Canadian Politics Today

Federal Politics => Canadian Politics => Topic started by: JMT on February 01, 2017, 08:57:29 pm


Title: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: JMT on February 01, 2017, 08:57:29 pm
Today, Justin Trudeau decided (again); promise made, promise broken.  I actually don't care all that much about broken promises, personally.  I care about good government.  That said, there are many people who voted for their first time based on promises like this.  What are your thoughts?
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: guest4 on February 01, 2017, 09:02:35 pm
I think he lost my vote, but that may also depend on what the options are at the time.   Not interested in giving an opening for a Canadian Trump.   
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: JMT on February 01, 2017, 09:05:44 pm
Personally, for me, it's very early to be talking about who I'm going to vote for.  I actually wasn't all that in favour of electoral reform, so for me, it's not a big deal.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: guest4 on February 01, 2017, 09:13:41 pm
Why not?   Surely there's a better way than our current system, where votes more accurately reflect what voters actually want.   I'd also like the politicians to be a little less partisan, and I think a system that wasn't quite so 'winner take all' would help.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: JMT on February 01, 2017, 09:16:48 pm
My problem is this, generally - I like stability.  I like our current system because it provides stability.  On the other hand, it also provides for a quasi dictatorship that would allow someone like a Trump to take complete control.

I'd actually like to see us go where the UK and Australia are, by giving individual MPs within a caucus far more power over the leadership.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: JMT on February 01, 2017, 09:18:43 pm
To be honest, I think that governing and reality has been hard for Trudeau.  I don't think he said a lot of things intending to not follow through.  I think reality has very much set in for him.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: guest4 on February 01, 2017, 09:22:04 pm
Your reason is interesting, although I'm not sure why changing a voting system would lead to instability.  Is the instability you would be concerned about related to the economy, or social issues, or maybe both?   
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: JMT on February 01, 2017, 09:24:13 pm
It's more about risking turning into something like Israel or Italy in terms of governing.  Of course, there are good examples too - the German Federal Republic being the first that comes to mind.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: bcsapper on February 01, 2017, 09:26:19 pm
I'm not overly concerned with the results, as I'm happy enough with FPTP. It was rather blatant though.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: JMT on February 01, 2017, 09:27:48 pm
Yeah, it really was.  They really could have massaged their message better
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: guest4 on February 01, 2017, 09:28:04 pm
Having trouble figuring out the quote function.   Anyway, yah, I think JT was (is?) rather idealistic, one of the reasons I voted for him.   I think most, or maybe only many, politicians do intend to keep promises, but politics makes it impossible.   

Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: guest4 on February 01, 2017, 09:31:12 pm
It's more about risking turning into something like Israel or Italy in terms of governing.  Of course, there are good examples too - the German Federal Republic being the first that comes to mind.
Looks like I figured out the quote function.    Ok, so forgive me for being ignorant, but I do not know what the difference between those systems would be.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: JMT on February 01, 2017, 09:33:53 pm
I think you're right - he's a bit too much of an idealist.  That's why he's ended up with relatively so many broken promises.

Italy and Israel have generally been very very unstable.  They've had elections very close together and have had real trouble forming governments at times.  Another example of that is Belgium, where it has at times taken more than a year to cobble a government together.  This comes from having a fractured populace - something that I feel Canada has when we're talking about language and regionalism.  Germany is far more homogenous.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: cybercoma on February 01, 2017, 09:48:05 pm
I never expected him to follow through with it. However, I was hopeful because he was so damn adamant about it. That's what I find so strange now. Why would he be so clear (saying things like "this will be the last election under FPTP") only to abandon it later? Lesson learned for the people who voted for him, I guess.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: guest4 on February 01, 2017, 09:51:56 pm
Why would he be so clear (saying things like "this will be the last election under FPTP") only to abandon it later? Lesson learned for the people who voted for him, I guess.

