FPTP bad! MMP worse! Vote 1, 2, 3... Stops vote-splits, overruns & phony majorities

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Eduard Hiebert
FPTP bad! MMP worse! Vote 1, 2, 3... Stops vote-splits, overruns & phony majorities

 

Eduard Hiebert

The following is a brief summarisation of the ills of MMP, based not on emotional arguments, or empty wishful thinking, but a step by step logical argument.

The outcry resulting from Ontario's (and Canada's) democratic deficit is what drove politicians to mandate the "Citizens Assembly" process, in the first place. While the Assembly process never got down to defining the democratic deficit and its causation, the systemic root cause of the democratic deficit is made possible through the use of a single mark ballot with a relative majority count. As a system, a relative majority count is very vulnerable to vote-splitting the voice of the majority voters into smaller pieces.

In virtually all democratic decision making processes, the minimum gold standard of democratic self rule is "Majority Rule". Reframing electoral outcomes by the measure based on the candidate receiving "more votes than any other" (a relative majority system), provides the illusion that a minority supported candidate, who can be in direct opposition to the interests of the majority, will more likely to be seen and accepted by the majority as one of their "own" duly "elected", despite their Tojan Horse credentials.

Turning directly to MMP, Mixed Member Proportionality as a system, neither tackles nor addresses the democratic deficit but enshrines it more deeply! Here's how:

As statistical background, the two most widely recognised proponents of MMP, FairVote and EqualVoice, along with an overwhelming majority of participants in the Ontario Assembly process ALL agreed and found fptp unacceptable. For example, Fairvote's submission to the Assembly stated fptp is a "dysfunctional voting system that violates core Canadian values"! EqualVoice's said "We believe the Citizen's Assembly should NOT recommend retaining our present first-past-the-post system"!

However, MMP at its core, is really fptp repackaged and then given a new name! Currently, citizens elect 107 members to parliament using the defective and vulnerable to vote-splitting system, fptp. Under the proposed "MMP" system, instead of electing 107 by the defective fptp system, the citizens are short-changed and will continue to use the same defective fptp system, but only be able to elect 90 fptp candidates! And as a foot-note, 90 members elected by the dysfunctional fptp system will be less representative of the citizenry than 107 elected by the dysfunctional fptp system!

Returning to "vote-splitting" for a moment, vote-splitting describes what happens to the votes of the majority, whereby the voice of the majority is split into smaller pieces, so that an elite minority representative candidate appears to have more support than any of the majority's vote-split candidates. Vote-splitting splits the voice of the majority and has a corresponding effect of on the composition of parliament's members which is called "overruns".

"Overruns" are where a party's % share of SEATS elected is greater than the % of VOTES received. When a party gains a majority of seats, that is called majority government, but when that party has achieved that status through overruns and does not have the support of a majority of voters, that is truly a phony majority and feeds the democratic deficit. The overruns resulting from Canada' 2006 election are so extensive, that when all 308 MPs together would agree on something, these 308 MPs all together only have the support of 48% of the voters who voted in Canada AND actually voted for these 308! (For supporting details please see the paper and spreadsheet available at [url=http://www.eduardhiebert.com/er]http://www.eduardhiebert.com/er[/url] )

Adding insult to injury, the party proportional fix component of "MMP", then, in perpetuity, without a mandated right of a citizen review or referendum, gives parties the right to stack parliament, already stacked with "overruns", with a further 39 party appointed members, members who are not subject to direct elections even by the "dysfunctional (fptp) voting system that violates core Canadian values"!

With undeniable certainty, under "MMP", parliament with a smaller number of fptp elected members (90 instead of 107) plus the new party proportional fix, where the parties appoint a further 39 members to parliament (altogether 127), such an MMP parliament has with certainty a greater democratic deficit mandate than the current standalone fptp system.

And the proposed MMP referendum is already modifying people's loyalties. Wendy Bergerud, when formerly a member of the BC Citizen Assembly process, summarised the situation this way "Would you agree that MMP mixes two of the worst systems together: constituency seats selected by plurality votes and closed-list PR where the party leadership chooses who is at the top and their list?"

Now, what has not been explained and begging public explanation is how how FairVote and this same Wendy Bergerud, who is now a member of Fairvote's "15-person National Council... responsible for setting strategic direction and policies for Fair Vote Canada", how together she and FairVote as one voice can now endorse the very system earlier denounced by FairVote and Wendy when it was called fptp.

And once, as per above, attention is specifically drawn to that which is dysfunctional within fptp, namely a single mark ballot with a relative majority counting system, a solution as the next step becomes almost self-evident. The deficiency of a single mark ballot relative majority system can be fixed easily, simply and with just an eensy-teensy-weensy tiny little change to the present system. Allow people to vote preferentially, vote 1, 2, 3... and count the ballots with the requirement that the candidate elected must minimally have the confidence of, and be representative of "majority rule". Even the simple manual redistributive method of counting would eliminate almost all, if not all of the current vote-splitting, including the corresponding overruns that are so offensive and contributive to the democratic deficit.

And lastly, and certainly not least, not only would such a preferential balloted parliament be more accountable to the people, a parliament of 107 of such members would not only be more accountable than a 127 "MMP" parliament, but a 107 fptp parliament BE MUCH LESS COSTLY TO ONTARIO'S TAX BASE THAN AN 127 MMP MEBER PARLIAMEN! It also goes almost without saying, that Ontarian's would get considerably more bank for their buck with a 107 vote 1, 2, 3... member parliament than either a 107 fptp parliament or its more expensive repackaged 127 MMP parliament!

Later, once this more democratic parliament is in place, further measures of reform such as true proportionality, such as gender parity, minority underrepsentation, etc., could much more properly and more correctly be addressed than with this current bunch driving the process and would immeasurably be preferred to giving the parties a proportional fix to then hang out carrots of proportionality, as would certainly be the case under a party focused proportional fix.

Eduard Hiebert

Cueball Cueball's picture

Meh.

Scott Piatkowski Scott Piatkowski's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Eduard Hiebert:
[b]The following is a brief summarisation of the ills of MMP, based not on emotional arguments, or empty wishful thinking, but a step by step logical argument.[/b]

Could you clarify whether people are allowed to respond to you in this thread?

