Electoral reform likelihood increases with 2019 election results

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KarlL
Electoral reform likelihood increases with 2019 election results

If I am the Liberals today, I would be giving serious thought to electoral reform (cue hoots of derision) even though that inevitably means proportional representation. 

The broken 2015 promise was always going to stumble over Trudeau's interest in getting some form of ranked ballots - versus the NDP and Green preference for some form of PR.  The self-interest for the Liberals is obvious, as a party of the middle is apt, all other things being equal, to be the 2nd choice of voters to the left of them and to the right of them.  But that is even more of a non-starter in a minority parliament than in a majority.   I believe that PR may now be in even the Liberal Party's best interests, while also benefiting the NDP and Greens.

As I look at the map today, I see little prospect of Liberal majority government any time soon.  Atlantic Canada has returned to something like political normalcy, with a Liberal edge and the old loyalist New Brunswick ridings returning to the Conservative fold.  The Liberals are completely shut out of Alberta and Saskatchewan and rural Manitoba.  The three-and-a-half way split and the geography of BC, shows that the Liberals are never going to get numbers above 20 and typically closer to 10.

At 157, Liberals need 15-20 more seats to have any prospect of a durable four-year majority.  The only road to that lies through an even more lopsided result in Ontario or through Quebec outside of Montreal.  But the return of the Bloc has scooped the best opportunity for those Quebec seats as the NDP waned there.  And the Conservatives' total of 10 shows that they are pretty well entrenched in East Quebec, despite a piss-poor performance from Scheer.  Only a fool would be betting on prying the Bloc (now funded as an official party) out of many of their seats.  

Strategists talk about "paths to victory" and I see the Liberal paths to majority as being as few and remote.  So in that crass political calculus, I might prefer results under a PR system where I hope to be the plurality party much of the time and the plurality party among the centre-left and left the rest of the time.

There are lots of issues to address on the path to PR but I think you might well find some converts among Liberal pragmatists.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Well, Karl, you've been posting very level-headed, reasonable things during the campaign, but I think this one is merely the triumph of hope over experience. I too hope you're right, but it doesn't sound like the Liberal party I've been watching since the 1960s. They just love majorities too much, and I think they will find a way to convince themselves that the next one is right around the corner.

quizzical

no electoral reform because CPC will side with Liberals on no.

KarlL

Michael Moriarity wrote:

Well, Karl, you've been posting very level-headed, reasonable things during the campaign, but I think this one is merely the triumph of hope over experience. I too hope you're right, but it doesn't sound like the Liberal party I've been watching since the 1960s. They just love majorities too much, and I think they will find a way to convince themselves that the next one is right around the corner.

 

They do love majorities but if the Liberal Party knows how to do anything well, it is to change tack when it is in its political interest do so.  My point is not that the Liberals will be interested in it from a better governance standpoint or that of a more representative democracy - but rather from being faced with the prospect that over the long run and for the next election in particular, they may well be better served by PR than FPTP (even though they would prefer ranked ballots but can't get to that).  

They may be fazed by the money and opposition that the Conservatives would bring to bear to thwart any such possibility and that the Bloc will be every bit as negative on it but at least they can look at the two options side-by-side and consider that it might be in their interest.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Well, if the Libs were to bring forward MMP legislation, I don't have any doubt it would get unanimous support from the NDP and Greens, making an easy majority. So it wouldn't really matter what the CPC or BQ said or did.

Pondering

I'm with MM in that I think it is highly doubtful. The Liberals were heavily damaged by Bill 21, SNC, and appealing the decision on compensation for indigenous children and their parents. They came very close to winning another majority. They are no where near humbled. 

nicky

Perhaps the Conservatives will look more kindly on electoral reform now that FPTP has saved the Liberals' bacon.

nicky

Seriously though, the reluctance of the Liberals with pro rep is not simply that the seats will be divided prportionately. It is because they will be deprived of the strategic voting ploy which they have predictably expoloited since Christ left Moose Jaw.

In the final stretch the NDP and the Greens each lost 2 or 3 points because their voters were scared of electing Scheer.

KarlL

nicky wrote:

Seriously though, the reluctance of the Liberals with pro rep is not simply that the seats will be divided prportionately. It is because they will be deprived of the strategic voting ploy which they have predictably expoloited since Christ left Moose Jaw.

In the final stretch the NDP and the Greens each lost 2 or 3 points because their voters were scared of electing Scheer.

