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Author Topic: Electoral Reform (Senate, Commons, & Gov Gen)  (Read 409554 times)

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Offline Jed

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Re: Electoral Reform (Senate, Commons, & Gov Gen)
« Reply #1000 on: September 11, 2016, 23:41:13 »

Game the system?  How were they gaming the system, exactly?  Ontario is actually still, to this day, shortchanged for seats.

Upper Canada has been gaming it since 1867.
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Re: Electoral Reform (Senate, Commons, & Gov Gen)
« Reply #1001 on: September 11, 2016, 23:48:00 »
How are any of these systems going to stop Toronto from politically driving Ontario. One city, no matter size or population, should not be allowed to discount and nullify the rest of the population in that province.

Unless we can do that, I'd rather see the winning candidate triumph in mortal combat over the other candidates.
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Re: Electoral Reform (Senate, Commons, & Gov Gen)
« Reply #1002 on: September 12, 2016, 07:40:18 »
How are any of these systems going to stop Toronto from politically driving Ontario.
Or Canada's biggest cities collectively doing the same nationally?
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Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: Electoral Reform (Senate, Commons, & Gov Gen)
« Reply #1003 on: September 13, 2016, 22:28:12 »
>The federal 2015 election shows that, informed by polls, the "anybody but" camp will just as easily organize a mathematical advantage in FPTP.

Not the same thing at all.  What you describe was just the result of campaign persuasion.

Since I already have no interest in STV due to its strategic voting imbalance, inherent advantage for centrist parties, and its transparent manipulation to create the illusion of a stronger popular mandate than really exists, I am further persuaded that there is no reason to change to multi-member ridings.  STV and/or multi-member ridings are more flawed than our current single-member FPTP model, are unnecessarily complex, and - due to the inherent imbalances - likely to militate against output legitimacy, which is likely to further aggravate an already problematical level of incivility.

The vote split which resulted in the temporary rise of the BQ, and Alliance/Reform, illustrates a further advantage of FPTP - meaningful expression of regionally-based protest movements.
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Offline jmt18325

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Re: Electoral Reform (Senate, Commons, & Gov Gen)
« Reply #1004 on: September 13, 2016, 23:08:35 »
How are any of these systems going to stop Toronto from politically driving Ontario. One city, no matter size or population, should not be allowed to discount and nullify the rest of the population in that province.

You're arguing against representation by population?  Based on what, exactly?

Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Electoral Reform (Senate, Commons, & Gov Gen)
« Reply #1005 on: September 13, 2016, 23:38:07 »
To ensure the rest of the country doesn't become a colony of Toronto?
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Re: Electoral Reform (Senate, Commons, & Gov Gen)
« Reply #1006 on: September 14, 2016, 08:08:08 »
How are any of these systems going to stop Toronto from politically driving Ontario. One city, no matter size or population, should not be allowed to discount and nullify the rest of the population in that province.

But Toronto doesn't actually drive Ontario politically -- of our 25 Premiers, few have been from Toronto, only 4 by my count. And nationally I don't think we've ever had a Prime Minister from Toronto -- certainly no one that represented a Toronto riding. Arguably in our current setup politicians with strong bases in medium sized cities are in the best position to take a shot at the Premier's office. London, Ottawa and North Bay have all produced Premiers in my lifetime.

Offline George Wallace

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Re: Electoral Reform (Senate, Commons, & Gov Gen)
« Reply #1007 on: September 14, 2016, 08:17:34 »
But Toronto doesn't actually drive Ontario politically --

Sorry, but I too feel that Toronto is driving Ontario politically with a metropolitan population that has no clue what the world outside their comfy homes is like.  A population that has no concept of what life is like outside their "small world".  Quite often no concept of where the food comes from that is on their table.  Out of curiousity, how many activists do you know of that do not reside in a large metropolitan area? 

-- of our 25 Premiers, few have been from Toronto, only 4 by my count.

That is a moot point and not related to the statement at all.
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Re: Electoral Reform (Senate, Commons, & Gov Gen)
« Reply #1008 on: September 14, 2016, 08:27:19 »

That is a moot point and not related to the statement at all.

I disagree. In a unicameral legislature the Premier wields considerable power -- power that, in Ontario, is not solely confined to Torontonians.

