Choice Voting: the next step in electoral reform.

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Daniel Grice
Choice Voting: the next step in electoral reform.

Fellow Babblers:
I have set up a petition and information site pushing promoting Choice Voting in the current single member districts and set up the following website:  
http://www.choicevoting.ca  (There is an online petition)
After the recent setback in BC, PEI, and Ontario to full proportional representation, I think its a more viable change that will increase competition and accountability even if it does not deliver the fair results that many of us have fought for over the last few years.  
Choice Voting is also referred to by academics as a preferential ballot, instant run off, or the alternative votes, but is more frequently known in the US as “ranked choice voting”, a name which certainly has more resonance amongst the ordinary voter than unfamiliar acronyms such as MMP, STV or IRV.
It is essentially a single member version of the transferable vote, in which voters can cast a “protest” or “conscious” vote while still retaining the ability to vote for a second candidate who may have better electoral success.  While, some models allow voters to rank all the candidates, I think a simple 1-2 vote will make it easy to count votes by hand and keep the ballot simple for voters, both concerns which were raised in the most recent BC referendum.
While I know that choice voting will not deliver proportional results that many of you would like to see, it does address the notion of strategic voting and I feel it is a change that will receive less resistance from the average voter and current politicians because it preserves the familiar notion of local representation and will still deliver government mandates. It does cure what I believe is the worst fallacy of our current electoral system. First-past-the-post has a tendency to force people to set aside their beliefs and vote strategically, which encourages negative campaigns and shuts out fair competition.  
Choice voting will encourage more quality candidates to run, both as independents and perhaps with smaller parties, reduce negativity (particularly amongst candidates with similar view points), encourage more cooperation, and allow voters to be more honest with their first preference by ending strategic voting.
I see it not as an end of electoral reform, but as a method to encourage new ideas and fresh voices to build strong local presences, until at which time voters are ready to embrace more dramatic changes or more complex systems. Once voters get used to the idea of more political choice and get familiar with supporting different views, further changes may be easier to pursue.
Do not let perfection get in the way of improvement!  
If we cannot solve all the problems, then at least address some of them.
Please sign up if you are willing to support change.
I have put a personal perspective in place here:
http://www.dangrice.com/node/246
I know that there is opposition from those who support "PR or bust", but I think you will see that they are misguided to deny incremental change.  It is actually disappointing to hear progressive people who refuse to consider realistic changes in the mid term.
Fair Vote US, recognizing that full PR is nearly impossible to get through, puts much of their efforts into pushing for IRV as a way of ensuring that local elections are at least fair and competitive. The Electoral Reform Society of England acknowledge that while not ideal and promotes full PR, choice voting is at least a step in the correct direction.  

 

Stockholm

What you are talking about is precisely the system they use in Australia and in fact it is often referred to as an "Australian ballot" where you have to rank the candidates numerically from most to least favoured. I think its a great idea. Just think no more vote splitting, no more strategic voting, people would be free to vote as they pleased and just always rank the Tory candidate dead last thank you very much.

In Australia it seems to work very well. People must rank every single candidate on the ballot or else the ballot will be ranked according to where the party you gave your first preference to wants it to go. Parties there make DEALS for this - so for example, the Green party in Australia might want to stop a dam from being built in Tasmania, so they approach both the Labour and Liberal Parties and see if either of them will make a commitment to scrap the project in exchange for getting the Green prerefences. What's not to like?!

I will sign on right away!!

takeitslowly

It doesn't eliminate strategic voting, it enhances one's ability to plan their strategic voting. Bullshit.  PR or nothing.

Daniel Grice

Voting for your party or person you like without worrying about splitting the vote is the definition of eliminating "strategic voting". Yes, there is arrow's paradox and yes people will still vote to keep another party out, but they will not be forced to hide their true intention. 

takeitslowly

This is a just a game the two party system play to maintain their power, the only real solution is a system that reflects people 's choices. People are ready for it, the media and the elites are not. And they never will be because they don't want to lose their privilege.

