple dozen posts. I always viewed myself as a centrist leaning right   ;D. I go left quite a bit on certain issues, so my vote swings based on the important issues of the day. I guess since my net affiliation leans slightly right I can forgive you if you meant moderate right ;)

In all honesty, as much as seeing a bunch of Laytons running around with power would scare the crap out of me, if the 45% or so of voters that aren't turning out right now all showed up and voted NDP I'd see that as an improvement. The one thing that scares me more for the future of our country than people with opinions I think are retarded are people who don't have any opinion at all.

(whew... that was a freaking novel. Either I need to start coming here more to respond in shorter messages more often, or I need to learn the skill of self-editing.)

reason for edit: it's long... I made mistakes
« Last Edit: October 29, 2004, 04:27:06 by Storm »

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #25 on: October 29, 2004, 12:41:35 »
I never realized I'd exposed myself as obviously right-wing in only a couple dozen posts. I always viewed myself as a centrist leaning right

Yeah, I guess I lumped you with Brad, John Galt, et al as right wing. (no offence - 'right' is right IMO). I used to consider myself quite right-wing, but now I guess I'm more right-centre (definately NOT in the Fed Liberal sense).

Anyhow, just a clarification. Carry on.

Offline Aden_Gatling

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #26 on: October 29, 2004, 14:33:51 »
I guess I lumped you with Brad, John Galt, et al as right wing. (no offence - 'right' is right IMO).

I'm not taking offense (& don't want to blow up the thread), but FWIW I consider myself much more of a libertarian (hence the "John Galt" moniker) than "right wing"  (generally socialists accuse libertarians of being 'right wing' on economic issues, but consevatives accuse libertarians of being 'left wing' on social issues) ...
« Last Edit: October 29, 2004, 14:54:40 by I_am_John_Galt »
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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #27 on: October 29, 2004, 15:46:35 »
Bah, right wing, left wing...don't bother trying to place yourself; trying to fit a wide variety of political viewpoints into a nice small package doesn't do any justice to the thought required to approach each issue.  This kind of thinking can be left for the ideologues..."He believes in private delivery of Health service, he obviously thinks gays need to burn in hell as well!!!"

Painting issues with a broad brush is the reason why political discourse suffers in a democracy.
"Overall it appears that much of the apparent complexity of modern war stems in practice from the self-imposed complexity of modern HQs" LCol J.P. Storr

dutchie

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #28 on: October 29, 2004, 16:06:56 »
This kind of thinking can be left for the ideologues..."He believes in private delivery of Health service, he obviously thinks gays need to burn in heck as well!!!"

Agreed. Which is why you hear people say things like, "I am socially conservative, but fiscally liberal."......huh?!?!

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #29 on: October 29, 2004, 17:51:44 »
I agree that it's kind of pointless to try and classify yourself as left or right, that's why I thought I'd poke fun at it. Secretly I was wondering if I'd said something revealing about myself or if somebody out there has literary superpowers... ever since my girlfriend told me about how at this fancy private school she went to for a few years it was expected that, given a period article that could be as inane as a private journal entry talking about the weather, they could identify the author's political bias, social status, decade the piece was written in, etc I've been kind of suspicious about how easily some people can figure me out.

Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #30 on: October 29, 2004, 18:05:48 »
I'd rather the people who don't put any particular thought into voting continue to remain at home on election days.
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Offline Infanteer

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #31 on: October 29, 2004, 18:11:54 »
I'd rather the people who don't put any particular thought into voting continue to remain at home on election days.

Who would vote for the Marijuana Party then?
"Overall it appears that much of the apparent complexity of modern war stems in practice from the self-imposed complexity of modern HQs" LCol J.P. Storr

Offline Aden_Gatling

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #32 on: October 29, 2004, 19:00:39 »
Hey, I'm not one to try to put people into little boxes, and I wouldn't pretend that everyone in a group has the same views on everything, but it does sometimes help to understand where someone is coming from (or in the case of electoral politics, going to).

That said, my original point (which I suspect might be being misinterpreted) was that I have my own set of political views, some of which might be viewed as very "right wong" or very "left wing," depending on your perspective: most of my views tend toward the "live and let live" way of things ...

I found this interesting: http://politicalcompass.org/ (I came in at +9.25/-2.21 ... right around where Uncle Milty is ...)
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Offline Infanteer

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #33 on: April 09, 2005, 18:22:29 »
Sounds like something one would pick up in Tailand, eh?

Just curious on what other British Columbians (or anyone else, for that matter) think about the electoral reform that we're going to be voting on next month.   Here is some info:

http://www.citizensassembly.bc.ca/public

I, for one, am voting NO.

Just look at the system, if you can figure it all out, than congratulations.

First off, I don't like the gerrymandering (as one critic described it) that goes about messing with the tried-and-true setup of One Riding/One Representative.  Your MP or MLA, regardless of his political party, is your representative - if they are not doing this, then perhaps we need to address political parties and how they function.

As well, I don't like the fact that your vote may or may not get siphoned off to a second or third choice.   I really want X, but because he got a certain number of votes, I actually get Y.   Who makes the decision on who gets their primary and who gets their secondary votes counted?   Seems a little fishy to me.

So, you don't want anyone but X and just put that down - problem solved, right?   Not quite - by supporting the only candidate you are interested in, it seems that you may bump someone who also voted for X down to their secondary vote of Y (who you may not really want to see in office).   Basically, by voting only for your candidate, you are giving someone you don't support more support - you are almost better off staying at home.

All in all, I don't like the system because it is too complicated.   There is something to be said for the KISS principle in our democracy - people don't really want to go and vote now, so now that they may be presented with a 6 page ballot with 30-40 candidates will encourage them to?   It is my opinion that the more complicated the process, the more liable to get FUBAR'd it becomes.

Why mess with a system that has worked for us for centuries?   It seems that electoral reform has been kickstarted due to people's dissatisfaction with politicians and politics in general.   Perhaps we should put our energy into changing the way we make our representatives accountable instead of altering the way we send idiots to their Seat.