Maybe he really thought he could do it? 
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: cybercoma on February 01, 2017, 09:57:50 pm
Maybe, but I doubt it. Politicos were already noting and Elections Canada themselves informed him that he had to act quickly. Then he dragged his feet. The MyDemocracy.ca questionnaire that went out was awful, in terms of estimating the electorate's sentiments about electoral reform. It was a brilliant survey if it was designed so that the government could read any interpretation it wanted into it. As someone who's intimately familiar with survey design and data analysis, I can tell you that's exactly what that survey was.  That's what makes me think he never did intend on bringing about electoral reform.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: JMT on February 01, 2017, 09:59:48 pm
I think a bit differently - I think that he thought it would be easy.  I think he thought running the country would be easy to be honest.  I actually think that's the only thing he has in common with Donald Trump.  Not many things are easy - certainly not that.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: cybercoma on February 01, 2017, 10:13:35 pm
You would think he would have some idea of the difficulties of running a country. His dad had to invoke the War Measures Act and all.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: JMT on February 01, 2017, 10:14:36 pm
I think he's naive. 
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: kimmy on February 01, 2017, 10:18:31 pm
The cynic in me suspects that their enthusiasm for changing FPTP probably diminished considerably when FPTP gave them a majority government with a plurality of popular support.

Then again, maybe the response to their attempts at public engagement on the topic was so underwhelming that maybe they just decided it was more trouble than it was worth.

 -k
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: JMT on February 01, 2017, 10:19:47 pm
I think it's a little of both, to be honest with you.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: cybercoma on February 01, 2017, 10:22:43 pm
Then again, maybe the response to their attempts at public engagement on the topic was so underwhelming that maybe they just decided it was more trouble than it was worth.

 -k
The committee on electoral reform seemed to have a lot of positive input that they ignored. I remember them losing their **** on the last minister for insulting the work that they did.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: cybercoma on February 01, 2017, 10:25:55 pm
I also love that they still have this on their website.

https://www.liberal.ca/realchange/electoral-reform/
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: JMT on February 01, 2017, 10:26:45 pm
You're right cyber, their own MPs ripped them a new one.  They worked through the summer for nothing, they felt.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: Peter F on February 01, 2017, 11:18:05 pm
Yes, I think Kimmy is on to something here:
"Then again, maybe the response to their attempts at public engagement on the topic was so underwhelming that maybe they just decided it was more trouble than it was worth."
Time has passed and coming up with a functioning system in time for the next election - not to mention all the bitching and complaining about the final result - was just a bit more that Trudeau is willing to take on right now.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: Blueblood on February 02, 2017, 01:58:16 am
What I don't understand is if they wanted ranked balloting that would have given them majorities almost in perpetuity.  Maybe I'm wondering if the Supreme Court would say that if something like that were passed that there would have to be a referendum on the matter.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: SuperColinBlow on February 02, 2017, 03:51:51 am
PR as opposed to FPTP causes greater partisanship, not less.  It causes more dictatorial party control.  You need only look at some of the countries that use it.

It's not unusual for a politician to include a certain group as his "winning coalition" based on a promise made during an election, then reshuffle the deck of potential supporters by totally abandoning that policy.  Same thing that happens in dictatorships, really but without all the noise of gunfire.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: JMT on February 02, 2017, 07:07:25 am
What I don't understand is if they wanted ranked balloting that would have given them majorities almost in perpetuity.  Maybe I'm wondering if the Supreme Court would say that if something like that were passed that there would have to be a referendum on the matter.

Ha, I went to reply and almost edited your post - not used to having so many buttons.