I don't disagree with that but I will make two points.  First, even if the CPC had won a plurality of seats under that hypothetical PR-in-2019 scenario, and even if the Greens and NDP had not each ceded a couple of points in the final days due to strategic voting, the Liberals would still be the largest goup of seats within the LIB-NDP-GRN sphere, which would in aggregate be 56% of the seats in parliament, which is slightly ahead of the aggregate seat share under FPTP. 

The Liberal seat share would drop sharply under PR but would be much more resilient in the event of Conservative vote share growth in a future election.  It would also make the country more governable.  Even in Alberta, the Liberals, NDP and Greens would have won 5, 4 and 1 seats, respectively. In Saskatchewan the NDP would have won 3 and the Liberals 2.  

JKR

And nationwide under a proportional system the Conservatives would have won 4 fewer seats than they did.

Sean in Ottawa

I do not see this election helping the cause of PR. It is mostly a reward for breaking that promise.

I also see tha tthis campaign may serve to divert the need for electoral reform to party finance reform. The election illustrated the need for both but rewarded those on the wrong side of the equation.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Bold prediction...Liberal majority in 2021...Quebecers will get bored fatigue when they reakuze yet again that the Bloc is a spent force and can never really deliver on protecting Quebec's best interests and will want to support a Federalist Party that can and will.

Forget the Conservatives...their base is staunchly in Saskatchewan and Alberta.. 2 provinces that mean absolutely nothing (please Fuck off and separate)

The Liberals were ultimately slapped on the wrist. With all the scandals and drama and they still eeked out a minority government.
With the help of the NDP and Greens the Liberals will be forced to take up progressive projects. They can work with the Bloc to gain some ground they lost in Quebec

Finally, Andrew Scheer showed the country he's a fucking asshole during the debates and a complete sore loser.

Most people I know were REALLY turned off by the Con attack ads which purposely targeted ethnic groups with huge lies...the Cons will not win with Scheer. But it doesn't matter because the next 2 years will please a plurality of the electorate thanks mostly to the NDP who the Liberals WILL play ball with.

The real losers were the Prairies. Suck on it hard,Kenney!

bekayne

nicky wrote:

In the final stretch the NDP and the Greens each lost 2 or 3 points because their voters were scared of electing Scheer.

Or was it because their support was concentrated in an age demographic that didn't vote in high enough numbers.

JKR

Maybe the NDP should offer the Liberals support for  preferential instant runoff voting in exchange for a gradual move to proportional representation over the next few elections? Instant runoff voting could be established immediately while a move to PR could be made starting in the next election and continued on in the following few elections. For example, each of the next few elections could each add 50 proportional seats to the House of Commons until the House of Committee was deemed sufficiently proportional. In any case, using FPTP for elections including 6 viable parties makes no sense, especially in Quebec.

KarlL

JKR wrote:

Maybe the NDP should offer the Liberals support for  preferential instant runoff voting in exchange for a gradual move to proportional representation over the next few elections? Instant runoff voting could be established immediately while a move to PR could be made starting in the next election and continued on in the following few elections. For example, each of the next few elections could each add 50 proportional seats to the House of Commons until the House of Committee was deemed sufficiently proportional. In any case, using FPTP for elections including 6 viable parties makes no sense, especially in Quebec.

That is partly embedded in my point but was not articulated.  A three party split on the left and centre-left changes the calculation for the Liberals  One could in some respects add the Bloc to those three as well.  I know that there are a lot of CAQ voters in there but many of those were NDP voters federally in recent memory, 

So a three-way split in ROC and a four-way split in Quebec does not bode well for Liberal majority prospects, hence the likely revisitation of interest in the issue.  That, plus they know that it was a demotivator for some young people - both that Trudeau broke that promise and the preference for a PR system.

JKR

I agree that because of the problem of vote splitting that's inherent to FPTP, the Liberals, NDP, and Greens, have a common interest in getting rid of FPTP and establishing electoral reform. I think the Liberals, NDP, and Greens, would all benefit if they worked together and came up with an acceptable political process to enact electoral reform, probably through a citizens' assembly process that required no referendum. However, people on the centre-left in Canada seem to have a lot of difficulty working together due to the tribal divisions exacerbated by FPTP, so what makes common sense probably won't happen, all to the benefit of the Conservatives.

NDPP

The Lies Canadian Voters Tell Themselves At Election Time

https://twitter.com/FairVoteCanada/status/1186850525477658624

"In any given riding, depending on the vote split, an estimated 45% to 65% of ballots are of no direct consequence. But with plurality voting, many needn't bother. They don't end up contributing to the election of anyone..."

JeffWells

This election means there will never be electoral reform.

JKR

Never is a long time.

or

never say never?

