Proportional Representation part 3

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JKR

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
Let's say we had a referendum on whether Muslims should be required to take an oath that they are opposed to terrorism. Would this referendum be a travesty?

Sure.  Of course.  Why should Muslims be singled out, and required to demonstrate their opposition to terrorism?

But what does that have to do with ALL Canadians being asked whether they do or do not support a different system for electing our representatives??

If you're going to tell me that electors have the same basic human right to a Mixed Member Proportional electoral system with a 5% threshold that Muslims have to not being held accountable for terrorism then take your time.  Don't rush to answer.  This could take some homework.

I think Canadians have the basic right to have an adequately democratic system where there electoral system sufficiently represents the will of the people. It seems to me that FPTP does not accomplish this basic task of a multi-party democracy.

Rev Pesky

from the Gary Shaul aritcle posted abvove:

Quote:
But, Trudeau did make the promise to make every vote count -- in those exact words -- and repeated them in the Throne Speech. Words have meaning. "Make every vote count" was one of the key phrases used by voting reform advocates in Fair Vote Canada for many years.

Gary Shaul is an active member of Fair Vote Canada, so he isn't just someone making a comment. And here he is, taking resonsibility for the 'make every vote count' phrase.

I'll just remind everyone that phrase is just plain not true. There is no PR votiing system anywhere on planet earth that makes 'every vote count'. You might wonder why Fair Vote Canada used a phrase that is patently false as their slogan. I don't. The reason they use it is because they can't sell their product without it.

 

Doug Woodard

Under first-post-the-post, half or slightly more of the votes count and we accept the exercise of untrammeled power, within the limits of the constitution (and sometimes beyond them), by the largest organized minority and especially by its often tyrannical leader (think Stephen Harper). The system's incentive structure rewards appealing to a small group of swing voters who can determine the election.

Under proportional representation, we try to make as many of the votes as possible count. Government is by the representatives of the majority of the people. The incentives favour respect for minorities and a collegial style of government. Switzerland is the type case, where the "President of Switzerland" is the annually rotating chair of the inner cabinet which is elected by the legislature, possibly the ultimate form of responsible government.

Your argument is like "Pesky isn't perfect, therefore he should be hanged."

cco

Switzerland is a very odd case, and I think it's a bit of a distraction from Canadian discussions of PR. They've had a 4-party grand coalition since World War II, have devolved most policy to cantonal governments and the rest to referendums, and their governing coalition isn't the first one I'd think of when it comes to collegial respect for minorities. None of that is PR's fault, of course, but it's not the best example of what could await Canada after electoral reform.

Doug Woodard

cco, I don't think that we should copy the Swiss in everything, but I do think that they have set us a good example in the way that they have tamed their executive. I don't think a Stephen Harper would succeed in Switzerland.

mark_alfred

Amazing.  Even Althia Raj thinks the Liberals are misleading Canadians on electoral reform.

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/althia-raj/electoral-reform-maryam-monsef_b...

PS, have all the wonderful activists of Babble called their MPs yet as described in post #492?

Gary Shaul Gary Shaul's picture

Gary Shaul is an active member of Fair Vote Canada, so he isn't just someone making a comment. And here he is, taking resonsibility for the 'make every vote count' phrase.I'll just remind everyone that phrase is just plain not true. There is no PR votiing system anywhere on planet earth that makes 'every vote count'.

Pesky is right that the slogan "make every vote count" is not meant to be taken literally. It is true that not every single, last vote will count because of PR thresholds as well as independents and micro-parties. I am the first to admit that. Once any reasonable person understands what is meant by the slogan, they get it, whether or not they agree that it is worthy objective. But it's not a reason to do nothing. We can easily raise the bar of effective votes to 90%+ as is the case in most proportional voting countries. Whatever the technical details, making a hell of a lot more votes count than does today beats the undemocratic, rigged FPTP system which serves the Conservative/Liberal duopoly and their corporate backers. 

Effective votes examples

Sweden - 98.6%
Norway - 95.1%
New Zealand - 92.8
Canada - 50% 

"In a democratic government, the right of decision belongs to the majority, but the right of representation belongs to all."
Ernst Naville, 1865

mark_alfred

I like Naville's quote.

 

http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/electoral-reform-committee-set-to-recomme...