Daniel Grice

Anyways, after Ontario and BC failed, I'm not content for nothing, even if I would prefer PR.  Some people oppose change, for the pure sake of retaining the right to complain.

takeitslowly

after MMP failure in Ontario, I swore to myself I would never pay for the Toronto star again, they are truely a Liberal party paper hell bent on ensuring the survival of the two party system..

Wilf Day

Stockholm wrote:
What you are talking about is precisely the system they use in Australia and in fact it is often referred to as an "Australian ballot" where you have to rank the candidates numerically from most to least favoured.

It is generally referred to as the "Alternative Vote" except in the USA where they use the term "Instant Runoff Voting" (IRV). American electoral reformers use the term "Choice Voting" to refer to STV. I have not previously seen AV referred to as "Choice Voting."

As Wikipedia correctly notes:

Quote:
IRV is most suited to elections in which there can be only one winner, such as a mayor or governor.

(In Australia) the preferential system was introduced in 1918, in response to the rise of the Country Party, a party representing small farmers. The Country Party split the anti-Labor vote in conservative country areas, allowing Labor candidates to win on a minority vote. The conservative government of Billy Hughes introduced preferential voting as a means of allowing competition between the two conservative parties without putting seats at risk.

Australia is the only nation with a long record of using IRV for the election of legislative bodies. IRV produces representation very similar to those produced by the plurality system, with a two party system in parliament similar to those found in many countries that use plurality and two round systems. A significant difference is that a smaller third party, the National Party of Australia, can co-exist with its coalition partner the Liberal Party of Australia, and can compete against it without fear of losing seats to other parties due to vote splitting.

In a country with two main parties like the USA or Australia, IRV will help preserve the two-party system. Further, some support for IRV comes from major-party supporters who want to eliminate the spoiler effect caused by vote-splitting, as with the Ralph Nader vote in Florida in the 2000 U.S. Presidential election, which presumably came largely from voters who would prefer Al Gore over George W. Bush, and which vote was more than enough to turn that election. These supporters of IRV expect that it will help maintain the two-party system by preventing spoiled elections.

In a country with three major parties, IRV will often work against the third party.

Quote:
The Alternative Vote can actually distort election results more dramatically than our current system. For example, in the 1997 election the Liberals won 38% of the votes but captured 51% of the seats. A study of voter preferences found the Liberals would have gained 57% of the seats, even with the same level of support, had the Alternative Vote been used. Why? When forced to rank parties, most voters who supported other parties would have ranked the Liberals second, not because they wanted Liberal representation, but because they disliked other parties even more.

Unfortunately, the Alternative Vote does nothing to fix the problems with the current system. In fact, it can make things worse.

1) Like our current system, the Alternative Vote is a winner-take-all system. In each riding, one group of voters elects an MP (and wins representation in Parliament) while all the other voters in that riding lose their right to representation.

2) Many voters are already in ridings where the MP is their second or third choice. That’s the problem, not the solution.

3) This system “guarantees” the winner has majority support? Counting ballots in a different manner does not magically produce a politician with majority support when it didn’t exist otherwise.

In short, it creates the illusion of making votes more effective, while either changing nothing or making it even harder for a third party to win seats on vote splits.

A very bad idea, and the enemy of any real electoral reform.     

Daniel Grice

The US calls both IRV and STV choice voting.

The enemy of real electoral reform are those who oppose any change but their own personal preference.  Both the Electoral Reform Society of England and Fair Vote US both recognize choice voting as an improvement over first past the post.  

 

takeitslowly

the U.S says alot of things..

theleftyinvestor

Choice voting or IRV is a slim improvement over FPTP. In Australia it allows similar-but-separate parties to avoid splitting the vote in some cases but not others, reducing the strategic voting paradox.

