Proportional Representation part 3

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jjuares

Of particular note for the Liberals is the almost seven in 10 of their own supporters who thought the government should keep its word (67.7 per cent). NDP (74.5 per cent) and Green (79.9 per cent) supporters were even more adamant about holding the Liberals to their word. Only a minority of Conservatives (30.9 per cent) wanted Trudeau to follow through.
http://ipolitics.ca/2016/10/20/six-in-10-want-trudeau-to-keep-electoral-...

mmphosis
JKR

Rev Pesky wrote:

You're making a fundamental error in equating having another of your favourite party members in parliament with having representation.

It seems to me that a basic tenet of democracy is having the will of the people at least modestly reflected in the makeup of the House of Commons. I think even a semi-proportional system would be a vast improvement over what we have now.

NorthReport

Sounds like PR may be dead. As much as it was an interesting idea, no party, unless they are extremely foolish and have a death wish, are going to propose legislation that will impact negatively on them in future elections.

JKR

If we have no problem keeping FPTP we should resign ourselves to continue having elections where strategic voting is a majour issue. Like it or not, FPTP and strategic voting are inseparable.

JKR

NorthReport wrote:

Sounds like PR may be dead. As much as it was an interesting idea, no party, unless they are extremely foolish and have a death wish, are going to propose legislation that will impact negatively on them in future elections.

With PR it might be required that Liberals be represented in most coalition governments.

Rev Pesky

faustus wrote:

You can get people to vote for change when they see the absurdities of FPTP results.  In BC when the party that got the most votes did not win government, and then in the next election we had a legislature where there was no official opposition.  That is what caused the Citizens assembly to happen and eventually got the referendum with 57% support for STV.  Of course the deck was stacked against change because we needed 60% support...

Don't forget they had another chance at it, and on second try it failed to get even 50% support. In fact it failed to get 40% support. And the referendum itself was only voted on by just slightly over half of registered voters.

Rev Pesky

JKR wrote:
Rev Pesky wrote:

You're making a fundamental error in equating having another of your favourite party members in parliament with having representation.

It seems to me that a basic tenet of democracy is having the will of the people at least modestly reflected in the makeup of the House of Commons. I think even a semi-proportional system would be a vast improvement over what we have now.

But the existing system is semi-proportional.

My argument is that when people say the existing system 'wastes' votes - that if the person you voted for doesn't get elected you have no representation - they're saying something that is not true.

I also think one thing the Trudeau government has found out is that there is no demand from voters for a change. That is reflected, by the way, in the BC experience, where even the first referendum, after months of hype, only got 61% of voter turnout (the second got 55%). For comparison, the last federal election got 68% voter turnout.

Pondering

jjuares wrote:
Of particular note for the Liberals is the almost seven in 10 of their own supporters who thought the government should keep its word (67.7 per cent). NDP (74.5 per cent) and Green (79.9 per cent) supporters were even more adamant about holding the Liberals to their word. Only a minority of Conservatives (30.9 per cent) wanted Trudeau to follow through.
">http://ipolitics.ca/2016/10/20/six-in-10-want-trudeau-to-keep-electoral-...

 

In the field from October 12 to 18, an EKOS online survey asked whether Canadians agreed with the following statement: “Electoral reform is something the Liberal Party campaigned on, so they should deliver on this promise.”

Electoral reform does not equal PR. Trudeau was considering a number of changes and that is what the committee report will be about once they create it.

 

Pondering

SeekingAPoliticalHome wrote:

Effectivy this dead, unless somebody is willing to spend political capital this is going to go away.  The conservatives want it dead, ndp don't really have any juice to populaize the issue.  Honestly if i was wearing the political cap in the NDP would spend 0 on potitical capital pr issue.  I would husband everything what for the decision of CETA and TPP, IF CETA fails because Beglium then I would every spend dime of political capital to undermine trudea politicals position.  He investested so much capital to CETA i would say this the issue to challenge trudea on.  This fruitful ground, but you have want to see if it fails first.

No, it has to be fought before it fails if the NDP is to get any credit for it but even now it is not too late because CETA is not dead and neither is TPP.

Clearly PR is far more important to the NDP. Pretty much since Layton took over the party will do anything for power. If they have any positions on the left it is for the same reason the Liberals do. To gain voters.