If so, should we send our posts to you for pre-approval, to ensure that they are not composed of emotional arguments or empty wishful thinking, but only step by step logical arguments?

Eduard Hiebert

After posting a detailed argument of about 2 and half pages, I see the first responder replied in 4 minutes flat! And the next moments later.

Did you read what I had to say, or is making attack and divert attention from the argument your only game?

Eduard

Scott Piatkowski Scott Piatkowski's picture

Just trying to establish the rules for those who wish to respond.

wage zombie

Hi Eduard,

I checked out your web page. I noticed a few typos on the front page that you may want to clear up just to remove some ambiguity.

In the fourth paragraph, you write:

quote:

Mulroney with his paltry support of 40% in the polls was sufficient to foist Free Trade on the 60% who divided their opposition to Free Trade between the Liberals and Conservatives, giving an air of legitimacy to Mulroney's phony majority.

I think you mean that the opposition was divided between the Liberals and the [b]NDP[/b].

Also you are misspelling Chretien as Chretienne.

I'm not sure if it matters too much to you, i know some people spell things a bit creatively on purpose.

It seems like you have beeen following ER for a while. I have a question for you: do you object to MMP on simply theoretical grounds? Or has there been a real live electoral situation that would've been worse under MMP? I ask because in the examples of phony majorities that you give, such as the free trade election of 1988, it seems like MMP would've been a pretty good solution and would've kept free trade away. So have there been any elections that you can think of where MMP would've produced poor results?

It seems like you are against phony majorities so i am surprised you are on here arguing for FPTP over MMP. These are the choices we have on our ballot and we won't be seeing another ballot for quite a while. So i don't understand why you are pushing FPTP here after bashing it on your web site.

Edited to add: I liked your joke about Paul Martin in hell.

[ 09 October 2007: Message edited by: wage zombie ]

Trevormkidd

I prefer MMP over STV. That is just me. It doesn't matter anyways. I have a vote on electoral reform tomorrow, STV is not on the ballot. It will likely be the only vote on electoral reform in my life-time and it will lose badly.

Fidel

quote:


Originally posted by Eduard Hiebert:
[b]Under the proposed "MMP" system, instead of electing 107 by the defective fptp system, the citizens are short-changed and will continue to use the same defective fptp system, but only be able to elect 90 fptp candidates! And as a foot-note, 90 members elected by the dysfunctional fptp system will be less representative of the citizenry than 107 elected by the dysfunctional fptp system![/b]

This is a valid point, and I tend to agree. I tend to think MMP could be viewed as somewhat of a compromise with those who actually do prefer the plural majority FPP system. As a consolation to those voters, they would have their way with electing the local candidate with the cheesey FPP method. It's the only reason I can imagine for allowing the ghost of FPP to haunt us in modern times.

quote:

[b]"Overruns" are where a party's % share of SEATS elected is greater than the % of VOTES received. When a party gains a majority of seats, that is called majority government, but when that party has achieved that status through overruns and does not have the support of a majority of voters, that is truly a phony majority and feeds the democratic deficit. The overruns resulting from Canada' 2006 election are so extensive, that when all 308 MPs together would agree on something, these 308 MPs all together only have the support of 48% of the voters who voted in Canada AND actually voted for these 308![/b]

Eduard, I believe but don't quote me, that Ontario's CA has done something along the lines of a forensic audit of Ontario's electoral history. And I think what they did was apply a proportional voting template to election results past to come up with an overall picture of the ways those past elections could have turned under MMP. And if memory serves me, they said this resultant scenario would have been rare where a party gains a majority of seats by the local vote alone. There are posters here who are more informed about this than I am and who could probably tell us something about it.

Personally, I prefer a purely proportional model to anything else, and I think that would probably be what's called "open list proportional representation" I believe that system is in use in Scandinavia. Wilf and others here have said tweaking and minor changes would be possible at any point after a first election was held. Much less traumatic than the switch from dirty old FPP to something as clunky as, say, closed list MMP.

I'd even go as far as endorsing [url=http://www.rabble.ca/babble/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=next_topic&f=1&t=006578&g...'s weighted vote model[/url], another proportional-FPP hybrid but with fewer calories.

[ 09 October 2007: Message edited by: Fidel ]

Eduard Hiebert

Fidel, thanks for your observations, I will make reply below,

wage zombie,

While not the first to make a post in reply, I appreciate your humour and extend my welcome as the first one to have come as close as you have to being on topic.

Regarding your aptitude for spelling and prose, while I wonder why you would find it necessary to bring it up here, but if you or others would like to make further review and do so privately, I would be all ears.

Regarding the substance of your reply, if someone gives you a choice of food between rat poison and mouse poison, what would you do? Based on your logic, seems all citizens together have no right to refuse this silly offer and demand honest and genuine reform?

While the argument posed is a slippery one of suggesting its at least a change, please be reminded that change is not synonymous with progress. The likelihood of jumping from the pot into the fire much more likely under MMP than despite the horrible dysfunctionality of fptp.

Then regarding your question on the theoretical. Is it theory or fact that both Fairvote and EqualVoice have said fptp is dysfunctional and should be replaced? Is it theoretical or fact that under MMP, instead of electing 107, the citizens will only elect 90 members and this through fptp? FairVote, EqualVoice and the Citizen Assembly under the watch of a former judge went to great pains to obscure that fact and now that I pointed it out in my submission, you have still not noticed it? By the way this adds up to the fptp portion of MMP being even less citizen representative than the dysfunctional fptp of 107 members.

I could do the same regarding the party proportional fix, but instead please read the paper and get back to me.

More on point, if your do the basic math regarding Mulroney, under fptp we got Mulroney. Under MMP regarding the fptp elections we would still have gotten Mulroney... Under the party proportional fix, because of the overruns pointed out in my submission, none of the majors including the NDP would get any.

Even one of the most blatant supporters of MMP within the thread
[url=http://www.rabble.ca/babble/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic&f=9&t=001903]Does voting for MMP hurt democracy?[/url]stated and I quote: "Neither the Liberals nor PCs can guarantee a spot, because the largest party in a 70/30 MMP system (we can see this in action in North Rhine - Westphalia) often gets no list seats at all, or maybe one or three. Even with more that 30% list seats, there was the famous case of the opposition CDU leader in one province who lazily ran list-only, swept to power with a huge majority of local seats, and unexpectedly found himself Premier without a seat."

