Proportional representation part 4

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MegB
Proportional representation part 4

Continued from here.

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mark_alfred

The government has received loads of letters, emails, and tweets on this, and I've heard they also were grilled by the NDP in the House today.  Apparently an announcement will be coming soon from Elizabeth May.  No clue what that would be.

mark_alfred

From CPAC:

Quote:

Another supply day is scheduled for the House of Commons, with the NDP highlighting the government’s decision to abandon major voting system reform.

Here is the full motion:

That, in the opinion of the House, the government misled Canadians on its platform and Throne Speech commitment “that 2015 will be the last federal election conducted under the first-past-the-post voting system”, and that the House call on the government to apologize to Canadians for breaking its promise.

Petition still going strong.  It's at 95,800 now.

https://petitions.parl.gc.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-616


bekayne

https://petitions.parl.gc.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-616

3. In the coming weeks, outline a firm timeline for public consultation regarding the proposals mentioned above, detailing the proposed timeline until introduction before the house of commons.

Does "public consulation" mean referendum?

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Maybe just another methodologically questionable online survey, like last time.

Quote:
8.  Do you agree with the current government with regard to our current (or proposed) electoral system, or do you not wish to not support their non-binding non-commitment to a system that may or may not benefit them electorally in the event that such choice shall be our only choice, notwithstanding our choice to maintain the same system that gave them their current mandate in part on their assertion that this shall be the last time such a system shall be allowed to confer majority power on a party?

josh

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau suggests one of the reasons he abandoned his 2015 campaign pledge on electoral reform was due to concerns over parties representing fringe voices, noting Kellie Leitch's push to lead the Conservative party. 

 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/trudeau-asks-woman-at-iqaluit-event-if-leitch-should-have-her-own-party/article33978880/

 

voice of the damned

"Do you think Kellie Leitch should have her own party?"

Not a bad question, but funny how JT was not(as far as I know) raising the spectre of far-right anti-immigrant kingmakers back when he still wanted the public to think that he was open-minded about considering various forms of electoral reform.

As to the answer to the question, I suppose it depends on whether you think Leitch can do more harm as leader of her own small party, rather than as leader of one faction within a larger Conservative Party.

 

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
"Do you think Kellie Leitch should have her own party?"

Not in the sense that I think she's entitled to such, but if enough Canadians agree with her that her new party could be electorally successful, then on what grounds would we say "No"?

Note that if she or her imaginary party propose things that are illegal, that's more a matter for the law than for the electorate.  Plus, Elizabeth May has her own party, but out of humility she refers to them as "the Greens".

Geoff

So, Germany is beset by political instability, caused by PR? Has JT warned Angela Merkel? Apparently, she is unaware of the imminent danger.

R.E.Wood

And under FPTP we've already had what would be considered on a national scale to be fringe or localized parties - the Bloc Quebecois / the Reform Party - that achieved significant numbers of seats (including Official Opposition), so Trudeau's latest BS stinks, and fails to hold up to the scrutiny of recent past history. He's just spinning because he didn't get what he wanted - ranked balllots, which would have guaranteed Liberal majorities ad-infinitum.

Doug Woodard

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Plus, Elizabeth May has her own party, but out of humility she refers to them as "the Greens".

Magoo, I'm sorry to intrude on your fantasy world, but there really is a Green Party, and it's not going away. Some of us spent about six years encouraging Elizabeth to run for the leadership before she decided to take the plunge. When she retires, the Green Party will continue.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Magoo, I'm sorry to intrude on your fantasy world, but there really is a Green Party

Of course.  And as I noted, even Elizabeth May refers to them as that.

Rev Pesky

Geoff wrote:

So, Germany is beset by political instability, caused by PR? Has JT warned Angela Merkel? Apparently, she is unaware of the imminent danger.

PR doesn't create instability. It does exacerbate it. As long as everything is going along fine, PR works a charm. Everybody is happy.

It's when times are tough that PR breaks down. We''ve seen that over and over again in Greece, Israel, Prortugal, Italy. Elections that don't result in a government, small parties scrapping with each other over the spoils, demagogues rushing in to take advantage of the electors disillusionment. More elections, more confusion, more disillusionment.

That spiral can, and has, led to some very dangerous governments, so pardon me if I'm a bit chary of PR.

 

Sean in Ottawa

Leitch would prefer to take over an existing party. She would work within it as well so long as it is batshit crazy. But if the Conservatives pick a moderate she might reconsider. Trudeau's breaking his promise on ER may make her less likely to branch off.

mark_alfred
Stockholm

Sean, you seem to be making the mistake of actually believing that Leitch believes one single solitary word that she is saying in her leadership campaign. I don't believe she does. i think its all a cynical ploy to get attention - i predict that once she loses she will very quickly fall in line behind whoever the new leader is and be as sycophantic as possible in the hopes of getting a high profile shadow cabinet post. She will drop all her talk about screening immigrants for canadian values like a hot potato and go back to being a very very conventional CPC politician.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

I agree with Stockolm's analysis of Dr. Leitch's character and probable future.

Geoff

Rev Pesky wrote:

Geoff wrote:

So, Germany is beset by political instability, caused by PR? Has JT warned Angela Merkel? Apparently, she is unaware of the imminent danger.

PR doesn't create instability. It does exacerbate it. As long as everything is going along fine, PR works a charm. Everybody is happy.