Looks increasingly like the committee will recommend a referendum.  Seems there will be only two choices on it.  One being FPTP, and the other being the committee's feeling of what is the best alternative.

Quote:
The government would design the new system to be put to referendum before the referendum campaign starts, according to the committee’s recommendation. The recommendation sets a benchmark for the alternative proposal according to the Gallagher index, a scale designed to measure the difference between ballots cast and seats won.

I think there was an earlier post I had here that discussed the Gallagher index, in which it was determined that AV was the worst.  So, needless to say, if they do proceed with a referendum, then AV won't be an option, which is good.  Be interesting to see if they go with MMP or if they decide upon the Rural-Urban system that Fair Vote advocates.

Doug Woodard

mark_alfred wrote:

Be interesting to see if they go with MMP or if they decide upon the Rural-Urban system that Fair Vote advocates.

Fair Vote Canada's Rural-Urban system is basically a version of MMP which uses multi-seat PR-STV constituencies in the urban areas. This allows it to get the highest possible party proportionality available with a given relatively low number of list seats and a relatively low increase in area for the single-seat constituencies in rural areas, assuming a constant or only slightly increased total number of seats.

The relatively low number of list seats helps give a not-too-large ballot with open lists. The moderate increase in area for the single-seat constituencies and a small (if any) increase in total seats seem to suit the wishes of Canadians at the moment (with no experience of PR and prejudices formed by long familiarity with FPTP).

Rev Pesky

Doug Woodard wrote:
...Under proportional representation, we try to make as many of the votes as possible count....

Then why not use that as the slogan, rather than the patently false 'Make every vote count'?

Doug Woodard wrote:
...Government is by the representatives of the majority of the people. The incentives favour respect for minorities and a collegial style of government. Switzerland is the type case, where the "President of Switzerland" is the annually rotating chair of the inner cabinet which is elected by the legislature, possibly the ultimate form of responsible government.

Your argument is like "Pesky isn't perfect, therefore he should be hanged."

Number one, we don't need incentives to respect minorities. We have a constitution that guarantees minorities the same rights as everyone else.

It was nice of you to mention the 'collegial style' of the Swiss government, but why didn't you mention the Greek, or the Italian, or the Spanish, or the Israeli, or the Portugese governments.? Not collegial enough for you?

And as far as hanging 'Pesky', it is you who want to 'hang' FPTP because it 'isn't perfect'. My argument is that PR systems are not enough of an improvement over FPTP to make a change worthwhile.

I've also argued, with plenty of evidence, that PR systems have their own problems, and that changing systems is just changing one set of problems for a different set of problems.

By all means, hang Pesky if that solves the problem. But even those in favour of hanging Pesky because he's a pain in the ass, must realize that in the warm afterglow of the hanging, problems will still exist.

And by the way, speaking of untrammeled power, the example of Stephen Harper is a good one. With all the untrammeled power of a false majority government courtesy of FPTP, Harper didn't manage to achieve a single one of the major objectives of his party's supporters. You might ask yourself why. 

Rev Pesky

Gary Shaul wrote:
...Pesky is right that the slogan "make every vote count" is not meant to be taken literally. It is true that not every single, last vote will count because of PR thresholds as well as independents and micro-parties. I am the first to admit that. Once any reasonable person understands what is meant by the slogan, they get it...

Well, I'm sure advertisers of all kinds will take up this explanation for their phony slogans. After all, once a reasonable person understands what is meant...which, of course, implies that only 'unreasonable' people would argue with a phony slogan.

Let me give you a little bit of advice, Gary. It's 2500 years old, but still relevant today.

Quote:
Aristides…when Themistocles had given his opinion that the greatest virtue in a general is the power to recognize and anticipate the enemies intentions, had answered:

 “Certainly you cannot do without that, Themistocles, but the honourable thing, and the quality which makes a real general is the power to keep his hands clean.”

Once you have accepted that 'reasonalble' people will accept a lie, where do you draw the line? And can you guarantee that someone else will not draw the line someplace beyond your 'reasonable'?

 

Sean in Ottawa

No electoral reform until enough Canadians want it, Monsef says

http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/no-electoral-reform-until-enough-canadian...

"We're committed to this initiative, but we're not going to move forward unless we have the broad support of the people of this country for whom we're making this change," Monsef said.