There is, however, still a strategic-voting incentive in IRV. Here is an example:

Suppose I am a left-leaning voter in a district with Cons, Libs and NDP. My natural voting pattern (all other things being typical) would then be 1) NDP, 2) Liberal.

Situation A: Liberals and Conservatives have 35:38% of first-choice votes. I vote honestly and my NDP vote is part of 27% that gets eliminated and mostly distributed to Liberals. Liberals win. My honest vote "works".

Situation B: Lots of lefties like me are disillusioned with the Liberals, enough to change the vote to 30:32:38 Liberal:NDP:Conservative. Liberals are eliminated, but 13 out of those 30% Liberals put Conservatives as second choice and not NDP. Conservatives win. My honest vote, a lefty protest vote against the Liberals, "fails".

Situation C: I, along with many other lefties, fear the scenario presented in Situation B. Therefore some of us chicken out and put Liberals first. Liberals win, but only because I and many other voters made a dishonest strategic vote.

So, still trouble in paradise... an optimal voting system should encourage people to vote honestly because it will get them more preferable results than any other way.

Wilf Day

Daniel Grice wrote:
Both the Electoral Reform Society of England and Fair Vote US both recognize choice voting as an improvement over first past the post.

The Electoral Reform Society in the UK says:

Quote:
AV is thus not a proportional system, and can in fact be more disproportional than FPTP.

It does very little to improve the voice of traditionally under-represented groups in parliament, strengthening the dominance of the 'central' viewpoint.

The Electoral Reform Society regards AV as the best voting system when a single position is being elected. However, as AV is not a proportional system, the Society does not regard it as ideal for the election of a representative body, e.g. a parliament, council, committees, etc.

The Society advocates the Single Transferable Vote (STV) while not opposing those who campaign for AV as the only change they believe possible in the foreseeable future. The Society regards the introduction of preference voting as a step in the right direction, although under AV only a very minor one.

Because our party system is different from the UK's, Fair Vote Canada sees that AV would be a step in the wrong direction in Canada. 

Daniel Grice

So what?  ChoiceVoting.ca disagrees with Fair Voting Canada on that one.

Daniel Grice

Strategic voting and the threat of it are real and every electoral reform system should be judged from a voters perspective first of all.  More so, under our current system parties specifically run on strategic voting, in some cases sending more of their time attacking like minded parties than in promoting themselves.

The Australian model is not bad at all, and personally, a PR senate would be nice for Canada. 

Coyote

I honestly think those wanting dramatic change are going to have chool their jets. PR does not have enough popular support right now for any government to entertain another referendum (potentially excluding Quebec? are they moving forward with plans?).

Incremental change may be the most that can be hoped for.

Wilf Day

Coyote wrote:
Incremental change may be the most that can be hoped for.

Perhaps so. But change in the wrong direction will just re-inforce the two-party system, or worse, create a series of regional two-party systems. 

Coyote wrote:
PR does not have enough popular support right now for any government to entertain another referendum (potentially excluding Quebec? are they moving forward with plans?).

PR was, in recent elections, supported by all parties in Quebec. No one in Quebec wants a referendum on PR. The report of the Chief Electoral Officer is ready to be implemented whenever Charest says "Go."

Federally, our winner-take-all system remains ready, willing and able to give us yet another dysfunctional parliament. We need to be ready to make a rapid response. MMP with open regional lists has never been rejected by voters. 

Fidel

Wilf Day wrote:
In a country with three major parties, IRV will often work against the third party.

There we go. This should surely appeal to Iggy and Harper both. And all their supporters would catch on to it without so much as a public education campaign and combine votes and beat the 60% threshold with an actual phony supermajority easily.

janfromthebruce

Daniel - simple response- no thank you.

remind remind's picture

Ya me too on the no thanks.

Uncle John

The British National Party which is known for its Nazi sympathies and connections has benefitted from Proportional Representation. For that reason alone, I am against PR. Hockey teams either win or lose, and the same should apply to political parties.

