Author Topic: Electoral reform in BC  (Read 18157 times)

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Offline Dare

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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.
"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 Zip

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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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Offline Infanteer

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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.
"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 Zip

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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.
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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?
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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?
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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?
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.

Offline Zip

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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 )

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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.

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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.

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

Irrelevant. The system works the same way.

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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

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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.


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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
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Offline Zip

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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.
"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 Dare

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Re: Electoral reform in BC
« Reply #60 on: May 03, 2005, 23:22:56 »
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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.
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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.  ::)

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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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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.

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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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