****

Let us be blunt here:

There will never be a groundswell of support for changes to the mechanics of voting. We cannot get more than 60% to even bother voting at all. Any government waiting for "enough support" can always set the bar well above what realistically it can ever be.

We will never get a government elected to a majority government by a minority of voters willing to do this. Electoral reform went out on election night when the Liberals got their majority.

If you want electoral reform you will have to support third parties in order to try to get a minority government so that there is a party with some power that did do particularly well under the existing system.

Let's also be blunt about parties: I don't think that we can be certain any party will be that different on this. The Conservatives will always be opposed as minorities are most threatening for them (without natural allies). Liberals are ever hopeful of a false majority and likely cannot be counted on in this generation anyway. The NDP might be the most likely given their history of being short-changed federally, but they are not automatically trustworthy. They have failed to press the issue in provincial contexts and if they had a majority I would not hold my breath.

It comes down to any party that has the power to do something is unlikely to do it becuase they can get that power under this system. Any party that might be so inclined thinks that way because the system makes it impossible for them to do anything with that inclination.

Thre is little reason to see change coming.

One possible change could be towards internet voting. This might possibly make it so easy that those who support no-hope parties may actually vote. Perhaps that, in turn, could eventually lead to minority government and further change. but who knows. Perhaps seeing this we will block making it easy for people to vote. Vote suppression works well and those who win in this system must understand that.

Those who have power and advantage want to keep it. Why be suprised at the sham they will put up pretending different.

The Liberals have been more about theatre than reality for decades. They want your vote becuase they care but please, do not expect them to do anything with that. The fact that the qualification for leader includes being a drama teacher might somehow be appropriate.

So the next time we might imagine seeing a minority NDP government with a broken Liberal party in third place, let's discuss this again. If either gets a majority then we lay this aside for a future generation. Sound good?

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

OK Liberals on this board, defend this. And don't tell me the NDP would do the same thing. That's not the point. How can anyone who conisders themselves a person of concience EVER vote Liberal? Well, any of you Libs want to try and address this one? And don't bother talking about the NDP, this is about the party that YOU SUPPORT!

Sean in Ottawa

I think the point is would any party following an election put on the table a policy (and not sabaotage it) that gives up the advantage that just gave them government?

I am skeptical.

I am not making this about either the Liberals or the NDP. I am making it about a change that we want that I think would require a minority government with a motivated third party. That is the so-called winning condition.

Sorry if I do not rush to say well the NDP, if they had just won a majority like the present one, would have done different. I can hope they would but I cannot know. I do believe that if we were in a minority situation we would have the reform.

Hard as it may be, we might want to simply say that a minority government is a prerequisite to any kind of meaningful reform.

I am identifying a dynamic rather than a political party.

As for the Liberals -- I would not trust them in any case so there is no point me spending time making this about them. However, I lack certainty in trusting anyone else so I advance a dynamic -- winning condition: having a party with a role in power other than a false majority government. AKA minority.

This I would trust more. Not everyone acts in their own interest but they do more often than not.

swallow swallow's picture

Well, I'd recommend: 

Letters to: maryam.monsef@parl.gc.ca

cc. your own MP _especially_ if Liberal 

cc. nathan.cullen@parl.gc.ca

The Liberal promise: 

Quote:

We are committed to ensuring that 2015 will be the last federal election conducted under the first-past-the-post voting system.

We will convene an all-party Parliamentary committee to review a wide variety of reforms, such as ranked ballots, proportional representation, mandatory voting, and online voting.

This committee will deliver its recommendations to Parliament. Within 18 months of forming government, we will introduce legislation to enact electoral reform.

https://www.liberal.ca/realchange/electoral-reform/

Ensuring no more FPTP elections. Legislation within 18 months. Tick, tick, tick.

Sean in Ottawa

swallow wrote:

Well, I'd recommend: 

Letters to: maryam.monsef@parl.gc.ca

cc. your own MP _especially_ if Liberal 

cc. nathan.cullen@parl.gc.ca

The Liberal promise: 

Quote:

We are committed to ensuring that 2015 will be the last federal election conducted under the first-past-the-post voting system.

We will convene an all-party Parliamentary committee to review a wide variety of reforms, such as ranked ballots, proportional representation, mandatory voting, and online voting.

This committee will deliver its recommendations to Parliament. Within 18 months of forming government, we will introduce legislation to enact electoral reform.

https://www.liberal.ca/realchange/electoral-reform/

Ensuring no more FPTP elections. Legislation within 18 months. Tick, tick, tick.

