Author Topic: Electoral reform in BC  (Read 18160 times)

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dutchie

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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.
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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?!?!

Storm

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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.

Online 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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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)
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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?  ;)
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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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Online 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.
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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.


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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.