Pondering

Why would the Liberals want electoral reform. This is the results of one election. Were it not for Bill 21 the Liberals would probably have a majority. The future looks bright and shiny for the Liberals. The Conservatives are still in climate change denial and weakened by reformers being incontrol of the party and people are still hesitant to vote NDP. 

I'm sure the Liberals are planning for a majority next time around and they will do their best to time the next election just right. 

Sean in Ottawa

bekayne wrote:

nicky wrote:

In the final stretch the NDP and the Greens each lost 2 or 3 points because their voters were scared of electing Scheer.

Or was it because their support was concentrated in an age demographic that didn't vote in high enough numbers.

Probably both and probably dependent on where you were.

JKR

Pondering wrote:

Why would the Liberals want electoral reform. This is the results of one election. Were it not for Bill 21 the Liberals would probably have a majority. The future looks bright and shiny for the Liberals. The Conservatives are still in climate change denial and weakened by reformers being incontrol of the party and people are still hesitant to vote NDP. 

I'm sure the Liberals are planning for a majority next time around and they will do their best to time the next election just right. 

I'm also pretty sure the Liberals are planning for a phoney FPTP "majority" in the next election too. What party wouldn't want to get over half the seats with little more than a third of the vote? 

It's hard to believe but polls have shown that almost half of Canadians believe a "majority" government has received over half of the votes. In a way that makes sense since "majority" sounds like it means "over half."

Sean in Ottawa

JKR wrote:

Pondering wrote:

Why would the Liberals want electoral reform. This is the results of one election. Were it not for Bill 21 the Liberals would probably have a majority. The future looks bright and shiny for the Liberals. The Conservatives are still in climate change denial and weakened by reformers being incontrol of the party and people are still hesitant to vote NDP. 

I'm sure the Liberals are planning for a majority next time around and they will do their best to time the next election just right. 

I'm also pretty sure the Liberals are planning for a phoney FPTP "majority" in the next election too. What party wouldn't want to get over half the seats with little more than a third of the vote? 

It's hard to believe but polls have shown that almost half of Canadians believe a "majority" government has received over half of the votes. In a way that makes sense since "majority" sounds like it means "over half."

Sorry to say but I think the Liberals will believe propaganda about Justin following Pierre.

In my opinion he is not on the same track and the Liberals will be blown out in the next election unless they do something truly good. I do not know if Trudeau is capable of that. I would say a real gesture of reconciliation to Alberta and Sask is needed demonstrating that we are collectively in this together. Something like buy company who builds electric buses and move it to Calgary.

KarlL

Pondering wrote:

Why would the Liberals want electoral reform. This is the results of one election. Were it not for Bill 21 the Liberals would probably have a majority. The future looks bright and shiny for the Liberals. The Conservatives are still in climate change denial and weakened by reformers being incontrol of the party and people are still hesitant to vote NDP. 

I'm sure the Liberals are planning for a majority next time around and they will do their best to time the next election just right. 

This isn't like hitting a piñata and hoping that you get a good result.  There is a lot of arithmetic that goes into election planning, as most here know.  The simple truth of it is that the Liberals would need an even more lopsided victory in Ontario and also to win back seats from the Bloc in order to have any kind of path to majority government. 

My point is a simple one.  The Liberals may come to see the lower-risk, lower-reward option as the preferable one.  PR is definitely that when compared to FPTP. 

And even though people assume that there is no principle at all in the Liberal Party, they will not be oblivious to the hardening of attitudes in AB and SK and the challenges to governance and unity that this represents.  PR would provide a way back in, even if only for cabinet representation.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

It's clear that the Liberals will win another majority government in the next 18- 24 months from now.

They will have to work with the NDP and Greens to establish more progressive policies and can work with the Bloc by listening to the needs of Quebec.

The Conservatives asre the ones dividing our country as they do in any country around the world. Threy campaigned like the Republicans and would obviously govern like Republicans if elected.

They attack because they have absolutely nothing to offer (unless you're a business owner or a millionaire) They know their policies are massively unpopular so they campaign really dirty. And everyone I have talked to were reeally turned off by that, even some who do not support the Libs.

Canada won this election. And Canada will hand over the Libs a strong majority as long as theyt can keep and pick up support in Quebec and Ontario. The Prairies? Sorry guys, you'rte not needed. And the Liberals should have never bought that pipeline. They did it for Alberta and to put an end to Alberta throwing threats out at BC.

Saskatchewan and Alberta want MORE pipelines and the carbon tax to be abolished. Fuck you. Ignore the Prairies and work on Ontario and Quebec because those are the 2 provinces where the vote matters and will lead the Liberals to another majority next election.They don't need the Prairies.