A few letters will not balance self interest and that is what has taken over. The Liberals will hunker down and weather this. The public ought to have expected it. It is not up to us to make the Liberals different by pleading with them since no matter how many letters they get the calculus of self interest will not change. It is up to us to not trust a false majority with a promise to give up its advantage. You want change -- elect a minority. Do it on purpose.

And of course you risk with this, the wrong two parties getting together. But that is the only realistic option. Letters to the Liberals are probably wasted effort on this topic -- although not on others. Building community values, ideas, rebuilding a more dynamic NDP and other efforts are more likely to pay off.

Hold the Liberals to the fire in the next election on this promise, of course.

mark_alfred

Every action people take, be it emailing or calling their MP, or attending the town halls, is good.  The fact that so many did attend the town halls and the ERRE consultations in favour of PR is what has led to the Liberals looking so hypocritical on this, IMO.   Important to keep the pressure up.

Sean in Ottawa

mark_alfred wrote:

Every action people take, be it emailing or calling their MP, or attending the town halls, is good.  The fact that so many did attend the town halls and the ERRE consultations in favour of PR is what has led to the Liberals looking so hypocritical on this, IMO.   Important to keep the pressure up.

Emails to MPs are not public so I don't see them as helpful.

Attending town halls is public and helpful.

Letters to the editor even comment sections and social media also good.

Petitions would be good.

A demo might even work.

I am not sure that a private letter to an MP would make a difference.

Letters to non-Liberal MPs might be helpful -- NDP MPs would collect them and raise the issue.

I guess I am skeptical about the Members from the Liberals doing anything to justify that effort.

jjuares

mark_alfred wrote:

Every action people take, be it emailing or calling their MP, or attending the town halls, is good.  The fact that so many did attend the town halls and the ERRE consultations in favour of PR is what has led to the Liberals looking so hypocritical on this, IMO.   Important to keep the pressure up.


I attended one of the meetings. In fact Monsef sat at our table for awhile. I am disappointed to see the backing away from their promise but not surprised. At the meeting it was virtually unanimous in favour of PR.

Sean in Ottawa

jjuares wrote:
mark_alfred wrote:

Every action people take, be it emailing or calling their MP, or attending the town halls, is good.  The fact that so many did attend the town halls and the ERRE consultations in favour of PR is what has led to the Liberals looking so hypocritical on this, IMO.   Important to keep the pressure up.

I attended one of the meetings. In fact Monsef sat at our table for awhile. I am disappointed to see the backing away from their promise but not surprised. At the meeting it was virtually unanimous in favour of PR.

My guess is this is a political decision made at the very, very top. By this I mean maybe above Trudeau. A party decision from the backroom.

swallow swallow's picture

As I said, coud be worth it to cc. Nathan Cullen. When the government says there is no strong opinion from the public, it helps to show that there is. 

Agree that your ideas worth doing too, Sean, of course! 

jjuares

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

jjuares wrote:
mark_alfred wrote:

Every action people take, be it emailing or calling their MP, or attending the town halls, is good.  The fact that so many did attend the town halls and the ERRE consultations in favour of PR is what has led to the Liberals looking so hypocritical on this, IMO.   Important to keep the pressure up.

I attended one of the meetings. In fact Monsef sat at our table for awhile. I am disappointed to see the backing away from their promise but not surprised. At the meeting it was virtually unanimous in favour of PR.

My guess is this is a political decision made at the very, very top. By this I mean maybe above Trudeau. A party decision from the backroom.


"Above Trudeau". Isn't he the PM?

Sean in Ottawa

jjuares wrote:
Sean in Ottawa wrote:

jjuares wrote:
mark_alfred wrote:

Every action people take, be it emailing or calling their MP, or attending the town halls, is good.  The fact that so many did attend the town halls and the ERRE consultations in favour of PR is what has led to the Liberals looking so hypocritical on this, IMO.   Important to keep the pressure up.

I attended one of the meetings. In fact Monsef sat at our table for awhile. I am disappointed to see the backing away from their promise but not surprised. At the meeting it was virtually unanimous in favour of PR.

My guess is this is a political decision made at the very, very top. By this I mean maybe above Trudeau. A party decision from the backroom.

"Above Trudeau". Isn't he the PM?