What the poster did not draw attention to was why that happened? This poster frequently espouses this and that about NZ's MMP system, however NZ studies clearly advance the concept of "overruns".

Overruns can only happen in a relative majority system, never in a majority system. Both the fptp post component and the party proportional fix component, are both vulnerable to overruns, guaranteed as the German MMP example shows in spades if you dig just a bit deeper.

In closing, since you liked the Martin example, why would you still make the same mistake and except empty platitudes and promises of how good MMP is, when not in theory, but with substantive information, I have pointed to all kinds of holes that hold not water in the "yes" to MMP camp.

All the best as make your choice as to which elevator button to press.

Eduard

Eduard Hiebert

Fidel, thanks for your observations, I will make reply below,

wage zombie,

While not the first to make a post in reply, I appreciate your humour and extend my welcome as the first one to have come as close as you have to being on topic.

Regarding your aptitude for spelling and prose, while I wonder why you would find it necessary to bring it up here, but if you or others would like to make further review and do so privately, I would be all ears.

Regarding the substance of your reply, if someone gives you a choice of food between rat poison and mouse poison, what would you do? Based on your logic, seems all citizens together have no right to refuse this silly offer and demand honest and genuine reform?

While the argument posed is a slippery one of suggesting its at least a change, please be reminded that change is not synonymous with progress. The likelihood of jumping from the pot into the fire much more likely under MMP than despite the horrible dysfunctionality of fptp.

Then regarding your question on the theoretical. Is it theory or fact that both Fairvote and EqualVoice have said fptp is dysfunctional and should be replaced? Is it theoretical or fact that under MMP, instead of electing 107, the citizens will only elect 90 members and this through fptp? FairVote, EqualVoice and the Citizen Assembly under the watch of a former judge went to great pains to obscure that fact and now that I pointed it out in my submission, you have still not noticed it? By the way this adds up to the fptp portion of MMP being even less citizen representative than the dysfunctional fptp of 107 members.

I could do the same regarding the party proportional fix, but instead please read the paper and get back to me.

More on point, if your do the basic math regarding Mulroney, under fptp we got Mulroney. Under MMP regarding the fptp elections we would still have gotten Mulroney... Under the party proportional fix, because of the overruns pointed out in my submission, none of the majors including the NDP would get any.

Even one of the most blatant supporters of MMP within the thread
[url=http://www.rabble.ca/babble/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic&f=9&t=001903]Does voting for MMP hurt democracy?[/url]stated and I quote: "Neither the Liberals nor PCs can guarantee a spot, because the largest party in a 70/30 MMP system (we can see this in action in North Rhine - Westphalia) often gets no list seats at all, or maybe one or three. Even with more that 30% list seats, there was the famous case of the opposition CDU leader in one province who lazily ran list-only, swept to power with a huge majority of local seats, and unexpectedly found himself Premier without a seat."

What the poster did not draw attention to was why that happened? This poster frequently espouses this and that about NZ's MMP system, however NZ studies clearly advance the concept of "overruns".

Overruns can only happen in a relative majority system, never in a majority system. Both the fptp post component and the party proportional fix component, are both vulnerable to overruns, guaranteed as the German MMP example shows in spades if you dig just a bit deeper.

In closing, since you liked the Martin example, why would you still make the same mistake and except empty platitudes and promises of how good MMP is, when not in theory, but with substantive information, I have pointed to all kinds of holes that hold not water in the "yes" to MMP camp.

All the best as make your choice as to which elevator button to press.

Eduard

Cueball Cueball's picture

Well, the reality is the MPP is not going to pass. So, if you actually believe in electoral reform you should vote for it, to indicate that you support electoral reform in some form or other. If MPP fails by a substantial margin, and say doesn't even hit 40%, you will never hear about proportional representation in Ontario, in your life time.

[ 10 October 2007: Message edited by: Cueball ]

Fidel

And we can bet all the Liberal Party groupees in Ontario would love for that to happen.

Eduard Hiebert

October 10, 2007 A.D.
First my apologies for the duplicate posting. The two computer systems, mine and Rabble did not remain in grid-lock synchronisation...

Fidel, I appreciate you capturing the essence from mine and that fptp continues to be front, right and centre, but renamed as MMP in MMP!

You also question why it still is given breath: "It's the only reason I can imagine for allowing the ghost of FPP to haunt us in modern times."

Richard Fobes math wizard and author of a book the Citizens Assembly had in their possession but never used is also the person behind VoteFair (to be distinguished from FairVote like jing from jang (sp?)) can give a much more succinct answer than I. Please see [url=http://www.votefair.org/news.html]VoteFair[/url] and while the section on Iraq is another good example why fptp and MMP does not work, the answer behind the question "Is the Proportional Representation (PR) voting method being considered for Ontario, Canada an improvement?" gives answer to your question.

While I might get great howls and guffhahs here for saying there is little reason to rely on the Ontario's CA's forensic study, when they helped obscure the fact that fptp is still fptp in MMP, (remember VoteFair's insight), instead, I will give you one example of how dysfunctional MMP is.

Assume 100% of the people are completely fed up with the party hacks and vote independent. This means they get 90 seats! Agreed? And since indepedent by OCAER definition is not a party, the independents can't get a single party proportional fix seat of the 39, even though they got 100% of the votes. However if just one person voted conservative on the party proportional fix portion, that translates into 100% of those votes would be filled by 39 conservatives!!!!!!

While this example would never happen, the math shows how skewed the system is and how much MMP (that is fptp) favours the same old same old...

In the previous post I forgot to add and may it is just as appropriate here, with Mulroney at 40% and MMP, the stacking portion of MMP could still have tipped into his hads when a fake new party that is riddled with conservatives (Harris formerly) Liberals with May, and have this green salamder get the party PP vote and then be in gridlock step with whoever and still end up with same old same old. However, under vote 1, 2, 3... Mulroney would NEVER have happened! Just do the math.

My concluding suggestion!