Fidel

Uncle John wrote:

The British National Party which is known for its Nazi sympathies and connections has benefitted from Proportional Representation. For that reason alone, I am against PR. Hockey teams either win or lose, and the same should apply to political partiies

UJ, democracy isnt a hockey game. If advanced democracy was the rule, one person would equal one vote. Youre basically repeating Henry Kissinger's infamous line that the people can't be trusted with democracy. If FPTP is so democratic, then why did the world have to endure Crazy George Dubya II and the neocon shitshow in Iraq and Afghanistan?

 

If youre afraid of even more fascists coming to power than already have since Hitler, then you should also be afraid of money in politics. Hitler wasnt so popular in  1920's Germany with his rabid anti-semtism. If you want to know who funded Hitler's rise to power from political obscurity, then [url=http://www.tarpley.net/bush2.htm]read this[/url] and [url=http://www.comer.org/2006/bisz.htm]this[/url]

Money to the ref? [url=[/url]">http://www.dwatch.ca/camp/moneydir.html][img]http://www.dwatch.ca/camp/r...

We don't allow it in sports - but in politics it's legal!
Please help now to get big money out of Canadian politics.
ALERT - it is still legal to make secret donations of unlimited amounts of money, products and services to all types of provincial and territorial political candidates, and to federal nomination race and party leadership candidates!!

Daniel Grice

Hockey teams play 84 games, each team plays each other a few times, and the total points are counted.  The top 16 teams advances, and the bottom teams are eliminated.  (much like STV.)  Then each of these 16 teams plays a series of rounds, eliminating half of the teams in each round. (much like choice voting.)

Fidel

And the NHL enforces a strict salary cap on teams for the sake of parity and levelling the playing field for all teams, too. Our political system should be as fair. Money in politics has no place in a true democracy in addition to our obsolete electoral system invented before electricity.

Daniel Grice

And you have to wait until your an unrestricted free agent to change teams!  

Fidel

And the NDP has proposed bills in parliament to stop the very undemocratic practice of floor-crossing. Unfortunately the two old line parties refuse to swear off their jersey-swapping ways and voted down the NDP's bill. And theyve voted down the NDP's proposal to restart the federal study on electoral reform. The two Bay Street parties - the Liberals and Tories - need cleaning out of Ottawa as an exercise in democracy.

I'm sorry but I can't support plurality systems or big money in politics that have produced autocratic rule in Canada for the last 140 years in a row non-stop - which is about twice as long as Soviets ruled the USSR.

And banksters and corporations screwed up with backing Hitler and the NSDAP. Or was it accidentally on purpose? And we also dont need any more William Lyon MacKenzie Kings or Neville Chamberlains swooning over the next Hitler, like last time.

Daniel Grice

Personally, I would prefer to see all cabinet and parliamentary secretaries pay bonus banned.  Every parliamentarian should make the same and be banned from collecting any personal incentives that could alter their vote.

I have less of an issue with an MP crossing the floor or sitting as an independent because their party has changed policies dramatically or they cannot consciously agree with their party policy, bus as soon as we find out that they get a 50% signing bonus, it is absolutely ridiculous.

An MP gets paid $150,000 a year.  A cabinet minister automatically gets $225,000.  This in institutionalized bribery.  

Frankly, I would like to see more MPs give their party the shove when they break their promises or the party leaders attempt to ram through bad legislation.

Fidel

And [url=http://www.senatehalloffame.ca]this[/url] has no place in a modern democracy. And besides, the Senators didnt even make the playoffs this spring. But when it comes to federal politics, theyre always embroiled in the post-season. Who gets guaranteed gold-plated pensions for life these days? They want guarantees in life for themselves but not ordinary Canadians. The Senate is clearly an abomination of democracy - an expensive Shady Pines for political hacks of the two old line parties.

remind remind's picture

How is it institutionalized bribery? cabinet ministers have more work to do than MP's.