If the Conservatives have a problem with it, the Prairies can seperate and join the US. And all those rednecked rubes in Central Canada can live their right wing Eutopia. Maybe set up massive statues ofd St. Preston ands St. Stephen. Problem solved.

Paladin1

But but but, the Conservatives won the popular vote!

#NotMyPrimeMinister

 

 

Canada lost because a racist guilty of sexual assault  intimidate, ethics violations and all around elitisim is still the PM. The only saving grace is that he's pm because of our system. Canadians woke up to his fake feminist identity politics bullshit. Over 250, 000 Canadians voted Conservative over Liberal.

 

There's hope for Canada. It's nice to see the professionally and perminately outraged about everything crowd being called out  and hopefully sooner rather than later ignored. 

Unionist

How lovely to be blessed with a right-extremist fascist on our discussion board! We're inclusive.

Paladin1

Unionist wrote:

How lovely to be blessed with a right-extremist fascist on our discussion board! We're inclusive.

Lol

Having a big cry over there are we? 

Maybe the NDP and Liberals wouldn't have lost seats if they stopped accusing anyone with a different opinion as being an extremist fascist.  Actually the way the far left behaves and how they treat different opinions is the paragon of fascist behavior. So keep it up lol

 

Pondering

JKR wrote:

It's hard to believe but polls have shown that almost half of Canadians believe a "majority" government has received over half of the votes. In a way that makes sense since "majority" sounds like it means "over half."

Trick question intended to prove Canadians really want PR they just don't know it. Ask Canadians if they think the party that wins the most seats should win. Ask Canadians if they are okay with parties being forced to form coalitions to govern. 

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Sorry to say but I think the Liberals will believe propaganda about Justin following Pierre.

In my opinion he is not on the same track and the Liberals will be blown out in the next election unless they do something truly good. I do not know if Trudeau is capable of that. I would say a real gesture of reconciliation to Alberta and Sask is needed demonstrating that we are collectively in this together. Something like buy company who builds electric buses and move it to Calgary.

Nothing but a pipeline and canceling equalization payments will satisfy them.  Equalization payments do not entitle provinces that are better off to anything. They are a responsibility of membership in the confederation of Canada as agreed to by all members including Alberta. 

Canada hasn't given anything to Quebec beyond powers within Quebec's borders. Alberta wants the right to force pipelines through other provinces. Nothing else will pacify them and they may never get one. Cases are still before the courts and resistence isn't fading. 

The word to Quebec now is "if you want to go, go ahead' and the same must be said to Alberta. The only value Alberta seems to place on Canada is as a conduit for pipelines. Let them have a referendum or two to settle it as Quebec did. 

R.E.Wood

In his press conference today Trudeau was clear about a number of things, including that the TransMountain pipeline expansion will go ahead (he'll have Conservative votes to support that, if needed, but I think it's already cleared Parliament), and that there will be no coalition (formal or informal) - the Liberals will govern, and seek support from different parties as needed to push through various pieces of legislation. 

I'm pretty sure the Liberals will campaign for a majority next time (and govern accordingly in the meantime), and will not be flirting with electoral reform during their minority.

R.E.Wood

Of course Karl Nerenberg has an insightful article which discusses exactly this subject:

http://www.rabble.ca/news/2019/10/trudeau-should-now-work-ndp-and-greens...

KarlL

.

Sean in Ottawa

alan smithee wrote:

It's clear that the Liberals will win another majority government in the next 18- 24 months from now.

They will have to work with the NDP and Greens to establish more progressive policies and can work with the Bloc by listening to the needs of Quebec.

The Conservatives asre the ones dividing our country as they do in any country around the world. Threy campaigned like the Republicans and would obviously govern like Republicans if elected.

They attack because they have absolutely nothing to offer (unless you're a business owner or a millionaire) They know their policies are massively unpopular so they campaign really dirty. And everyone I have talked to were reeally turned off by that, even some who do not support the Libs.

Canada won this election. And Canada will hand over the Libs a strong majority as long as theyt can keep and pick up support in Quebec and Ontario. The Prairies? Sorry guys, you'rte not needed. And the Liberals should have never bought that pipeline. They did it for Alberta and to put an end to Alberta throwing threats out at BC.

Saskatchewan and Alberta want MORE pipelines and the carbon tax to be abolished. Fuck you. Ignore the Prairies and work on Ontario and Quebec because those are the 2 provinces where the vote matters and will lead the Liberals to another majority next election.They don't need the Prairies.

If the Conservatives have a problem with it, the Prairies can seperate and join the US. And all those rednecked rubes in Central Canada can live their right wing Eutopia. Maybe set up massive statues ofd St. Preston ands St. Stephen. Problem solved.