Yes, he is. And yes there are people with more power -- the bag men, the donors, the behind the scenes party bosses who on their own can be ignored but together have an incredible hold on a PM.

mark_alfred

http://angusreid.org/electoral-reform/

Poll on electoral reform voting systems.

Sean in Ottawa

mark_alfred wrote:

http://angusreid.org/electoral-reform/

Poll on electoral reform voting systems.

Quite remarkable when you consider the lack of knowledge many have. The poll could reflect a strong basis for reform if many people with little knowledge are just picking the status quo or it could reflect a weakness if most who have little knowledge are simply not participating. I am not sure how you can know without hearing all the questions and introduction to the survey.

 

mark_alfred

Quote:

I am not sure how you can know without hearing all the questions and introduction to the survey.

See this pdf for more detail:

http://angusreid.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/2016.11.28_Electoral_Ref...

Angus Reid's analysis was that MMP and LPR were equally preferred to FPTP.  FPTP was seen as the easiest with the clearest ballot.  All the PR systems (except Rural Urban, which presumably people found too confusing) were seen as better at representing people's votes.  Most see changing the electoral system as a low prioirty.  Most feel a referendum is necessary to change the system.

Sean in Ottawa

mark_alfred wrote:

Quote:

I am not sure how you can know without hearing all the questions and introduction to the survey.

See this pdf for more detail:

http://angusreid.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/2016.11.28_Electoral_Ref...

Angus Reid's analysis was that MMP and LPR were equally preferred to FPTP.  FPTP was seen as the easiest with the clearest ballot.  All the PR systems (except Rural Urban, which presumably people found too confusing) were seen as better at representing people's votes.  Most see changing the electoral system as a low prioirty.  Most feel a referendum is necessary to change the system.

I understand the results well -- the issue is what is the nature of the sample, participation and how reflective it is. This is not contained in those documents. There is cause for concern. Look at the length and just ask yourself if a person who is not very aware of the issues will stick with the survey. There is good reason to think that the people who are more aware are more interested and may have an opinion different from the general voter who is less likely to do the survey.

Option 1: It is broadly reflective and includes people who know little about any of the systems and the bias to the status quo is in the result

or

Option 2: The poll widely surveys those who, on average, know more about the subject and that in an actual vote the bias to the status quo from people who know little (or care little) about the process will swamp these results

The answers you give do not address this.

A poll is only reliable insofar as respondents reflect the opinions of non-respondents.

We saw this, I think in the US election. A large number of people were amped up to hate and mistrust the media. They were all on the side of Trump. They were less likely to be willing to be polled as the media do most of the polling. The result is the polls assumed that the respondents reflected non-respondents and they did not. When the voting came the polls were wrong.

You always have to ask this question and look at the methodology including the introduction to gauge the likelihood that knowledge would distort the survey. There are ways to do this in this case.

First question -- ask level of knowledge about voting reform options.

Ask your questions about options and weight the answers according to the answer of the first question. (You can even close quotas based on this as another approach).

Then in your interpretation you have choices: You can observe if there is a difference between support among those with knowledge and without that the balance may change (some might even adjust quotas to match this). Or, you can report the poll as it reflects the population now.

For us -- the key is to determine what that knowledge level is now, what it is expected to be in the future (especially if there may be a plebiscite), and decide how to weight knowledgeable and not knowledgeable respondents.

Without this you have a less meaningful survey. This applies any time you are polling on something where there is lower public knowledge and you think that may change over time or more knowledgeable people are more likely to participate in a poll than the average voter later. Remember voters are about half of the eligible people and poll respondents are less than 1%. You have to test for how representative your respondents are. Those who answer and agree to be polled are more likely to have an interest and knowledge than the general population.

This is one of the reasons I have always rejected the notion that people say they will vote a certain way and then not vote. Respondents are more likely to vote. The issue of course is if you weight that demographically to a cohort and assume others in their category will vote in similar number you can be wrong. Also you are measuring enthusiasm as people more interested in an issue are more likely to be polled (one reason for honeymoon effects in polls as those in a party with a new leader are more likely to want to be counted and respond at a higher rate.)

 

Rev Pesky

We have at hand an excellent way to demonstrate how superior a PR voting system is to FPTP. The government has just made announcement on pipelines, approving some and not approving others.