As the referendum question only gives you a choice to support either fptp or MMP (wonder who wins $'s by restricting citizens choice to these two choices) and once this fake reform referendum is put to bed, with many more people now informed how bad fptp really is, begin demanding one very small tweak to the existing system.

Allow people with the current ballot to vote 1, 2, 3... and demand a majority count system. Stops all vote-splits, overruns and phony majorities IMMEDIATELY!

And if you are really innovative and good at strategic voting, you could even start to vote strategically that way right now. The ballot would likely be called spoiled but under a judicial review in some of the key ridings and then based on the charter of rights and freedoms challenge, you could point out that all citizens are equal but that in a fptp system, 40% of the people are more equal than 60% as the 40 and not the sixty get to choose their representative....

Have a good election day and question whether the results reflect what the people want, or whether the system only provided the illusion of some minority having more support than the majority which was split in two. Think v 1, 2, 3... and have a new day!

Thanks for digging into the submission of postive electoral reform as the real option!

Eduard

Eduard Hiebert

As the election hour approaches I will add one final word. This is Ontario's day and trust you will collectively make the most of it. And without a futher word until some time after the election, do have yourselves a wonderful day! May majority rule be realized and flourish!

Eduard

Albireo

I'll be voting to get more pompous asses on babble.

Eduard Hiebert

This thread no longer appears on Babble's front page as a current site with activity. At least not when I look at it. Is this some kind of glitch and/or censorship?

As to actually making comment, as stated on the other thread, I will wait until after the election some time.

Eduard

Life, the unive...

Oh it is of course a conspiracy.
Perhaps before you throw around such comments you should find out how babble works. In the short time I have been here it is pretty clear it renews itself overnight in some way and starts fresh.
I started a thread yesterday and no one has posted in it since. It must be the babble 'man' keeping my important ideas down.

Albireo

quote:


FPTP bad! MMP worse! Vote 1, 2, 3... Stops vote-splits, overruns & phony majorities

Sorry, I couldn't find your "1,2,3..." option on the ballot, so I just voted for MMP.

You really don't need to continue fiercely campaigning for the same First-Past-the-Post system that you characterize as "bad!" right up to when polls close.

That "bad!" system has certainly won, so you can just kick off your shoes, sit back and bask in the glory of the triumph of "bad!".

Or if you really must continue, why not do so [url=http://www.rabble.ca/babble/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic&f=31&t=000663]in the other thread you started[/url] for exactly the same purpose: to misrepresent MMP and propose a system that's great for electing a mayor, but very poor for electing a legislature.

[ 10 October 2007: Message edited by: Albireo ]

Life, the unive...

sssshhhh
Don't tell I voted for MMP too. I even talked some people into voting for it.
I know, I know---
I am PURE EVIL!!!!!!!!!!
(Insert evil laugh here)

Michelle

quote:


Originally posted by Albireo:
[b]I'll be voting to get more pompous asses on babble.[/b]

Hey now. Do you want me to fire you as my official spokesperson? That wasn't very nice.

Fidel

And as Ontario declares itself the child poverty capital of Canada, the Liberals gain a few seats while dropping in popular voter support over the last election. Way to defeat MMP ya sssssstupid bassteds.

Erik Redburn

What we really need now is media reform. Seventy seats for forty percent of the vote, another unaccountable majority, and most Ontarions supported the status quo again.

Three questions for those closer to the scene.

*Does anyone know of any quote unquote journalists who supported MMP in the major papers?

*Did this referenda get any significant coverage leading up to it?

And most importantly for my purposes...

*Did most of them at least get the facts correct?

[ 10 October 2007: Message edited by: EriKtheHalfaRed ]

DonnyBGood

Someone pointed out that while 51% o the population voted for politicians 54% voted on the referendum issue. How is this possible or reasonable? You;d think there would be many more spoiled ballots onm the referendum than the election proper.
Is this true?

Michelle

I thought it was the other way around. But I might be wrong. I don't have the energy or the gumption to check.

Albireo

Latest unofficial figures from Elections Ontario:

Election:
4,421,628 of a possible 8,380,702 (52.8%)
27,680 of 27,679 polls reporting

Referendum:
4,279,569 Valid Votes Reported
27,661 of 27,679 polls reporting <--those last 18 polls will surely put OCA-MMP over the top [img]wink.gif" border="0[/img]

So, slightly more people voted in the election than the referendum, but not as much of a difference as you'd think. I shudder to think about how many voted in the referendum without having a single clue about what was being asked.

[ 11 October 2007: Message edited by: Albireo ]

babblerwannabe

I wonder about the age distribution among the voters. But does it really matter? There is no good news no matter how you look at it.

Tommy_Paine

I'm not sure about that. 36% voted in favour, not a bad start considering how the campaign and the requirements for adoption were so blatantly rigged against it.

Remember, this time those who are on the side of electoral reform can live to fight another day, and don't have to worry about being hung, jailed without trial, or transported to Australia, as has happened in the past.

DonnyBGood

quote:


Election:
4,421,628 of a possible 8,380,702 (52.8%)
27,680 of 27,679 polls reporting

Referendum:
4,279,569 Valid Votes Reported
27,661 of 27,679 polls reporting <--those last 18 polls will surely put OCA-MMP over the top

So, slightly more people voted in the election than the referendum, but not as much of a difference as you'd think. I shudder to think about how many voted in the referendum without having a single clue about what was being asked.


Thanks Albiero, I did look for it but was unsuccessful. Just gos to show that people modify facts to suit theories, me included I guess.

I am still dumbfounded that people voted this way. Is it possible it was rigged? parties were prohibited from sppending money on this campaign and there were few scrutineers as far as I could tell.

For example, were these results consistent with vote counts.?

Albireo

Certainly there was no "rigging" in the sense of ballot-box stuffing, false numbers, switching ballots, and so on. Nothing like that would have been needed to defeat electoral reform, anyway.