Infaneer (says vote NO)
"Overall it appears that much of the apparent complexity of modern war stems in practice from the self-imposed complexity of modern HQs" LCol J.P. Storr

Offline Trinity

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #34 on: April 09, 2005, 18:31:10 »
Infaneer (says vote NO)

Thats great.

Now... what does Infanteer say.........

Cause i never trust that Infaneer guy... he's shifty....
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Offline Dare

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #35 on: April 09, 2005, 19:35:24 »
Sounds like something one would pick up in Tailand, eh?

Just curious on what other British Columbians (or anyone else, for that matter) think about the electoral reform that we're going to be voting on next month.  Here is some info:

http://www.citizensassembly.bc.ca/public

I, for one, am voting NO.

Just look at the system, if you can figure it all out, than congratulations.

First off, I don't like the gerrymandering (as one critic described it) that goes about messing with the tried-and-true setup of One Riding/One Representative.  Your MP or MLA, regardless of his political party, is your representative - if they are not doing this, then perhaps we need to address political parties and how they function.

As well, I don't like the fact that your vote may or may not get siphoned off to a second or third choice.  I really want X, but because he got a certain number of votes, I actually get Y.  Who makes the decision on who gets their primary and who gets their secondary votes counted?  Seems a little fishy to me.
Yes, the scoring of it does not seem to be detailed. Where are the mathematical equations for how these votes will be calculated? Ie. If one candidate gets 2000 votes as #2 does he win over the candidate that gets 1999 votes as #1? I could not really figure it out from the information given there. I had been thinking of a system such as this for a while, but from that, I can not see it as whole, despite their bolding of the word fair. What problem is this supposed to fix?

Fishy, indeed.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #36 on: April 09, 2005, 20:33:39 »
You guys make everything so complicated.

Its very simple. The Liberal party will nominate 2/3 of all the people running in every particular riding, to ensure only the "right" party gets in power. What could be simpler than that?  ;)
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline TCBF

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #37 on: April 09, 2005, 20:39:22 »
For God's sakes, vote NO.

Tom
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Offline beach_bum

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #38 on: April 09, 2005, 22:05:38 »
Just say NO!!!!!! 
Eddie would go!

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #39 on: April 10, 2005, 17:59:28 »
I'm voting no - IMHO the reasoning behind this academic Frankenstein is flawed to the nth degree. 

In the last election the BC NDP wasn't competitive because it was responsible for one of the worst provincial governments in Canadian history - wracked by scandal, fiscal mismanagement, a collapsing economy, you know, all the usual socialist nonsense. 

They were made accountable for that record, their brand wasn't competitive with the electorate, they couldn't achieve plurality across a majority of ridings -- and hence their rump status.  This strikes me as a reasonable outcome given the history of the time -- despite the bleatings of the media and the NDP itself which hasn't learned a thing from the experience (just ask Jim Sinclair, the real leader of the BC NDP).

Moreover STV is supposed to be some sort of instrument reviving grass roots democracy - reducing the power of party establishments, increasing genuine representation in the legislature, transparency in the political process, etc. - but it will have the opposite impact - increase the power of party establishments to choose a slate of candidates, create artificial power blocks with parties representing factions, and cloud the electorial process with a highly complex voting system.

It may make the academic eggheads happy, but it will do nothing to re-energize democracy - which must have a cultural revitalization not some elaborate tinker toy that holds out false promises.

First-past-the-post has provided stable government (for the most part) strong majorities, and direct lines of accountability between an elected official in a riding and his or her constituents - no matter how problematic that relationship might be.

cheers, mdh

 

 

Offline The_Stu

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #40 on: April 12, 2005, 22:54:26 »
I think the whole thing is a little complicated, and their claims of it reviving grassroots democracy are a little far-fetched, but I think the difference between the actual votes cast for any given party and how many seats that party gets is a serious problem. I think they should have gone with another system like AMS,  something that solves the votes -> seats discrepencies and isnt overly complicated.

I think if they do the advertising right, and explain it so that the average person can understand it, ill vote yes, and if they do a poor job of it, no. I dont have a TV or cable at the moment so I havent seen any of the advertising yet.

Also, the very basic math can be found here: http://www.citizensassembly.bc.ca/resources/deliberation/BC-STV-counting.pdf I believe and a more thorough description can probably be found in the technical report, which is linked on the front page here: http://www.citizensassembly.bc.ca/public and I hear this: http://www.citizensassembly.bc.ca/flash/bc-stv-full animation is supposed to do a good job of explaining how counting works




« Last Edit: April 12, 2005, 23:04:18 by The_Stu »
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Offline Dare

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #41 on: April 30, 2005, 17:34:46 »
I just read an article in todays Vancouver Sun. They seem to be strongly in favour of this system. Their method of selling equates to 2 full pages filled with testamony from Irish voters. Their entire arguement seems to be. 1) It's fair. 2) You don't need to know how it works. 3) It works. 4) You don't need to know how it works. 5) It gives smaller parties a bigger say. 6) Seriously, you don't need to know how it works.

What a joke. If this manages to get passed I will be horrified.


Offline Zip

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #42 on: May 02, 2005, 09:25:29 »
Woah! We'd better not change anything, like ever... It's all too hard to figure out!

Come on, there is a lot of intelligence on this forum and STV is not beyond the mental capacity of anyone here to understand.

Take the time to check it out.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single_Transferable_Vote
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Offline TCBF

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #43 on: May 02, 2005, 16:14:22 »
If it was not for a form of proportional representation, Hitler would not have been put into power so easily.
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Offline Zip

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #44 on: May 02, 2005, 16:31:43 »
If it was not for a form of proportional representation, Hitler would not have been put into power so easily.

If it wasn't for the Treaty of Versailles, if it wasn't for economic hardship, if it wasn't for poverty... if it wasn't for... if it wasn't for...

Nice fear mongering BTW, very Liberalesque.  ::)

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Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #45 on: May 02, 2005, 17:50:05 »
As I suggested above: if you live in a riding which is often closely contested, and you tire of the nail-biting and want the folks in the sea of always-Liberal or always-NDP ridings around you to help you make your decision and obtain several vote counts to your one or none, vote in favour of STV.
That which does not kill me has made a grave tactical error.