Offline George Wallace

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Re: Electoral Reform (Senate, Commons, & Gov Gen)
« Reply #1009 on: September 14, 2016, 08:52:06 »
I disagree. In a unicameral legislature the Premier wields considerable power -- power that, in Ontario, is not solely confined to Torontonians.

Meanwhile, recceguy and I are not looking at the Premier, nor the politicians, BUT at the voter base that is electing them.  A whole different view of where the power in Ontario is based......upon voters in a large metropolitan area with NO CONCERNS, INTEREST or KNOWLEDGE of what is going on outside their 'small world'.
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Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: Electoral Reform (Senate, Commons, & Gov Gen)
« Reply #1010 on: September 14, 2016, 09:04:13 »
Meanwhile, recceguy and I are not looking at the Premier, nor the politicians, BUT at the voter base that is electing them.  A whole different view of where the power in Ontario is based......upon voters in a large metropolitan area with NO CONCERNS, INTEREST or KNOWLEDGE of what is going on outside their 'small world'.


Except, of course, that if you happen to believe in something akin to at least rough equality of representation then doesn't it make sense that the GTA, with a population (2011 census) of over 6 million, ought to "drive" Ontario that has a population of (same census) 12.8 million? Or is it that, since many, Many, Many Torontonians do not share your socio-political views, that you object to the fact that they are represented as their number warrant?
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Offline MCG

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Re: Electoral Reform (Senate, Commons, & Gov Gen)
« Reply #1011 on: September 14, 2016, 15:13:31 »
>The federal 2015 election shows that, informed by polls, the "anybody but" camp will just as easily organize a mathematical advantage in FPTP.

Not the same thing at all.  What you describe was just the result of campaign persuasion.
But it is the same thing.  FPTP gives the win to the largest minority, so the anti-vote does not have to overcome the will of any majority - it just has to give its support to the next largest minority.  In fact, this is a feature of FPTP, right?  It is the ability to "vote the bums out"?  What's more, FPTP encourages the anti-vote.  A Libertarian can't vote for his preferred candidate because he must give that vote to a Conservative keep the NDP candidate out.

The vote split which resulted in the temporary rise of the BQ, and Alliance/Reform, illustrates a further advantage of FPTP - meaningful expression of regionally-based protest movements.
The vote split did not give rise to regionally based protest movements.  You have got it backwards.  Those parties got into Parlaiment in spite of the vote split.  It was the Liberal super majorities are attributable to the vote split; right to right-of-center ridings went to Liberals because a saturation of options diluted the vote of the majority.

Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: Electoral Reform (Senate, Commons, & Gov Gen)
« Reply #1012 on: September 14, 2016, 22:42:26 »
By "rise" I did not mean "generate", I meant "grow".  When sub-factions of the old PC went looking for new homes, parties coalescing around protest movements were able to grow significantly.  Without a (PC) vote split, the PC vote would by definition have stayed with the PC.

The advantage of being able to systematically enumerate "all of the above except that guy" without any particular need to think about rank order has nothing to do with campaigning.
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Offline MCG

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Re: Electoral Reform (Senate, Commons, & Gov Gen)
« Reply #1013 on: October 19, 2016, 23:53:24 »
It would seem the Liberals are less inclined to change the electoral process now that the process has given them a four year monopoly of power. Who could have predicted that?

Quote
PM backs away from electoral reform pledge
CTV News
19 Oct 16

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is suggesting electoral reform might not happen after all, despite an election promise that last year's vote would be the last one under the existing system.

And he also suggested there's less need for electoral reform now that the Conservatives are out of power.

Trudeau made the comments in an interview with Quebec newspaper Le Devoir. Speaking in French, he said the Liberal government will only change the first-past-the-post system if Canadians are open to it.

"We're not going to prejudge that it's necessary," Trudeau told Le Devoir.

The prime minister suggested Canadians are happier with the existing system now that Stephen Harper is out of office.

"With the current system, they now have a government with which they're happier. And the need to change the electoral system is less compelling," Trudeau said.

The degree of support needed for electoral change, he added, depends on the size of the change.

"Less support and a small change, that would maybe be acceptable," Trudeau said. "A bigger change, that would take more support."