JKR

Rev Pesky wrote:

My argument is that when people say the existing system 'wastes' votes - that if the person you voted for doesn't get elected you have no representation - they're saying something that is not true.

Having a representative in the House of Commons does not mean that people's viewpoints are being adequately or fairly represented there. Under FPTP sometimes we have even had majority governments that have come in second place. With FPTP a first place party can have no power while the second place party can govern unnaposed with a minority of the votes.That's what happened here in BC in 1996 and led to a major move here for electoral reform.

SeekingAPolitic...

Pondering wrote:

SeekingAPoliticalHome wrote:

Effectivy this dead, unless somebody is willing to spend political capital this is going to go away.  The conservatives want it dead, ndp don't really have any juice to populaize the issue.  Honestly if i was wearing the political cap in the NDP would spend 0 on potitical capital pr issue.  I would husband everything what for the decision of CETA and TPP, IF CETA fails because Beglium then I would every spend dime of political capital to undermine trudea politicals position.  He investested so much capital to CETA i would say this the issue to challenge trudea on.  This fruitful ground, but you have want to see if it fails first.

No, it has to be fought before it fails if the NDP is to get any credit for it but even now it is not too late because CETA is not dead and neither is TPP.

Clearly PR is far more important to the NDP. Pretty much since Layton took over the party will do anything for power. If they have any positions on the left it is for the same reason the Liberals do. To gain voters.

No, it has to be fought before it fails if the NDP is to get any credit for it but even now it is not too late because CETA is not dead and neither is TPP.

It seems that NDP is risk averse these days.  I don't know if they would spend their capital on the CETA if it was not slam dunk.  The media coverage of the of the issue in canada aleast does not really help.  The stuff I am hearing as why this being held up by wallionia is that they are irrational protectionists.  In Canada there is media little of no discussion on soverighty and investor clause or perhaps gmo crops that wants to sell to europe.  As I was writting this post i had an incite, i think this probably less to with Canada rather CETA has become a proxy for capitalist globalism and it sflaws.  I think those forces that want to stop CETA are thinking ahead, CETA is easer to attack and derailing it would have very oversized impact on further trade deals.  Our media says seems to focus wallonia and there problems with CETA but their protests all over europe. 

jjuares

Pondering wrote:

jjuares wrote:
Of particular note for the Liberals is the almost seven in 10 of their own supporters who thought the government should keep its word (67.7 per cent). NDP (74.5 per cent) and Green (79.9 per cent) supporters were even more adamant about holding the Liberals to their word. Only a minority of Conservatives (30.9 per cent) wanted Trudeau to follow through.
">http://ipolitics.ca/2016/10/20/six-in-10-want-trudeau-to-keep-electoral-...

 

In the field from October 12 to 18, an EKOS online survey asked whether Canadians agreed with the following statement: “Electoral reform is something the Liberal Party campaigned on, so they should deliver on this promise.”

Electoral reform does not equal PR. Trudeau was considering a number of changes and that is what the committee report will be about once they create it.

 


I never said that PR equals electoral reform.

jjuares

The Liberals have really set themselves up well here. They have indicated in the past they wanted the ranked ballot and they have now said that they need large support to make any significant change. That would mean another party. The Conservatives aren't interested so that means the NDP. The ranked ballot is ( as Broadbent described it) FPTP on steroids and seemingly beneficial to a party like the Liberals in the middle of the spectrum. So they can propose that and basically force the NDP to accept this or walk away from it and have the Liberals claim that they tried to change the electoral system but couldn't find the support and charge the NDP as obstructionist and unwilling to compromise. Either way PR is dead and the Liberals win.

Rev Pesky

JKR wrote:
...Having a representative in the House of Commons does not mean that people's viewpoints are being adequately or fairly represented there. ... 

Which of course makes PR moot.

JKR

Rev Pesky wrote:

JKR wrote:
...Having a representative in the House of Commons does not mean that people's viewpoints are being adequately or fairly represented there. ... 

Which of course makes PR moot.