In another sense, the whole process was "rigged". We had:
[LIST][*]a 60% threshold of victory for MMP and a 40% threshold for FPTP[*]a poorly-worded question[*]the Citizens' Assembly report NOT being sent to every household[*]the CA being hampered from promoting its work (the government stopped printing its brochure)[*]an "eduction campaign" from Elections Ontario that was weak and did not properly explain the new system or why it was being proposed[*]political parties prohibited from campaigning on the issue, ensuring that it was not discussed, or drowned out amid the election din[*]donations to MMP campaigns (pro or con) were not tax deductible[*]media that was generally either indifferent or outright hostile, in spite of a few individual columnists who supported it
[/LIST]

So, many voters knew very little about the referendum, and viewed it as a choice between:
(a) the easy-to-understand current system which seems to be working fine (as far as they know), or
(b) a hard-to-understand strange new system.

Many others hadn't heard much, but they had heard bits about "appointed members", "more power for party hacks", "more politicians", "less local representation", and so on. Much of this is either untrue, or a distortion of the truth, but the CA proposed a model that was open to these kinds of claims, and many in the media and elsewhere were happy to pounce.

In retrospect, the 37% for MMP was no surprise under these conditions.

And really, with a system less vulnerable to certain attacks, the report properly distributed, a better education campaign, and so on, electoral reform might have managed to hit 50%, but I don't think it could have made 60%. Ontario is "less ready" for reform than BC or Quebec. Ultimately, reform will happen and work well in some province, then another, and then... only then will we see it in Ontario.

[ 12 October 2007: Message edited by: Albireo ]

Summer

quote:


Originally posted by EriKtheHalfaRed:
[b]What we really need now is media reform. Seventy seats for forty percent of the vote, another unaccountable majority, and most Ontarions supported the status quo again.

Three questions for those closer to the scene.

*Does anyone know of any quote unquote journalists who supported MMP in the major papers?

*Did this referenda get any significant coverage leading up to it?

And most importantly for my purposes...

*Did most of them at least get the facts correct?

[ 10 October 2007: Message edited by: EriKtheHalfaRed ][/b]


I too would be interested in the answers to these questions. Perhaps a Babbler wants to volunteer to do a full media review (Michelle, you must have some spare time not that the election is over [img]tongue.gif" border="0[/img] Kidding, don't worry)

In the absence of a media review, I will weigh in by saying that several columnists in the Globe commented on the referendum. I believe they were all opposed. I think there may have been an editorial about it too, but can't recall.

Erik Redburn

Appreciate that Summer, it would be useful to see if theres any exceptions to the media pack mentality, but I guess I'll just have to dig around myself and see if can find something from earlier. I'll just assume for now that the answers are no, no, and yes of course, what did I expect? [img]smile.gif" border="0[/img]

Eduard Hiebert

quote:


quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Election:
4,421,628 of a possible 8,380,702 (52.8%)
27,680 of 27,679 polls reporting
Referendum:
4,279,569 Valid Votes Reported
27,661 of 27,679 polls reporting <--those last 18 polls will surely put OCA-MMP over the top

So, slightly more people voted in the election than the referendum, but not as much of a difference as you'd think. I shudder to think about how many voted in the referendum without having a single clue about what was being asked.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


You need more information than what is provided in order to come to the conclusions you made. The key operative word is "valid votes" Without knowing how many ballots were spoiled in either the election and the referendum you really can't say with any accuracy that more people showed up for one than the other.

It's for these reasons and more why we need access to a higher level of disclosure and wondering if anyone might help compile a comprehensive set of data as referenced in
[url=http://www.rabble.ca/babble/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=20&t=001887]Will You help make the hidden democratic deficit, public?[/url]

Eduard

Eduard Hiebert

I make reply to Albireo and ask one question of Tommy_Paine.

1 Albireo quoted with agreement that: Preferential voting
systems are fine for presidential or leadership elections, but
not for electing legislatures or parliaments. That's because
they do not improve electoral fairness" and added "Yes, I and
others have made that point in detail several times, and Eduard
(to my knowledge) has yet to address it."

I first heard that argument from Larry Gordon of Fairvote years
ago and since then its been repeated ad nauseam. That's like
advertising. Hear something often enough and all kinds of people
believe it..., but all kinds of people believed the world was
flat and that Elvis P is still alive...

In defence of the argument, Larry after several reminders finally
sent me paper as "proof". When I tore the argument in shreds he
quit making reply.

Ditto with Brian White! Like a penny which has more than one
side, his argument is essentially the same argument. All you
have done is flipped the coin (argument), bit still the same
argument.

Now that you take on ownership for the same argument, the onus of
proof also falls to you. Please see my first ever reply to
anyone here at Rabble and provide the information requested there
in
[url=http://www.rabble.ca/babble/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=31&t=000663]O...'s coming referendum on voting reform [/url]

I do not understand how you could have missed my making reply.

2 Tommy_Paine, you wrote: "Call it "First Past the Post" if
you will, when you render it down, it's to ensure that the inter
ests of a
privileged few are never threatened."

While I find your statement overly strident, based on observations I have made in both of my electoral reform papers, including the one submitted to OCEAR, I too have come to the same
conclusion, fptp handicaps the majority and provides unfair advantage to the very well heeled tiny minorities.

We both have now said the same thing, but come to different
solutions. I find MMP "adds insult to injury". For a fuller
statement of why please see
][url=http://www.rabble.ca/babble/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=31&t=000668]FPTP bad! MMP worse!... [/url]

However you, having said FPTP is bad endorse MMP! In short, MMP
has two ways by which members are elected to parliament. Most of
the elected are elected by a fptp system but instead of FPTP107
it is FPTP90. Ninety is less citizen elected representation than
107! The second way is that the parties appoint 39 members.
This means the 90 members voices a diluted even further for
instead of 46 of them needing to agree, under MMP it takes 65 of
them before a bill is passed.

So with MMP having a more dysfunctional fptp system than a stan
dalone fptp system and also having a party proportional fix which
dilutes even further the more dysfunctional fptp citizens elected
component, would you please explain in some detail, how your
argument makes sense, for you are arguing two evils add up to a
positive.

Tommy_Paine, before you get all lathered up, someone at a very
high level at Fairvote has actually said the same thing, but even
more strongly than I. Please see Wendy's statement as quoted in
the first post within the just mentioned site FPTP bad! MMP
worse!

By the way, until shown otherwise I assume Tommy_Paine is your
real name and appreciate you standing up and being counted...

