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

101 posts / 0 new
Last post
Fidel

And I think our Liberals prefer their phony majorities for the time being. They will go virtually unopposed at Queen's Park with 22% of eligible voter support translating to 42% of actual vote giving them 66 percent of seats and 100% of power for the next four years.

This lethargic effort for the referendum doesn't say very much for our Liberals and their interest for democracy in general.

Brian White

You can mark an x in stv but if you do, thats it, any other mark and your ballot is spoiled.
Nice to see that you have studied the system so well that you think you can mark a bunch of x's on a ballot and expect it to be counted.
Bravo. Brilliant quip!

quote:

Originally posted by Michael Hardner:
[b]Fidel,

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.[/b]


Michael Hardner

quote:


Nice to see that you have studied the system so well that you think you can mark a bunch of x's on a ballot and expect it to be counted.
Bravo. Brilliant quip!

Oops. I stand corrected.

I'm holding to my point though.

Albireo
Michael Hardner

Ow ! Ow ! Throw me back !!!

Michael Hardner

Here's a good evaluation of the OCA

[url=http://get.cooptools.ca/oca_evaluation]Co-op Tools[/url]

quote:

From a citizen's point of a few the most obvious criticism of the process was its fundamental lack of scope. The Assembly was never given opportunity to address any concerns about elections or politicians other than the essential mechanics of the voting process.

Exactly right.

The fixation on the electoral process as being everything that's wrong with the system is quite strange.

Albireo

Indeed, it is odd to focus on fixing the rotting core of the system when you could be tinkering around the edges by setting rules to make Question Period more civil, or looking at political advertising laws or whatever...

Of course, even if we brought in MMP or STV tomorrow, we could still set rules to make Question Period more civil, or looking at political advertising laws or whatever... But it's a great way of changing the subject.

I find that the least imaginative of [i]status quo[/i] defenders always come up with this kind of stuff. Exhibit A: [url=http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20051130/libs_demdef... Martin and the "Democratic Deficit"[/url].

[ 15 October 2007: Message edited by: Albireo ]

Michael Hardner

Alb,

quote:

Indeed, it is odd to focus on fixing the rotting core of the system when you could be tinkering around the edges by setting rules to make Question Period more civil, or looking at political advertising laws or whatever...

I would say that the 'core' of the system is represented in how people get their information, and form ideas about what is going on. By the time they go to vote, it's too late.

quote:

Of course, even if we brought in MMP or STV tomorrow, we could still set rules to make Question Period more civil, or looking at political advertising laws or whatever... But it's a great way of changing the subject.

Of course, "we could still...", and yes I'm changing the subject, which sorely needs to happen now that the discussion is moving on past MMP.

quote:

I find that the least imaginative of status quo defenders always come up with this kind of stuff. Exhibit A: Martin and the "Democratic Deficit".

I concur: you definitely need a wild imagination to come up with the idea that FPTP is the culprit for a general political alienation that has been happening across democratic nations, some of which have PR.

If the OCA had been given a mandate that wasn't so narrow, we might have seen some imaginative proposals.

Here's one I came up with:

How about having some deputy ministers accountable to an all-party board, rather than only the minister ? It would let other parties have input into the process, rather than having the machine of government work entirely for the political fortunes of the party in power.

Of course, that would represent real power sharing, rather than the number of Xs or the number of boxes on your ballot.

Brian White

[url=http://nxtwave.tripod.com/gaiatech/voting.htm]http://nxtwave.tripod.com/... shows 2 graphs. (Not wild imagination) They show the number of people who voted in some recent elections in the republic of ireland and in BC.
It is useful to compare because BC has almost exactly the same population as the republic of ireland. (Ireland has a much younger population though and we all know that young people are bad for not voting) So how come the irish had over a quarter of a million MORE people voting?
In an area of 4 million people that is a HUGE difference.
ireland has STV and BC has fptp.
Perhaps there is a link?
You see, your remedy to the problem is, well what?
God alone knows and he is keeping mum.
My remedy is to apply a voting system that wastes less votes.
STV in Ireland shows that this is likely to reduce voter apathy. Dramatically.

quote:

Originally posted by Michael Hardner:
[b]Alb,
I concur: you definitely need a wild imagination to come up with the idea that FPTP is the culprit for a general political alienation that has been happening across democratic nations, some of which have PR.

If the OCA had been given a mandate that wasn't so narrow, we might have seen some imaginative proposals.

Here's one I came up with:

How about having some deputy ministers accountable to an all-party board, rather than only the minister ? It would let other parties have input into the process, rather than having the machine of government work entirely for the political fortunes of the party in power.

Of course, that would represent real power sharing, rather than the number of Xs or the number of boxes on your ballot.[/b]


Michael Hardner

Brian, I'm unimpressed with your argument.

We'd have to see more than those two graphs to conclude that STV reverses the trend towards voter apathy.

The Irish system sounds terribly complicated. In Ontario, the MMP system was rejected, and one of the reasons seemed to be the complexity. Even then, it was less than this.

Bernard

Hello there all

The referendum in BC had all the same problems that the one in Ontario did. We did manage get close to 58% in favour. The conditions for the referendum was the same in both provinces, so to blame them for a bad result in Ontario makes no sense.

The government spend virtually nothing on voter education with respect to STV - the Referendum information office was basically irrelevant as they had a handful of staff and no money. A lot more was done in Ontario for public education.