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Offline TCBF

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #46 on: May 02, 2005, 17:58:48 »
"Nice fear mongering BTW, very Liberalesque."

Not at all. Just that first past the post is the most democratic system there is.  All politics is local, and if your party cannot take enough local ridings to  represent it's percentage of the popular vote - tough.  Try harder next time.  If ten per cent of voters are idiots, do we demand idiots get to chose ten per cent of our MPs?

Bad idea.
"Disarming the Canadian public is part of the new humanitarian social agenda."   - Foreign Affairs Minister Lloyd Axeworthy at a Gun Control conference in Oslo, Norway in 1998.


"I didn’t feel that it was an act of violence; you know, I felt that it was an act of liberation, that’s how I felt you know." - Ann Hansen, Canadian 'Urban Guerrilla'(one of the "Squamish Five")

Offline Aden_Gatling

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #47 on: May 02, 2005, 19:23:26 »
Not at all. Just that first past the post is the most democratic system there is.  All politics is local, and if your party cannot take enough local ridings to  represent it's percentage of the popular vote - tough.  Try harder next time.  If ten per cent of voters are idiots, do we demand idiots get to chose ten per cent of our MPs?

Um, so why is it better that 30% of the voters have absolute power?

(That Hitler stuff was a little over the top, IMHO - Godwin's Law 'n' all that)
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Offline Zip

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #48 on: May 02, 2005, 22:07:35 »
"Nice fear mongering BTW, very Liberalesque."

Not at all. Just that first past the post is the most democratic system there is.  All politics is local, and if your party cannot take enough local ridings to  represent it's percentage of the popular vote - tough.  Try harder next time.  If ten per cent of voters are idiots, do we demand idiots get to chose ten per cent of our MPs?

Bad idea.

Here's a little info for you.

Straw Man Arguments:
A Comparison of Electoral Systems in Ireland and the United Kingdom

   Supporters of the Single Member Plurality (SMP) systems are often prejudiced against the Single Transferable Vote (STV) system, or any other method of proportional representation for that matter, based on the perception that all such systems create a balkanization and proliferation of political parties.  Another point of criticism of STV, is that the systems proportionality causes governmental instability through the lack of clear majorities, which in turn results in continuous coalition governments.

   This essay will focus on the electoral systems of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. In it I will prove, through a most similar systems analysis that many of the prejudices against STV such as the balkanization and proliferation of minor parties and inherent instability of governments that use it are not valid arguments against the Irish STV system.

   In order to effectively compare the voting systems used by the subject nations they must first be explained.  The SMP system, also called First-Past-The-Post, is the most simple to calculate and understand of all electoral systems.  Under this system votes are cast for a single candidate in single member constituencies.  The candidate who receives the largest number of votes, regardless of the actual percentage of the total votes that number represents, is declared the winner.  The use of this system is equivalent to a nation running as many separate elections as there are constituencies within the country.  Some of its perceived strengths are seen as its ability to create single party governments, the creation of coherent parliamentary opposition and as being seen as benefiting broadly based political parties.

   The STV system is a system of Proportional Representation (PR) in which voters cast ballots in large multi-member constituencies by ranking candidates in order of preference.  The number of votes a candidate receives is compared against a set number, based upon the number of votes cast, called the quota.

   There are three main formulae for calculation of the quota: the Droop Quota , Hare Quota  and the Impreiali Quota .  Of these the most commonly used formula is the Droop Quota, which is used by the Republic of Ireland. 

   In the first round of counting under an STV system, Process A, the voter's first selection is counted.  Should any of the candidates receive a number of votes equal to or greater than the quota they are declared elected, once elected a candidate can not receive any more votes.  If a candidate is elected with a surplus of votes, those surplus votes are redistributed by using the second choice listed on the ballots.  The selection of which ballots are counted again can be done by selecting them at random or by counting each ballot fractionally.  This process is repeated until there are no more candidates that have votes in excess of the quota.  Any candidate who achieves the quota from votes redistributed in this manner is also declared elected.  In the next step, Process B, the candidate with the least amount of votes after the first round is eliminated and his or her votes are reallocated according to the second choice listed on the ballot.  Once a candidate has been eliminated he or she can not get any more votes.  Once the reallocation of votes is complete the procedure begins again with Process A and continues in this matter until all the seats in the riding have been filled .

   There are three main comparisons I have chosen to examine between the UK and Irish systems.  They are the questions of proliferation of minor parties, the representation of voter choice and the predisposition of STV toward coalition governments and their perceived instability.

Proliferation of Parties:

   The first point of comparison I examine is the depiction of STV as a fractious system, which causes the proliferation and balkanization of political parties when compared to the more restrictive electoral requirements of an SMP system.  Upon examining the two nations, with regard to this perception, the immediate and glaring incongruity is that in the United Kingdom, there are over 10 times as many registered political parties than in the Irish Republic.

   In the United Kingdom there are nine major parties, in addition to these there are 114 minor parties registered, ranging from the traditional parties such as Labour and Conservative to nonsense parties such as the Church of the Militant Elvis Party .    As of the general election of 7 June 2001 only 9 of the 123 registered parties are represented in the UK House of Commons.   Ireland on the other hand has eight major political parties, seven of which are represented in the Dáil Éireann (Irish Parliament) since the general election of 17 May 2002.  There are no minor parties formally represented in the Dáil though there are fourteen members that sit as independents.

   This disparity in numbers contradicts the notion that STV creates numerous minor parties.  Upon closer inspection, it becomes obvious that the difference in numbers of registered parties in the two nations is due to the application of more or less stringent registration processes and not necessarily a result of the type of electoral system. 

   In the United Kingdom the regulations governing the registration of political parties is fairly simple and straight forward.  It requires only minimal rules and regulations be followed, such as the completion of an application form giving details of the party name and at least two party officers.  Where in the UK the party is to be registered and whether the party will have any accounting units.  Also required is a copy of the party's constitution, a financial scheme showing how the party will comply with the financial controls and a modest registration fee of  £150.00.

   Ireland on the other hand has much more stringent registration requirements which restrict the process to more serious and well formed political movements.  These regulations include provisions that a certain number of registered voters must be members of the party and the party must have a member of it elected to the Dáil.  Irish law also requires that annual meetings be held and the party must have an executive committee.  On the other hand, there is no fee to register a party and unregistered parties are entitled to fight elections, but the name of the party will not appear on the ballot. 