Anyway, I don't see how that would have been the case, since the things not mentioned in the constitution are under parliamentary supremacy.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: cybercoma on February 02, 2017, 07:45:32 am
What I don't understand is if they wanted ranked balloting that would have given them majorities almost in perpetuity.  Maybe I'm wondering if the Supreme Court would say that if something like that were passed that there would have to be a referendum on the matter.
This is a really good point that I didn't consider. If they wanted to mess with the system, they could have put into place ranked balloting that would have certainly benefitted them. Perhaps they thought better of it, since people can't agree on the system. If they pushed their own system, they may have paid for it at the polls, undermining the benefit that they would have gotten from it.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: poochy on February 02, 2017, 09:49:53 am
I have to say that in the beginning i wasn't much of a fan of this idea, but as i listened more it seemed that there are some types of PR that would be good. Anyway, i suppose it wouldn't be 100% true to say that no reform is a big deal to me, the fact that they made this huge promise and never really seemed interested in following through, is.  I expect that if a ranked ballot was recommended they would have happily followed through, and while affirmation of personal bias in politics is easy to achieve I can't say im surprised that beneath the veneer lies the same old cynical liberals.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: JMT on February 02, 2017, 09:57:39 am
I agree poochy - I've actually become somewhat disillusioned with Trudeau.  I don't regret my choice, but I'm not filled withe same optimism I was even a year ago.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: cybercoma on February 02, 2017, 10:07:40 am
Political memory is short but if the whole "broken promises" narrative comes to define his prime ministership it will be a lasting memory. Consequently, the left will split its vote and the Tories will have another PM.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: JMT on February 02, 2017, 10:14:04 am
Political memory is short but if the whole "broken promises" narrative comes to define his prime ministership it will be a lasting memory. Consequently, the left will split its vote and the Tories will have another PM.

And for those keeping track, according to the website that keeps track:

https://www.trudeaumetre.ca/

He's not doing well.

38/28 is not a good record.  I guess that's what happens when you make too many promises.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: poochy on February 02, 2017, 10:26:47 am
Im not sure if it's been updated recently but last i looked at that site the criteria for a promise being in progress seemed a bit generous.  Like the Prime Ministers question period...considering his performance in QP when he does show up, i doubt it.  Again yesterday he said some pretty dumb things trying to defend this decision.  Anyway, he isn't Trump.   As an aside, I don't see myself voting NDP, but, why isn't Nathan Cullen running for the leadership of that party? He seems pretty sharp to me.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: cybercoma on February 02, 2017, 01:46:56 pm
I thought about making a separate thread, but someone else can do that if they want.

Here is an official parliamentary e-petition for electoral reform. This is such an important topic that Nathan Cullen did not even connect it to the party's site, as politicians tend to do to pad their mailing lists and solicit donations. If you want the Liberals to stand to their promise of electoral reform, please take a moment to sign it and forward it to others.

https://petitions.parl.gc.ca/en/Petition/Sign/e-616
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: guest4 on February 02, 2017, 02:48:46 pm
I agree poochy - I've actually become somewhat disillusioned with Trudeau. 

I feel about the same. 
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: wilber on February 03, 2017, 12:53:08 pm
I think the real problem with our system isn't how we elect people, it's how our MP's are treated after they are elected and to a lesser degree, even how candidates are selected. Unlike some other parliamentary systems, Canada has given the power of life and death over MP's and prospective candidates to our party leaders. MP's serve at the pleasure of the leader, not the people who elected them. Until that changes, I don't think it makes much difference how we elect them.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: ?Impact on February 03, 2017, 01:03:07 pm
MP's serve at the pleasure of the leader, not the people who elected them.

They are always free to cross the floor, or sit as an independent; it is not like that has never happened before.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: Blueblood on February 03, 2017, 01:08:41 pm
MP's serve at the pleasure of the leader, not the people who elected them.

They are always free to cross the floor, or sit as an independent; it is not like that has never happened before.

But they still don't balance the power of party leaders.  I think that the leader of the party should only be picked by sitting mps which would be a balance of power, however, that won't happen as the party brass that doesn't sit in house and do all the fundraising wouldn't want their influence over the party leader neutered.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: wilber on February 03, 2017, 02:14:32 pm
Quote
They are always free to cross the floor, or sit as an independent; it is not like that has never happened before.

Then they just become the subject of another leaders iron discipline. How about something novel, they get to consider the opinions of the people who actually elected them when they vote. If a party leader can't convince a group of essentially like minded people that a policy is a good one, perhaps they should rethink the policy instead of bringing down the hammer on our elected representatives.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: the_squid on February 05, 2017, 01:38:01 pm
This was a very crass move by the government and their reasons were even worse.  Nonsensical garbage about "no concensus"....   they never tried for any sort of conscensus, nor mentioned that they were trying for one.