In BC the Yes side had a lot less resources than the Yes side did in Ontario - Yes to BC STV had less than $80 000 to spend. To our benefit we also had a much weaker No side as there were no compelling arguments being made to vote no that were not entirely self serving. Now in 2007 the only anti-STV arguments being raised are of two types - deliberate misrepresentation of STV and the it is too complicated one.

In BC the Citizens Assembly did an amazing job of educating the public during the campaign with no resources at all. We had 160 Assembly members in BC - more than in Ontario for a smaller population. The CA alumni also did an impressive job of being at public meetings.

In my opinion STV in BC did better for the following reasons:
STV has no party lists and does not increase political party power
We had a weaker No campaign with no good arguments
BC is politically iconoclastic - during Trudeau's era we elected PCs, under Mulroney the NDP, with Chretien we sent more Reformers to Ottawa than anywhere else. STV suits the strong sentiment out here to kick all political parties in the nuts with steel toed boots.
We had a CA Alumni that dedicated their lives to educating the people of BC.

Fidel

quote:


Originally posted by Bernard:
[b]In BC the Yes side had a lot less resources than the Yes side did in Ontario - Yes to BC STV had less than $80 000 to spend.[/b]

I knew all about the referendum ahead of time here in Ontario. I think I received a pamphlet in the mail explaining what was going on about week or two before the vote. Some of us had no idea what MMP is. Our Liberals botched it on purpose besides placing an unfair 60% supermajority barrier to reform, like B.C.'s Liberals did.

This is how elections were once held in small Central American countries where most of the electorate was unaware that an election had even taken place.

Michael Hardner

Fidel

You say the Liberals botched it on purpose, yet they initiated this entire process. Why and how do you think that the purposeful botch happened ?

Fidel

quote:


Originally posted by Michael Hardner:
[b]Fidel

You say the Liberals botched it on purpose, yet they initiated this entire process. Why and how do you think that the purposeful botch happened ?[/b]


You say Ontario had more funding for this campaign than B.C. did for STV. I thought I read somewhere that B.C. spent about the same or more than Ontario on the referendum altogether. I haven't seen any official figures either way, but Toronto spent about $6.7 million altogether. My sister in Ottawa had no idea what I was talking about with MMP in the weeks leading up to the election. If it wasn't for me explaining it to her and why we need reform in general, I don't think she'd have voted for MMP.

Brian White

I am sorry about your math skills, Michael.
As long as you can read, you can still vote in STV!
The Irish system has been handcounted (but the average voter does not have to stay after voting to count them) since it began. And specially for you, you can still draw your X beside the written name of the candidate.
Unfortunately they still do not have pictures of the candidates but perhaps that would help you?
I am so sick of people telling average Canadians that they are too thick to write 1,2,3 etc on a ballot paper.

And the only way to prove that stv reduces voter apathy is to have STV in some part of canada. There is no reason that it could not be used in some civic elections. And if the 40% superminority veto is killed, it might win BC.
There is a hell of a lot of info in the 2 graphs for all to see. Look at the percentage of voters who actually contribute to the election of someone in ireland. 79%
Thats pretty high compared with BC. And the first past the post percentages are up and down and all over the place depending on the luck of the draw in different elections and even in the same election.
Thats all in the graphs for all to see too.
Go to a different election and you will get a different percentage of represented voters in first past the post. But in stv, i bet it is always very close to 79% all the time. If you ever worked in quality control, you might know that one of the hallmarks of a good system is repeatable results. STV has that FPTP does not.
No matter how you cut it, a much higher percentage of the irish vote. (and because they are a younger population, the expected percentage would be lower not higher)
What is the reason you give for that? (Lets get scientific) No more "I do not accept your arguements". You got to put down a counter arguement or people will think you are an airbag.

quote:

Originally posted by Michael Hardner:
[b]Brian, I'm unimpressed with your argument.

We'd have to see more than those two graphs to conclude that STV reverses the trend towards voter apathy.

The Irish system sounds terribly complicated. In Ontario, the MMP system was rejected, and one of the reasons seemed to be the complexity. Even then, it was less than this.[/b]


Michael Hardner

Fidel

quote:

quote [img]redface.gif" border="0[/img] riginally posted by Michael Hardner:
Fidel

You say the Liberals botched it on purpose, yet they initiated this entire process. Why and how do you think that the purposeful botch happened ?

You say Ontario had more funding for this campaign than B.C. did for STV. I thought I read somewhere that B.C. spent about the same or more than Ontario on the referendum altogether. I haven't seen any official figures either way, but Toronto spent about $6.7 million altogether. My sister in Ottawa had no idea what I was talking about with MMP in the weeks leading up to the election. If it wasn't for me explaining it to her and why we need reform in general, I don't think she'd have voted for MMP.


Are you saying they didn't spend enough, and that was what botched it ?

And why would they initiate this entire process, only to scuttle it ? What changed ?

Michael Hardner

Brian

quote:

I am sorry about your math skills, Michael.


My math skills are fine, thanks. Much better than average.

quote:

As long as you can read, you can still vote in STV!
The Irish system has been handcounted (but the average voter does not have to stay after voting to count them) since it began. And specially for you, you can still draw your X beside the written name of the candidate.


Our system is handcounted too. The voter has to stay after voting ? What ?

quote:

Unfortunately they still do not have pictures of the candidates but perhaps that would help you?
I am so sick of people telling average Canadians that they are too thick to write 1,2,3 etc on a ballot paper.