I should have wrote that merely having any representative in the House of Commons does not mean that people's viewpoints are being adequately or fairly represented there. I think having the person or party you vote for represent you in parliament gives you much better representation than having a person or party you didn't vote for represent you and because of this PR is better than FPTP.

Rev Pesky

JKR wrote:

Rev Pesky wrote:

JKR wrote:
...Having a representative in the House of Commons does not mean that people's viewpoints are being adequately or fairly represented there. ... 

Which of course makes PR moot.

I should have wrote that merely having any representative in the House of Commons does not mean that people's viewpoints are being adequately or fairly represented there. I think having the person or party you vote for represent you in parliament gives you much better representation than having a person or party you didn't vote for represent you and because of this PR is better than FPTP.

That would be true if any political party's viewpoint exactly matched your own. The chances of that happening are pretty much zero. I know from being on this website that even amongst the NDP supporters here there is no agreement on particular issues. For instance, I would say that many NDP supporters are not opposed to budget deficits, yet the party was quite clear that they would not run deficits. So, strangely enough, those NDP supporters who apporove of budget deficits would find that the representative of the party they voted for did not represent their views in parliament, but the Liberals, whom they didn't vote for, did represent their views.

That is not the only issue on which there is disagreement within the NDP. What it means is that people will (and have to) accept that their views may not necessarily be represented by the party they support. PR would do nothing to change that situation.

One might protest that PR would allow smaller parties, with specific views into parliament, but of course PR limits parties by eliminating those parties that receive less than some percentage of the vote.

I might be opposed to Canada's participation in NATO, and there might even be some party that espouses that view in a PR system (there already is a party that does, the Communist Party), but I suspect if I voted for the Communist Party, even with a PR system my vote 'wouldn't count'.

The only way to make sure that every citizen's vote counts is to have a parliamentary member for every vote cast. We both know that is not going to happen, despite the fact that 'Make Every Vote Count' is the rallying cry of PR supporters everywhere.

Doug Woodard

Rev Pesky wrote:

One might protest that PR would allow smaller parties, with specific views into parliament, but of course PR limits parties by eliminating those parties that receive less than some percentage of the vote.

Pesky, some PR systems have thresholds and some don't. Some allow voters to help put a second or third choice into Parliament rather than not have any input.

Are you just ignorant, or are you deliberately lying? Or do you say whatever you like without worrying about whether it corresponds with the facts?

Doug Woodard

Rev Pesky wrote:

JKR wrote:

Rev Pesky wrote:

JKR wrote:
...Having a representative in the House of Commons does not mean that people's viewpoints are being adequately or fairly represented there. ... 

Which of course makes PR moot.

I should have wrote that merely having any representative in the House of Commons does not mean that people's viewpoints are being adequately or fairly represented there. I think having the person or party you vote for represent you in parliament gives you much better representation than having a person or party you didn't vote for represent you and because of this PR is better than FPTP.

That would be true if any political party's viewpoint exactly matched your own. The chances of that happening are pretty much zero. I know from being on this website that even amongst the NDP supporters here there is no agreement on particular issues. For instance, I would say that many NDP supporters are not opposed to budget deficits, yet the party was quite clear that they would not run deficits. So, strangely enough, those NDP supporters who apporove of budget deficits would find that the representative of the party they voted for did not represent their views in parliament, but the Liberals, whom they didn't vote for, did represent their views.

That is not the only issue on which there is disagreement within the NDP. What it means is that people will (and have to) accept that their views may not necessarily be represented by the party they support. PR would do nothing to change that situation.

One might protest that PR would allow smaller parties, with specific views into parliament, but of course PR limits parties by eliminating those parties that receive less than some percentage of the vote.

I might be opposed to Canada's participation in NATO, and there might even be some party that espouses that view in a PR system (there already is a party that does, the Communist Party), but I suspect if I voted for the Communist Party, even with a PR system my vote 'wouldn't count'.

The only way to make sure that every citizen's vote counts is to have a parliamentary member for every vote cast. We both know that is not going to happen, despite the fact that 'Make Every Vote Count' is the rallying cry of PR supporters everywhere.

Pesky, what you're saying is that if a voter can't be represented in Parliament with absolute precision, there's no point in worrying about the quality of representation. This may be what you believe, but I doubt whether 1% of voters share your opinion. And by the way, I doubt that many people are impressed by your attempts to reduce the English language to a pea-and-thimble trick. 