No, it is not at all clear that the Liberals will win. In fact I think they will not. The CPC will likely not have to worry about the PPC and will likely put up a leader more effective than the one they already ran. You would think that losing the popular vote and a majority would indicate that there is nothing clear about the idea of a Liberal win next time.

No, the Conservatives do not have to work with anyone. They may choose to do so. They need to make sure that there are not more votes against them than fo them on confidence votes. They can make deals for this with parties on an ongoing or case-by-case basis or simply dare parties that may not want an election to bring them down knowing they will probably not. The PM was clear today that TMX pipeline was going ahead. Looks like they will get the votes from the CPC for that. I imagine they will get votes from other parties like the Greens and NDP on policies those parties want or do not want to oppose.

No, a divided country is not only the fault of one side. There are a lot of things that are the responsibility of parties other than the Conservatives. to say that the party in power for the last 4 years has nothing to do with why the country is divided is arrogant and nonsensical.

Saying to any part of the country that they are not needed is not productive. Alberta is not going to leave at this point but that is not the present risk. Parts of the country are not united and this will cause a problem without them leaving in terms of lack of cooperation and obstruction as you would expect. The Conservatives got more votes than the Liberals. Theya re not the government but bullying them is a sure way to lose to them in a few months.

Sean in Ottawa

R.E.Wood wrote:

Of course Karl Nerenberg has an insightful article which discusses exactly this subject:

http://www.rabble.ca/news/2019/10/trudeau-should-now-work-ndp-and-greens...

I do not think the NDP were winners although they were not as badly damaged as expected. The negotiating position of the NDP is based on the NDP being able to pull the plug on the government and live with the consequences. Karl is wrong to minimize what this means.

Like usual the real story here is money and the NDP do not ahve enough to run a campaign right now and thus their bargaining position is pretty weak. The Conservatives actually are a greater threat and with a plurality of votes and two provinces swept by them a better position (apart from a leadership problem).

It is time the NDP and people on this board give up on fantasies. The NDP has to try to make the most of its weak bargaining position which is a whole lot better than nothing (what it would have in a majority) but still it is not much. Over-reaching is a real risk here. If the NDP imagines that it has more power than it really does it will have its bluff called and it will be rudely shown how little power it really has.

The Conservatives have a deeply wounded leadership and the NDP an empty bank account. The only party really able to repeat this right now is the Liberals -- provided they were not seen as the cause but the Conservatives do have the money to make do with a weak leader if they were not the instigator. If the NDP were seen to have caused this the result would be a rethink of NDP party status following an election the NDP cannot afford.

The NDP may get something but the Liberals are not going to work with them in any formal deal and the Liberals are going to work with whatever party they choose for each vote or dare the others to do their worst. If the NDP ask too much the result will be brutal.

The NDP will have to pick its priorities carefully and make sure the issues are going to be seen as worth it. Forget election reform or stopping the pipeline. The NDP might get spending on Indigenous emergencies like water, something on health carelike pharmacare. that is it. The Greens are going to get nothing as they have nothing to offer.

This is where we are now. Yes, we can long for an alternate reality but we live in this one.

 

JKR

Pondering wrote:

Ask Canadians if they think the party that wins the most seats should win. Ask Canadians if they are okay with parties being forced to form coalitions to govern. 

These seem like nonsensical questions to ask Canadians or anyone else. Who thinks parties should be forced to form coalitions to govern? Why should a party that wins the most seats "win" if it can't obtain support from the majority of seats? 

Sean in Ottawa

JKR wrote:

Pondering wrote:

Ask Canadians if they think the party that wins the most seats should win. Ask Canadians if they are okay with parties being forced to form coalitions to govern. 

These seem like nonsensical questions to ask Canadians or anyone else. Who thinks parties should be forced to form coalitions to govern? Why should a party that wins the most seats "win" if it can't obtain support from the majority of seats?

I do not think that Canadians know how to answer the coalitions question or even what a real coalition looks like.

I do not think most Canadians can be asked a question like whether the winner should be the party with the most seats becuase they are clueless about how parliament works.

ETA: adjusted quote to reflect the edited quote as I cross posted this while JKR was making changes -- I  appreciate that the editing makes it a bit clearer.

JKR

Thanks

Policywonk

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

R.E.Wood wrote:

Of course Karl Nerenberg has an insightful article which discusses exactly this subject:

http://www.rabble.ca/news/2019/10/trudeau-should-now-work-ndp-and-greens...