   Thus the stricter registration laws in force in the Republic of Ireland, combats the proliferation of political parties, which is one of the main arguments used by those that support SMP over STV.  The SMP system used in the UK on the other hand, achieves it's much touted governmental stability through the election process, specifically the non-proportional allocation of seats in a First-Past-The-Post electoral system.

Voter Choice

   Perhaps the most attractive element of the STV system, as an alternative to SMP, is the more complete representation of voter choice.  Under a First-Past-The-Post (FPTP) system, only the candidate who wins the most votes in a riding is elected.  This means that should one candidate receive 48% of votes and another receive 47.9% of votes the candidate who received 48% would be elected.  The other candidate, although his percentage of the vote was almost identical, would loose, resulting in "wasted votesâ ?.  On the other hand, in a STV system with its multi member constituencies, both candidates would most likely be elected and more of the people of the constituency would have a voice in parliament.

   It must be noted that neither SMP nor STV requires a candidate to win a majority of votes cast in order to be elected.  But under STV a significant majority of the votes cast do count toward electing candidates, thus representing a majority of the votes cast, as well as a proportional representation of the people's vote within the multi-member constituency. 

   Ireland is divided into 3, 4 or 5 member constituencies ranging in population from 108,717 to 47,641 registered electors.   Taking one of these ridings as an example, and comparing it to a similar sized riding in the UK will demonstrate the more complete representation of the public vote achieved under STV.

   In the Irish riding of Cavan-Monaghan with an electorate of 87,595 and 61,847 valid ballots cast, the quota was set at 10,308 votes.  Multiplying the quota by the number of candidates for the riding (5) shows that of the 61,847 valid votes, 51,540 voters had a hand in electing the representatives for that riding.    This number represents 83.3% of the votes cast, meaning only 16.7% of valid votes were wasted and did not count toward the election of a member of the Dáil.

   In contrast to this, in the UK riding of Isle of Wight with 63,482 total votes cast, the winning candidate received 25,223 votes representing only 39.7% of votes.   For the other 60.3% of votes the voter's choice did not count toward the election of the representative and were wasted.

   Further comparison of the most recent general elections in Ireland and the United Kingdom reveals that on average, 71.4% of all votes cast in Ireland assisted in electing a representative.  Conversely, in the UK, the average representative was elected to the House of Commons based on an average of 51.3% of votes cast in each riding. 

   These figures are based solely on the votes cast, not on the number of registered voters.  When the national voter turnout for these elections is taken into consideration the number of voters casting votes which assisted in electing representatives is significantly reduced.

   For the most recent general elections, only 59.38% of eligible voters in the UK voted compared to 62.57% of voters in Ireland.  Combining these figures with the percentage of votes that assisted in electing a representative reduces the percentage of voters actually assisting in electing a representative to 44.67% for Ireland and 30.46% for the UK.  While certainly not a triumph of democracy for either system, obviously the advantage should be granted to the STV system for it's more complete representation of votes and the voting public.

Coalitions and Weakness

   Another criticism of the single transferable vote system is that it leads to coalition governments, which results in governmental instability, when compared to first-past-the-post.  However, comparison of the two nations in question shows that these problems are inconsequential.

   From a purely historical point of view coalition governments are not the norm in Ireland, since 1923 there have only been 9 coalition governments formed out of the 26 general elections held.  Since 1989 there has been no single party which has enjoyed a majority in the Dáil, and coalitions do seem to be becoming the norm. 

   This political reality does not lead directly or inevitably to instability though.  Irish coalitions have displayed considerable longevity, remaining in power for an average of three and a half years which is longer than non-coalition Irish governments, which on average have lasted approximately 2.9 years.

   While historically the UK has not tended toward coalitions, it has had 3 coalition or "National Governmentsâ ? since 1918, each of which was in response to a national crisis, World War 1, the 1930's depression and World War 2.    The need to show solidarity in government during crises by forming coalitions of political parties seems to indicate that the reason behind it is to represent the people and political will of the nation better than is possible under normal circumstances.  This exception demonstrates the inclusive nature of coalitions and far from implying weakness or instability emphasizes their strength and utility.

   The inference that coalition governments are unstable is also given as a reason not to employ STV as an electoral system.  This perception too has been exaggerated in favor of SMP.  The United Kingdom and Ireland have conducted 16 general elections since 1945.   The shortest lived government among the two nations was the UK's minority Conservative government of Prime Minister Edward Heath in 1974.  After failing to form a coalition with the Liberal Party, PM Heath resigned, allowing the Queen to commission Labour leader Harold Wilson to form the government.  The minority Labour government of PM Wilson lasted 8 months, and was replaced by a slim Labour majority in October of the same year.

   This average of the lengths of terms enjoyed by the respective governments reveals that there is only a slight difference when the two nations are compared.  Since 1945, the United Kingdom has averaged a Parliamentary election every 3.5 years whereas the Irish have conducted elections for the Dáil Éireann every 3.37 years.  Calculated in days the UK on average elects a new parliament every 1277 days and Ireland every 1199 days a difference of only 78 days.   

   Going back farther to Ireland's independence, the Irish republic has conducted 26 general elections since 1923 and the UK has conducted 22 for an average length of 3.15 and 3.72 years respectively.

   The above averages can not be attributed to differing lengths of administrative terms as Irish law requires elections to be held every seven years.  However, statute has limited the length of terms in Ireland to five years, which is equal to the length of term enjoyed by the UK parliament.

   In conclusion, the exaggerated claims made against the Single Transferable Vote system in favor of Single Member Plurality appear to be nothing more than a straw man of personal preferences and prejudices.  With regards to the UK and Ireland, it appears that in the case of party proliferation that the problem is a product of national electoral laws and not the electoral system used.  As for inherent weakness and instability of STV due to its tendency to cause coalition governments, this has been proven insignificant.  The drawbacks of STV versus SMP with regard to these difficulties are counteracted by the ability and willingness of the elected members of the government to work with other political parties and thus persevere, in spite of political ideologies, for the sake of stable national government.
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Offline Dare

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #49 on: May 03, 2005, 15:45:06 »
Woah! We'd better not change anything, like ever... It's all too hard to figure out!