 

Chester Drawers

That is like saying a  Neurosurgeon should be paid the same as a general practitionor after all they are both Doctors. More work and responsibility means more money. Otherwise you are saying that everyone working at a car plant should make the same no matter what their skill set is.

Daniel Grice

Seriously, do you think the 38 Conservative Cabinet ministers actually put in 50% more work that the average MP?  

We are talking about a $75,000 dollar a year bonus, and most of them get it for political rewards rather than do to some objective hiring process.  

The Bureaucrats do most of the work and we pay them more anyways.  Is Mark Warawa (My current Conservative MP and parliamentary secretary to the minister of environment) more qualified than Thomas Muclair or David McGuinty?   No, and they probably attend most of the same committee meetings and probably spend just as much time working on governance issues.

When David Emerson crossed the floor, was this for any reason other than that they wanted to be a cabinet minister? 

 

 

Daniel Grice

How many Neurosurgeons do we have within the current cabinet?  Is there some sort of supply and demand issue in Canada with potential cabinet ministers?

Why does a Canadian Cabinet Minister make the same as the Vice President of the United States?

We have 26 full cabinet ministers who each make more than Barack Obama's 15 cabinet ministers.  

Uncle John

By the way, nomination races are now limited to the federal cap, as are leadership campaigns. Look it up.

Granted, the same is not true for the Provinces.

A_J

Stockholm wrote:
In Australia it seems to work very well.

Not "very well", there are problems.

For one, a disproportionate number of ballots simply get marked "1, 2, 3", top to bottom.  So much so that parties have been known to intentionally seek out "Aaron Aaronson"-type candidates who will appear at the top of the ballot.  However, this is largely due to mandatory voting laws and not necessarily the system itself.

Erik Redburn

Daniel Grice wrote:

Personally, I would prefer to see all cabinet and parliamentary secretaries pay bonus banned.  Every parliamentarian should make the same and be banned from collecting any personal incentives that could alter their vote.

An MP gets paid $150,000 a year.  A cabinet minister automatically gets $225,000.  This in institutionalized bribery.

 

I don't think youve thought this through, do you really believe someone who puts in twice the time with twice the responsibility as a back bencher should recieve the same pay? I believe even hard core socialists accept that some pay scale is necessary, in fact if not in theory.

 

Quote:

Frankly, I would like to see more MPs give their party the shove when they break their promises or the party leaders attempt to ram through bad legislation.

 

Um, bad legislation is a matter of perspective, why we have different parties, and "ram through" is also a rather subjective description.  Ya got a majority you can push almost anything through, if its constitutional, but it maybe wise to consult and test the waters for public support first.  Just so you don't get bitten later.  You know, the electoral reform movement wasn't founded on being "anti-party".  Calling oneself "anti-party" is often a cover for rather rightwing "anti-government" beliefs masqerading as being "non-partisan" IME.   It was in vogue after the Clark years and Campbell's first term but seems to be fading again as the "private" sector is showing themselves to be utterly bankrupt.

Fidel

In Afghanistan, the majority of warlords have said they want proportional voting. But our largest trade partners and their stooge in Kabul are opposed and instead, favour the very undemocratic SNTV method in use now. [url=http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=13611]Crushing democracy in Afghanistan[/url]

Daniel Grice

Erik:

Frankly, I think 157,000 a year is more than enough for either an MP or a Cabinet Minister.  I expect for that wage both cabinet ministers and regular MPs will put in long days, we're not talking about a part time position.  

Or, if there is a reasonable justification for senior cabinet ministers to put in more work, lets limit cabinet to 8 ministers rather than 38 as we have now.  Our cabinet is over twice the size of the US Cabinet. The Australian Cabinet is 20 members. 

38 cabinet ministers is largess, pure and simple, and cabinet has kept on expanding as a way for the PM to reward loyal parliamentarians and to keep his caucus in line.  Don't vote my way or cause trouble, no $75,000 grand ministerial cheque.  

 

Erik Redburn

Its a question of how much then, and how many ministries we need then, not whether they should all be paid the same?  Thats a bit different. 