I never voted Liberal, but they should lose votes over this...  I did lose a lot of confidence that they will actually do what they promise to do. 
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: TimG on February 05, 2017, 01:51:31 pm
This was a very crass move by the government and their reasons were even worse.  Nonsensical garbage about "no consensus"....   they never tried for any sort of consensus, nor mentioned that they were trying for one.
Surveys support the government on this point. Canadians may like the idea of electoral reform in abstract but when they are presented with concrete proposals there is no consensus and often FPTP wins as everyone's second choice.

More importantly, there is unbridgeable partisan divide where supporters of different parties prefer differ systems. This means that choosing a system favored by one set of partisans would likely be automatically opposed by others. No amount of hand wringing will change this.

BTW: giving up a majority on the parliamentary committee was an attempt to create cross party consensus, however, that committee could not find any outside of abstract bromides.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: cybercoma on February 05, 2017, 03:49:16 pm
This was a very crass move by the government and their reasons were even worse.  Nonsensical garbage about "no concensus"....   they never tried for any sort of conscensus, nor mentioned that they were trying for one.
What's even worse, Nathan Cullen pointed out that there was 80% consensus for reform when the committee polled Canadians. If 80% isn't consensus, then I would like to know what they want--100%?
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: TimG on February 05, 2017, 03:57:42 pm
What's even worse, Nathan Cullen pointed out that there was 80% consensus for reform when the committee polled Canadians. If 80% isn't consensus, then I would like to know what they want--100%?
The devil is in the details. There is no consensus on the replacement and the distinction matters. It is easy for people to say they want reform in the abstract but when they are given a specific alternative they realize the alternatives have issues too and which problems someone are willing to live with varies from person to person.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: cybercoma on February 05, 2017, 04:02:23 pm
There is no consensus on the replacement and the distinction matters.
That's what the work was supposed to be about. Finding a system that people could accept, whether it's their preferred system or not. That doesn't mean scrap the entire idea because people can't agree on a replacement. The consensus is that people want a replacement. So work on it.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: JMT on February 05, 2017, 04:11:50 pm
I think of this the way I think of Australian Republicanism.  Most Australians want to be a republic and not a kingdom.  They can't agree on what kind of republic they'd like to be though, so a kingdom they remain.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: poochy on February 10, 2017, 11:54:36 am
This guy...

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/trudeau-cites-leitch-electoral-reform/article33978880/?reqid=8250a816-4257-4bc9-806e-19c9f03ce832

Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: JMT on February 10, 2017, 12:00:08 pm
I sometimes wonder if he should have his own political party.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: wilber on February 10, 2017, 12:07:54 pm
Sounds like he wants to control who gets to run for Parliament by remote. Considering the amount of power we give party leaders, if Leitch wins the leadership, she will effectively have her own party
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: SirJohn on February 10, 2017, 12:38:32 pm
Sounds like he wants to control who gets to run for Parliament by remote. Considering the amount of power we give party leaders, if Leitch wins the leadership, she will effectively have her own party

She won't. She has no charisma. But a person with charisma could do very, very well running with a reasonable immigration proposal like Lietch's, and maybe Trudeau knows that. And given the poll taken on her values question showed 60% support from Liberal and NDP supporters not all of the votes would be from conservatives.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: wilber on February 10, 2017, 12:52:20 pm
Possibly but essentially Trudeau is saying he has always believed in the status quo, regardless of what he may have said about reform. Millennials have figured that out. So, was the last election a one off or will voting rates continue to decline among young people?
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: poochy on February 10, 2017, 01:59:37 pm
Apparently the whole two years or more that they promised and 'worked' on this they were completely ignorant of the fringe party issue, which in fact, isn't much of an issue.  Lying then, lying now, incompetent then, or now, whatever. Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Scotland, horrible, unmanageable places.  Imagine how much better they would be if they had a ranked ballot instead of PR, Trudeau it seems, was imagining that very thing. 
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: bcsapper on February 10, 2017, 03:27:15 pm
Apparently the whole two years or more that they promised and 'worked' on this they were completely ignorant of the fringe party issue, which in fact, isn't much of an issue.  Lying then, lying now, incompetent then, or now, whatever. Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Scotland, horrible, unmanageable places.  Imagine how much better they would be if they had a ranked ballot instead of PR, Trudeau it seems, was imagining that very thing.