Eduard

PS Despite repeated requests, and many an insult thrown my way,
no one has yet told me were the button is to turn receiving notice of updates to this thread on or off. When you make reply to mine, would you send me your reply via the back door or directly as referenced in [url=http://www.rabble.ca/babble/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=20&t=001887]Will You help make the hidden democratic deficit, public?[/url]

Eduard Hiebert

The above post place here in error. It ought to be in [url=http://www.rabble.ca/babble/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=1&t=006824]De... Voter Turnout[/url]but will not make a duplicate posting, but a reference only.

My apologies for the inconvenience!

Eduard

Albireo

quote:


Originally posted by Eduard Hiebert:
[b]You need more information than what is provided in order to come to the conclusions you made. The key operative word is "valid votes" Without knowing how many ballots were spoiled in either the election and the referendum you really can't say with any accuracy that more people showed up for one than the other.[/b]

"Valid votes" *does* mean votes that are truly cast for a candidate, or, in the case of the referendum, for one option or the other. "Valid votes" already excludes spoiled ballots. You can see this clearly, for example, in the [url=http://www2.elections.on.ca/results/2003_results/sum_vb/default.jsp?flag... of valid ballots cast[/url] for the 2003 election. It shows only votes cast for parties and for independents (i.e. "unregistered political interests"). Spoiled ballots and declined ballots are not shown here, because they are not counted as "valid ballots". You are mistaken here, as you often are.

Albireo

quote:


Originally posted by Eduard Hiebert:
[b]I first heard that argument from Larry Gordon of Fairvote years
ago and since then its been repeated ad nauseam. That's like
advertising. Hear something often enough and all kinds of people
believe it..., but all kinds of people believed the world was
flat and that Elvis P is still alive...

In defence of the argument, Larry after several reminders finally
sent me paper as "proof". When I tore the argument in shreds he
quit making reply.

Ditto with Brian White! Like a penny which has more than one
side, his argument is essentially the same argument. All you
have done is flipped the coin (argument), bit still the same
argument.

Now that you take on ownership for the same argument, the onus of
proof also falls to you. Please see my first ever reply to
anyone here at Rabble and provide the information requested there
in
[url=http://www.rabble.ca/babble/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=31&t=000663]O...'s coming referendum on voting reform [/url]

I do not understand how you could have missed my making reply.[/b]


I am still missing it. Your first ever reply on babble was actually in [url=http://www.rabble.ca/babble/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic&f=9&t=001820]this thread[/url]. Neither there nor in the thread you link to do I find any answer to the argument that your favoured Instant Run-Off system is great for deciding one position (like Mayor or President), but bad for choosing a parliament, since it discounts the first choices of many people, un- or under-represents smaller parties, and still gives big fake majorities to centrist parties who are NOT the first choice of most people.

No onus of proof falls to me; I can't even find your response, so perhaps you could just post it here. Otherwise I will assume that

(a) my argument is correct, and
(b) Larry Gordon stopped answering you not because of your devastating response (which I still have not seen) but rather because you are an obtuse and infuriating person to communicate with.

Please don't give me rhetorical nonsense that tries feebly to compare a strong argument to the idea that Elvis Lives; let's actually see your response.

I and others have made points that you refuse to answer, like those in my first post in [url=http://www.rabble.ca/babble/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=31&t=000663]this thread[/url]. To give just one example, you claimed that MMP would lead to gerrymandering and computer fraud. You posted this:

quote:

MMP requires that all of Ontario's 103 constituencies will be reshaped in order to arrive at 90 new constituencies. This reshaping of the constituencies is for party political insiders a perfect opportunity for further gerrymandering. Further, a part of the MMP election requires computerisation, and this as American elections display in spades, invites error and fraud that is not possible in a manual system.

I responded in this way:

quote:

This is desparate grasping to find a false reason to vote against MMP. Redistricting happens periodically anyway, no matter what, and will happen even if we keep FPTP. In fact, we *did* have blatant gerrymandering under FPTP in Ontario in the 70s, e.g. those long North-South strip ridings in downtown Toronto, designed to artifically inflate the number of ridings winnable by the party in power at the time. Avoiding gerrymandering is all about having a fair, open and impartial process to do the redistricting, but has little to do with whether or not we go with FPTP or MMP. [b]If anything, MMP greatly *reduces* the temptation to gerrymander. Suppose one party rigs it so they get a few extra local members than they deserve. Well, MMP will make up for it by giving more of the list seats to other under-represented parties, so the offending party would gain nothing. FPTP, which doesn't have that fix, is more likely to encourage Gerrymandering. So this argument really directs people to vote for MMP, and against FPTP.[/b]

The point about computer fraud is equally absurd. Nothing prevents you from counting MMP ballots by hand. If anything, the system you propose makes computerization just as tempting, or more so, than MMP. In any case, there is nothing wrong with computerized counting, provided that there are proper safeguards, a paper backup for all votes, and the means of doing a recount of paper ballots. That is true under any system. The only example you allude to (electoral fraud in the US) is an example of alleged fraud under the First-Past-the-Post system, so I'm not sure how it counts as an argument in favour of FPTP and against other systems.


But you answered none of this, to my knowledge. (If I missed you response, please direct me to it, or reproduce it here.)

Instead, you farted around about [i]shy somebody took precisely X minutes to respond[/i], and [i]why so-and-so posts under an alias[/i], and other similar nonsense. But you conveniently ignored the fact that many of your arguments lay around you in tatters.

[ 13 October 2007: Message edited by: Albireo ]

Albireo

quote:


Originally posted by Eduard Hiebert:
[b]By the way, until shown otherwise I assume Tommy_Paine is your
real name and appreciate you standing up and being counted...[/URL][/b]

Yes indeed. I share your respect for [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Paine]Tommy Paine[/url], and we are indeed privileged to have him posting here on babble.

Whazzup?

I haven't done a complete media review either, but I never got the impression of media bias that other posters here did. In The National Post, for instance, Andrew Coyne wrote column after column after column in favor of MMP -- and continued the battle on his blog. He absolutely demolished his opponents, who came off as simply phoning in their arguments. I opposed MMP, but Coyne had me on the verge of supporting it.