I do not think the NDP were winners although they were not as badly damaged as expected. The negotiating position of the NDP is based on the NDP being able to pull the plug on the government and live with the consequences. Karl is wrong to minimize what this means.

Like usual the real story here is money and the NDP do not ahve enough to run a campaign right now and thus their bargaining position is pretty weak. The Conservatives actually are a greater threat and with a plurality of votes and two provinces swept by them a better position (apart from a leadership problem).

It is time the NDP and people on this board give up on fantasies. The NDP has to try to make the most of its weak bargaining position which is a whole lot better than nothing (what it would have in a majority) but still it is not much. Over-reaching is a real risk here. If the NDP imagines that it has more power than it really does it will have its bluff called and it will be rudely shown how little power it really has.

The Conservatives have a deeply wounded leadership and the NDP an empty bank account. The only party really able to repeat this right now is the Liberals -- provided they were not seen as the cause but the Conservatives do have the money to make do with a weak leader if they were not the instigator. If the NDP were seen to have caused this the result would be a rethink of NDP party status following an election the NDP cannot afford.

The NDP may get something but the Liberals are not going to work with them in any formal deal and the Liberals are going to work with whatever party they choose for each vote or dare the others to do their worst. If the NDP ask too much the result will be brutal.

The NDP will have to pick its priorities carefully and make sure the issues are going to be seen as worth it. Forget election reform or stopping the pipeline. The NDP might get spending on Indigenous emergencies like water, something on health carelike pharmacare. that is it. The Greens are going to get nothing as they have nothing to offer.

This is where we are now. Yes, we can long for an alternate reality but we live in this one.

 

Not sure if the Liberals are all that well off financially either, compared to the Conservatives. With respect to PR there might be more support for a slightly more proportional system that did not exacerbate regional tensions the way that FPTP obviously does. This would make it somewhat more difficult to get a majority with less than 50% of the vote while ensuring that a party with a reasonable amount of support would not get totally wiped out in a particular province or region (there have been elections provincially where there was no official opposition with a party getting over 30% and no seats (New Brunswick I think)). The devil is in the details though.

Misfit Misfit's picture

There is a lot of misunderstanding about equalization payments. Western Canada is not against equalization payments. Western Canadian provinces like Alberts and Saskatchewan in particular have issues with the equalization formula. Quebec makes massive amounts of revenue with Quebec Hydro. This should be included in the determination of who receives equalization payments. Quebec is a wealthy province and they are taking money away from poorer provinces that need and deserve the money more.

And to all the hostile and ignorant easterners, if western Canada separates, your welfare cheques from us would cease.

ha ha ha

Aristotleded24

Misfit wrote:
There is a lot of misunderstanding about equalization payments. Western Canada is not against equalization payments. Western Canadian provinces like Alberts and Saskatchewan in particular have issues with the equalization formula. Quebec makes massive amounts of revenue with Quebec Hydro. This should be included in the determination of who receives equalization payments. Quebec is a wealthy province and they are taking money away from poorer provinces that need and deserve the money more.

There are 5 people in Canada who understand how equalization works and how it works best. Everyone else is just playing political games by capitalizing on that ignorance and regional resentment for personal political power.

melovesproles

The NDP will have to pick its priorities carefully and make sure the issues are going to be seen as worth it. Forget election reform or stopping the pipeline.

I agree with a lot of your posts but this makes no sense.  The NDP has no obligation to prop the Liberals up on issues they don't agree with.  The NDP should be loud about proportional representation as a way to alleviate regional tensions.  The NDP should stand up against pipelines as half of their MPs come from ridings where that is a huge issue. Not to mention it highlights the fact the Liberals are insincere on climate change and improving relations with First Nations.

You have mentioned the importance of fundraising but the biggest impediment to the NDP's fundraising is that the party seems to care less about the principles of their base than short-term political positioning. Why would low income Canadians donate to a party that will jettison the issues they care about whenever the leadership decides they aren't politically expedient?  To the point that under Layton, NDP supporters were supposed to suddenly love mandatory minimums and under Mulclair, balanced budgets and austerity. If the NDP wants to fix their fundraising, they might look at this.

I thought Singh did a pretty good job with messaging during the campaign but even he slipped a few times.  Take for example Dental care. He comes out very principled in the first debate about univerrsal public dental care.  May attacks him on the cost of the program and argues for limiting it to low-income households but he stands his ground. I was watching with Green supporters and we all agree he does a good job. We talk about universality as a principle and why it is a good idea with healthcare/dental care.  Then a week or two later, suddenly it's dental care for households who make under $70,000, discarding the principle of universality which makes our healthcare so robust.  So not only does the NDP suddenly support a weaker  position but the people who were agreeing with them during the debate are abruptly abandoned and wondering whether the NDP means anything they say. 