Trudeau and Democratic Institutions Minister Maryam Monsef have talked about wanting broad support before going ahead with electoral reform. The question for the government, Trudeau admitted, is what constitutes broad public support.

The government set up a special committee last spring to study electoral reform options, listening to expert witnesses and hearing from Canadians. Liberal officials say the committee heard a range of views during a series of cross-country committee meetings and townhall events.

In question period, NDP Leader Tom Mulcair accused Trudeau of backing away from reform since his party won with the existing system.

"Instead of inventing excuses and backing away from his solemn promise to Canadians, will he work with us in good faith to deliver the fair, proportional electoral system that voters deserve?" Mulcair said.

Trudeau didn't address whether he was backing away from electoral reform, instead accusing Mulcair of reversing his position.

"In the spring, the member opposite was tremendously worried we would use our majority to ram through changes to Canada's electoral system... Now he's changed his mind and he wants us to use our majority to ram through electoral change. Mr. Speaker, saying one thing and then its opposite was exactly what landed that member in that seat in this House," Trudeau said, referring to Mulcair's seat as leader of the third party.

Nathan Cullen, the NDP's democratic reform critic, said Trudeau promised electoral reform during the election one year ago when he needed progressive voters to support him.

"Why make the promise, why back away from it now? Well, because the system that is broken now works for him. That's the only conclusion one can come to. And why did he make the promise in the first place?" Cullen said after question period. "To get elected."

"This is a longstanding policy of the NDP," he added. "This was part of a package to attract particularly progressive voters over, and in large extent it worked."

"The expectation though from Canadians is that he actually follows through on this commitment."

Francis Scarpaleggia, the Liberal MP who chairs the electoral reform committee, said it's a complex issue, with supporters of change proposing several different systems with a number of variations, and that the MPs are going to continue to do their work.

"[Trudeau is] going to take input from the committee, he's going to take input from the minister, he's going to consider what Canadians want, and that will influence the way he approaches this issue," Scarpaleggia said on the way out of the Liberal caucus meeting Wednesday morning.

"He understood that there's a lot of frustration in the country. Many people feel that their votes don't count," he said.

Scarpaleggia says he hopes the committee can reach consensus on some core issues.

"There's a degree of civility and collegiality that I think is exemplary," he said. "There's enough goodwill there that I'm hoping that we're going to get a consensus."     
http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/pm-backs-away-from-electoral-reform-pledge-1.3122167


Quote
Trudeau says government's popularity has dampened public's desire for electoral reform
Prime minister criticized for suggesting electorate might not be clamouring for change he promised

Aaron Wherry
CBC News
19 Oct 16

One year after his party's resounding election victory, Justin Trudeau finds himself in a terrible bind: his government is so beloved that it might not, in good conscience, be able to fulfil one of its campaign commitments.

Yes, the Liberal government did promise the federal election in 2015 would be the last such campaign conducted under the first-past-the-post system.

But his government has also since said it won't proceed with electoral reform unless there is broad public support for doing so.

And, the prime minister suggested in an interview this week with Le Devoir, the government's delivery of satisfactory governance might be diminishing the public's desire for change.

"Under Mr. Harper, there were so many people dissatisfied with the government and its approach that they were saying, 'We need an electoral reform so that we can no longer have a government we don't like,'" Trudeau explained.

"However, under the current system, they now have a government they are more satisfied with. And the motivation to want to change the electoral system is less urgent."

So perhaps the best way for the Liberal government to effect electoral reform is to stop being so popular. Maybe prorogue Parliament a couple times. Or appoint Donald Trump to fill one of Prince Edward Island's Senate seats.

But the prime minister's musing is a reminder that the government has cleared a foreseeable path to another election being conducted under first-past-the-post.

On the esoteric topic of electoral reform, the Liberal commitment was, from the outset, equally bold and awkward: a vow that first-past-the-post would be replaced, but without specifying what would replace it.

And to that the Liberals added a certain reluctance to consider calling a referendum to settle the question (as has been done to try to resolve such debates in other Canadian jurisdictions, though the reforms were never adopted).

The Liberals noted that a majority of Canadians voted in 2015 for candidates whose parties were committed to electoral reform, but they also came to insist they wouldn't move forward without "broad" support from the public.