The question is, what would be the difference in the outcome if the parliament had been elected by a PR voting system? 

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Rev Pesky wrote:

We have at hand an excellent way to demonstrate how superior a PR voting system is to FPTP. The government has just made announcement on pipelines, approving some and not approving others.

The question is, what would be the difference in the outcome if the parliament had been elected by a PR voting system? 

This certainly is a question, but I don't think it is a very meaningful one. If there were a PR system in place for 2 or 3 elections, the lineup of parties would change. The dynamics of campaigning would change, because wedge issues would become a losing tactic, except for fringe parties. Mainstream parties would always be thinking in terms of alliances, not absolute power through a false majority, which in FPTP may only require an increase of 2 or 3 percent in support.

In such an atmosphere, there is no predicting what any particular policy decision would be, but one can predict that it would be supported by MPs representing a majority of the voters in the previous election, rather than just 39%. That difference is more important to me than the results on any particular issue.

mark_alfred

http://ottawacitizen.com/opinion/columnists/crawford-electoral-reform-wo...

Quote:

Crawford: Electoral reform would actually help the Liberals make better decisions

The biggest obstacle in this regard [implementing PR] may not be cynical self-serving calculation as much as sincere self-delusion. Many politicians simply refuse to believe the (counter-intuitive) truth that they would generally make better decisions if they were more constrained by the need to maintain support by representatives of an actual majority.

This belief that greater discretion or agency on the part of the political executive equals better policy is contradicted by both the most serious cross-national research and the Liberals’ own sterling record of productive, activist minority governments. Yet it remains the unreflective default position of most political leaders in this country.

 

mark_alfred

The ERRE Committee Report will be released tomorrow.  Watch it live tomorrow at 10:30 AM Eastern time.

http://www.cpac.ca/en/highlight/recap-electoral-reform/

JKR

Rev Pesky wrote:

We have at hand an excellent way to demonstrate how superior a PR voting system is to FPTP. The government has just made announcement on pipelines, approving some and not approving others.

The question is, what would be the difference in the outcome if the parliament had been elected by a PR voting system? 

I think under a PR system the current government would be a coalition government elected by a much larger percentage of the vote. This government would most likely have been a Liberal-NDP coalition government with the Liberals as the senior partner. So the current decision on pipelines would have been decided by political parties representing a large majority of the voters instead of a minority of the voters. So this coalition government would have likely consideried a much larger group of voters in coming to their decision. As it is the Liberals can cater to just the 39% of the voters who elected them or just 27% of eligible voters in order to maintain their majority government status that gives them 100% political power. Also under FPTP, in the next election the Liberals will be able to tell voters that in order to keep the Conservatives from regaining power they should vote strategically for the Liberals and not for the NDP, BQ, or Green eventhough these parties views on pipelines differ from the Liberals. And because of FPTP strategic voting will once again be a majour part of yet another federal election and it will unfortunately make up many more threads here on Babble during Election 2019. Maybe a slogan from the pro-PR side should be "let's stop talking endlessly about strategic voting during our elections?"

mark_alfred

 

The above is an example of the postcard that the government is sending out to supposedly get more feedback about electoral reform.  The government didn't get the answer it wanted at the town halls, the committee, and the online surveys, so it's casting a wider and vaguer net.

cco
sherpa-finn

A busy day on the electoral reform file:

Committee report released.

Liberal Minority report released. 

Minister ducks and weaves in QP.

And the silence on Babble is deafening ....  

 

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

Well what about it all of you Lib shills posting on this board? Yea or Nay? If yea, then tell us why. Why are you hiding? It wouldn't be because you know this is indefensible, is it? And don't try and blame this on the NDP. NO ONE forced Le Dauphin to make the promise he did. Well? We're waiting!

swallow swallow's picture

Liberal minority report asked the government to break its promise, and hold the next election by FPTP, as far as I can tell. Pathetic stuff. Done with government backing? 

The committee report seems very odd. Not sure why the NDP and Greens accepted a two-option referendum with FPTP as one option. 

Maryam Monsef continues to behave in a buffoonish manner. And a bunch of politicians are now arguing about who aske dthe commiuttee to do what when, rather than the issues. Par for the course in our politics, sadly.

What are your views, sherpa? 

Sean in Ottawa

sherpa-finn wrote:

A busy day on the electoral reform file:

Committee report released.