Rev Pesky

Doug Woodard wrote:
...Pesky, some PR systems have thresholds and some don't. Some allow voters to help put a second or third choice into Parliament rather than not have any input.

Are you just ignorant, or are you deliberately lying? Or do you say whatever you like without worrying about whether it corresponds with the facts?

Let's see, am I ignorant, or a liar? Jeez, I could be both, but for some reason you didn't offer that as an alternative. Or were you saying I couldn't be both. Now that's cruel, I can multi-task with the best of them. 

Well, it would be interesting if you would post those countries that have PR electoral systems that dont' have a threshold. That would help. Bear in mind that thresholds occur in more than one way. For instance, Portugal does not have an official threshold, but because of the system they use, the effective threshold is higher than some countries that do have a threshold.

Then there's countries like Israel where they have raised the threshold several times, trying to provide some stability to their parliament.

Apparently Finland does not have a threshold, but in looking at their election results one can see 11 different parties that got votes but didn't get a seat, so there must be some kind of threshold. South Africa too does not have a threshold, but like Finland, a dozen or so parties received votes but no seats, so again, there must be some kind of threshold.

The Netherlands has no threshold, but they have something called the Hare quota. What that means is the overall vote is divided by the number of seats, and if your party didn't reach that quota (in the last election apporx 9 million votes divided by 150 seats - 60,000votes) you don't get a seat. So that too is a threshold, even if it's not called that.

Macedonia doesn't have a threshold, but like Finland and South Africa, there were a number of parties that received votes but didn't get seats, so there must be some kind of threshold.

By comparison, 34 countries in Europe alone have PR with official thresholds. So I don't think it's going to far to say that PR systems have thresholds. Certainly the vast majority of them do, and those that don't still find ways to eliminate some parties from the parliaments.

Rev Pesky

Doug Woodard wrote:
...Pesky, what you're saying is that if a voter can't be represented in Parliament with absolute precision, there's no point in worrying about the quality of representation. This may be what you believe, but I doubt whether 1% of voters share your opinion. And by the way, I doubt that many people are impressed by your attempts to reduce the English language to a pea-and-thimble trick. 

Pardon me, I was replying to someone who said that each voter deserves to have their viewpoint represented in parliament. I merely pointed out that individual voters viewpoints and the programs of political parties don't necessarily match up. In other words, your viewpoint may not be represented even though the party you voted for achieved a proportional result.

And if you're looking for manipulation of language, I suggest you check out the PR proponents who are constantly saying, 'Make every vote count'. Now, that is a lie.

mark_alfred

Quote:

And if you're looking for manipulation of language, I suggest you check out the PR proponents who are constantly saying, 'Make every vote count'. Now, that is a lie.

The Liberals themselves use that phrasing in their platform:

Liberal platform wrote:

We will make every vote count.

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

Making seats won in proportion to votes cast is the idea of PR.  So given that this is PR's premise, PR comes closest to the goal of making every vote count, and thus is closest to the stated goal of the Lib's platform promise, IMO.  The other part of the promise was to consult with experts and the public via an all-party Committee, and consider those recommendations.  In following the testimonies at the committee, the majority of experts recommend PR.  Very few advocate for AV.  It will be interesting to see what the survey results were (if they publish that, which they may not).

JKR

Rev Pesky wrote:

JKR wrote:

Rev Pesky wrote:

JKR wrote:
...Having a representative in the House of Commons does not mean that people's viewpoints are being adequately or fairly represented there. ... 

Which of course makes PR moot.

I should have wrote that merely having any representative in the House of Commons does not mean that people's viewpoints are being adequately or fairly represented there. I think having the person or party you vote for represent you in parliament gives you much better representation than having a person or party you didn't vote for represent you and because of this PR is better than FPTP.

That would be true if any political party's viewpoint exactly matched your own. The chances of that happening are pretty much zero. I know from being on this website that even amongst the NDP supporters here there is no agreement on particular issues. For instance, I would say that many NDP supporters are not opposed to budget deficits, yet the party was quite clear that they would not run deficits. So, strangely enough, those NDP supporters who apporove of budget deficits would find that the representative of the party they voted for did not represent their views in parliament, but the Liberals, whom they didn't vote for, did represent their views.

