Author Topic: Electoral Reform in Ontario  (Read 22814 times)

GDKitty

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Electoral Reform in Ontario
« Reply #15 on: August 08, 2007, 12:39:32 AM »
Quote from: kuri
But it's just a matter of fairness, that if, say, 35% of Ontarians vote for party A, that party A get 35% of the seats in provincial parliament. Right now, that's not the case.

And finally, I think it's nice to know that your vote will have an impact no matter where you live.
These feel like the most important points to me--nice and easy to grasp, too (the first one is downright intuitive :))
Quote
Yeah, no I'm rambling now, and I'm probably risking confusion with my bad writing and scrambled thoughts. I'm tired, so I'll stop now.  :oops:

Au contraire!  I really appreciated that and I thought you did a beautiful job--examples & everything :)  Thanks!

And thanks to you & Scott for suggesting Idealistic Pragmatist's site. I haven't read the FAQ yet, but it looks promising (something to keep in the backpocket, as it were).

skdadl

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« Reply #16 on: August 08, 2007, 11:54:47 AM »
Scott, there are two separate issues being conflated here, which is what I was reacting to yesterday, so I'll address them separately.

No, I don't support FPTP and haven't for decades, as I should have thought would be fairly clear from what I wrote above about triumphalist Liberals.

I'm not enough of a wonk to have sorted through the differences among various kinds of proportional rep, but I support them for the good reasons that kuri has given. In particular, like kuri and for much the same reason -- because I come from Alberta and I have spent a lifetime being insulted by the stereotypes, as well as sometimes being sorry that some Albertans have also internalized them -- I want to see a system that will open people's eyes to a few of the lies that superficial politicians and lazy msm types have been happy to see Canadians telling themselves about ourselves. A good PR system should accomplish that.

Far from discouraging parties of serious principle, though, I should think that a good PR system would encourage people who have been browbeaten for generations into believing that they have no alternative to going along with the juggernauts. A good PR system would save us all from the cynicism of "strategic voting" -- and would likely liberate a lot of people from the Liberal Party.   :mrgreen:

Your spreading of the centrism-is-where-the-people-are meme, however, simply has to be countered. It is a lie in the U.S., and it is a lie here, has been a lie here even longer than it has been there.

Of course, if you ask people a fuzzy touchy-feely abstract question like "Do you want our public figures to be nice guys?" most people will want to give the nice-guy answer. Manipulative rhetoric like "partisan bickering" functions at that level -- it's not hard to get knee-jerk nice-guy responses to that kind of trick.

But if you ask Canadians serious questions about policy, they do not give centrist answers. Try public health care. Afghanistan. They do not.

That many MPs of the juggernaut parties behave like rotten schoolboys in the Commons is an expression of the kinds of parties the LPC and the CPC are, and I would agree that they have become that way partly because of FPTP, although I think it is naive to ignore other influences upon them.

But the answer to the kind of behaviour that does turn ordinary citizens off is not smarmy "bipartisanship," which the NDP has often been good at when given a chance but which always leads eventually to a stab in the back, usually from the Liberals.

The answer is a serious and principled defence of democracy, from every direction you can think of -- and of course one of the first things every believer in democracy must do is to argue strenuously against the notion that democracy = voting, or just electoral politics. It does not, and our major party politicians have taken advantage of that vulgar reductionism  for too long.

Alison

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« Reply #17 on: August 09, 2007, 02:32:06 AM »
Well said, Skdadl.
Re your comment on Libs implementing MMP :
After the last fed election, I worked out how many seats each party should have got if seats were represented by their proportion of the overall vote:

I hope this link works.

Note that the Cons would have lost 11 seats but the Libs would also have lost 10.
Had MMP been used in 2006, they would actually have lost even more seats because people would not have felt they had to vote "strategically".

skdadl

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« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2007, 06:20:14 AM »
Most obvious question to ask any Liberal talking about any form of PR right now: Why do we not have it already?

The answer is kind of obvious.

Actually, that is the most obvious question to ask of any Liberal about most good things. Hey, "Canada's natural ruling party": what were you doing all those years anyway?

An excellent argument for most forms of PR, actually.  :D

Debra

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« Reply #19 on: August 09, 2007, 06:38:48 AM »
moved to the Provincial elections forum.  :ducking:
“Damaged people are dangerous. They know they can survive.” —  Josephine Hart

stribe36

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« Reply #20 on: August 09, 2007, 04:42:29 PM »
I had no idea, Skdadl, that any Liberal that supports MMP is a centrist  :shock:

Nor do I associate stopping "partisan bickering" in the House and actually getting them to work a bit better together as being a centrist notion. I know what you're referring to -- I've read Daily Kos for a couple of years now, where they go at the Beltway Media all the time for editorializing loudly that the Dems should "cooperate" with the Repubs and Bush - when those guys have no inclination to return the favour. But.. I think its apples and oranges with the 2 different systems.