Given the high pay scale enjoyed in the private sector I think ministers involved in major billion dollar portfolios ought to make at least as much as some of their consultants and leading bureacrats, though nowhere near as much as a half a mill.  Thats excessive.   Reasonable pay can help reduce the risk of real corruption from the outside, especially in ministries where a lot of wealthy interests have stakes.  

Giving or withholding or shuffling cabinet posts is one of the few levers that leaders have over caucus and I don't see that changing.  Perhaps parties can make part of their constitution such things as Premiers having to assign posts via a majority vote within caucus, but I see potential problems there too without any guarantees that it would help much. Problem in politics (and business) is that what looks good on paper doesn't take into account the way most people behave in groups, particularly where serious ambition and power is involved.  Danger of unintended consequences, one area I'm actually quite conservative now.   

Wilf Day

One problem with this discussion is that the term "choice voting" can mean whatever you like; in the USA, electoral reformers call STV "Choice Voting." What Dan Grice is mostly talking about is a preferential ballot in single-member districts. This is a system which some members of the British Labour Party have proposed, using the term "Alternative Vote," and that's the normal name for this system. In Australia they call it "Preferential Voting" and they call STV "Proportional Representation."

Quote:
The Alternative Vote is known to Australians as Preferential Voting and to Americans as Instant Runoff Voting.

In Australia the possibility of so-called ‘three-cornered contests’ between the two major conservative parties was a major reason for the system’s introduction for House of Representatives elections in 1918.

Preferential Voting can often be capricious in its practical application and can result in the election of the least unfavoured, rather than the most popular, candidate.

In three-cornered contests the result is often more dependent upon which party polls the least first preference votes rather than which party polls the most.

Both Preferential Voting and the Second Ballot are subject to the ‘winner’s bonus’ phenomenon.

Because many votes may exhaust (have no further preferences to be counted) when ‘optional’ Preferential Voting is used, it is possible for a candidate to win a seat with fewer than half of the votes cast. If too many voters cast just a single preference, the system becomes a de facto First-past-the-post system, defeating a major reason for the creation of Preferential Voting. The ALP’s call to ‘Just Vote 1’ in the Queensland elections of 2001 and 2004 was criticised for that reason.

After the 1990 and 1998 Commonwealth elections critics who noted the failure of the incoming government to win a majority of either the first preference or two-party preferred vote questioned the legitimacy of the Labor (1990) and Coalition (1998) victories. Since the 1949 election such a result has occurred on only five of 23 occasions—though twice in the 1990s—and it probably safe to assume that there would be calls to change the system were this to become a regular factor in Australian elections.

The party winning the majority of the national vote does not necessarily win a majority of the parliamentary seats—as occurred in the 1998 election for the Australian House of Representatives.

It tends to avoid the situation where a candidate can be elected on a very small percentage of the vote—though Arthur Hewson (CP) won McMillan in 1972 on the first preference vote of 16.6 per cent.

Fair Vote Canada says:

Quote:
Unfortunately, the Alternative Vote does nothing to fix the problems with the current system. In fact, it can make things worse.
 

Stockholm

A_J wrote:

Stockholm wrote:
In Australia it seems to work very well.

Not "very well", there are problems.

For one, a disproportionate number of ballots simply get marked "1, 2, 3", top to bottom.  So much so that parties have been known to intentionally seek out "Aaron Aaronson"-type candidates who will appear at the top of the ballot.  However, this is largely due to mandatory voting laws and not necessarily the system itself.

They have a solution to what you describe in Australia (they call it casting a "donkey vote"). They randomly rotate the order of names on the ballot so that there is no advantage to having a name that starts with an "A".