Come on, there is a lot of intelligence on this forum and STV is not beyond the mental capacity of anyone here to understand.

Take the time to check it out.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single_Transferable_Vote
Yeah, OK. Describe to me how it works in a single sentence. I'm sure it's not beyond your mental capacity. Most people don't understand what it is. A vast majority. They are being conned into accepting a system they don't comprehend. From your own link:

"However, in the older STV systems used in many countries there is a loophole: candidates who have already been elected do not receive any more votes, so there is incentive to avoid voting for your top-ranked candidate until after he has already been elected. For example, a voter might make a tactical decision to rank her top-place candidate beneath a candidate she knows will lose. If the voter's true top-place candidate has not been elected by the time her fake top candidate loses, the voter's full vote will count for her true top-place candidate. Otherwise, the voter will have avoided either having had her ballot in the lottery to be "wasted" on their top-ranked candidate or with only a fraction transfered, and will continue on to lower-ranked candidates.

Note that in some more modern STV systems, this loophole has been fixed. A vote receives the same fractional weighting regardless of when it arrives at the successful candidate. This modernisation has not been adopted in all STV systems.

There are also tactical considerations for parties standing more than one candidate in the election. Standing too few may result in all the candidates being elected in the early stages, and votes being transferred to candidates of other parties. Standing too many candidates might result in first-preference votes being spread among them, and several being eliminated before any are elected and their second-preference votes distributed, if voters do not stick tightly to their preferred party's candidates; however, if voters vote for all candidates from a particular party before any other candidates and before stopping expressing preferences, then too many candidates is not an issue - in Malta, where voters tend to stick tightly to party preferences, parties frequently stand more candidates than there are seats to be elected."

All this system does is make exceedingly complicated something that should not be.

"Failures to produce exact proportionality in elections can be controversial, and this situation has arisen in elections using STV. The outcome may be particularly controversial in close elections such as the 1981 election in Malta. In this election the Maltese Labour Party won a majority of seats despite the Nationalist Party winning a majority of first-preference votes. This caused a constitutional crisis, leading to provision for the possibility of bonus seats. These bonus seats needed to be used in 1987 and again in 1996. Similarly, the Northern Ireland elections in 1998 led to the Ulster Unionists' winning more seats than the Social Democratic and Labour Party, despite winning a smaller share of first-preference votes."

Notice how they were most concerned about what their first preference was? I wager most people are.

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #51 on: May 03, 2005, 16:00:26 »
All this system does is make exceedingly complicated something that should not be.

Agreed - the KISS principle is something that makes representative democracy work.
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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #52 on: May 03, 2005, 18:21:00 »
Yeah, OK. Describe to me how it works in a single sentence. I'm sure it's not beyond your mental capacity. Most people don't understand what it is. A vast majority. They are being conned into accepting a system they don't comprehend.

Well, walking down a flight of stairs is a simple process too but I'll bet you'd have a hard time describing it adequately in a single sentence.

As for the vast majority not understanding the process, I dare say should BC adopt this system, within a year everyone who cares and all the children in school who will no doubt be taught about their new electoral system will be able to explain it. As for the rest I do not believe in pandering to the lowest common denominator.

As for being conned into acceptance, if that is true and they buy into the system without checking it out themselves I really have no sympathy for them.

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All this system does is make exceedingly complicated something that should not be.

All it does is attempt to address the inherent innequalities of the Single Member Plurality system. The Lieberals were elected in the last election with 37% of the popular vote yet they managed to garner 135 seats out of 308, or 41.5%. But even more telling than this number is the fact that although the NDP had 16% of the popular vote to the Bloc's 12% the NDP only won 19 seats to the Bloc's 54

Had a form of PR existed the breakdown would have looked something like this:
Liberals 37% = 114 seats
Conservatives 30% = 93 seats
NDP 16% = 50 seats
Bloc 12% = 38 seats
Green 4% = 12 seats

As you can see it would have produced a minority government but at least the ruling party under PR would expect such an outcome in all but the most rare cases. They would quickly learn that they must appeal to other parties to form a consensus in the HoC. Thereby representing the wishes of more Canadians.

I've often heard complaints about the Tyranny that majority Governments exercise well this is a possible answer. It's not as neat and easy as electing a dictator to a 4 year term as we do now but in the end it is certainly more representative of the will of the majority.

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Notice how they were most concerned about what their first preference was? I wager most people are.

Ummm.... Isn't that the point? Everyone wants "their guy" elected whether its in SMP or STV the goal is still to elect officials.

Strategic voting happens in SMP systems as well. AAMOF I remember hearing quite a lot about it during the last referendum. Seems a number of Federalists played the game of voting for the separation to ensure that Quebec would be granted some special leniency and dispensation when they stayed in the confederation after a narrow No victory.

Is STV a perfect system? No, I don't think anything but direct democracy could ever be considered perfectly democratic, but it certainly is more representative of the actual votes than SMP is.
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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #53 on: May 03, 2005, 19:08:29 »
All it does is attempt to address the inherent innequalities of the Single Member Plurality system. The Lieberals were elected in the last election with 37% of the popular vote yet they managed to garner 135 seats out of 308, or 41.5%. But even more telling than this number is the fact that although the NDP had 16% of the popular vote to the Bloc's 12% the NDP only won 19 seats to the Bloc's 54

Inequalities?  The parliamentary system isn't supposed to consist of party percentages, it is supposed to consist of individual representatives who stand for their riding in the Legislature.

If you want to deal with "inequalities", deal with the stranglehold the Party has the politics.
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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #54 on: May 03, 2005, 19:53:15 »
Inequalities?   The parliamentary system isn't supposed to consist of party percentages, it is supposed to consist of individual representatives who stand for their riding in the Legislature.

If you want to deal with "inequalities", deal with the stranglehold the Party has the politics.

I wouldn't say it was the party as much as the degraded notion of minesterial responsibility, Prime ministerial dictatorship and lack of free votes in the HOC (so that MP's can vote their constituents wishes) that has gotten us into this mess.