And the only way to prove that stv reduces voter apathy is to have STV in some part of canada. There is no reason that it could not be used in some civic elections. And if the 40% superminority veto is killed, it might win BC.
There is a hell of a lot of info in the 2 graphs for all to see. Look at the percentage of voters who actually contribute to the election of someone in ireland. 79%
Thats pretty high compared with BC. And the first past the post percentages are up and down and all over the place depending on the luck of the draw in different elections and even in the same election.
Thats all in the graphs for all to see too.
Go to a different election and you will get a different percentage of represented voters in first past the post. But in stv, i bet it is always very close to 79% all the time. If you ever worked in quality control, you might know that one of the hallmarks of a good system is repeatable results. STV has that FPTP does not.
No matter how you cut it, a much higher percentage of the irish vote. (and because they are a younger population, the expected percentage would be lower not higher)
What is the reason you give for that? (Lets get scientific) No more "I do not accept your arguements". You got to put down a counter arguement or people will think you are an airbag.


Brian, simply comparing a BC election to an Irish election doesn't tell us anything.

There are many variables at play here. For example, maybe it rained on the day of the BC election. Maybe the first STV election sparked renewed interest that one time, but it was a fad. Maybe the Irish just participate more.

What I'd like to see is a graph showing a few elections before STV was brought in to Ireland, then a few elections after.

If we see a general trend away from reduced electoral participation, then we might have something to talk about.

Clear ?

quote:

quote [img]redface.gif" border="0[/img] riginally posted by Michael Hardner:
Brian, I'm unimpressed with your argument.

We'd have to see more than those two graphs to conclude that STV reverses the trend towards voter apathy.

The Irish system sounds terribly complicated. In Ontario, the MMP system was rejected, and one of the reasons seemed to be the complexity. Even then, it was less than this.


I still think the Irish system sounds complicated. It may not be, but you haven't explained it very well. I'd say if you can't explain it in 3 sentences, then most people wouldn't be interested.

Albireo

quote:


Originally posted by Fidel:
[b]I thought I read somewhere that B.C. spent about the same or more than Ontario on the referendum altogether. I haven't seen any official figures either way, but Toronto [[i]I think Fidel means the provincial government[/i]] spent about $6.7 million altogether. My sister in Ottawa had no idea what I was talking about with MMP in the weeks leading up to the election. If it wasn't for me explaining it to her and why we need reform in general, I don't think she'd have voted for MMP.[/b]

I'm not sure about relative spending levels per capita. A big part of the problem was that what WAS spent was spent on nonsense that said [i]It's a BIG DECISION so you'd better inform yourself[/i]... without ever informing people about what they were really voting on! And where they did "inform" people, the information really boiled the question down to this: [i]Do you want to support the current system that is simple and seems to work fine (and we won't tell you why anyone would want to replace it)? Or would you prefer some new system that seems kinda complicated (and we won't properly explain what it is, why it is being recommended, the fact that it is used elsewhere, and how it really works in those places)? [/i]

I can honestly say that if the Ontario government had allotted ZERO dollars for an education campaign, MMP would have gotten a better result. It wouldn't have won (there were too many other factors), but it might have gotten support in the low or mid 40s, instead of 37%.

quote:

Originally posted by Michael Hardner:
[b]You say the Liberals botched it on purpose, yet they initiated this entire process. Why and how do you think that the purposeful botch happened ?[/b]

When the Harris/Eves Conservatives were in power, the Liberals were desperate to regain power. They crafted an amitious 2003 election platform with many promises, aimed only at gaining support, and gaining power. Many of their promises, like new spending commitments while NEVER raising taxes, could not possibly be kept -- especially in light of a poor fiscal situation that they knew about, but pretended not to know about.

In their first year in power, the McGuinty government broke some high-profile promises, most famously imposing a large new tax that they sold as a "health care surcharge". They were ridiculed early on as promise-breakers and liars. As a result, they were desperate to find some promises that they could actually keep. And one of the cheapest and easist promises to keep was to set up a Citizens Assembly and hold a referendum on its recommendations. So they set it up and followed through, at least going through the motions. I think that some Liberals were genuinely interested in the process and supported reform -- and that included the two ministers in charge of the file, first Michael Bryant and then Maria Bountrogianni. But I don't think that McGuinty and his inner circle ever wanted it; nor did most Liberals. That's why we got the 60-40 playing field, the poor question, the half-assed "education campaign", the Citizens Assembly report not being distributed or properly explained, politicians compelled to be silent on the issue, and so on.

McGuinty got to say "I kept my promise", and he did -- he had a CA and a referendum... but it was set up to fail.

I wish that Maria Bountrogianni would speak honestly and publicly about her experience of this process, and why she resigned. She might have some interesting things to say.

Michael Hardner

Interesting... if they didn't intend on doing anything *real* from the start, it makes sense to me that they would propose electoral reform, and MMP in particular.

It looks to me like a proposal that would benefit a middle party like them.

Wilf Day

quote:


Originally posted by Michael Hardner:
[b]And why would they initiate this entire process, only to scuttle it ? What changed ?[/b]

That is, of course, the question someone will write a book on.

Working hypothesis: when they came to power in 2003 they were saying "we've only been in power five of the past 60 years, because the Conservatives keep winning manufactured majorities. We have to have a look at electoral reform."

