Electoral reform likelihood increases with 2019 election results

68 posts / 0 new
Last post
KarlL

Aristotleded24 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.

The rough outlines of Equalization are not all that hard to understand - it is only the natural resources part that is complex.  First, it is a federal program, so the provincial governments contribute nothing (i.e, it is not a pooling and reallocation of revenues).  All money spent on equalization comes from federal tax revenues - but of course, those federal revenues are higher on a per capita basis from provinces that are stronger economically. 

You could fairly make an argument that provinces - as such - make no contribution at all to Equalization.  The contributors are all taxpayers, personal and corporate, across Canada, plus federal non-tax revenues.

In essence, the system looks at the revenue-raising capacity of each province based on the national average of rates of taxation.  To the extent that a province's revenue-generating capacity (essentially its economic activity x average rates of taxation) falls short of the national average per capita revenue-generating capacity, it receives payments to offset that gap, subject to a cap.  The system doesn't care what a province's actual rates of taxation are, only what it could raise if it deployed the national average rates of taxation.  Otherwise, you'd have all provinces giving a tax cut to their residents and then holding out their hand to Ottawa to make up the difference.

Where it gets complicated is the treatment of natural resource revenues.  It used to be that natural resource revenues (except Alberta's because its fiscal capacity was such a big outlier) were included in the calculation.  Now provinces receive the better outcome from either of two calculations: one that includes 50% of all provinces' resource revenues; and the other that excludes natural resource revenues altogether.

JKR

One of the worst aspects of FPTP is that it greatly exacerbates Canada's regional divisions and Canada's pathological regional tribalism. FPTP makes it seem like everyone in places like Alberta, Saskatchewan, and most rural areas, vote Conservative. FPTP also makes it seem like almost everyone in the central areas of cities like Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, and Winnipeg vote Liberal. I think these election results will increase Canada's regional division and that alone makes a good argument for electoral reform. Under PR NDP'ers, Liberals, and Greens, would be elected in significant numbers in places like Alberta, Saskatchewan, and rural Canada. Conservatives would also be elected in greater numbers in areas such as Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and Winnipeg. This greater diversity would likely make it more likely for political parties and other political actors to find consensus and compromise.

Sean in Ottawa

JeffWells wrote:

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.

Exactly and they are not disposed to work together. In this situation the Liberals are closer to each of the parties than the others with possible exception of BQ. Anyone thinking the barginaing power of the NDP is strong needs to consider the dynamics.

The Liberals have three very different positions to negotiate with for each vote and can choose the one they are closest to. Any who think they have a bargaining position should consider that it is a reverse auction to the one with the closest psosition the government can negotiate and you will be ignored on any you fundamentally disagree with as there is a party the government can work with. This is not a binary split either -- three parties can help the Conservatives get over the line on any individual vote.

Pondering

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

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.

Therefore saying most Canadians think parties should gain seats based on the popular vote is meaningless. It doesn't mean they want or will vote for PR once they understand what they are being asked to support. 

PR does have drawbacks as well as benefits. By refusing to admit drawbacks exist the movement fails to persuade. 

Sean in Ottawa

Pondering wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

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.

Therefore saying most Canadians think parties should gain seats based on the popular vote is meaningless. It doesn't mean they want or will vote for PR once they understand what they are being asked to support. 

PR does have drawbacks as well as benefits. By refusing to admit drawbacks exist the movement fails to persuade. 

Criticizing the level of knowledge of Canadians and criticizing the potential for a good decision form a FPTP parliament is not the same as a drawback in the proposal except in terms of how realistic it is to expect it. I am moving towards advocating the Liebral option that I believe is inferior becuase I think the present result is worse and am giving up hope on achieving PR. This does nto mean that I would not support PR every opportunity I could get -- just that I woudl accept the compromise over the status quo.

KarlL

Aristotleded24 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.

BTW, Aristotle, your comment reminded me of something I had once read about on the Schleswig-Holstein Question, which made me smile.  Lord Palmerston reportedly described it thusly,“Only three people have ever really understood the Schleswig-Holstein business—the Prince Consort, who is dead—a German professor, who has gone mad—and I, who have forgotten all about it".

JeffWells

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Exactly and they are not disposed to work together. In this situation the Liberals are closer to each of the parties than the others with possible exception of BQ. Anyone thinking the barginaing power of the NDP is strong needs to consider the dynamics.

Even worse, today May laid out "terms" for supporting the government.