Parties themselves are an important part of the political system. Take a look at Russia for the effects a weak party system has on a democracy. Political Ideologies are not to blame for our current woes, the people at the helm of the party are.
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Offline Dare

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #55 on: May 03, 2005, 20:06:04 »
Well, walking down a flight of stairs is a simple process too but I'll bet you'd have a hard time describing it adequately in a single sentence.
Take your left foot, lift it then place it on the next step, then use your alternate foot in the same method and repeat until there are no stairs left.
Quote
As for the vast majority not understanding the process, I dare say should BC adopt this system, within a year everyone who cares and all the children in school who will no doubt be taught about their new electoral system will be able to explain it. As for the rest I do not believe in pandering to the lowest common denominator.
So the general public are the lowest common denominator, then?
Quote
As for being conned into acceptance, if that is true and they buy into the system without checking it out themselves I really have no sympathy for them.
So then it's ok to con people in a wide variety of scams, in your opinion, because they deserved it?
Quote
All it does is attempt to address the inherent innequalities of the Single Member Plurality system. The Lieberals were elected in the last election with 37% of the popular vote yet they managed to garner 135 seats out of 308, or 41.5%. But even more telling than this number is the fact that although the NDP had 16% of the popular vote to the Bloc's 12% the NDP only won 19 seats to the Bloc's 54

Had a form of PR existed the breakdown would have looked something like this:
Liberals 37% = 114 seats
Conservatives 30% = 93 seats
NDP 16% = 50 seats
Bloc 12% = 38 seats
Green 4% = 12 seats

As you can see it would have produced a minority government but at least the ruling party under PR would expect such an outcome in all but the most rare cases. They would quickly learn that they must appeal to other parties to form a consensus in the HoC. Thereby representing the wishes of more Canadians.
Firstly, I believe we are talking about a provincial system. Not a federal system. Secondly, how exactly did you manage to get the second, third, fourth and fifth vote selection of every Canadian voter for your imaginary calculations and theoretical voting results?
Quote
I've often heard complaints about the Tyranny that majority Governments exercise well this is a possible answer. It's not as neat and easy as electing a dictator to a 4 year term as we do now but in the end it is certainly more representative of the will of the majority.
How is this the answer? I believe, even once representatives are in power, it is still the majorty that rules, regardless of what fancy system put them there.
Quote
Ummm.... Isn't that the point? Everyone wants "their guy" elected whether its in SMP or STV the goal is still to elect officials.
No the point is, you see, that those who SELECTED "their guy" had the majorty of first selection votes, but did not get "their guy" in because of this system.
Quote
Strategic voting happens in SMP systems as well. AAMOF I remember hearing quite a lot about it during the last referendum. Seems a number of Federalists played the game of voting for the separation to ensure that Quebec would be granted some special leniency and dispensation when they stayed in the confederation after a narrow No victory.
I am well aware of strategic votings materialization in politics currently. I have *no* problem with it. I do not believe that strategic voting is a problem. If someone feels they want to vote for a different party they think can win, so be it. I simply object to it's obsfucation so that only the well educated and/or sneaky can manage to represent their will strategically. It seems to me under this new system someone who can effectively manage strategic voting ends up with more of a say than one who can not.
Quote
Is STV a perfect system? No, I don't think anything but direct democracy could ever be considered perfectly democratic, but it certainly is more representative of the actual votes than SMP is.
I don't believe anyone is striving for perfection.

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #56 on: May 03, 2005, 21:16:39 »
Take your left foot, lift it then place it on the next step, then use your alternate foot in the same method and repeat until there are no stairs left.

Well, I've just managed to fall down the stairs and break my neck , (lifting my foot and trying to place it on the next step without stepping down :D )

Quote
So the general public are the lowest common denominator, then?

No those who do not care to know how their government works would be the lowest denominator. Like I said the majority would know.

Quote
So then it's ok to con people in a wide variety of scams, in your opinion, because they deserved it?

No, read what I wrote, not what you think I mean. If a person buys into anything merely on the "word" of anyone then they get what they asked for, weither or not it is what they think it is.

Quote
Firstly, I believe we are talking about a provincial system. Not a federal system.

Irrelevant. The system works the same way.

Quote
Secondly, how exactly did you manage to get the second, third, fourth and fifth vote selection of every Canadian voter for your imaginary calculations and theoretical voting results?

Correct, I couldn't possibly determine that so working on a pure PR method of % of votes earned will and did give a demonstration of the distortions of the SMP system

Quote
How is this the answer? I believe, even once representatives are in power, it is still the majorty that rules, regardless of what fancy system put them there.

But you see, with SMP most of our governments over the last 138 years have not won anywhere near the majority of votes therefore the idea you expouse that the majority of seats in the HOC represents the majority of votes is false. Under an PR method and coalition government the ruling party in coalition would have to earn the majority of votes in the HOC and therefore would represent something closer to the majority of Canadian Voters.


Quote
No the point is, you see, that those who SELECTED "their guy" had the majorty of first selection votes, but did not get "their guy" in because of this system.


No, in most cases in SMP "their guy" doesn't get in and their vote is wasted. Take a look at the figures in the essay I posted earlier
Quote
In the Irish riding of Cavan-Monaghan with an electorate of 87,595 and 61,847 valid ballots cast, the quota was set at 10,308 votes.   Multiplying the quota by the number of candidates for the riding (5) shows that of the 61,847 valid votes, 51,540 voters had a hand in electing the representatives for that riding.      This number represents 83.3% of the votes cast, meaning only 16.7% of valid votes were wasted and did not count toward the election of a member of the Dáil.

     In contrast to this, in the UK riding of Isle of Wight with 63,482 total votes cast, the winning candidate received 25,223 votes representing only 39.7% of votes.     For the other 60.3% of votes the voter's choice did not count toward the election of the representative and were wasted.

Quote
I am well aware of strategic votings materialization in politics currently. I have *no* problem with it. I do not believe that strategic voting is a problem. If someone feels they want to vote for a different party they think can win, so be it.

That's rather disingenuous of you to purposely post the wiki article that decries the possibility of strategic voting under STV and then turn around and claim that it doesn't matter to you when the argument is proven to be as applicable to SMP.