But by May 2007, did some people in the Premier's office not only expect to be re-elected in October, they also thought the PCs had lost their inbuilt advantage, and the workings of FPTP were no longer skewed against the Liberals?

Redistribution had given the urban ridings more MPPs, but actually this gave the PCs 4 more seats on the transposition of votes, so that wasn't it. At that point John Tory hadn't painted himself into a corner on religious schools, so they shouldn't have been confident.

Was it just that the majority of cabinet had been hoping for the Alternative Vote, and decided that any proportional representation system was worse than FPTP for Liberals? Leaving only half a dozen cabinet ministers and MPPs favouring MMP? Or maybe more, but the others decided that their minority view should prudently be kept out of sight?

I'm waiting for the book.

[ 18 October 2007: Message edited by: Wilf Day ]

Michael Hardner

Aha... you seem to be saying that the botch came at the end, due to a change in strategy. That's even more cynical, but still possible.

My guess is that MMP was a win-win. If it fails, they retain their FPTP advantage, and look like they tried something and failed. If it wins, they get a new advantage via MMP, as the sole middle party out there.

Brian White

Malta also has a version of stv. They have a high voting rate too. But Whatever.
The 3 sentences thing, is breathtaking.
It might even be sincere!
Michael, you are not the type of person who is likely to be swayed by evidence. Have fun with it.

quote:

Originally posted by Michael Hardner:
[b]Brian

I still think the Irish system sounds complicated. It may not be, but you haven't explained it very well. I'd say if you can't explain it in 3 sentences, then most people wouldn't be interested.[/b]


Fidel

They didn't want one more NDP MPP in Queen's Perk than is necessary. Liberals love the vote-distorting, voter discouraging effects with FPTP. Our Liberals will even forfeit votes in future elections so long as this system favours phony old line party majorities and zero political oppostion over four years.

[url=http://ontariondp.com/howard-hampton-statement-citizens-assembly-decisio... Hampton and the NDP[/url] endorsed electoral reform whereas the Liberal and Conservative parties did not. I think doing so probably would have encouraged more of their supporters to vote for MMP. I suspect that many of them may have been "encouraged" not to vote for MMP in so many words or by virtue of the premier's silence on the referendum.

[ 18 October 2007: Message edited by: Fidel ]

Michael Hardner

quote:


Malta also has a version of stv. They have a high voting rate too. But Whatever.
The 3 sentences thing, is breathtaking.
It might even be sincere!
Michael, you are not the type of person who is likely to be swayed by evidence. Have fun with it.

Brian, I am swayed by evidence. I have lots of examples. You seem like you're swayed by non-evidence.

For the Malta example, you can't say 'Malta has STV and a higher participation rate, therefore STV causes a higher participation rate.'

There are many other variables. Do you understand that ?

Brian White

Michael, you are the fptp defender, it is YOUR job to list them, otherwise, I got to call bullshit on your unsupported arguements.
You have lots of examples, i am all ears but you are strangely quiet with your examples.
We both know why.
Why do YOU think STV countrys have a much higher percentage of the population voting?

quote:

Originally posted by Michael Hardner:
[b]

Brian, I am swayed by evidence. I have lots of examples. You seem like you're swayed by non-evidence.

For the Malta example, you can't say 'Malta has STV and a higher participation rate, therefore STV causes a higher participation rate.'

There are many other variables. Do you understand that ?[/b]


mayakovsky

This debate is still going on? No one should need to defend FPTP in Canada. It's called democracy. 'You don't make the team, you don't get to play goalie just because a lot of people like you'. And now maybe the left can get busy winning elections instead of looking for wanker options.

siamdave

Hello all, I've not been browsing the babble boards for awhile, so come to this little discussion late. But I have been active for many years in trying to drag Canada into a more moder era concerning the FPTP voting system, and want to say something here to contradict something that was thrown out (or in as the case may be) early on here, and people have just seemed to accept - it was a negative mark on the whole 'debate' during the election as well, that needed to be opposed but never was (I expect this was no accident, as I wrote a few letters to newspapers and whatnot pointing it out that never got published - who knows how many others did the same). The idea that MPP is going to allow parties to 'fill the commons' with 'unelected backroom party hacks' is simply nonsense. The people who top up the party percentages in an MPP system are elected the same as anyone else - that's what the second vote is for! People (at least those who understand what is going on - the lack of education about this was truly deplorable during the campaign, which more or less proves the fix was in from the word go) - people who know what is happening look at the party lists offered by all parties, and decide on the basis of those lists which ones they would prefer, and vote accordingly. Sure you have hard-core supporters of any party who will vote the party rather than the list, but any election depends a lot on swing voters, and they will surely look at the lists and decide on the basis of who is near the top of those lists who they want to vote for.

For instance, I'm not that fond of any parties, but if the Ontario Cons put, shall we say, David Suzuki at the top of their list, and the Ontario NDP put Brian Mulroney at the top of thiers, I would be seriously considering voting Con, and I'd rot in hell before giving a vote to Mulroney, NDP notwithstanding (I would, of course, be doing a bit of checking about what happened to Suzuki, but that's beside the point). The point is, I would not, not ever!, vote for some gang of faceless backroom hacks from any party, but only for people on whichever list I thought would be the best in the gov.