That has the virtue of seeming basically reasonable, but it also allows one to imagine how this might end without a fundamental change to the system.

But to the prime minister's suggestion that electoral reform is something other than wildly popular and inevitable, there was consternation from reform-minded New Democrats.

Ed Broadbent, the exalted elder statesman, unleashed a 21-part Twitter essay to remind the prime minister of his commitment and the principled arguments for change.


Quote
20. This is a totally self-serving Liberal argument. We must come together today & stand up for #electoralreform... #LPC #cdnpoli #ERRE /eb
— @broadbent

NDP critic Nathan Cullen warned that if the Liberals "think they're so incredibly popular that people will forgive them any broken promise, they are sadly mistaken."

Leader Tom Mulcair took the matter to question period. "Instead of inventing excuses and backing away from his solemn promise to Canadians," Mulcair said, "will he work with us in good faith to deliver the fair, proportional electoral system the voters deserve?"

Trudeau was apparently ready for this.

"Mr. Speaker," he said, shrugging slightly, "in the spring, the member opposite was tremendously worried that we would use our majority to ram through changes to Canada's electoral system."

The prime minister became animated as he got to the punch line. "Now he's changed his mind and he wants us to use our majority to ram through electoral change," he said, turning to face Mulcair. "Mr. Speaker, saying one thing and then doing the opposite was exactly what landed that member in that seat in this House."

Trudeau, in a suit and vest, put his left hand to his jacket as he returned to his seat, this outburst only lacking a "good day, sir!" as he finished.

When Maryam Monsef, the minister for democratic institutions, stopped in Gatineau, Que., last month during her national consultation, she reported that she had not, until then, heard a consensus about the way forward.

And the available data does suggest something less than universal public agreement.

An Ekos poll in December found 41 per cent of respondents preferred some form of proportional representation as their first choice, while first-past-the-post and preferential voting were each the first choice of 25 per cent.

An Abacus Data poll conducted for the Broadbent Institute that same month found 42 per cent of respondents wanted complete or major change to the electoral system, but 58 per cent wanted little or no change.

Underneath that is a question of public interest.

Only 12 per cent told Abacus they were extremely concerned about electoral reform. In August, Ipsos Reid reported that just 19 per cent of respondents were aware the government had begun consultations on changing the electoral system.

That much suggests the Liberals might not lose too many votes in walking away.

Of course, reform might somehow still come together.

The committee might, for instance, arrive at a consensus on a new model, or at least multi-party agreement. But then what? Could broad public support be rallied? By who? And what qualifies as "broad"?

A year ago, electoral reform was a point of principle for the prime minister. Could he abandon as much without seeming cynical or disingenuous?

It might be a relatively small number of voters whose vote in 2019 will depend on the outcome of electoral reform. Listening to the public might even be a virtue. But some might be concerned by a prime minister whose promises are subject to change.

Trudeau walked into this quagmire of electoral reform willingly. And so now he might at least be expected to make a good effort at struggling with it.

The government's popularity could conceivably help it sell reform. But if this all ends badly, the prime minister might at least get credit for stoking the sort of disenchantment that can drive voters to desire change.
   
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/wherry-trudeau-electoral-reform-1.3811862

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Re: Electoral Reform (Senate, Commons, & Gov Gen)
« Reply #1014 on: October 20, 2016, 01:04:57 »
Dammed cynical pills.....

Of course.  39% Blue, Bad.   39% Red, Double Plus Good.
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Offline Altair

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Re: Electoral Reform (Senate, Commons, & Gov Gen)
« Reply #1015 on: October 20, 2016, 01:14:52 »
Dammed cynical pills.....

Of course.  39% Blue, Bad.   39% Red, Double Plus Good.
Heh.

People were afraid that the Liberals would be in power indefinitely using ranked ballots.

People were afraid that PR would lead to never ending coalition governments.

Now they get criticized for backing down and doing nothing.

So...they can't win. Good that we established that.
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Re: Electoral Reform (Senate, Commons, & Gov Gen)
« Reply #1016 on: October 20, 2016, 01:51:51 »
Not me. I am glad that they backed down. The criticism is that it was a damned stupid promise to make in the first place.

There are way too many unintended second and third order effects on the country to ram this thru.

