Proportional Representation (BC)

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Martin N.

epaulo13 wrote:

..that's disappointing.

B.C. votes to keep first-past-the-post electoral system

For the third time, British Columbians have voted to keep the current first-past-the-post system for provincial elections.

Elections BC announced the results Thursday, saying 61.3 per cent of ballots had been cast in favour of the status quo.

quote:

In the end, 42.6 per cent of eligible voters returned their ballots in time to be counted, according to Elections B.C. A simple majority would have been enough to change the voting system for provincial elections.

A total of 1.39 million ballots were cast in the election; 2,461 were rejected.

Einstein's theory on insanity comes to mind but, at this time, I prefer to quote his adage on genius: "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has limits".

quizzical

oh fo Martin your such a phoney piece of work. 

 

Martin N.

quizzical wrote:

oh fo Martin your such a phoney piece of work. 

 


Not even human, according to some. My ballot was only one of 1.3 million, better you find another scapegoat. Its easier than examining the rightfulness of your policies as opposed to the righteousness of your ideology.

Much easier to blame your humble heretic than deploying vast amounts of mental energy on that critical thinking thingy you loathe.

quizzical

oh it most certainly isn't the supporters of PR who are lacking critical thinking skills.

it's sad so many buy into the nastiness and propaganda paid for by the corrupt.

if you're expecting to change minds by - what did you call it above- anyhow doesn't  matter, pot kettle.

phoney

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Interesting how nearly identical the results of 2009 and 2018 are, despite different governments, different questions, different processes, different decades, etc.

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Interesting how nearly identical the results of 2009 and 2018 are, despite different governments, different questions, different processes, different decades, etc.

Well, if the BC Liberals hadn't set the ridiculous 60% thereshold for yes side to win the 2005 referendum, the 57% yes vote that year would have been sufficient to implement PR, and there would have been no need for the 2009 and 2018 referendums.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

But they set the threshold to 50%+1 for the do-over, and as a bonus there were four more whole YEARS for anyone who felt underinformed to learn all they could ever want to know about PR, and then what happened?

 

Martin N.

Left Turn wrote:

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Interesting how nearly identical the results of 2009 and 2018 are, despite different governments, different questions, different processes, different decades, etc.

Well, if the BC Liberals hadn't set the ridiculous 60% thereshold for yes side to win the 2005 referendum, the 57% yes vote that year would have been sufficient to implement PR, and there would have been no need for the 2009 and 2018 referendums.


According to the graphs there would have been a compelling argument for a new referendum if pro rep had succeeded the first time. Luckily, that question is now moot.

Martin N.

quizzical wrote:

oh it most certainly isn't the supporters of PR who are lacking critical thinking skills.

it's sad so many buy into the nastiness and propaganda paid for by the corrupt.

if you're expecting to change minds by - what did you call it above- anyhow doesn't  matter, pot kettle.

phoney

 


There are none so blind as those who refuse to see. Sour grapes caused by the intrusion of reality on the artificial constructs of the pro rep devotees are to be expected. Sadly, so is the uncivil hyperbole of losers who have no comprehension of why they lost and need someone to blame.

To put the issue into perspective for you, pro rep has no 'social license' and 'the people' have prevailed, refusing to be gulled by slippery politicians, hidden agendas and weasel worded choices.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

To put the issue into perspective for you enough people were gulled by slippery politicians, hidden agendas and weasel worded choices. I have always thought the BC NDP set it up to fail just as the Liberals did in 2009. The only time the political parties stayed out of it and it was left up to Citizens it passed. In Canada BC could separate with a 50% + 1 vote but to change the electoral system it had to be 60%. 

Politicians love power and FPTP gives  politicians with minority support absolute power. The BC NDP is so stupid they think they are going to win the next election and that is why they didn't want to see any change.

Martin N.

I agree. Eby is no dummy and for him to conjur up such a dogs' breakfast of a referendum beggars belief.