That is not the only issue on which there is disagreement within the NDP. What it means is that people will (and have to) accept that their views may not necessarily be represented by the party they support. PR would do nothing to change that situation.

One might protest that PR would allow smaller parties, with specific views into parliament, but of course PR limits parties by eliminating those parties that receive less than some percentage of the vote.

I might be opposed to Canada's participation in NATO, and there might even be some party that espouses that view in a PR system (there already is a party that does, the Communist Party), but I suspect if I voted for the Communist Party, even with a PR system my vote 'wouldn't count'.

The only way to make sure that every citizen's vote counts is to have a parliamentary member for every vote cast. We both know that is not going to happen, despite the fact that 'Make Every Vote Count' is the rallying cry of PR supporters everywhere.

I think it's important not to let the perfect be the enemy of the good, so I think it is better to have each citizen's viewpoint represented as much as is reasonably possible while taking other important factors into account like strong local representation, and strong government. An electoral system has to balance many different values and because of this of this some kind of hybrid system is probably the way to go. Fortunately the all-party committee on electoral reform is considering a few different kinds of hybrid systems.

mark_alfred

Rabble's Karl on Parl has some good commentary on Trudeau's recent musings.  Full article here:  Can Trudeau get away with killing electoral reform?  Condensed version below:

Karl Nerenberg wrote:

When a major party candidate for the U.S. presidency says he will not necessarily respect the result of the election there is a great hue and cry throughout the land, and quite legitimately so.

And what happens when a Canadian Prime Minister strongly hints he might walk away from one his most emphatic and unequivocal election promises?

Well, there has been some clicking of tongues, and a few expressions of somewhat-more-than-mild disappointment.

But should there not be a greater degree of concern, if not something approaching outrage?

For Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, the promise that the 2015 election would be the last one conducted under the current first-past-the-post system was not merely one among many casually offered campaign pledges.

It was one of his principal means of re-asserting himself and his party when they had slipped to third place in the opinion polls.

[..]

Electoral reform was the centrepiece of the Liberals' "Fair and Open Government" package of democratic reforms.

[..]

In case anyone might miss the point, the Liberals plastered their fair and open government document with one key slogan: "Real Change".

[..]

But as for the electoral reform promise -- well, that was the big one. It occupied centre stage last spring. The Liberal leader, now Prime Minister, took clear and very personal ownership of that pledge.

That leader should be very wary of cavalierly abandoning that key promise, now that he has his majority.

He and many in his party might be tempted to reason that the Canadian people are not particularly seized with the arcane issue of how we elect our parliament right now.

The government faces bigger and more pressing challenges, they could tell themselves, notably on the economy and such major policy fronts as immigration.

That could be a fatal error.

Whatever the level of voters' knowledge of the details of an election promise, they tend to look askance at politicians who make firm commitments only to so easily abandon them.

The Trudeau Liberals are high in public esteem now, a year into their mandate. If, however, they start to gain a reputation for being disingenuous about their commitments, that could have a corrosive effect on that public esteem.

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

All this bantering back and forth. For me the bottom line is I want a number of NDP MPs that reprsents the vote the party recieved. This is not a hard thing to grasp. My MP here is Bezan. There is nothing Bezan espouses that represents me in any way. So, I want to have a chance of electing a number of MPs that represents me based on the total support for those MPs as indicated by the electorate. For sure, a clown like my former MP, Keving Lamoureux, in no way reprsented in how he conducted myself anything I belived, especially as it pertains to the issue of choice about which he acted cute, the scumbag. Screwing around with a woman's right to have control over their own bodies. I want to have enough of a voice so that we can stop clowns like Trudeau from selling arms to the Saudis, denying the government has an obligation to care for me as a Vet with a disablity, an countless other issues. All you have to do is look at Trudeau's cutsey voting reform comments to see that allowing any party to have absolute control is not good for democracy as it is clear they will all take advantage of it for their own damn gain. So, you can go back and forth on this, but real PR, and not the BS of a ranked ballot wanted by Le Dauphin so he can stay King, is the only option. Period!

mark_alfred

Agreed ^^

mark_alfred

mark_alfred

Petition at the Broadbent Institute:  Justin Trudeau, keep your promise to bring in electoral reform.  Currently at 4171 signatures.

iyraste1313

But should there not be a greater degree of concern, if not something approaching outrage?.................