So they ARE elected, and how anyone can propagate the idea they're 'appointed' is beyond me. How the lists are formulated in the first place may be contentious and not settled yet, but you can be sure that whoever does (or would have, I suppose, now) make up such lists will be doing it with a very serious mind to the electability of such people - which is why, for instance, PR countries have a LOT more women in their governments - they know that the voters want more women, and lists deficient in number (and quality, of course - substitute, say Margaret Thatcher for Mulroney there is NOT going to improve your chances) of women do less well - as voters ELECT people on lists they prefer.

The whole idea that MPP, with seats proportionate to voters stated preferences, is LESS 'democratic' than FPTP is right out of Alice in Wonderland, where white is red and black is white according the dictates of the Red Queen or something. MPP is certainly not perfect, but at least it would be a major improvement on what we have, and a major hindrance to the current system where the 'real' rulers of the country dominate both Libs and Cons and play tweedledee-dum games year in year out. Which is, of course, why the campaign against it was so strong, and full of such BS to scare the voters away.

There's more here [url=http://www.vivelecanada.ca/article.php/20071014014516362]Last word on the Ontario election[/url] and here [url=http://www.rudemacedon.ca/lgi/07/1009-star-pr.html]Electoral reform fraught with risk - for who??[/url] in somewhat more detail if anyone is interested now that it's all over.

Michael Hardner

Brian

quote:

Michael, you are the fptp defender, it is YOUR job to list them, otherwise, I got to call bullshit on your unsupported arguements.
You have lots of examples, i am all ears but you are strangely quiet with your examples.
We both know why.
Why do YOU think STV countrys have a much higher percentage of the population voting?

Actually, since other systems are being proposed to replace the existing one, I think the onus is on you to show why these are better.

Are you acknowledging that I have refuted all your points ?

I will start by saying FPTP has produced the system we have now, which though not perfect, is certainly very good.

Brian White

Stil waiting, Michael,
You have said a very wordy nothing so far.

Michael Hardner

Agreed. If we you don't have anything more to say, then let's stay with the current system.

Brian White

I asked for something backing up your hunch.
Still waiting.
Your lack of any arguement supporting your hunch is pretty pathetic.
I gave mine, it is still your turn.

Michael Hardner

quote:


I asked for something backing up your hunch.
Still waiting.
Your lack of any arguement supporting your hunch is pretty pathetic.
I gave mine, it is still your turn.

Brian, what hunch ?

I'm open to any ideas that will improve our current situation. Do you have some ?

Albireo

Hey, how about electoral reform? [img]tongue.gif" border="0[/img]

Fidel

quote:


Originally posted by Michael Hardner:
[b]Agreed. If we you don't have anything more to say, then let's stay with the current system.[/b]

But that's like saying: Hit us over the head some more with this stale old vote-distorting electoral system invented before electricity, because a few holdouts want a perfect method.

At the same time, don't hook up to fluoridated town water, because it's connected to everybody else's house and apartment house. And thats icky. Something's bound to go wrong with that. Let's stick with water wells and hope we aren't getting contaminated drinking water.

Brian White

clearly you are not open to any ideas nor do you have any.

quote:

Originally posted by Michael Hardner:
[b]

Brian, what hunch ?

I'm open to any ideas that will improve our current situation. Do you have some ?[/b]


Michael Hardner

Alb,

quote:

Hey, how about electoral reform?

How about it ? What and why ? The MMP proposal came out of concern for the 'democratic deficit' so I'd like to see some evidence that electoral changes can reverse that phenomenon. ( Presumably, lower voter participation. )

Personally, I'd like to see changes in our information systems:

- Mandatory service level disclosures for all services.
- Simplification of legislation, and rules in general.
- De-politicization of the deputy ministers.
- Local councils meeting to discuss issues and encourage participation.

I took part in a paid focus group earlier this year, for one of the political parties. Clearly, I had more influence on party platforms from that group than I have ever had with my vote. Interesting.

Michael Hardner

quote:


But that's like saying: Hit us over the head some more with this stale old vote-distorting electoral system invented before electricity, because a few holdouts want a perfect method.

At the same time, don't hook up to fluoridated town water, because it's connected to everybody else's house and apartment house. And thats icky. Something's bound to go wrong with that. Let's stick with water wells and hope we aren't getting contaminated drinking water.


Fidel,

As I have pointed out, calling something 'stale' or 'old' is not itself a criticism. Democracy itself is thousands of years old, and yet we still seem to hang on to that.

When I ask what is wrong with the current system, the answer comes back that the results are mathematically distored or that votes are 'wasted', which seems to mean that whomever loses the election doesn't get to go to Queen's Park.

Symmetry can be beautiful, but our current process allows absolute power to rotate from party to party. I think that the result is a constant revisiting and renewal from various perspectives, which is good.

Michael Hardner

Brian White,

quote:

clearly you are not open to any ideas nor do you have any.

I'm open to new ideas if someone can explain why they're good. An idea is not automatically good because it is new.

The 'wasted vote' argument seems to cause the most frustration to those who vote NDP or fringe party. I can't see the point in re-inventing the whole system for that reason.