Stockholm

All things being equal, I would prefer some form of proportional representation, but quite frankly after seeing these spectacular referendum defeats for it across Canada. I give up! I surrender! The public has rejected it. So back to the drawing board. I thinki that preferential voting is far from perfect, but at least it addresses the problem of vote splitting and as long as about 60% of Canadians ALWAYS rank the Tory in the riding dead last - its a good way of making sure that there can never ever be a Conservative government again!  and that's a good thing!

Wilf Day

Stockholm wrote:
as long as about 60% of Canadians ALWAYS rank the Tory in the riding dead last - its a good way of making sure that there can never ever be a Conservative government again!

And if 60% always rank the NDP candidate dead last -- hmmm.

Pogo Pogo's picture

Isn't this what they had in BC 50 years ago and it was created at least partially to keep the CCF out of power?  The problem is that because you need 50%+1 the voting punishes radical or innovative platforms over familair and status quo platforms.  This system is designed to combat  a party proposing significant change from the status quo.

This system makes you feel good because there is multiple choices, but the effect is worse in that smaller parties end up even worse off.  Typical Canadian compromise.

Daniel Grice

Choice Voting was used in BC in 1952 and 53, Alberta and Manitoba from 1920s - 1950s.  (alongside STV in the cities)

Yes, in 1952 in BC, the Conservatives and Liberals came out of a war time coalition, and feared they may split the vote and the CCF/NDP would get in so they brought in an alternative vote thinking that naturally each others supporters would support each other.  The Ironic thing, instead of being able to game the system like they thought they would, both parties were essentially eliminated by the leaderless and moneyless social credit party.  Of course, after winning government in BC, the social credit reverted back to the first past the post system and effectively fended off competition.

Before NDP supporters get all upset, in 1949 with first past the post the NDP had 35% of the votes and 7 seats.  Under the choice voting in 1952, the CCF/NDP had 30% of votes and 14 of 48 seats.

If there is any parallels between the use of run off votes in those provinces, the classical centrist parties (Liberals and Conservatives) were defeated and were replaced by independents, united farmers, social credit, and others.  When the social credit won in Alberta, their policy was radically left wing -- " The basic premise of social credit--that all citizens have the right to the wealth they jointly produce--was especially attractive to farmers sinking under the weight of the Depression."  

Unfortunately, the unelected lieutenant governor at the time vetoed much or their policies.

 

Stockholm

But parties can make deals in exchange for their preferences - so the NDP can say to the Liberals, if you want us to direct our voters to preference Liberals ahead of Tories in the following ridings - you better agree to the following policies...

I think it could encourage radical and innovative platforms over familiar and status quo platforms since people can freely vote for new innovative parties and not be petrified that by doing so they might let a Tory win on a split vote.

Daniel Grice

Absolutely.  

Obviously, those of us who support smaller parties would rather have our voice (or friends) directly in government, but if we can play a meaningful role in the process and have voters give real consideration to our ideas, then that certainly makes our political experience more satisfying than having voter.  

The current state of elections is the worst as strategic voting and negative campaigning essentially makes issues and policy almost irrelevant.

Erik Redburn

DG:  "Yes, in 1952 in BC, the Conservatives and Liberals came out of a war time coalition, and feared they may split the vote and the CCF/NDP would get in so they brought in an alternative vote thinking that naturally each others supporters would support each other.  The Ironic thing, instead of being able to game the system like they thought they would, both parties were essentially eliminated by the leaderless and moneyless social credit party.  Of course, after winning government in BC, the social credit reverted back to the first past the post system and effectively fended off competition.

Before NDP supporters get all upset, in 1949 with first past the post the NDP had 35% of the votes and 7 seats.  Under the choice voting in 1952, the CCF/NDP had 30% of votes and 14 of 48 seats."

 

I'm not upset about that piece of old history but I am upset that someone who purported to support PR would think the exact Opposite of it in effect, would be A-ok, and I'm downright Amazed that you would use the 1952 election as an acceptable example for NDpers.