....outrage must be converted to action?

I suggest that not only the constant Liberal deceptions, but the nature of the present electoral system is in fact contrary to Section 3 jurisprudence in the Charter of Rights.....a federal Court action is sorely in need!

mark_alfred

It should be noted that the video of Trudeau is taken out of context.  It's from about six months ago when Trudeau was actually defending his promise.  There is no video of the interview he did recently where he hinted of backing away from the promise.  That said, this video from 22 Minutes is hilarious:

https://www.facebook.com/22Minutes/videos/10154020580343339/

mark_alfred

Here's a great video of the Electoral Reform Committee.  It's Professor Byron Weber-Becker (a computer scientist) discussing the Composite Gallagher Index.  Basically, these are simulations of the various voting systems to see how "well behaved" they are.  In describing what he means by "well-behaved", he uses the ERRE Committee's own mandate, which states that a well-behaved system "... reduces distortion and strengthens the link between voter intention and the election of representatives..."  He elaborates this means comparisons of results (votes won/seats won) are not erratic but instead are predictable.

What is of note here is how poorly AV scores on this Index.  It scores worse than FPTP.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4CEJL3WSBc

JKR

mark_alfred wrote:

Here's a great video of the Electoral Reform Committee.  It's Professor Byron Weber-Becker (a computer scientist) discussing the Composite Gallagher Index.  Basically, these are simulations of the various voting systems to see how "well behaved" they are.  In describing what he means by "well-behaved", he uses the ERRE Committee's own mandate, which states that a well-behaved system "... reduces distortion and strengthens the link between voter intention and the election of representatives..."  He elaborates this means comparisons of results (votes won/seats won) are not erratic but instead are predictable.

What is of note here is how poorly AV scores on this Index.  It scores worse than FPTP.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4CEJL3WSBc

I think Weber-Becker makes a mistake when he simply superimposes voting patterns under FPTP elections onto the voting patterns of AV elections because AV elections would have a lot less strategic voting than FPTP elections. Also, I think 3rd parties would get many more 1st preference votes under AV.

mark_alfred

Quote:
I think Weber-Becker makes a mistake when he simply superimposes voting patterns under FPTP elections onto the voting patterns of AV elections because AV elections would have a lot less strategic voting than FPTP elections. Also, I think 3rd parties would get many more 1st preference votes under AV.

He addresses this at the very beginning of the video.  It's the behaviour of data when modelled under different systems that he's looking at. Here's from the first couple of minutes.

Professor Weber-Becker wrote:
Model is an import concept to understand in this context.  This is the definition that I would like to use:  the application of electoral system rules to data, producing results that assist in understanding the behaviour of a system.  I want to emphasize the last phrase.  I'm trying to understand the overall behaviour of electoral systems.  My goal is not to predict who wins and who loses under a different system.  That role has many difficulties, including voters changing how they vote when the system changes.  Instead, I'm attempting to use past elections to see if the system is well-behaved.  If it has been well-behaved in many such elections we can expect it to be well-behaved in future elections even if the voters change how they vote.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
It's the behaviour of data when modelled under different systems that he's looking at.

OK, but which data?

Given that we've never had a non-FPTP election, wouldn't he necessarily be looking at FPTP voting and trying to apply that to another system?

JKR

mark_alfred wrote:

Quote:
I think Weber-Becker makes a mistake when he simply superimposes voting patterns under FPTP elections onto the voting patterns of AV elections because AV elections would have a lot less strategic voting than FPTP elections. Also, I think 3rd parties would get many more 1st preference votes under AV.

He addresses this at the very beginning of the video.  It's the behaviour of data when modelled under different systems that he's looking at. Here's from the first couple of minutes.