Liberal Minority report released. 

Minister ducks and weaves in QP.

And the silence on Babble is deafening ....  

 

What more is there to say?

Many of us predicted this onelection night or soon after. Self interest for the Liberals will guide the result. It just takes a while for the rhetoric to catch up. Now it has.

mark_alfred

Neat hockey analogy from the Globe. Teams NDP, Green, Conservative, and Bloc put on the jerseys of Team Liberal 2015 to try and help them score the goal of living up to their election promise. But weirdly, they find that Team Liberal 2016 suddenly wants to lose the game.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/editorials/on-electoral-reform-th...

Ciabatta2

But, the problem is, they knew the Liberals wanted to lose the game and their actions actually helped the Liberals lose the game.  That's where the opposition, or at least the Greens and NDP have failed.  They outzigged the Liberals at the front end about the parliamentary committee composition. They should have known that if the Liberals didn't control the committee, the Liberals would disavow any report - one within the parameters of the committee's work for failing to present a recommended system, or another report that did recommend a system for jumping the gun and going beyond the terms of reference of the committee.

But I think anyone with a smidgen of political awareness in this country knew that this reform pledge was simply signposting from the Liberals to show left leaning voters they shared their general value-set, and the argument that the pledge was also made in the context of getting rid of Harper.

sherpa-finn

I see it differently, Ciabatta2. The Parliamentary Committee was a test of collaborative governance by grown-ups (i.e., what needs to happen in a more proportional parliament), and the Liberals failed.

To suggest that a more favourable result might have emerged if the Liberals had been allowed to control the committee is silly.

In 2015, they promised to do things differently. And the committee process in 2016 has clearly shown that they remain unwilling and unable to change their old ways. 

At least their hypocrisy is clear to everyone, on this issue as on others. That may be as good as Canadians could ever have expected. 

Ciabatta2

I agree that the test failed, but I think that to the average Canadian that doesn't care super much about electoral reform the opposition wears the failure.  I think I've not been clear.  I'm suggesting this:

Everyone knew the Liberals, once elected, would not want electoral reform.  This should be the basis for any and all movement by the opposition on this file from day one of the Leg coming back after the last election.

We were never going to get a report that advocated for meaningful reform.  So the next best thing, then, for proponents of alternative voting systems, is to show the Liberals for what they really are on this file: complete phonies.

If the Liberals had run the committee like originally planned, it would have put pressure on the Liberals to find a craft a report that needled their way out of their pledge on electoral reform.  The opposition could have cried foul over the contents, blamed the Liberals for stacking the deck, fudging the report,  misrepresenting representations, and ignoring the will of Canadians, etc.

If the report advocated for ranked ballots, they could cry that the Liberals were picking a system that would result in their eternal victory and becoming practically a one party state.  If the report said nothign or proposed no changes, they could say the Liberals were going back on their committment.  If the answer was more study, they could cry that the Liberals were running the clock.  More consultation? They're ragging the puck. Etc. The pressure is on the Liberals in this situation.

Instead, by clamouring for a committee of equal partners, opposition took all these political risks onto themselves.

Liberal hypocrisy would have been much much much clearer had they been the authors of their own demise.  The problem now is that they are not - and we're here looking at formulas, talking about the Gallagher index, and parsing the committee's terms of reference and why the committee did not recommend a voting system.

We're left challenging the narrative that the only concensus is no consensus - and don't underestimate this, for most Canadians they don't care about the voting system and to them this is a very, very effective talking point.

In the next election, the opposition will go after Trudeau on this and he'll be able to say something like we let them run with it and they couldn't even come up with a recommendation.  If the opposition can't run a committee and come up with a clear recommendation, how can we trust our parties to have effective governance under p.r. blah blah blah?  And, um, who got rid of Harper?  Oh yeah, us. etc. blah blah blah

Sometimes it's like the Liberals are always one step ahead of the opposition.  Politically, way smarter.

 

mark_alfred

Quote:

We were never going to get a report that advocated for meaningful reform.  So the next best thing, then, for proponents of alternative voting systems, is to show the Liberals for what they really are on this file: complete phonies.

But the ERRE committee did advocate for meaningful reform.  It advocated for a proportional system.  It set a minimum guideline as to the rating of proportionality as determined by the Gallagher Index.  It also stated that it was important for local representation to be maintained (so, they ruled out a strict PR List, advocating for a mixed system), and recommended civic engagement via further advocacy, education, and a referendum. 