If you look at the Bernie Sanders campaign, they are breaking records with raising small donations but it isn't just because they know how to use 'social media'. It's because people trust him and the people that have surrounded him to stand by their principles and fight for them.  The NDP for good reason does not have that kind of credibility and they won't get it back by weakly abandoning the issues that it campaigned on.

Sean in Ottawa

melovesproles wrote:

The NDP will have to pick its priorities carefully and make sure the issues are going to be seen as worth it. Forget election reform or stopping the pipeline.

I agree with a lot of your posts but this makes no sense.  The NDP has no obligation to prop the Liberals up on issues they don't agree with.  The NDP should be loud about proportional representation as a way to alleviate regional tensions.  The NDP should stand up against pipelines as half of their MPs come from ridings where that is a huge issue. Not to mention it highlights the fact the Liberals are insincere on climate change and improving relations with First Nations.

This is not about an obligation - it is about the fact that the NDP has a weak bargaining position because if they ask for too much they are going to end up with nothing or an election that will be plamed on them that they cannot afford.

The NDP has to get what it can but be aware that they cannot run the government as if the NDP won. Positions will have to be picked.

melovesproles

The Liberals aren't going to trigger an election on keeping FPTP or ramming through pipelines either.  To be honest either of those would be the ideal hill for the Liberal government to die on from an NDP perspective. The NDP does not need to be weak on these issues because they are weaknesses for the Liberals. 

It would be better for the NDP to be clear about its vision and principles. If the Liberals want to get progressive things done, they can come to the NDP. Otherwise they can ram through pipelines with the Conservatives.

 

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Misfit wrote:

 

And to all the hostile and ignorant easterners, if western Canada separates, your welfare cheques from us would cease.

ha ha ha

Wow. Nice right wing trope, misfit

Misfit Misfit's picture

Areistotleded24 wrote:

Misfit wrote:
There is a lot of misunderstanding about equalization payments. Western Canada is not against equalization payments. Western Canadian provinces like Alberts and Saskatchewan in particular have issues with the equalization formula. Quebec makes massive amounts of revenue with Quebec Hydro. This should be included in the determination of who receives equalization payments. Quebec is a wealthy province and they are taking money away from poorer provinces that need and deserve the money more.

There are 5 people in Canada who understand how equalization works and how it works best. Everyone else is just playing political games by capitalizing on that ignorance and regional resentment for personal political power.

I said Saskatchewan and Alberts have issues, not Manitoba. The discussion does not reach your provincial newspapers. It does in ours. Your remark is disgusting and insulting to people in Saskatchewan and Alberta who are more aware of the issues than you are.

The Saskatchewan NDP government sued the federal government over the equalization formula. The Saskatchewan Party government is now fighting the issue. Your ignorance is not our ignorance. You don't have to know the exact formula to understand the issues that our provinces are fighting.

You can  stop calling me ignorant. It is unacceptable.

nicky

Fundamentally, the Liberals do not want electoral reform because the result would be, based on likely long term voting patterens, some sort of power sharing with the NDP. Between them they can expect something like 55 to 60% in most elections with the Cons mired in the 30s.

Remember what happpened in 2008 with Harper on the ropes and a coalition agreed between Dion and Layton. Haprper got his prorogation over Christmas and in the emsuing six weeks the so-called Blue Liberals or Business Liberals re-asserted themselves. They made it clear that major funding and business backing would be denied the Liberals if they brought the NDP into government. Dion was turfed, Ignatieff installed, and the Harper plague Biblically imposed on us for another 7 years.

We can expect the same anti-NDP sentiments to dominate Liberal strategy in the future.

Misfit Misfit's picture

melovesproles wrote:

The NDP will have to pick its priorities carefully and make sure the issues are going to be seen as worth it. Forget election reform or stopping the pipeline.

I agree with a lot of your posts but this makes no sense.  The NDP has no obligation to prop the Liberals up on issues they don't agree with.  The NDP should be loud about proportional representation as a way to alleviate regional tensions.  The NDP should stand up against pipelines as half of their MPs come from ridings where that is a huge issue. Not to mention it highlights the fact the Liberals are insincere on climate change and improving relations with First Nations.

You have mentioned the importance of fundraising but the biggest impediment to the NDP's fundraising is that the party seems to care less about the principles of their base than short-term political positioning. Why would low income Canadians donate to a party that will jettison the issues they care about whenever the leadership decides they aren't politically expedient?  To the point that under Layton, NDP supporters were supposed to suddenly love mandatory minimums and under Mulclair, balanced budgets and austerity. If the NDP wants to fix their fundraising, they might look at this.