I sympathize with Greens - it took something like 10x the number of votes to elect one Green MP as it did one Liberal MP - but this is delusional. Add the three Green MPs to the Liberal caucus and it's still a minority.

The only good thing May has left to do for the Greens is resign. Or are we just to presume she's leader for life?

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

KarlL wrote:

Lord Palmerston reportedly described it thusly,“Only three people have ever really understood the Schleswig-Holstein business—the Prince Consort, who is dead—a German professor, who has gone mad—and I, who have forgotten all about it".

LOL. This goes into my permanent file of witty quotes, along with stuff from Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde, and so on.

Sean in Ottawa

The problem with over-reaching is you justify an agreement with the other parties that would not have existed previously. If the NDP over-reach enough the Liberals could then make a deal with the Conservatives that previously would have been political suicide. By pointing out that the government had no choice due to unreasonableness the price would be much smaller.

Too many think that in politics the third party has control. This is actually a tricky and limited negotiation. Jack Layton did a good job with the Martin Liberals as long as he had the seats to do it. He had a good sense of how far to push and got a lot in that deal.

Many here would ask for so much that the Liberals would say get stuffed and NDP demands would provide justification for a deal with the Conservatives or a new election the NDP would be blamed for, could not bankroll, and would likely lose party status. The position of the NDP is known to everyone. this position, plus public opinion and the relative size of the caucuses and the fact that there are other options means the NDP has to be careful.

This means making choices about demands but even those are limited. My political approach to this would be to put down as conditions ONLY the things the NDP support that were broken promises the Liebrals previously supported. This is a substantial ask on the NDP priority list but easier to defend becuase the Liberals previously endorsed it. So:

1) Strengthen Pharmacare at least as far as the Liberals promised

2) Local social license on pipelines as per Liberal promise of 2015

3) All childcare committments previously promised by the Liberals in 2015

4) Keeping the progressive promises of 2019 such as those relating to student debt and tax reduction for the lowest bracket (with a corresponding increase in the highest and second highest)

5) Indigenous priorities and reconciliation promises of 2015

By limiting the ask to Liberal promises of 2015 and 2019 the NDP would have much more political cover for a bigger ask. The NDP has this cover due to the vast number of promises of 2015 and the vast number that have not been kept. Politically the NDP using its power to keep the Liberals to their word is a perfect message and a hill the NDP could fight on and parliament can die on if needed.

I would really consider dropping any demand for something the Liberals have not previously promised. It would create a political dynamic where the Liberals could say the NDP is being unreasonable and it removes the power of saying we are keeping them honest.

 

Sean in Ottawa

Just dare the Liberals to work with the Conservatives to avoid keeping their own promises.

Electoral reform position of the NDP has to go on the shelf. Make the Liberals keep the promise on it that they made. Let them even deliver on th preferential ballot.

Don't ask for a single new thing. The Liberals have already supplied many, many asks on things they previously promised and did not deliver. Canadians will respond extremely well to NDP demands that the Liberals keep promises with nothing new added. Some Liberals will feel a great deal of discomfort standing to oppose this position.

The communications strategy is simple, easy to understand and share and you could fight an election on it.

This is exactly how political communications can be done well. Simple messge. And any opposition form the Liberals is a trap for them.

The Liberals outdid the NDP on promises and advertising of those promises in 2015. Chickens coming home to roost would be NDP say now do what you said you would do. No need to do more. then the NDP look very reasonable and the debate is over a Liberal lie and not on policy -- exactly where you want it.

Pondering

I think some of those demands are still too high. It isn't about what the Liberals promised before it is about what Canadians most support. The pipeline demand is a no go. The Liberals and Conservatives are 100% committed. Only the courts and protesters can stop it now. 

Tax on wealth was a big winner so I would push hard on that. Normally I don't think pushing on indigenous issues is a big winner but we are shamed on the world stage in not providing equivalent funds for education, and not ensuring clean water and basic living standards. I think most Canadians were shamed by Trudeau appealing the decision on restitution for children removed from their families and communities. 

Sean in Ottawa

Pondering wrote:

I think some of those demands are still too high. It isn't about what the Liberals promised before it is about what Canadians most support. The pipeline demand is a no go. The Liberals and Conservatives are 100% committed. Only the courts and protesters can stop it now. 