It's when times are tough that PR breaks down. We''ve seen that over and over again in Greece, Israel, Prortugal, Italy. Elections that don't result in a government, small parties scrapping with each other over the spoils, demagogues rushing in to take advantage of the electors disillusionment. More elections, more confusion, more disillusionment.

That spiral can, and has, led to some very dangerous governments, so pardon me if I'm a bit chary of PR.

 

All PR systems are not created equal; some have built in checks and balances to ensure that fringe parties can't rule the roost (i.e. minimum percentage of votes before a party can be represented in Parliament).

Some of the examples you provide would be in trouble whatever their electoral systems. Canada, I believe, would have more in common with Germany than with Greece or Italy.

Sean in Ottawa

Stockholm wrote:

Sean, you seem to be making the mistake of actually believing that Leitch believes one single solitary word that she is saying in her leadership campaign. I don't believe she does. i think its all a cynical ploy to get attention - i predict that once she loses she will very quickly fall in line behind whoever the new leader is and be as sycophantic as possible in the hopes of getting a high profile shadow cabinet post. She will drop all her talk about screening immigrants for canadian values like a hot potato and go back to being a very very conventional CPC politician.

Sorry, I disagree completely. First, nobody spouts hateful things unless they believe them. Lack of belief in them would stop a person from saying those things.

I agree she could fall in line but that would be behind someone who had similar/compatible beliefs, even if that person kept them quiet. Otherwise she would review her options. If Chong, for example, were to win I would not be surprised if she did not start a Reform 2 party. There is a bunch who will not fit back into a Progressive Conservative Party.

I totally disagree with the notion that this extreme stuff crawling out from under rocks is just a ploy to get attention. We are seeing those in the US who said Trump was grandstanding discover that he meant the vile things he said. Our Canadian examples do to and you pretend they don't at great risk.

So sure, she might shut up in the right circumstance but don't think for a moment that she is not the hateful thing she is putting before us. and don't think that this battle with Chong can only end with both in the same party. Harper was a Conservative who used his power to keep a lid on this to keep his coalition largely together. I don't see Leitch sitting under Chong or him under her. Either there would be a split in the party or at minimum one will go provincial or get out of politics. The split is real -- not a show for the individual leaders-- and the hate is real too.

 

Sean in Ottawa

Geoff wrote:

Rev Pesky wrote:

Geoff wrote:

So, Germany is beset by political instability, caused by PR? Has JT warned Angela Merkel? Apparently, she is unaware of the imminent danger.

PR doesn't create instability. It does exacerbate it. As long as everything is going along fine, PR works a charm. Everybody is happy.

It's when times are tough that PR breaks down. We''ve seen that over and over again in Greece, Israel, Prortugal, Italy. Elections that don't result in a government, small parties scrapping with each other over the spoils, demagogues rushing in to take advantage of the electors disillusionment. More elections, more confusion, more disillusionment.

That spiral can, and has, led to some very dangerous governments, so pardon me if I'm a bit chary of PR.

 

All PR systems are not created equal; some have built in checks and balances to ensure that fringe parties can't rule the roost (i.e. minimum percentage of votes before a party can be represented in Parliament).

Some of the examples you provide would be in trouble whatever their electoral systems. Canada, I believe, would have more in common with Germany than with Greece or Italy.

It is incorrect to blame PR entirely on the politcal culture of countries that have long led to more fringe parties. These fringes often predate the PR systems there.

Also there can be minimums for a party to even stand for election to the House. And there is a political culture that will not embrace radical parties just becuase they can be counted.

Sean in Ottawa

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Sean in Ottawa

Let's do a little logical myth-busting here. Trudeau and his ring kissing cheerleaders (the polite description) have an argument that they peddle here and elsewhere in public. It is largely ignored as obviously full of baloney. Still, we can take a moment to demolish it once and for all.

This argument against PR is that it would let in the fringe parties. Andrew Coyne wrote about how small that fringe is:

http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/andrew-coyne-dont-fear-trudeau...

“In the past election, the vote for all fringe parties combined — parties, that is, other than the five currently represented in the House of Commons — added up to 0.79 per cent of the vote. Over the past two decades, it has averaged just over one per cent. The largest fringe party typically receives less than one-third of one per cent of the vote… Of course, if you change the voting system, you change voter behaviour… Hell, make it four, no, five times as many: a 400-per-cent increase in the fringe vote. That still wouldn’t be enough to elect a single member, let alone the 15 or 20 the prime minister foresees — no, not even under proportional representation.”

Presently, people who vote for fringe parties know there is no chance in them getting elected. The Liberal idea is that with PR they might decide to. But with PR fringe parties would lose as many or more votes to bigger parties as they would gain from them.

Those who vote fringe often have only one, maybe two local options who have a chance. In some rare cases three. About half the seats in Canada are not competitive. It is reasonable to recognize that in many cases a person not wanting to support the FPTP leading candidate, may throw their vote to a fringe candidate who really is no worse a waste than voting for the second party.

More viable parties would provide more competition. Having more viable options is not going to help increase the vote to less viable ones.

-          A person who hates the Conservatives and live in a riding only a Conservative would win. They vote Communist in protest. Now a vote for the NDP would count.

-          A person who hates Liberals the CPC candidate has no chance locally in FPTP so the person votes some far right party. Suddenly the vote for a Conservative would count.

PR would likely draw away as many or more votes as it would encourage to go for parties that really are still not viable. This dynamic would make it very hard for those parties to grow as for every vote they gain they could lose one. Fringe parties are a way of throwing a vote away. PR means fewer people would have to.