Professor Weber-Becker wrote:
Model is an import concept to understand in this context.  This is the definition that I would like to use:  the application of electoral system rules to data, producing results that assist in understanding the behaviour of a system.  I want to emphasize the last phrase.  I'm trying to understand the overall behaviour of electoral systems.  My goal is not to predict who wins and who loses under a different system.  That role has many difficulties, including voters changing how they vote when the system changes.  Instead, I'm attempting to use past elections to see if the system is well-behaved.  If it has been well-behaved in many such elections we can expect it to be well-behaved in future elections even if the voters change how they vote.

I think everyone agrees that PR systems are more well-behaved than winner-take-all systems like FPTP and AV but I I think that FPTP and AV are equally "mis-behaved." I think in FPTP elections where vote splitting alters the outcome more, AV would be more well-behaved than FPTP and in elections where FPTP vote splitting isn't as much of a factor, FPTP is more well-behaved than AV would have been. I think that's why the FPTP election results in 2015 were more well-behaved than in 2011 when vote-splitting had a greater impact on the results. So both FPTP and AV are systems that are not well-behaved compared to PR systems which are well behaved.

mark_alfred

Quote:
OK, but which data?

At the end of his presentation (around the ten minute mark of the video) Professor Weber-Becker gives a github url which has both the source of his computer program and the input data he used.

quizzical

you know i don't get this truthfully.

if pr allowed a bunch of little parties get in and there's no majority the liberal and conservatives will just have a coalition. even if they pretend they weren't.

so what's the point?

mark_alfred

The point is to have the seats won more closely reflect the votes cast.

JKR

quizzical wrote:

you know i don't get this truthfully.

if pr allowed a bunch of little parties get in and there's no majority the liberal and conservatives will just have a coalition. even if they pretend they weren't.

so what's the point?

If the Liberals formed a coalition with the Conservatives very many voters on the left would abandon the Liberals and move to the NDP. As it is most voters on the left support the Liberals because they're the party that keeps the Conservatives out of power under FPTP.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
The point is to have the seats won more closely reflect the votes cast.

And if they TOO closely reflect the votes cast, gerrymander the threshold to make sure that doesn't happen again.

mark_alfred

Quote:
And if they TOO closely reflect the votes cast, gerrymander the threshold to make sure that doesn't happen again.

Hopefully not. 

Often a "threshold" is simply a mathematical reality.  There has to be enough votes for a candidate to win a seat.  So a national party that gets just one vote means they have not earned enough to merit getting one seat.  For example, if a nation has ten seats up for grabs, and it's a strictly PR system, and there's 100 voters, then the minimum a party needs for a seat is six votes, I think (100/10*0.5+1=6... I think... ).  Thus, a "threshold" of 6, because that's the unalterable reality of the situation.  Anyway, Magoo, you're a computer guy, so you know all this.  So, rather than continuing to indulge in these facetious posts, what is your actual feeling on PR?

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Often a "threshold" is simply a mathematical reality.  There has to be enough votes for a candidate to win a seat.

I respect math.

But do most countries who use an electoral model that involves thresholds simply go with the least that math demands?

Quote:
Thus, a "threshold" of 6, because that's the unalterable reality of the situation.

OK.  Is the least threshold that the math demands also the threshold you support?  If so, we have no further disagreement.  I totally get that with 338 seats, any party should need approximately 0.3% of the vote for a seat.  Far be it from me to try to argue with simple math.

Quote:
Anyway, Magoo, you're a computer guy, so you know all this.  So, rather than continuing to indulge in these facetious posts, what is your actual feeling on PR?

For starters, when I was able to vote on it I chose "Yes".

But in terms of the arguments for or against, I guess I'm mostly still "for", but at the same time I'm seeing a lot of illogic, and the idea of this threshold is a good example of that.  If we need PR in order to "make every vote count" then it seems to me a bit illogical to then say that we need an arbitrary threshold for the sole purpose of ensuring that not every vote counts.

If that threshold is just some "reality" then I hope proponents can be honest enough to change the slogan to "make MANY votes count".  But don't say "ALL" or "EVERY" if you don't mean it.

mark_alfred

Semantics.  Some people view that as the most important thing.  The Liberals non-argument against Mulcair's promise of increasing the minimum wage surrounded semantics. 

mark_alfred

Given both Trudeau's and Monsef's recent musings about dropping the very clear commitment the Liberals made to electoral reform, I feel it's a good idea to express support for it now.  Here's a form letter from Fair Vote Canada that you can send to them, to thank them and let them know you support proportional representation. 

http://fairvotecanada.good.do/thankyou/keepthepromise/

cco

Mr. Magoo wrote:

OK.  Is the least threshold that the math demands also the threshold you support?  If so, we have no further disagreement.  I totally get that with 338 seats, any party should need approximately 0.3% of the vote for a seat.  Far be it from me to try to argue with simple math.