Finally.. if you call me a Liberal centrist to some of my new Liberal blogging kin..they'd laugh. I'm probably one of the most left-oriented persons on the Liberal Party as they come.

Mandos

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« Reply #21 on: August 09, 2007, 04:49:08 PM »
I knew it was a lost cause!

stribe36

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« Reply #22 on: August 09, 2007, 04:54:59 PM »
Quote from: skdadl
Most obvious question to ask any Liberal talking about any form of PR right now: Why do we not have it already?

The answer is kind of obvious.

Actually, that is the most obvious question to ask of any Liberal about most good things. Hey, "Canada's natural ruling party": what were you doing all those years anyway?

An excellent argument for most forms of PR, actually.  :D


Instead of looking back, how about looking ahead and how about working with your allies in the Liberal Party who seek a common goal? Some of us Liberals - particularly us newer ones - want to get PR installed now just as much as you.

skdadl

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« Reply #23 on: August 09, 2007, 05:02:30 PM »
Quote from: stribe36
Instead of looking back, how about looking ahead and how about working with your allies in the Liberal Party who seek a common goal? Some of us Liberals - particularly us newer ones - want to get PR installed now just as much as you.


Huh?

What does that mean in real language, Scott?

I do not have to treat the Liberal Party of Canada as an "ally" in order to oppose FPTP and to support some form of PR, Scott. I just do not.

Of all the bloody nerve. I support PR because I have supported PR for longer than you have been alive. OK? And for much longer than your beloved party has supported it.

So drop the smarm about encouraging me to "work with" the bastards who have had the chance and never took it. Of all the nerve.   :rant:  :rant2:

Croghan27

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« Reply #24 on: August 09, 2007, 05:10:20 PM »
Quote
Instead of looking back, how about looking ahead and how about working with your allies in the Liberal Party who seek a common goal? Some of us Liberals - particularly us newer ones - want to get PR installed now just as much as you.


Isn't that what the people looking forward to the abolition of the GST did?  :shock:

All sorts of half formed thoughts fill my head right now ... like:

"Fool me once, shame on you ... fool me twice ......"

or perhaps,

"Those that forget the past are doomed to ........"

maybe,

"No TYVM, I been round that bend before ...."

Was there a motion at the last convention supporting MMP? Have any representatives unequivically come out in favour? Has the Premier endorced the idea?

I must admit I do not pay a lot of attention to the conservative parties, no matter what their name. Yet, I have not noticed any one of these things reported.

These are 'show me the money' items that illustrate some kind of committment.

Yours, in cliche's croghan   :D
"It is also a good rule not to put overmuch confidence in the observational results that are put forward until they are confirmed by theory." -- Arthur Stanley Eddington

Mandos

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« Reply #25 on: August 09, 2007, 05:22:22 PM »
skdadl:  :applause:

skdadl

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« Reply #26 on: August 09, 2007, 05:43:51 PM »
Thank you, guy.

It just gets up my nose, y'know, the way they appear at the last minute and try to take credit for the work that we did. *rrrr*

stribe36

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« Reply #27 on: August 10, 2007, 01:57:38 AM »
Quote from: skdadl
Thank you, guy.

It just gets up my nose, y'know, the way they appear at the last minute and try to take credit for the work that we did. *rrrr*


For the record, Skdadl.. I may not be as old as you or been at it as long as you, but I have been advocating for electoral reform long before I joined the Liberal Party. Check May 2005 at BlogsCanada E-Group if you want proof.

And.. I am not "taking credit" for anything. I'm working hard to get some of the people in my new party convinced this is the way to go.. and to not let people who'd prefer the status quo (like Jason C) prevail - because for all the concerns they allege to have about how the new system is undemocratic.. they know it's been the Liberal Party's meal ticket (federally anyhow) for the past 100 years, and the last thing they want to do is cooperate with other parties - particularly the NDP, which I know Jason hates probably as much if not worse then the Tories.


Save your outrage for someone who deserves it. I'm on your side, whether you like it or not.

skdadl

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« Reply #28 on: August 10, 2007, 04:58:36 AM »
Quote from: stribe36
I'm on your side, whether you like it or not.


Fair enough.

I shouldn't have played the age card, Scott, and I apologize for that.