Quote
I simply object to it's obsfucation so that only the well educated and/or sneaky can manage to represent their will strategically. It seems to me under this new system someone who can effectively manage strategic voting ends up with more of a say than one who can not.

So, simplicity for simplicities sake? Why would a democratic nation cling to a system that has been proven to distort and misrepresent the votes of the populace. SMP does not except in the most unusual of cases produce majority rule, at least under STV or any other PR system that fact is realized and the system forces political parties and their leaders to build a consensus and coalitions with which to govern.

Quote
I don't believe anyone is striving for perfection.

Certainly not by accepting the status quo. :)

« Last Edit: May 03, 2005, 21:23:48 by Reccesoldier »
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Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #57 on: May 03, 2005, 21:37:07 »
Ours is a representative system in which a representative is elected by each constituency.  How the popular vote totals by party allegiance are distributed is irrelevant except as a tool to validate the predictions of equally broad-based pre-election polls.
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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #58 on: May 03, 2005, 22:40:34 »
Ours is a representative system in which a representative is elected by each constituency.   How the popular vote totals by party allegiance are distributed is irrelevant except as a tool to validate the predictions of equally broad-based pre-election polls.

But Brad, it doesn't nnecessarilyhave to be so.
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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #59 on: May 03, 2005, 22:44:21 »
No, but given its track record, I would like it to remain so - hence my coming "No" vote.

I don't see any real gain in the "democratic deficit" by going to an Academic Frankenstein; thus no rational for rocking the boat.
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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #60 on: May 03, 2005, 23:22:56 »
Quote
No those who do not care to know how their government works would be the lowest denominator. Like I said the majority would know.
Most people do not care how their government works, nor do most people know how the government works. If we consider the volume of law required to actually know how our government works, that would require a lifetime to learn. Now as for knowing how our representatives are selected, I would say it is important those who vote understand how the selection works in detail.
Quote
No, read what I wrote, not what you think I mean. If a person buys into anything merely on the "word" of anyone then they get what they asked for, weither or not it is what they think it is.
That statement is illogical first off. If a person asks for an orange and gets an apple, they did *not* get what they asked for. If I make a transaction on Ebay and I don't get what I order. That is against the law. I didn't get what I asked for. Your critique of the "lowest common denominator" on how they do not know how their government works. Well our government works on the law which is based on the "word". If a person buys something based on the "word" of a person and does not get what they asked for, the person they made that contract has made a breach. So why would we hold our press and public representatives to a lower standard than we would hold advertisements for anything else? Especially when we consider the possibility of a bait and switch on something as important as radical election reform!
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But you see, with SMP most of our governments over the last 138 years have not won anywhere near the majority of votes therefore the idea you expouse that the majority of seats in the HOC represents the majority of votes is false. Under an PR method and coalition government the ruling party in coalition would have to earn the majority of votes in the HOC and therefore would represent something closer to the majority of Canadian Voters.
Well, we're talking on a federal level again, but I'll say to this that if the areas of representations are disproportionate, then the areas should be redrawn. Not the system of selection. Or at least, not with this particular system.
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No, in most cases in SMP "their guy" doesn't get in and their vote is wasted. Take a look at the figures in the essay I posted earlier
That's rather disingenuous of you to purposely post the wiki article that decries the possibility of strategic voting under STV and then turn around and claim that it doesn't matter to you when the argument is proven to be as applicable to SMP.
I was not using the argument in that fashion. While the article decries that possibility. It argues that it makes strategic voting difficult (not impossible). As I said I have no problem with strategic voting. I have a problem with making strategic voting difficult, or more aptly, making it obscure.
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So, simplicity for simplicities sake? Why would a democratic nation cling to a system that has been proven to distort and misrepresent the votes of the populace. SMP does not except in the most unusual of cases produce majority rule, at least under STV or any other PR system that fact is realized and the system forces political parties and their leaders to build a consensus and coalitions with which to govern.
1) Simplicity, certainly, you have to admit, has it's benefits. Especially when dealing with the general public. Now as I mentioned in a previous message, I had been thinking of a system such as this for some time, but this particular one, I do not favour because it simply does not satisfy me as being a fair system, despite constantly being advertised as being fair. It seems to just obscure the methods one could use to strategically vote, which, to me, seems unethical. I was a bit open to the idea at first, but the more I read about it, the less convinced I became. Then the advertising campaign secured my vote. They're not even bothering to educate the people. They're just saying "trust us" it's "safe", "fair" and  "lot's of other people do it, let's do it also". This is not a proper way to drum up support for a radical restructuring of our current voting method.
2) Sometimes the process by which one builds a consensus can be a hinderance to operations. There are occasions when there needs to be less talk and more doing. Frankly, the way our MP's behave in Parliament has me shuddering to think that there would be even more sides yelling amongst the cacauphonous rambling currently present.  :)

Offline suffolkowner

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #61 on: December 20, 2018, 21:35:26 »
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/electoral-reform-referendum-results-1.4954538

resurrecting this old thread as I wasn't sure where to put it or whether it was worth a new thread

I wonder if this is the death of electoral reform in BC if not Canada. Whatever the benefits of electoral reform it seems its proponents have been unable to convince the general public

Offline IN ARDUA NITOR

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #62 on: December 20, 2018, 21:40:06 »
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/electoral-reform-referendum-results-1.4954538

resurrecting this old thread as I wasn't sure where to put it or whether it was worth a new thread

I wonder if this is the death of electoral reform in BC if not Canada. Whatever the benefits of electoral reform it seems its proponents have been unable to convince the general public

I thought that after each of the previous two referenda.... it would not surprise me if we end up here again. "No" isnt really an answer in BC... after all, only 42pct of the population voted so, surely, the other 58pct need another chance

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #63 on: December 20, 2018, 21:44:12 »
I thought that after each of the previous two referenda.... it would not surprise me if we end up here again. "No" isnt really an answer in BC... after all, only 42pct of the population voted so, surely, the other 58pct need another chance

I'll admit my wife and I did not vote, because none of the options really worked for us. Maybe we are a little ignorant and one is better then the other, but to us they all seemed to be about the same.. as far as pros and cons went. So we didnt vote.