The bias, in my view, was against the existing system. The question on the ballot was a scam, referring to the existing system as First-Past-the-Post. The metaphor for plurality voting was inaccurate and denigrating. On MMP, on the other hand, the question made sure to mention that the system had been "recommended by the Citizens Assembly" blah blah blah. Since when does a referendum question come with built-in endorsements?

The question's moot now anyway, but the system's further entrenchment of the party system, and its casual disdain for the importance of constituency work was what decided me against it.

You guys should really try to lay off the "people who oppose my point of view are ignorant and uninformed" meme.

Fidel

And Liberal Party hypocrisy is safe in Ontario and B.C. for the foreseeable future. McGuilty has his phony majority with just 22 percent of eligible voter support across Ontario. Ten NDP'ers will shadow his every screwup and boondoggle for the next four years in Queen's Perk.

Tommy_Paine

Phew! For a minute there, Albireo, I thought that might have been a link to my CSIS file. I'd hate for everyone to see how thin and boring it is. I have a rep to maintain, you know. [img]wink.gif" border="0[/img]

Thanks for the post though, I would have missed Eduard's but for that.

And thank you, Eduard, for framing my arguments for me. It must be intellectually stimulating for you to do so, and then dismiss them as bravely as 19th century cavalrymen cut down straw men during training.

I never claimed MMP was [i]the best[/i] or a [i]perfect[/i] solution to our growing democratic deficit. Simply, there isn't one, and will never be one. Not one that we all can agree on, anyway.

There are many different systems available to us. The fact that perhaps the clumsiest was offered up is another telling point.

And no where did anyone say that MMP was the end game, and it would be written in stone from here to eternity that it would be the way we would express our democratic will.

However, faced with the growing tyranny of FPTP, I feel it is important to start with something that could be built upon. Even if it proved so bad to be discarded, it would have served to point us in better directions.

MMP may not be the best way to go. But it is not so bad to be accounted not even wrong status.

As for my real name, my closer friends here know it.

And those are the people I stand with.

Michael Hardner

Eduard,

Thanks for several interesting posts on this topic.

I think you (and the whole pro-MPP movement) erred, and it's easy to see why: it happens in your first post, in these first 3 sentences:

Eduard wrote:

quote:

The following is a brief summarisation of the ills of MMP, based not on emotional arguments, or empty wishful thinking, but a step by step logical argument.

The outcry resulting from Ontario's (and Canada's) democratic deficit is what drove politicians to mandate the "Citizens Assembly" process, in the first place. While the Assembly process never got down to defining the democratic deficit and its causation, the systemic root cause of the democratic deficit is made possible through the use of a single mark ballot with a relative majority count


To summarize what I think was said here:

1. Here's our logical argument.
2. There was an outcry about something called 'democratic deficit', so the government initiated a programme to investigate it.
3. They didn't find out what it was, but decided that the 'root cause' was a single vote.

The disconnect between points 2. and 3. are at the root of what went wrong, in my opinion.

Every non-political-junkie (i.e. normal person, john q. public, jane q. public, silent majority, etc.) that I talk to feels alienated by a political process that seems unfathomably focussed on bickering and posturing, instead of servicing the public.

Sadly, but unsurprisingly, the political wonks came up with a solution to this problem that involved more politics, not less.

What do you think ?

Fidel

Part of the answer is in your third last paragraph, Michael. Too many people had no idea what MMP is or even why we need it. We need a fair referendum with a well informed public in order to strengthen democracy in Ontario. We've got a few more people here in Ontario to be better informed than does B.C.

Wilf Day

quote:


Originally posted by Whazzup?:
[b]I haven't done a complete media review either, but I never got the impression of media bias that other posters here did.

. . . the system's further entrenchment of the party system, and its casual disdain for the importance of constituency work was what decided me against it.[/b]


You've just proven the media bias.

The Citizens' Assembly never proposed anything that would entrench party power. They even titled their report "One Ballot, Two Votes" so that no one would miss it. This increases voter choice and accountability by letting voters vote for their local MPP separately from their choice of party to govern Ontario. Local MPPs would be greatly empowered by being able to say "everyone in my riding knows I ran 5% ahead of the party." In fact, that's why the Germans call their system "personalized proportional representation."

Yet the media ignored this and focussed on the question parties mostly had failed to answer: how would they nominate candidates for the 30% of at-large seats? A good question, but they somehow missed the whole voter choice feature.

Disdain for the importance of constituency work? Again, a false impression from the media. The Citizens' Report noted that at-large MPPs almost always open constituency offices. Since they had usually run locally as well (it notes 84% of list MPs in New Zealand had run locally as well, and it's even higher in Germany), of course they serve as competing shadow local MPPs. In Wales and Scotland they do it so well that the Labour Party, which wins most local seats, tries to stop the competition. This is well-known to researchers, and you would have read this in the news media if they had done their job.

Michael Hardner

Fidel,

quote:

Part of the answer is in your third last paragraph, Michael. Too many people had no idea what MMP is or even why we need it. We need a fair referendum with a well informed public in order to strengthen democracy in Ontario. We've got a few more people here in Ontario to be better informed than does B.C.

I don't know how much more can be done to inform the public at this point, other than mandatory information sessions.

I think we're looking at the problem the wrong way around: we should be making things easier than before to understand, rather than expecting people to pay more attention, or to spend time learning things.

Fidel

quote:


Originally posted by Michael Hardner:
[b]Fidel,

I don't know how much more can be done to inform the public at this point, other than mandatory information sessions.

I think we're looking at the problem the wrong way around: we should be making things easier than before to understand, rather than expecting people to pay more attention, or to spend time learning things.[/b]


As Wilf pointed out as well as myself, there were people who openly admitted they knew nothing about MMP or even why our electoral democracy needs updating. You're suggesting that it's a matter of MMP being too complicated for Canadians as opposed to STV. Canada has one of the most well educated and informed publics in the world. I'm say that overall intelligence is not the issue here, it was the fact a $6.7 million dollar "awareness" campaign made Ontarians neither aware or informed. We can't have democracy without a well informed public.

As I understand it, B.C.'s Liberals spent somewhere around $10 million dollars on the STV referendum and produced 58 percent support in a province with less than half Ontario's population.