Anyone here know that the BC NDP won the vote count in that one but were denied government when Conservatives and Liberals conspired to form a new government under the Social Credit banner.  Many said they were surprised at the result, but few expressed regret.  Then the Socreds changed the rules again, to protect their own ass, as they did regularly to gerrymander seats and create double seats that almost always favoured themselves --until the scandal around "Gracie's finger" caused enough outrage to finally create a mostly independent electoral commission.  Something the United States could have used under GW Bush. 

This is exactly what I feared and exactly why I never trusted the so-called Greens.  Tories with composters -Stockholm had it right the first time.  Stuart Parker, the guy who built the Green party into a contender and got the only BC Greens ever elected, by making deals with the NDP, before beiing deposed by the rightwing of the party, predicted this.  It just took a bit longer to come out of the closet.

Daniel Grice

1952 shows that a preferential ballot does not necessarily help the "big center parties" and the US could have used a preferential ballot for president in 2000.  (As well as an end to the outdated electoral college.)

Stockholm

I don't see preferential voting as a form of proportional representation at all. It is a whole other thing. I agree with Daniel that for the foreseeable future PR is a dead end in Canada - it simply isn't going to happen, but Preferential voting would be a really easy sell - there is really no reasonable argument against it that anyone could make when comparing it to pure FPTP - why shouldn't we be able to rank our choices - it gives the voter MORE choice! and while it isn't a panacea i do think that it would be an improvement over the status quo.

remind remind's picture

Erik Redburn wrote:
DG:  "Yes, in 1952 in BC, the Conservatives and Liberals came out of a war time coalition, and feared they may split the vote and the CCF/NDP would get in so they brought in an alternative vote thinking that naturally each others supporters would support each other.  The Ironic thing, instead of being able to game the system like they thought they would, both parties were essentially eliminated by the leaderless and moneyless social credit party.  Of course, after winning government in BC, the social credit reverted back to the first past the post system and effectively fended off competition.

Before NDP supporters get all upset, in 1949 with first past the post the NDP had 35% of the votes and 7 seats.  Under the choice voting in 1952, the CCF/NDP had 30% of votes and 14 of 48 seats."

 

I'm not upset about that piece of old history but I am upset that someone who purported to support PR would think the exact Opposite of it in effect, would be A-ok, and I'm downright Amazed that you would use the 1952 election as an acceptable example for NDpers.

Anyone here know that the BC NDP won the vote count in that one but were denied government when Conservatives and Liberals conspired to form a new government under the Social Credit banner.  Many said they were surprised at the result, but few expressed regret.  Then the Socreds changed the rules again, to protect their own ass, as they did regularly to gerrymander seats and create double seats that almost always favoured themselves --until the scandal around "Gracie's finger" caused enough outrage to finally create a mostly independent electoral commission.  Something the United States could have used under GW Bush. 

This is exactly what I feared and exactly why I never trusted the so-called Greens.  Tories with composters -Stockholm had it right the first time.  Stuart Parker, the guy who built the Green party into a contender and got the only BC Greens ever elected, by making deals with the NDP, before beiing deposed by the rightwing of the party, predicted this.  It just took a bit longer to come out of the closet.

Excellent expose of th truth Erik!

Stockholm

Of course if you believe that there is this mad conspiracy to keep the NDP out of power then having PR is not going to help since unless the NDP ever gets over 50% of the vote nationwide - we will just get perpetual Liberal/Conservative coalitions and alliances (kinda like what we have in Ottawa right now)

Daniel Grice

Of course, if you are like Remind and Erik, and practice a "your either with us or against us" nature of politics and take every second sentence to launch into baseless attacks on people who share most of the same values but have different preferences on certain policies, then a preferential ballot ballot probably would not work in your favour.

However, if you think that despite our differences, perhaps society would be better off if we encourage some degree of cooperation, while recognizing that their is a broad spectrum of ideas and outlooks that deserve to be debated in public without worrying about such factors as splitting the vote, then it should be clear that a ranked ballot is much better than a plurality, even if some rightfully acknowledge that it does not go far as preferred.

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