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #64 on: December 20, 2018, 22:15:45 »
Thank the gods.  All these convoluted forms of Proportional Representation brief well, but when you start to examine the specifics, they aren't very good.

First-past-the-post has a 150-year record of providing stability and winners.  We may not like all of them, but we don't have to deal with half-measure elections.
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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #65 on: December 20, 2018, 23:06:44 »
Thank the gods.  All these convoluted forms of Proportional Representation brief well, but when you start to examine the specifics, they aren't very good.

First-past-the-post has a 150-year record of providing stability and winners.  We may not like all of them, but we don't have to deal with half-measure elections.

CBC radio today was just packed full of sore losers, who are all convinced the average BCer is just too stupid to understand the perfect brilliance of ProRep.  ::)

Offline Rifleman62

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #66 on: December 21, 2018, 09:14:45 »
The same people who are all convinced the average Canadian is just too stupid to understand the perfect brilliance of Justin Trudeau.
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Offline Halifax Tar

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #67 on: December 21, 2018, 09:23:01 »
Thank the gods.  All these convoluted forms of Proportional Representation brief well, but when you start to examine the specifics, they aren't very good.

First-past-the-post has a 150-year record of providing stability and winners.  We may not like all of them, but we don't have to deal with half-measure elections.

I don't disagree with you.  I don't think our challenge should be to change the electoral method, but instead to motivate the voters to get out and vote.  Federally we were at 68% last time.  That's not bad, but I think we should be doing better.  We're missing 32% of the eligible population. 

Just look at this referendum of only 42% voter turn out... Sad.  Our problem is voter apathy not the FPTP system.
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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #68 on: December 21, 2018, 10:45:11 »
Election BC went all out to get people to vote. The reality is that the issue was only important to a small number of people. So the only people who voted are the ones fully for or against it. the rest are to busy with their lives and don't feel that it would change anything.

Offline YZT580

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #69 on: December 21, 2018, 16:51:14 »
Election BC went all out to get people to vote. The reality is that the issue was only important to a small number of people. So the only people who voted are the ones fully for or against it. the rest are to busy with their lives and don't feel that it would change anything.
  Perhaps only the percentage that truly want to vote is the only group that should vote.  The rest would probably vote according to either party, last nights pub discussion or as per the boss's inclinations which could produce a result that is contrary to those who actually care.  So I think the system works quite well as is.  For those who care they always get the person or result they want if they are in the majority.

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #70 on: December 21, 2018, 18:48:22 »
Basically the only people that voted are those that wanted it and those that did not. If you imagine the voter base as 100 people, only 18 of them really wanted it.

Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #71 on: December 22, 2018, 13:30:10 »
As "first choices":
FPTP: 61.30%
MMP: 15.96%
DMP: 11.40%
R-U: 11.34%

The government tried to encourage votes for change by providing a list, and then goofed by making two of the options on the list too complex and obscure.  I suspect they meant to nudge voters toward MMP, but it backfired.  There are certainly people who might have voted for change but balked at the complexity of the question and the loosey-goosey implementation rules.

It (specifically, MMP) was really the Green's baby; the NDP were not whole-heartedly in favour.  They are conscious of the fact that FPTP is the only road to a majority of seats for the NDP in BC.
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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #72 on: December 22, 2018, 17:27:47 »
I don't disagree with you.  I don't think our challenge should be to change the electoral method, but instead to motivate the voters to get out and vote.  Federally we were at 68% last time.  That's not bad, but I think we should be doing better.  We're missing 32% of the eligible population. 

Just look at this referendum of only 42% voter turn out... Sad.  Our problem is voter apathy not the FPTP system.

I don't think we are missing folks.  I read those folks not as apathetic but as content. They see no difference between one party and the other in their daily lives and their is no reason for them to get bothered enough to change things.

30 to 40% of the population is happy regardless of who is in charge.  Another 30% is happy when their party is in charge.  And thus you have stability.

Arguably, the only people  with a vested interest in promoting change are politicians.
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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #73 on: December 22, 2018, 18:34:53 »
As "first choices":
FPTP: 61.30%
MMP: 15.96%
DMP: 11.40%
R-U: 11.34%

The government tried to encourage votes for change by providing a list, and then goofed by making two of the options on the list too complex and obscure.  I suspect they meant to nudge voters toward MMP, but it backfired.  There are certainly people who might have voted for change but balked at the complexity of the question and the loosey-goosey implementation rules.

It (specifically, MMP) was really the Green's baby; the NDP were not whole-heartedly in favour.  They are conscious of the fact that FPTP is the only road to a majority of seats for the NDP in BC.

Brad, that was my assesment, too. This referendum was the NDP payoff to keep the Greens onside. I also do not detect much enthusiasm amongst the NDP for anything other than FPTP. I wonder if they are having second thoughts about getting in bed with Weaver?

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #74 on: December 22, 2018, 19:11:08 »
Third strike, they're out. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/electoral-reform-referendum-result-1.4955171

A bunch of unconstrained idiots on steroids, controlled by a vocal minority of self-entitled rug rats, IMHO.

Now maybe they can do some 'adulting' and figure out how to fix slightly more important things like, you know,how to prevent the $20 B + Health Care Pac Man from eating up all the other ministry budgets:

“Rising health care costs may threaten the provincial government’s ability to provide services and meet financial commitments both now and in the future. This is something we noticed two years ago in our report on monitoring British Columbia’s fiscal sustainability. Between 2013 and 2018, health care expenses are projected to increase by $2.7 billion. This is more than the combined budgets of the 11 smallest ministries or even the budget of the third largest ministry, education.” Auditor General of BC

https://www.myprincegeorgenow.com/44234/bc-auditor-general-breaks-health-care-spending-british-columbians/

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #75 on: December 22, 2018, 22:37:24 »
I think in most cases, those parties that push for change from our FPTP are usually the loser or those with no chance of winning. You don't see many sitting governments that want to change the rules that gave them the win.

I do like the idea that they, at least, held a referendum. How we vote, who votes and how we count those votes belong to qualified Canadian citizens. Not the government.
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