But it is not only fair but necessary, I believe, to remember not only the history of the Liberal Party but also its inherent nature. I'm sure there are many nice people in the party with some genuinely progressive views, but like the CPC it is a party of big -- very big -- capitalism, and that determines many things. You can't change those things -- they are determined, in the strictest sense of that word.

ranger

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« Reply #29 on: August 10, 2007, 10:39:39 AM »
Quote from: kuri
Well, that's easy. :)

Still, if you want to know a little more about electoral reform in general, you could do a lot worse than Idealistic Pragmatist's FAQ.

The thing about MMP, is that it's not perfect. A lot of the detractors are going to be pointing out all the ways that it's not perfect, just as the detractors of STV did in BC. (In fact, I don't like that the Ontario citizen's assembly went for a closed list model, I much prefer the Scottish "AMP" model (MMP in Scotland is AMP, just because, well, we needed more complexity, right? ;) ) where the list candidates are chosen based on a vote-based formula instead of ranked by the parties.) However, a successful and legitimate argument for reform by no means needs to prove that the MMP is perfect; it just need to demonstrate that it's an improvement to the status quo, or FPTP, and MMP is superior to FPTP.

My personal reason for wanting proportional representation is based on a national thing, and therefore will be irrelevant to you Ontario folk, but I'm going to say it anyway. FPTP rewards regionally based parties. It is thanks to this distortion that the Bloc gets so many seats in QC (much more than their share of the popular vote quite often) leading many people to unfairly generalize that Quebec is full separatist and doesn't think about any issue other than separatism. It is also thanks to this distortion that the Reform Party became so popular in the west and that the Conservative party is in power today (they, too, have more seats than share of the popular vote). And this, in turn, leads many people to unfairly generalize that the west, Alberta in particular, is full of Harper clones and Manning clones. (Not to mention Klein clones, the provincial Conservatives enjoy some of the most distorted seat counts in Canada compared to the number of votes they receive.) So I think that once you have a genuinely proportional number of non-Bloc lefty (and righty) Quebecors in Parliament, and a genuinely proportional number of lefty Albertans in Parliament, Canadians will begin to see how ridiculous our regional stereotypes are. And premiers (like Stelmach warning against climate change legislation) will have a lot less leverage to claim they are representing a community they aren't (the majority of Alberta MLA's are against climate change legislation, the majority of Albertans are for it).

I'm reluctant to say that Canadians will vote more with proportional representation. The evidence on that is very mixed. Nor am I certain it will necessarily reduce bickering, at least in the short term - rules of Parliamentary procedure are the place to go if bickering is your main concern.

But it's just a matter of fairness, that if, say, 35% of Ontarians vote for party A, that party A get 35% of the seats in provincial parliament. Right now, that's not the case.

And finally, I think it's nice to know that your vote will have an impact no matter where you live. For a federal example, imagine that you live in Crowfoot. You've just opened your door to meet Ellen Parker, who's running for the NDP and is a fantastic lady (she is, actually, I've met her). But you look at the numbers and see that the Conservative guy got 83% of the vote. And even though Ellen did better than the Liberals and the Greens, her 7.4% is no where near the Conservative. Would you feel you had any reason to vote in this scenario? I'm loathe to say that those 7.4% of Crowfoot residents who voted for Ellen wasted their votes, but honestly, you can't really say that they had much effect. (Ironically, if I were a Conservative in Crowfoot, I wouldn't been very motivated, either, because really, does he need the help?)

However, consider that a proportional system, meant that if the NDP got 10% of the seats nationally, but 25% of the vote, that other 15% would be filled from list candidates. Now, Ellen, since she's awesome, will almost certainly be on that list. And while it's not guarantee (nothing's a guarantee in a democracy), you know that your vote for her will actually increase the likelihood she makes it into Parliament.

Yeah, no I'm rambling now, and I'm probably risking confusion with my bad writing and scrambled thoughts. I'm tired, so I'll stop now.  :oops:

ETA: Oh, and finally, MMP will probably mean a larger proportion of women from all parties in Provincial Parliament, which is why it was supported by the late Doris Anderson, Michelle Landsberg and other feminists.





 Your right Kuri, no system is perfect, but MMP is far superior to STV, and FYI, Scotland has closed list MMP also, it's a good system.

 Womens representation will go up, it's not a guarantee under this system but close, (it has everywhere else it's been implemented)  It also should be noted that the late Doris Anderson clearly advocated against STV (in which women are non existent)

 I hope Ontarian,s take advanage of this opportunity after learning as much as they can, it would truly be a breakthrough.
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