Fidel

quote:


Originally posted by Michael Hardner:
[b]

Fidel,

As I have pointed out, calling something 'stale' or 'old' is not itself a criticism. Democracy itself is thousands of years old, and yet we still seem to hang on to that.[/b]


Yes, and the Greeks strived for direct democracy.
With population explosions around the world since then, the best we can do is representative democracy. The Yanks strived to create the first constitutional democracy run by and for the people and not beholden to a monarchy or banking elite. They failed. Wall Street and Bay Street are where power resides. Our elected officials tell as much when they say we cannot afford well-funded social programs. They tell us they are impotent to really act on anyone's behalf except in favour of international money speculators and bond holders. They're pulling laissez-faire over our eyes all over again. And you know what? It's going to do a grand swan dive if they ever tried it on full strength, like it did in 1929 North America, and again in 1985 Chile for good measure.

What we have is dollar democracy. Plutocracy is thousands of years old. Money pursued power for donkey's ages. Today, it's the opposite. Today, power follows money. Democracy requires regular maintenance, Michael. The halls of power in Ottawa needs cleaning out every 100 years or so, otherwise we get decay and rot.

quote:

[b]When I ask what is wrong with the current system, the answer comes back that the results are mathematically distored or that votes are 'wasted', which seems to mean that whomever loses the election doesn't get to go to Queen's Park.[/b]

That would be the general idea, that when 35-45% of any given electorate are the ones doing the choosing, the other half learn quickly not to even bother voting because they already know the outcome of local elections. And less than half of those who do vote are the ones electing the MP's and MPP's. That's not democracy. It's not democracy when a Liberal government in Ontario with 22 percent of eligible voter support under them rules dictatorally for eight years without any political opposition whatsoever.

quote:

[b]Symmetry can be beautiful, but our current process allows absolute power to rotate from party to party. I think that the result is a constant revisiting and renewal from various perspectives, which is good.[/b]

Our two old line parties have been in power and sharing power since the times of Russian Tsars and German Kaisers were on the go. It's time for full representation in our parliamentary democracy. There are too many wasted votes and Canadians disinterested with what's going on around them. That's not democracy either. The struggle for democracy continues, Michael.

Michael Hardner

Fidel,

quote:

quote [img]redface.gif" border="0[/img] riginally posted by Michael Hardner:

Fidel,

As I have pointed out, calling something 'stale' or 'old' is not itself a criticism. Democracy itself is thousands of years old, and yet we still seem to hang on to that.

Yes, and the Greeks strived for direct democracy.
With population explosions around the world since then, the best we can do is representative democracy. The Yanks strived to create the first constitutional democracy run by and for the people and not beholden to a monarchy or banking elite. They failed. Wall Street and Bay Street are where power resides. Our elected officials tell as much when they say we cannot afford well-funded social programs. They tell us they are impotent to really act on anyone's behalf except in favour of international money speculators and bond holders. They're pulling laissez-faire over our eyes all over again. And you know what? It's going to do a grand swan dive if they ever tried it on full strength, like it did in 1929 North America, and again in 1985 Chile for good measure.

What we have is dollar democracy. Plutocracy is thousands of years old. Money pursued power for donkey's ages. Today, it's the opposite. Today, power follows money. Democracy requires regular maintenance, Michael. The halls of power in Ottawa needs cleaning out every 100 years or so, otherwise we get decay and rot.


You're right, the system needs to be continually examined and renewed.

quote:

quote:When I ask what is wrong with the current system, the answer comes back that the results are mathematically distored or that votes are 'wasted', which seems to mean that whomever loses the election doesn't get to go to Queen's Park.

That would be the general idea, that when 35-45% of any given electorate are the ones doing the choosing, the other half learn quickly not to even bother voting because they already know the outcome of local elections. And less than half of those who do vote are the ones electing the MP's and MPP's. That's not democracy. It's not democracy when a Liberal government in Ontario with 22 percent of eligible voter support under them rules dictatorally for eight years without any political opposition whatsoever.


There are many forms of democracy, and FPTP is one of them. As soon as you move from direct democracy to representative democracy, you start to have problems but it's a distortion to say that it's *not* democracy.


quote:

quote:Symmetry can be beautiful, but our current process allows absolute power to rotate from party to party. I think that the result is a constant revisiting and renewal from various perspectives, which is good.

Our two old line parties have been in power and sharing power since the times of Russian Tsars and German Kaisers were on the go. It's time for full representation in our parliamentary democracy. There are too many wasted votes and Canadians disinterested with what's going on around them. That's not democracy either. The struggle for democracy continues, Michael.


You have only repeated the argument that I have heard many times.

I consider Howard Hampton to representative in Queen's Park, even though his representative didn't win in my riding.

[ 22 October 2007: Message edited by: Michael Hardner ]

Albireo

quote:


Originally posted by Michael Hardner:
[b]I'm open to new ideas if someone can explain why they're good. An idea is not automatically good because it is new.[/b]

In thread after thread, people have explained why first past the post is bad, and why proportional systems like STV and MMP are better. But you [b]aren't[/b] open to new ideas; you aren't even listening, and you aren't making any effort to find or incorporate new information. The fact that you believe that these systems are "new" is proof of this, given that STV was first used 150 years ago, and has been in continuous use for 100 years. Party-list PR has also been used for over 100 years, and MMP for about 60 years.

Your willful ignorance combined with your continuous participation in these threads amounts to a huge waste of time. Personally, I'm getting less and less inclined to spend any time answering you. It's your right to post, of course, even frequently, on a subject where you have little to say other than what amounts to: "the current system is good", and "another system just couldn't be better", and "prove it, prove it, prove it", all the while covering your ears and eyes. Have fun with that.