I thought Singh did a pretty good job with messaging during the campaign but even he slipped a few times.  Take for example Dental care. He comes out very principled in the first debate about univerrsal public dental care.  May attacks him on the cost of the program and argues for limiting it to low-income households but he stands his ground. I was watching with Green supporters and we all agree he does a good job. We talk about universality as a principle and why it is a good idea with healthcare/dental care.  Then a week or two later, suddenly it's dental care for households who make under $70,000, discarding the principle of universality which makes our healthcare so robust.  So not only does the NDP suddenly support a weaker  position but the people who were agreeing with them during the debate are abruptly abandoned and wondering whether the NDP means anything they say. 

If you look at the Bernie Sanders campaign, they are breaking records with raising small donations but it isn't just because they know how to use 'social media'. It's because people trust him and the people that have surrounded him to stand by their principles and fight for them.  The NDP for good reason does not have that kind of credibility and they won't get it back by weakly abandoning the issues that it campaigned on.

The NDP are fighting with the Greem party for votes. They will come out against pipelines and in support of green energy investments because they cannot afford to lose any voter support to the Green Party.

They cannot afford to lose seats on Vancouver Island and in the BC lower mainland. They also cannot afford to lose support from the First Nations people who are opposed to the pipelines.

I may be wrong on this but if the Greens support free market capitalism to fill the green technology void in Canada, I would assume that the NDP would fight for increased federal investments in green infrastructure and research and development programs.

I would like to hear what ideas come up about Oshawa. What would be the viability of the government buying the GM plant in Oshawa and converting it to build electric vehicles or something along those lines? We have to phase ourselves off fossil fuels. This is an opportunity to explore.

Misfit Misfit's picture

Dp.

JeffWells

The Liberals need the support of just one of three parties to pass legislation and remain government. The Conservatives, Bloc and the NDP have competing priorities and ideologies, so it should be easy for the Liberals to trade off their support until the stars align for another election. The three parties have no leverage against the Liberals unless they work together.

There's no incentive for Trudeau to build a "progressive coalition" or accede to any NDP demands. The outcome could only affirm his conviction he was right to abandon electoral reform.

cco

Misfit wrote:

There is a lot of misunderstanding about equalization payments. Western Canada is not against equalization payments. Western Canadian provinces like Alberts and Saskatchewan in particular have issues with the equalization formula. Quebec makes massive amounts of revenue with Quebec Hydro. This should be included in the determination of who receives equalization payments. Quebec is a wealthy province and they are taking money away from poorer provinces that need and deserve the money more.

And to all the hostile and ignorant easterners, if western Canada separates, your welfare cheques from us would cease.

ha ha ha

There is, indeed, clearly a lot of misunderstanding about equalization payments. Western newspapers like the Postmedia consortium like to sell it to generate regional tension and a feeling of being ripped off. Every time I visit relatives in Calgary, they tell me they think Jason Kenney gets up in the morning and writes François Legault a cheque.

For starters, Hydro-Québec's revenue isn't exempt from the equalization formula. You're thinking of the Atlantic Accord, which lets Nova Scotia and Newfoundland not count their oil revenue. Postmedia's problem with Hydro-Québec isn't that it makes too much money, but that it makes too little – because political decisions have been taken to keep clean electricity cheap in Québec, which not only discourages people from heating their homes with oil, but (their logic goes) allows Québec not to frack. New Brunswick's premier is operating under a similar misconception. It's the national version of the "lazy welfare queen" trope (and I see you indeed mentioned welfare cheques), but it has nothing to do with how government finances actually work.

A similar example of fiscal sleight-of-hand would be if Québec, Ontario, and BC said the pipeline purchase and other oil subsidies are allowing Alberta's government to keep taxes artificially low and oil production artificially high, and this therefore counts as an annual transfer to Alberta. Yves-François Blanchet is already going down that road with his call for "environmental equalization".

Misfit Misfit's picture

Yes, Manitoba and Quebec keep their electricity rates lower than what the market price for electricity actually is. Yet oil is rated at the international price. Alberta and Saskatchewan premiers feel that hydro electricity should be calculated at the market price rather than the subsidized rates that they charge their residents. 

And no, Saskatchewan does not cut a cheque to Quebec. Saskatchewan is losing hundreds of millions of dollars by the unequal assessment of calculating resource revenues.

Anyway, Quebec would still receive equalization payments just not as much under a fairer formula which calculates market price rather than subsidized price.

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