I don't think voters are afraid of pro rep as they are of stepping into the unknown, trusting politicians with the power to jerrymander themselves into 'appointed-for-life' by imperial decree positions.

If an ethical attempt at a pro rep referendum is made, it should be preceded by education of voters on the choices so that voters can make an informed choice.

As far as the next election is concerned, BC voters don't vote parties in, they vote incumbents out. While the government has made some good decisions, their taxation policies are going to get them trounced. Waffling on Uber for the benefit of taxi special interests and the Massey tunnel replacement will also hit the in the big smoke.

Tone deaf choices like opposing Site C and TM will hurt them very much in the interior. Governing parties need to choose their battles carefully and, right or wrong, with majority approval of these projects, they chose a hill to die on.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
I have always thought the BC NDP set it up to fail just as the Liberals did in 2009.

From what I've read, a bunch of others seem to think it failed because it was a bit too transparently set up to win.

Assuming that by the third time, BC voters had at least some idea what PR is and whether or not they preferred it, the rest of the referendum advantaged PR by a wee margin whenever possible, and I can't really see where it was designed to advantage FPTP.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Martin N. wrote:
quizzical wrote:

oh fo Martin your such a phoney piece of work. 

 

Not even human, according to some. My ballot was only one of 1.3 million, better you find another scapegoat. Its easier than examining the rightfulness of your policies as opposed to the righteousness of your ideology. Much easier to blame your humble heretic than deploying vast amounts of mental energy on that critical thinking thingy you loathe.

OK, Martin...why SHOULD B.C. have an electoral system that allows a party with less(often significantly less) than 50% of the vote to have a majority of seats?  Why should a party be able to run what amounts to an elected dictatorship after elections where the clear majority of voters voted for parties that clearly disagreed with what it stood for?  This system created decades of social brutality in post-1979 Britain.

Why should there be a system that allows a party with, say, 42% or 44% of the votes to act as if its supporters are the voice of the province and none of the other voters are?

Why would you defend that kind of electoral arrogance?

No one benefits from it but billionaires.   

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

There's no "critical" thinking that makes an undemocratic electoral system defensible.  There's nothing intrinsically superior about false majority governance.

Debater

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
I have always thought the BC NDP set it up to fail just as the Liberals did in 2009.

From what I've read, a bunch of others seem to think it failed because it was a bit too transparently set up to win.

Assuming that by the third time, BC voters had at least some idea what PR is and whether or not they preferred it, the rest of the referendum advantaged PR by a wee margin whenever possible, and I can't really see where it was designed to advantage FPTP.

As someone who is not in either camp on this issue, and who is open to being persuaded, I would also add that I think there's a sense of moral superiority which hurts the pro-PR side.

When PR is presented as the be all & end all and presented as the perfect system and people are told that if they aren't in favour of PR they are anti-democratic, I think it hurts the PR side.

It reminds me a little bit of what happened in the UK a couple years ago with Brexit.  The pro-European Union side may have hurt themselves by coming across as too morally superior and acting as if they know what's best for the people without understanding some of their concerns.  That allowed the pro-Brexit side to gain unexpected momentum.

If people want the pro-PR side to persuade others to come on board, I think they need to be honest about some of its limitations and acknowledge that it is a flawed system, like FPTP, and try to come to a better consensus on the issue.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Debater you are right that PR is also flawed. The problem is that we do not live in a democracy but like the rest of the Western world, including the UK, we live in a world of non stop propaganda from a global oligarchy. Electing peolpe under any of our liberal "democracies" requires them to be able to jolt a plurality of people out of the status quo bullshit they are fed daily.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
I have always thought the BC NDP set it up to fail just as the Liberals did in 2009.

From what I've read, a bunch of others seem to think it failed because it was a bit too transparently set up to win.

As usual no cite just your deflection from actually having a discussion.

When asked about issues that influenced the way they voted, majorities of British Columbians mention the details of the three options on the second question not being fully fleshed out (59%), the three options listed on the second question being confusing and not clearly explained (55%), the notion of smaller parties holding the balance of power (55%), MLAs being appointed from party lists (53%) and coalition deals being worked out “in the back room” (50%).