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Re: Electoral Reform (Senate, Commons, & Gov Gen)
« Reply #1017 on: October 20, 2016, 07:19:20 »
Heh.

People were afraid that the Liberals would be in power indefinitely using ranked ballots.

People were afraid that PR would lead to never ending coalition governments.

Now they get criticized for backing down and doing nothing.

So...they can't win. Good that we established that.
Great spin job, you really can't see past partisan views can you? This is a promise that wasn't needed and those who thought that are happy they aren't changing it. What people are attacking here, is the rationale for dumping the promise (which people knew was the reason all along): the system that gets them elected is the best system for Canada. It's the entitlement to govern that irks people.

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Re: Electoral Reform (Senate, Commons, & Gov Gen)
« Reply #1018 on: October 20, 2016, 08:48:37 »
Personally, I suspect this is dis-information.  Let everyone calm down, then introduce electoral reform in the house with max Lib MP attendance and push it through before opposition can organize. 
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Offline Altair

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Re: Electoral Reform (Senate, Commons, & Gov Gen)
« Reply #1019 on: October 20, 2016, 10:07:08 »
Great spin job, you really can't see past partisan views can you? This is a promise that wasn't needed and those who thought that are happy they aren't changing it. What people are attacking here, is the rationale for dumping the promise (which people knew was the reason all along): the system that gets them elected is the best system for Canada. It's the entitlement to govern that irks people.
I went on record saying that they would not pass electoral reform without a referendum.

I went on record saying they would either back down of let Canadians vote on it.

They backed down. Is the reason that they are backing down silly? Sure. But who cares about the reason as long as they do the right thing?

They promised it, consulted, saw nobody cares, backed down. Isn't that what you wanted?
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Re: Electoral Reform (Senate, Commons, & Gov Gen)
« Reply #1020 on: October 20, 2016, 13:50:11 »
They backed down. Is the reason that they are backing down silly? Sure. But who cares about the reason as long as they do the right thing?

They promised it, consulted, saw nobody cares, backed down. Isn't that what you wanted?
That's what you call a "can't win" -- the haters'll never give credit for a bad idea rejected, and the starry-eyed dreamers'll consider it a betrayal/promised reneged on.
What people are attacking here, is the rationale for dumping the promise (which people knew was the reason all along): the system that gets them elected is the best system for Canada.
Yup, or win a majority, anyway - which is why no party reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally wants to change things toooooooooo much.
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Re: Electoral Reform (Senate, Commons, & Gov Gen)
« Reply #1021 on: October 20, 2016, 14:31:00 »
In multi-party democracy, there simply is no way to get 50+1 unless the other parties are all so in disrepute which is a star alignment that is rare indeed.  38 to 42% is the norm for 2 big plus 1 medium sized party choice.
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Offline Altair

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Re: Electoral Reform (Senate, Commons, & Gov Gen)
« Reply #1022 on: October 20, 2016, 14:38:37 »
In multi-party democracy, there simply is no way to get 50+1 unless the other parties are all so in disrepute which is a star alignment that is rare indeed.  38 to 42% is the norm for 2 big plus 1 medium sized party choice.
Ranked ballots would be the only way.

I think everyone is in agreement that this would give a unfair advantage to the LPC since they are most peoples second choice.
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Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: Electoral Reform (Senate, Commons, & Gov Gen)
« Reply #1023 on: October 20, 2016, 16:57:42 »
There are two levels of dissatisfaction being expressed.

1. Some people criticize the abandonment of what was not a particularly ambiguous election promise on the grounds of "promise broken".

2. Some people criticize the abandonment of electoral reform.

Green and Orange seem to fall into groups (1) and (2) .  Blue seems content with the result and is merely using the opportunity to needle the government benches a little for their inconstancy (1).

(1) is always going to be there, on any issue.  There's no point riding a high horse to death and then beating it while lamenting that the governing party can never win.
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Offline MCG

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Re: Electoral Reform (Senate, Commons, & Gov Gen)
« Reply #1024 on: October 20, 2016, 17:02:53 »
FPTP put Donald and Hillary in the lead of their respective US parties.  To win, you only need to be the looser with the most.  Contrary to popular narrative, it does not seem to be the system to screen out extremist views.