[ 14 October 2007: Message edited by: Fidel ]

Michael Hardner

Looking at the OCA website, it seems to me that the assumption made right off the top was that a better electoral system would 'fix' the democratic deficit.

The mandate that the McGuinty government the OCA was therefore flawed from the start. It assumed that other parts of our political process were fine.

Michael Hardner

Fidel

quote:

As Wilf pointed out as well as myself, there were people who openly admitted they knew nothing about MMP or even why our electoral democracy needs updating. You're suggesting that it's a matter of MMP being too complicated for Canadians as opposed to STV.

I don't know that STV is any better. And I'm not saying that MPP is too complicated to understand, but it may be too complicated for people to understand for the given amount of attention that they pay to such things.

quote:

Canada has one of the most well educated and informed publics in the world. I'm say that overall intelligence is not the issue here, it was the fact a $6.7 million dollar "awareness" campaign made Ontarians neither aware or informed. We can't have democracy without a well informed public.

Intelligence, again, is not an issue. I think it's more a matter of interest.

Fidel

quote:


Originally posted by Michael Hardner:
[b]Looking at the OCA website, it seems to me that the assumption made right off the top was that a better electoral system would 'fix' the democratic deficit.

The mandate that the McGuinty government the OCA was therefore flawed from the start. It assumed that other parts of our political process were fine.[/b]


I'm not sure what you're referring to with "other parts of our political process", but if you're referring to McGuinty's amemic funding of the campaign, then I agree. I think the results would have been similar for STV in Ontario, and not that Ontarians are nearly informed enough as to want to hold out for a better system than MMP. I think the vast majority of us have been so disenfranchised and frustrated by FPTP that too few were even paying attention.

Brian White

So, not sure why you bother to quote me or Wendy when we do not post in your threads.
I am a Supporter of STV.
I frankly find your 123 voting in single member ridings stupid.
You know why? In the BC context of 3 partys and a slight swing left or right, the the Libs can win all the ridings or the ndp green alliance can win all the ridings. That is dump and will allow unopposed government. And we just got a sample of that and it is truely nasty.
We already had your system in BC years back.
I support STV in multi member ridings. 4 being the minimum member number in my opinion. and the average member size should be above 5.
It is not as complex as you seem to think.
And you can still vote 1,2,3 like in your pet system. O yeah, your pet candidate is more likely to get a seat in STV than in your system, did you concider that?
Brian

quote:

Originally posted by Eduard Hiebert:
[b]I make reply to Albireo and ask one question of Tommy_Paine.

1 Albireo quoted with agreement that: Preferential voting
systems are fine for presidential or leadership elections, but
not for electing legislatures or parliaments. That's because
they do not improve electoral fairness" and added "Yes, I and
others have made that point in detail several times, and Eduard
(to my knowledge) has yet to address it."

I first heard that argument from Larry Gordon of Fairvote years
ago and since then its been repeated ad nauseam. That's like
advertising. Hear something often enough and all kinds of people
believe it..., but all kinds of people believed the world was
flat and that Elvis P is still alive...

In defence of the argument, Larry after several reminders finally
sent me paper as "proof". When I tore the argument in shreds he
quit making reply.

Ditto with Brian White! Like a penny which has more than one
side, his argument is essentially the same argument. All you
have done is flipped the coin (argument), bit still the same
argument.

Now that you take on ownership for the same argument, the onus of
proof also falls to you. Please see my first ever reply to
anyone here at Rabble and provide the information requested there
in
[url=http://www.rabble.ca/babble/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=31&t=000663]O...'s coming referendum on voting reform [/url]

I do not understand how you could have missed my making reply.

2 Tommy_Paine, you wrote: "Call it "First Past the Post" if
you will, when you render it down, it's to ensure that the inter
ests of a
privileged few are never threatened."

While I find your statement overly strident, based on observations I have made in both of my electoral reform papers, including the one submitted to OCEAR, I too have come to the same
conclusion, fptp handicaps the majority and provides unfair advantage to the very well heeled tiny minorities.

We both have now said the same thing, but come to different
solutions. I find MMP "adds insult to injury". For a fuller
statement of why please see
][url=http://www.rabble.ca/babble/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=31&t=000668]FPTP bad! MMP worse!... [/url]

However you, having said FPTP is bad endorse MMP! In short, MMP
has two ways by which members are elected to parliament. Most of
the elected are elected by a fptp system but instead of FPTP107
it is FPTP90. Ninety is less citizen elected representation than
107! The second way is that the parties appoint 39 members.
This means the 90 members voices a diluted even further for
instead of 46 of them needing to agree, under MMP it takes 65 of
them before a bill is passed.

So with MMP having a more dysfunctional fptp system than a stan
dalone fptp system and also having a party proportional fix which
dilutes even further the more dysfunctional fptp citizens elected
component, would you please explain in some detail, how your
argument makes sense, for you are arguing two evils add up to a
positive.

Tommy_Paine, before you get all lathered up, someone at a very
high level at Fairvote has actually said the same thing, but even
more strongly than I. Please see Wendy's statement as quoted in
the first post within the just mentioned site FPTP bad! MMP
worse!

By the way, until shown otherwise I assume Tommy_Paine is your
real name and appreciate you standing up and being counted...

Eduard

PS Despite repeated requests, and many an insult thrown my way,
no one has yet told me were the button is to turn receiving notice of updates to this thread on or off. When you make reply to mine, would you send me your reply via the back door or directly as referenced in [url=http://www.rabble.ca/babble/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=20&t=001887]Will You help make the hidden democratic deficit, public?[/url][/b]


Michael Hardner

Fidel,

quote:

I'm not sure what you're referring to with "other parts of our political process", but if you're referring to McGuinty's amemic funding of the campaign, then I agree.


I'm not.

We vote to elect MPPs, but there are many other parts of our process.

I've heard many non-political types express disgust at the spectacle of 'question period', for example. This process could not have addressed that, if it was a problem.

quote:

I think the results would have been similar for STV in Ontario, and not that Ontarians are nearly informed enough as to want to hold out for a better system than MMP. I think the vast majority of us have been so disenfranchised and frustrated by FPTP that too few were even paying attention.


I also think that Ontarians are alienated, but I don't think that changing the number of 'x's on our ballots will improve the situation.

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