In addition, 49% of respondents were concerned over fringe or extremist parties winning seats, urban centres having disproportionate influence over future governments, and the details of the chosen proportional representation option being left to an all-party committee.

https://researchco.ca/2018/12/21/referendum-exitpoll/?fbclid=IwAR2PGKrC-...

 

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
As usual no cite just your deflection from actually having a discussion.

I didn't link to anything because it was just some other people's opinions.  And they were only interesting because they were the exact opposite of "the government rigged this in favour of FPTP".

Regarding the things you cite, most seem to have nothing to do with choices the government could make.  The first two are exceptions (though they're pretty similar to one another) -- the government's choice of second question and options.

Seems to me we did discuss the "mystery box" second question, but only the "naysayers" like myself or Rev. Pesky seemed to have any problem with it.  Prior to the vote, did YOU feel that the government should have provided one concrete (or, three concrete) options to FPTP? 

Supporters seemed to me to be OK with not giving too many details, but how do you remember it?

WWWTT

What a fuckin joke this thread is! What a ridiculous idea thinking that you guys are somehow gone to fix western democracy so that the corporations can no no longer control you! 

You guys really think you can somehow pacify the corporate elite that control you?

Even if this idea of PR was adopted, the corporate imperialists probably have several plans to counter and make it work in their favour to control the people to an even greater extent!

There’s no such thing as a “pacifists guide book” to taking back control. 

Just remember this, for every dollar you have to fight domination, the corporate imperialists have 1 million! And they can take away that dollar you have at any time. 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..there are more ideas in the piece. i posted 3.

We deserve a better debate on electoral reform

Now that first past the post remains the status quo in BC— is it time to think about broader transformation?

Here’s a fact: most people know politicians don’t have the best interests of the electorate in mind. We know that major reforms that are needed are never taken up by those in power. We are well aware that elections are not the best way to carve out the change we need. The results matter, of course. Who wins determines what gets worse (sometimes better), but no one really think voting is enough or appropriate.

Yet, real electoral reform is rarely proposed or debated. We need to talk about a broad range of reforms that actually deal with the issues so many of us care about. One doesn’t have to agree with all or any of them, but the debate has to expand beyond the currently limited terrain. Some ideas include:

Truth in campaigning: Politicians make all kinds of promises on campaign trails, and then break them without any repercussions. They know full well that the electorate would have forgotten by the time the next election comes around. And even if memory lasts, the changes would have been deeply integrated and hard to reverse. See, for example, Doug Ford in Ontario who has broken promises and pushed through laws he never mentioned. We need mechanisms to ensure truth, and accountability if they don’t.

Voter eligibility: There are over a million and a half people in Canada (at least) who aren’t citizens and therefore can’t vote. That’s 1 in every 35 people. Why are they excluded? And if they are, who represents their interests? And just so it’s clear — yes, they pay all the taxes.

Colonialism: The public electoral system is about putting into place the leaders of various levels of government that further and continue the unending work of colonialism in Canada. After all, Canada is a construction and an imposition created without consent. It’s ongoing theft of land and resources from people that STILL LIVE HERE. What does it even mean to vote to have people continue to perpetuate that system?

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
We need mechanisms to ensure truth, and accountability if they don’t.

I've thought about this before, and while a "truth in advertising" law for politicians would be satisfying, my concern is that this would only motivate them to be even more vague about what they intend to do.  Personally, though, I kind of like the idea of "recall" votes.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..or motivated to be more precise in what they promise. vagueness could become a liability.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
We need mechanisms to ensure truth, and accountability if they don’t.

I've thought about this before, and while a "truth in advertising" law for politicians would be satisfying, my concern is that this would only motivate them to be even more vague about what they intend to do.  Personally, though, I kind of like the idea of "recall" votes.