[ 22 October 2007: Message edited by: Albireo ]

Michael Hardner

quote:


In thread after thread, people have explained why first past the post is bad, and why proportional systems like STV and MMP are better. But you aren't open to new ideas; you aren't even listening, and you aren't making any effort to find or incorporate new information.


On the contrary. Most of the arguments I hear are that it's "fairer", or that it's more mathematically correct. My response is that such may be the case, but I want an idea of how that translates into a better system.

The current system swaps out more power for shorter periods of times, versus these systems that have continual coalition building and more politicking.

I have continually asked for reasons why the proposed systems are better, and most of the time I get the same thing back.

quote:

The fact that you believe that these systems are "new" is proof of this, given that STV was first used 150 years ago, and has been in continuous use for 100 years. Party-list PR has also been used for over 100 years, and MMP for about 60 years.


I call these systems "new" because the proponents call the existing system "stale" "outdated" etc. Again, I don't care if an idea is new or old, just if it is good.

quote:

Your willful ignorance combined with your continuous participation in these threads amounts to a huge waste of time. Personally, I'm getting less and less inclined to spend any time answering you. It's your right to post, of course, even frequently, on a subject where you have little to say other than what amounts to: "the current system is good", and "another system just couldn't be better", and "prove it, prove it, prove it", all the while covering your ears and eyes. Have fun with that.

I'm not having any fun at all. Take a look at how often I ask for proof or evidence and get a response that these systems are just 'better' or the ever-slanted 'they waste less votes'.

You were led into a mouse-maze by the Liberals, who wanted to limit the scope of real change that the OCA could recommend - and you think that there's a way out. They could have hardly come up with a more tepid change than electoral reform, aside from changing the fonts printed on the ballots.

To me, the system is broken before the user goes into the voting booth. We live in a society where political information is conveyed through a medium (television) that is memoryless. There is no follow-up on promises, as evidenced with the current provincial government.

----

Here's an example of where our problems lie, from my point of view:

The biggest problem facing voters is, in my opinion, a continuous and unending decline in the effective tax rates of the highest earners. If we were conveying political information as corporations convey operating information, then the people would have noticed this trend and acted on it. Instead we have the McGuinty's of the world conveying a 'kindler gentler' face on a government that simply continues the common sense revolution.

Politics needs to be de-coupled from advertising. MMP, STV and PR in general does nothing to achieve that, in my opinion.

Fidel

quote:


Michael Hardner said:
[b]The biggest problem facing voters is, in my opinion, a continuous and unending decline in the effective tax rates of the highest earners. If we were conveying political information as corporations convey operating information, then the people would have noticed this trend and acted on it[/b]

I don't believe that voter's lack of interest in voting is because they don't care, it's partly as you say, they are not informed. But at the same time they are totally disinterested in [i]becoming[/i] informed, a large percentage of Liberal and Tory and NDP voters alike choose not to vote because they already know which local candidate will win ie. not the guy they would vote for and want to win. And so they don't. That leads to voter apathy and a total disinterest in reading the company's prospectus.

Michael Hardner

quote:


I don't believe that voter's lack of interest in voting is because they don't care, it's partly as you say, they are not informed. But at the same time they are totally disinterested in becoming informed, a large percentage of Liberal and Tory and NDP voters alike choose not to vote because they already know which local candidate will win ie. not the guy they would vote for and want to win. And so they don't. That leads to voter apathy and a total disinterest in reading the company's prospectus.

Fidel,

I think we're getting into a groove here.

Firstly, I think that things change more than you let on. In my short time on this earth, I have seen Ed Broadbent leading in the polls, back to back Conservative governments, multiple provincial NDP governments, the death of Social Credit, the birth of the Green party, and the birth and death of the national party.

I also sympathize with your point that people are disinterested in becoming informed. I love thinking, reading and writing about politics, but only about 20% of the people are like me. I'm actually amazed that 50% of people bother to vote.

Most people are too concerned with their own lives to bother, and I don't really blame them. If you want to get a sense of the level of awareness of people in general, take a look at how big they have to put those POISONOUS warnings on pesticides, or the DO NOT EAT label on silica gel that comes in packaging.

The first cut at western democracy, in America, was only available to Christian land owners. Not that I'm advocating such a position, ( as I would not be allowed to vote myself ) but if we stop trying to force feed politics on the disinterested, the level of debate can only rise.

Television news has been going downhill for a long time, let's get out of the way and watch it go off the cliff. If we didn't have soundbyte coverage, and dumbed-down television advertising, political discussion would only happen in newspapers and on web boards like this.

I think that it would improve the debate.

Fidel

quote:


Originally posted by Michael Hardner:
[b]Firstly, I think that things change more than you let on. In my short time on this earth, I have seen Ed Broadbent leading in the polls, back to back Conservative governments, multiple provincial NDP governments[/b]

Sure, and our voter turnouts were better then when the majority of voters believed they were punishing Mulroney in 1988. He gets a phony majority and the result was FTA in 1989.