One seat is the threshold I support. However, none of the MMP proposals involve replacing the entire House with a single national list-allocated body. If we keep the House the same size, keep provincial divisions, and go half list, half local ridings, German-style, then in Québec you'd need about 2.56% to get one of the 39 list seats. In Ontario, it'd be about 1.6%. In PEI, it'd be 25%. (The North is even trickier, with each territory having one seat. Do they share a 3-seat list constituency?)

Now obviously, this doesn't seem very fair if you live in PEI. Of course, now, every riding in PEI has about 1/4th the population of a riding in Montréal, and Labrador has just 26,728 voters. Much like at the provincial level in Québec, Îles-de-la-Madeleine riding has only 12,780 voters, whereas my riding has about 66,000. Some finessing is going to be inevitable, and the final system will have geographical exceptions from pure proportionality. From a theoretical standpoint, where one can concoct fictional countries in a lab, it's unfortunate. From a practical one, where the goal is to make Canadian elections as proportional as possible, it's a reasonable concession to make given the vast differences in the area and population of Canada's provinces and territories.

JKR

I think the PR systems being contemplated by the all-party committee only include systems with small regions so they do not require thresholds. Also they are talking about systems that have no more than 1/3rd top-up seats.

Rev Pesky

JKR wrote:
...If the Liberals formed a coalition with the Conservatives very many voters on the left would abandon the Liberals and move to the NDP. As it is most voters on the left support the Liberals because they're the party that keeps the Conservatives out of power under FPTP.

Another possibility is that the Liberals would ally with the NDP in a sort of centrist coalition. After all, the difference between the NDP and Liberals is more rhetorical than real.

JKR

Rev Pesky wrote:

JKR wrote:
...If the Liberals formed a coalition with the Conservatives very many voters on the left would abandon the Liberals and move to the NDP. As it is most voters on the left support the Liberals because they're the party that keeps the Conservatives out of power under FPTP.

Another possibility is that the Liberals would ally with the NDP in a sort of centrist coalition....

I think this is one of the majour reasons why the Conservatives are dead set against any form of PR and why they are going all out to keep FPTP.

Doug Woodard

JKR wrote:
Rev Pesky wrote:

JKR wrote:
...If the Liberals formed a coalition with the Conservatives very many voters on the left would abandon the Liberals and move to the NDP. As it is most voters on the left support the Liberals because they're the party that keeps the Conservatives out of power under FPTP.

Another possibility is that the Liberals would ally with the NDP in a sort of centrist coalition....

I think this is one of the majour reasons why the Conservatives are dead set against any form of PR and why they are going all out to keep FPTP.

I think the main reason why many Conservatives fear PR is that under it they would split into an extreme right wing faction which would be perpetually on the outside of government, and a coalitionable group resembling old PCs or Red Tories. This would reverse the present situation in which the right wing of the Conservatives controls the party and has a strong influence on the country.

JKR

Doug Woodard wrote:

JKR wrote:
Rev Pesky wrote:

JKR wrote:
...If the Liberals formed a coalition with the Conservatives very many voters on the left would abandon the Liberals and move to the NDP. As it is most voters on the left support the Liberals because they're the party that keeps the Conservatives out of power under FPTP.

Another possibility is that the Liberals would ally with the NDP in a sort of centrist coalition....

I think this is one of the majour reasons why the Conservatives are dead set against any form of PR and why they are going all out to keep FPTP.

I think the main reason why many Conservatives fear PR is that under it they would split into an extreme right wing faction which would be perpetually on the outside of government, and a coalitionable group resembling old PCs or Red Tories. This would reverse the present situation in which the right wing of the Conservatives controls the party and has a strong influence on the country.

I agree. The splitting up of the Conservatives would also be a messy process.

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