Tax on wealth was a big winner so I would push hard on that. Normally I don't think pushing on indigenous issues is a big winner but we are shamed on the world stage in not providing equivalent funds for education, and not ensuring clean water and basic living standards. I think most Canadians were shamed by Trudeau appealing the decision on restitution for children removed from their families and communities. 

It does not matter what the majority support in many respects.

1) On the matter of principles - if the NDP cannot stand on the most important ones it has no purpose in existing. I do not care how much shame Canada has. This is about doing what is right. The NDP will struggle to get my vote nevermind a Liberal-NDP switcher if they do not make that a condition.

I pissed off people here in 2015 when I said this: I hate the Liberals but if they keep all their promises to Indiginous peoples they get my vote in 2019. I would have kept my promise if they kept theirs. I am prepared to vote against the NDP if they falter in support to Indigenous people on the key promises made to them. Singh made a big deal about clean water. I will oppose the NDP at every step if Singh stops fighting for this. I actually do not think that will happen but you have my word here that it would.

2) Tax on wealth was not a big winner. It was the right thing to do but it only got 24 seats and under 16% of the vote. It can only stay on as the means for the Liberals to pay for promises they made that they pretend are now unaffordable. From an NDP position this tax is not something the NDP ever promoted as a goal anyway but as a means to do other things the other parties say cannot be afforded.

3) There is no demand too high if the Liberals already asked for it. This is why I did not say kill the pipeline. Liberals never promised that and it would be too high. But the social license was a promise they made. This is not my position as many here know: I object to the blackmail Indigenous communities face when offered a piece of the pipeline pie when basic needs that are already owed to them are not being met. But the fact is the NDP has to simplify its message and demands. Restricting them to previous Liberal promises sets up the debate that the NDP need now.

The NDP lack the resources to sell any policy at the moment and they lack the political power to push them. The NDP does have the power to push policy proposals the Liberals already sold and broke promises on.

To package Liberal broken promises as the NDP demand would solve the need to have a simple message, the need to force the debate where it benefits the NDP, the need to proclaim that the NDP is being realistic, and completely corner the Liberals into a debate that harms them.

melovesproles

When Trudeau says he is giving an olive branch to "Western Canada'  by ramming through a pipeline that coastal BC opposes, a response is needed by the party that represents coastal BC. Right now that is the NDP and the Greens. If the NDP fails to stand up for the BC coast, expect the Greens to destroy them in those ridings in the next election. There would be no point voting for the NDP on Vancouver Island if they don't get this.

Sean in Ottawa

melovesproles wrote:

When Trudeau says he is giving an olive branch to "Western Canada'  by ramming through a pipeline that coastal BC opposes, a response is needed by the party that represents coastal BC. Right now that is the NDP and the Greens. If the NDP fails to stand up for the BC coast, expect the Greens to destroy them in those ridings in the next election. There would be no point voting for the NDP on Vancouver Island if they don't get this.

I do not think that this is at all a contradiction.

I expect the NDP to do this.

I also think this is within the list of the broken promises and concept of social license.

Sean in Ottawa

Yes, I understand that the difference between the concept of social license and stopping the pipeline may sound like semantics to some and different to other. But the first is the framework of a Liberal broken promise and the second is effectively covered in the first.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

melovesproles wrote:

When Trudeau says he is giving an olive branch to "Western Canada'  by ramming through a pipeline that coastal BC opposes, a response is needed by the party that represents coastal BC. Right now that is the NDP and the Greens. If the NDP fails to stand up for the BC coast, expect the Greens to destroy them in those ridings in the next election. There would be no point voting for the NDP on Vancouver Island if they don't get this.

That is exactly right. However I don't see the need for much parliamentary debate on the issue given it mostly at this stage comes under Cabinet prerogative, except for the courts. The pipeline will not be built if people delay it either in the courts or in the street because the longer it goes on the worse the numbers look as a viable project.

Yesterday I made the mistake of listening to the CBC and other news outlets that were going on and on about appeasing "Western Canada" and thinking where the fuck do I live if its not Western Canada. I live in an interesting place because the Comox Valley has always had many people who work trades away and live here. Westjet has great flights for oil patch workers to get here. One of the new parts of my historic Village is sarcastically called Little Alberta.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

JeffWells wrote:

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.

 I think this is the correct analysis and Trudeau's statement makes it clear he understands he can pass anything with the support of one party or the other and they will have no leverage to say no to projects they support in theory. I think the likelihood of electoral reform went to zero with this result.

Pages