And then a majority of us voted against him again in 1993. NDP, Liberal, what's the diff because they were both ferociously anti-FTA anti-GST and anti-Mulroney. Well the Liberals lied their asses off, and the result was NAFTA and more GST. Needless to say, voter participation rates dropped off across Canada in the decade of the 90's. And with Mulroney's legacy still dogging the big money big banking parties, neither of them won 24 percent of eligible vote in 2006. Jean Bertrand Aristide is more legitimate than Stephen Harper, and Aristide has been banished to Africa by the CIA and with Ottawa's help. We don't have democracy in Canada, Michael, and everyone knows it. FPTP is a charade, a menace to democracy itself.

quote:

[b] I'm actually amazed that 50% of people bother to vote.[/b]

You and I both. In a comparison of 163 countries' voter turnouts during the free trade betrayal decade of the 1990's, Canada placed somewhere down around Fiji and Benin. U.S. voter turnouts were even worse. And they don't have advanced democracy either.

People don't care about elections, about 50 percent of us in Canada's largest province according to electioneers. It's tiny minority making kings across Canada while the rest stay home. And here's the hopeful part, it's because they are not stupid. They already know which party's candidate will win ahead of time having wasted their time and effort on so many prior occasions. They've done the math and therefore realize it's waste of time. But there is still the 55 or 60 percent of voters who will bother to turnout to the polls and flush their votes down the sewer pipe anyway. And even they're becoming frustrated now. Many of them will join the ranks of the disinterested in the next election because FPTP has been a repetitive lesson in frustration for them every four years.

Normal people dislike repeating mistakes over and over, and so they choose wisely to watch from the sidelines because they know the odds are against them. It's only the insane people who vote every FPTP election and fully believing it's a democracy. It's time to stop the insanity, Michael. Several first world democracies arrived at this conclusion decades ago, and none of them have switched back to this dated electoral system invented before electricity and modern conveniences.

Brian White

And what is your solution to what you think is the problem, Michael?
computers instead of tv's?
only have politics on the radio?
A political promise playback button on your dvr?
No politics after 6pm on tv?
Survivor politics where politicians form tribes and the tv audience votes them off until.? what?
Only Garth turner is left?

Thought I would fill your little brain garden.
You are still being strangely quiet on anything meaningful. A strange selftorture can be found in dealing withe certain people.

quote:

Originally posted by Michael Hardner:
[b]

I'm not having any fun at all.
To me, the system is broken before the user goes into the voting booth. We live in a society where political information is conveyed through a medium (television) that is memoryless. There is no follow-up on promises, as evidenced with the current provincial government.

----

Here's an example of where our problems lie, from my point of view:

The biggest problem facing voters is, in my opinion, a continuous and unending decline in the effective tax rates of the highest earners. If we were conveying political information as corporations convey operating information, then the people would have noticed this trend and acted on it. Instead we have the McGuinty's of the world conveying a 'kindler gentler' face on a government that simply continues the common sense revolution.

Politics needs to be de-coupled from advertising. MMP, STV and PR in general does nothing to achieve that, in my opinion.[/b]


Fidel

Albireo's post above about computerized voting in the U.S. got me thinking about Chile's democracy overturned in 1973. Critics of the socialist experiment for electronic democracy "Cybersyn" was big brother tyranny. But I believe it was what economists today might refer to today as an attempt to address conditions within an economy referred to as imperfect information.

South America country elected a socialist president, and Chile was to become an experiment in utopian high tech socialist economy. What happened was a CIA-fomented coup and the overthrow of democracy in 1973. And that country would become the genesis fable for Reagan, Mulroney and Thatcher's neoliberal capitalism. An entire country was stolen from its owners and handed to a military dictator, and los Chicago boys, a group of snot-nosed Latinos wearing white turtle necks and dark sunglasses. They were fired in 1985 by the dictator himself.

[url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/chile/story/0,13755,1037547,00.html][b]Santiago dreaming[/b][/url]

quote:

The Chilean military found the Cybersyn network intact, and called in Espejo and others to explain it to them. But they found the open, egalitarian aspects of the system unattractive and destroyed it. Espejo fled. Some of his colleagues were not so lucky. Soon after the coup, Beer left West Byfleet, his wife, and most of his possessions to live in a cottage in Wales. "He had survivor guilt, unquestionably," says Simon.

Cybersyn and Stafford's subsequent, more esoteric inventions live on in obscure socialist websites and, more surprisingly, modern business school teachings about the importance of economic information and informal working practices. David Bowie, Brian Eno and Tony Blair's new head of policy, Geoff Mulgan, have all cited Beer as an influence.


Michael Hardner

quote:


And what is your solution to what you think is the problem, Michael?
computers instead of tv's?
only have politics on the radio?
A political promise playback button on your dvr?
No politics after 6pm on tv?
Survivor politics where politicians form tribes and the tv audience votes them off until.? what?
Only Garth turner is left?

Thought I would fill your little brain garden.
You are still being strangely quiet on anything meaningful. A strange selftorture can be found in dealing withe certain people.


Brian, these are interesting ideas.

If you have even watched a TV news program from 20 or 25 years ago, you can see a decline in the quality of information. And critics had been saying at that point that TV news was too far gone.

I find it odd that you find modes of communication to not be meaningful, yet for you the tepid electoral changes the Liberals crafted are.

Since we're both dealing with conjecture and futurism, there is no way to prove who's right.

Fidel

quote:


Originally posted by Michael Hardner:
[b]

Since we're both dealing with conjecture and futurism, there is no way to prove who's right.[/b]


No, we just have to look at other countries with advanced democracy and more competitive economies to know something's amiss here in the Northern Puerto Rico.

mgregus

Closing for length.

Pages

Topic locked