The Liberal members' dissention from the majority report advocated the government break their promise!  Monsef ridiculed the Gallagher Index, in essence taking an anti-math stand (from the party in favour of science and research!).  The Liberals have been roasted for their hypocrisy over this in the press. 

The report is quite extensive and impressive.  Take a look:

http://www.parl.gc.ca/Committees/en/ERRE/Work?show=reports

mark_alfred

https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2016/12/02/trudeau-insists-election-...

The no doubt rehearsed good cop bad cop routine of Trudeau and Monsef allowed Trudeau to avoid directly commenting on the substance of the report, and instead be sidelined by commenting on Monsef and subsequently introducing the Liberal's inane postcard "values" initiative.  To me it looks like even though the Liberal committee members themselves did not recommend AV, that Trudeau is still interested in pushing for this.

JKR

mark_alfred wrote:

But the ERRE committee did advocate for meaningful reform.  It advocated for a proportional system. 

I think the Conservatives on the committee completely support keeping FPTP and are completely opposed to PR. That's why their sole issue concerning electoral reform has been just having a referendum that will just kill off the issue. Not once did any Conservative on the committee ever say that PR or any other system would be a better system than FPTP. They also never even bothered to make a case in favour of FPTP. They never make a case in favour of FPTP because they know that arguing that FPTP is the best system because it unfairly favours their party doesn't make sense. The Conservatives also know that since Liberals are split on the issue of supporting PR and Conservatives are completely opposed to PR, a referendum would most likely endorse FPTP and bury PR.

I think the committee showed that the Conservatives and BQ favour FPTP, the NDP and Greens support PR and the Liberals mostly prefer AV but they might be open to some kind of system that has a low level of proportionality as a compromise that would not create a huge amount of change in our political system. By endorsing PR and a referendum to make sure it is never enacted, the committee showed they it was unable to support a clear alternative to FPTP. It seems to me that the committee unrealistically expects the government to create a system they don't favour and then put it to a referendum that they don't support and then mostly oppose the alternative system during a referendum that will most likely lead to the voters endorsing FPTP. What's the point of all that?

I think the NDP and Greens are going to have to compromise with either the Conservatves or Liberals on supporting a specific alternative system because if both the Conservatives and the Liberals don't support an alternative, electoral reform won't go anywhere.

mark_alfred

Quote:
I think the Conservatives on the committee completely support keeping FPTP and are completely opposed to PR.

I think you're wrong on that.  I'm pretty sure Scott Reid supported PR.  The Cons are certainly more open to PR than AV.

Regarding referendums, I myself don't feel it's necessary.  But, most polls show that the population at large does, and that includes Liberal or NDP supporters.  The report's recommendations should be followed.

JKR

mark_alfred wrote:

Quote:
I think the Conservatives on the committee completely support keeping FPTP and are completely opposed to PR.

I think you're wrong on that.  I'm pretty sure Scott Reid supported PR.  The Cons are certainly more open to PR than AV.

Regarding referendums, I myself don't feel it's necessary.  But, most polls show that the population at large does, and that includes Liberal or NDP supporters.  The report's recommendations should be followed.

Where is there any evidence that Scott Reid and the Conservatives support PR? If they support PR why didn't they recommend that the government establish it without a referendum? It seems to me that the Conservatives have never been fans of putting things they support to referendums.

And why should Liberals support something they clearly don't believe in?

mark_alfred

Scott Reid seems quite open to it when he speaks, though true, I've not heard him actually declare it as a preference.  Here's an interview with Reid (you'll have to scroll down to find it):  http://www.cbc.ca/radio/asithappens/as-it-happens-thursday-edition-1.387...

Quote:

And why should Liberals support something they clearly don't believe in?

I have never heard that they don't believe in it.  It was an option for consideration in their platform.  They set up the committee to research the various options, including speaking with experts.  To then ignore the results would be odd, don't you think? 

mark_alfred

Petition from Boulerice:  https://actionsprout.io/6F7176/initial

mark_alfred

http://www.macleans.ca/politics/ottawa/the-problem-with-maryam-monsefs-c...

Quote:

Monsef’s ‘math is hard’ moment is an odd position for a cabinet minister in a proud science-friendly, evidence-based party to be taking

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