Don't they have a recall procedure in B.C.?

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

It would appear that they do, as well as a "Citizens' Initiative" procedure, both endorsed by a referendum.

I suppose the one downside of a recall vote is that it wouldn't really apply to a PM or Premier, insofar as we don't directly vote for them.  The best anyone could do would be a recall vote by their constituents in their home riding, but even if successful it wouldn't guarantee a new PM or Premier, and it wouldn't be open to every voter in the country/province.

voice of the damned

epaulo13 wrote:

..or motivated to be more precise in what they promise. vagueness could become a liability.

Except that if politicians resorted to vagueness, it would be easier for them to skirt around any law about "truthfulness in politics".

If a candidate says, for example, "You're gonna see an improvement in the economy when I become PM", and then unemployment skyrockets after he takes office, he can fall back on "Yeah, but inflation is down, and I never said employment would go up." And no one could prove in court that he was really talking about employment, even if that was what he was allowing the voters to believe.   

JKR

As far as recall goes, we already have elections at least every 4 years so voters already get a chance to remove and replace their representatives four years after every election. Maybe having elections every 3 years would be a marginal improvement?

I think electing representatives by lottery would be a majour improvement but that's not going to have any chance of happening for the foreseeable future.

I think lowering the voting age to 16 would also be an improvement.

I think replacing FPTP is still the best way to improve our electoral system and hopefully Quebec and PEI will be doing that soon.

Debater

JKR wrote:
I think electing representatives by lottery would be a majour improvement but that's not going to have any chance of happening for the foreseeable future.

I think they had a type of lottery system in Ancient Greece.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
I think lowering the voting age to 16 would also be an improvement.

In what way would it be an improvement?

I've seen this suggested before, and it seems to me that either:

a) we'd get a new cohort of voters who would more or less mirror the ones we've got (i.e. some would vote Con, some Lib, some NDP, etc., etc.)

b) we'd get a new cohort of voters who would preferentially vote for the left (or the right)

If it's "a" then nothing really changes except the total number of ballots.  If it's "b" then it's just a partisan attempt to get more votes for one side or the other.

I suspect that if we had reason to believe that 16 year olds would massively support the Conservatives, we'd have little interest in their suffrage.

As far as representation by lottery, is that pretty much what it sounds like?  Representatives chosen at random, like jury duty?

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Debater wrote:

JKR wrote:
I think electing representatives by lottery would be a majour improvement but that's not going to have any chance of happening for the foreseeable future.

I think they had a type of lottery system in Ancient Greece.

I know many people who think that in most Canadian capitals the senior bureaucrats pull the politicos strings, especially newly elected ones. I can imagine the chance a random selection of citizens would have in that milieu.

cco

Mr. Magoo wrote:

a) we'd get a new cohort of voters who would more or less mirror the ones we've got (i.e. some would vote Con, some Lib, some NDP, etc., etc.)

b) we'd get a new cohort of voters who would preferentially vote for the left (or the right)

If it's "a" then nothing really changes except the total number of ballots.  If it's "b" then it's just a partisan attempt to get more votes for one side or the other.

I suspect that if we had reason to believe that 16 year olds would massively support the Conservatives, we'd have little interest in their suffrage.

There are two basic arguments for suffrage at 16, one of which I find mildly persuasive, the other of which I find extremely persuasive. First, some have argued that getting into the habit of voting early in life (say, when it can be encouraged by high school teachers and peers) is more likely to produce long-term engaged voters. The more persuasive argument is to flip it on its head and say that everyone should be allowed to vote unless there's a compelling societal interest in disenfranchising them, and that while it's easy to make the case a 6-year-old shouldn't be able to vote, it's much harder to make that case for someone who's old enough to drive a car. If nothing changes except the total number of ballots, well, so be it. "It wouldn't affect the outcome" isn't a persuasive argument for disenfranchising women or First Nations, so why should it be for 16-year-olds, especially when you can be sentenced as an adult (under the right circumstances) at 14?

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