I don't know about Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands, Germany or Switzerland.  I don't think they're that bad.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: BC_cheque on February 10, 2017, 03:51:08 pm
Now he's doing it to keep the likes of Leitch out of Parliament, eh? 

First, if enough people want Leitch to represent them in Parliament, so be it.  As much as I don't agree with her, I don't think Trudeau should be daddy dearest in what's best for us all.

Second, what a sad pathetic excuse.  This is not about Leitch, it's about all the votes he'd lose to NDP and Greens. 

I think everyone from the more fringe left to the most fringe right should be proportionally represented.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: wilber on February 10, 2017, 05:15:25 pm
Now that he is in power, he is OK with reform as long as it doesn't change anything but hasn't figured out how to do it. So it isn't happening.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: kimmy on February 11, 2017, 05:11:27 am
Apparently the whole two years or more that they promised and 'worked' on this they were completely ignorant of the fringe party issue, which in fact, isn't much of an issue.  Lying then, lying now, incompetent then, or now, whatever. Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Scotland, horrible, unmanageable places.  Imagine how much better they would be if they had a ranked ballot instead of PR, Trudeau it seems, was imagining that very thing.

This is it, really.

There's good arguments to be made against proportional representation... the fringe-party aspect being the most obvious.  But these were well-known long before he made the election promise. We talked about fringe parties in European parliaments when I was in high school. For him to trot that out now like it's a recent thing that he's stumbled upon due to Kellie Leitch... is just embarrassingly disingenuous.


 -k
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: TimG on February 11, 2017, 04:03:23 pm
There's good arguments to be made against proportional representation... the fringe-party aspect being the most obvious.  But these were well-known long before he made the election promise. We talked about fringe parties in European parliaments when I was in high school. For him to trot that out now like it's a recent thing that he's stumbled upon due to Kellie Leitch... is just embarrassingly disingenuous.
To be fair he probably thought that he would simply adopt ranked ballots which does not have the fringe party problem. He did not expect the push back on the need for a referendum which made ensuring ranked ballots would be the choice much tougher.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: cybercoma on February 11, 2017, 07:13:54 pm
Ranked ballots is not PR.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: poochy on February 11, 2017, 11:55:28 pm
To be fair he probably thought that he would simply adopt ranked ballots which does not have the fringe party problem. He did not expect the push back on the need for a referendum which made ensuring ranked ballots would be the choice much tougher.

If you set a minimum vote threshold with PR it does not have a fringe party issue, that's just bs, but you can bet that if ranked ballots had that issue and were also still very good for liberals he would have welcomed it anyway.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: TimG on February 12, 2017, 07:39:11 am
If you set a minimum vote threshold with PR it does not have a fringe party issue, that's just bs, but you can bet that if ranked ballots had that issue and were also still very good for liberals he would have welcomed it anyway.
PR with 10% would be a reasonable threshold but we would most likely be stuck with 2-3%. I would not want to risk it.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: cybercoma on February 12, 2017, 08:38:14 am
10% is absurd. The entire Maritimes has 6% of the Canadian population. Literally every last person in the Maritimes could vote for a party and it wouldn't get a single seat under a 10% threshold.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: TimG on February 12, 2017, 09:30:39 am
10% is absurd. The entire Maritimes has 6% of the Canadian population. Literally every last person in the Maritimes could vote for a party and it wouldn't get a single seat under a 10% threshold.
Gee. If only we had a system that ensured different regions were guaranteed representation. Oh right, we have that...
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: cybercoma on February 12, 2017, 05:38:00 pm
You're proposing a threshold for PR that doesn't exist anywhere in the world and is in fact double the threshold of other states with PR. I'm showing the absurdity of that benchmark by letting you know that every single person in three out of ten provinces could vote for a party and it would get zero seats under your proposal. I don't know a more pointed way to show you how bad your idea is than that.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: cybercoma on February 14, 2017, 10:16:41 am
Also, I think Andrew Coyne said it best as it pertains to concerns about smaller "fringe" parties:

If I think a party would be bad for Canada, itís my responsibility to get out and persuade my fellow citizens not to vote for them ó not rig the system so they canít.

http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/andrew-coyne-dont-fear-trudeaus-proportional-representation-bogeymen
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: TimG on February 14, 2017, 06:41:41 pm
If I think a party would be bad for Canada, itís my responsibility to get out and persuade my fellow citizens not to vote for them ó not rig the system so they canít.
The problem with PR is the dynamics of parliament mean fringe parties have way more influence than they deserve given their public support because they can often hold governments hostage to their fringe demands. Academic arguments about representation are irrelevant compared to the practical realities.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: cybercoma on February 15, 2017, 06:42:07 am
The problem with PR is the dynamics of parliament mean fringe parties have way more influence than they deserve
Actually, they have exactly the amount of influence that's given to them by the electorate. They're proportionally represented through the number of votes they receive. This is nonsense to say they have more influence. They have the exact same amount of influence as anyone else.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: TimG on February 15, 2017, 11:18:12 am
Actually, they have exactly the amount of influence that's given to them by the electorate. They're proportionally represented through the number of votes they receive. This is nonsense to say they have more influence. They have the exact same amount of influence as anyone else.
You are ignoring the practical realities of minority parliaments where  the largest parties see themselves as rivals and rarely co-operate. This means the government cannot govern without support of one or more fringe party. This gives the fringe party the ability to extort concessions from the government that most people in the country do not want but are forced to live with because the practical reality of parliament gives them that power. If a party gets 5% of the vote should not be in a position to force an election if the government does not bend to its demands.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: ?Impact on February 15, 2017, 03:01:33 pm
You are ignoring the practical realities of minority parliaments where  the largest parties see themselves as rivals and rarely co-operate.

Then that is a problem with the largest parties, not the smaller ones. If they can't get along, then how are we to believe they represent the majority of Canadians. This inability to compromise is the problem with the larger parties, they are out for total dominance.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: TimG on February 15, 2017, 03:33:17 pm
Then that is a problem with the largest parties, not the smaller ones. If they can't get along, then how are we to believe they represent the majority of Canadians. This inability to compromise is the problem with the larger parties, they are out for total dominance.
No - this is a consequence of your desire to make parties the the legal center of politics. Parties are about branding and are no different than Gap Jeans or Ford Cars. Parties must differentiate themselves to have competitive brands. For fringe parties they can cater a small group of single issue voters (anti-fossil fuel, abortion, native rights whatever) and need to push these single issues if they want keep getting their 5%. For the coke an pepsi parties they have a tougher job and can only differentiate their brand by opposing the other and no amount of wishful thinking on your part will change this.

That said, there are examples of PR states such as Germany where the fringe parties are so bad that the coke and pepsi parties create a 'grand coalition' but that means the voters no longer have a way to get rid of the government unless they vote for the lunatic fringe which is bad for the country and bad for democracy. The last thing we would want in Canada is perpetual rule by a grand coalition of Liberals and Conservatives.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: the_squid on February 15, 2017, 03:39:06 pm
Quote
The last thing we would want in Canada is perpetual rule by a grand coalition of Liberals and Conservatives.

Really?  Having to compromise to govern is a bad thing?  You want one party to have all the power in government without ever needing to compromise, or be accountable to, someone who may not have the exact same views?

That's how we get Chretien not caring about the corruption in his own party (or being part of it).  Imagine if he had Conservative MPs looking over his shoulder at what was going on...
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: TimG on February 15, 2017, 03:47:20 pm
Really?  Having to compromise to govern is a bad thing?  You want one party to have all the power in government without ever needing to compromise, or be accountable to, someone who may not have the exact same views?
You obviously did not bother to read my post. Parties are brands. Learn what that means and try again....

The most important feature of a democracy is it provides a way to peacefully trigger a complete transition of power. This is the only way to keep the system relatively honest. Mirroring the distribution of votes on one day once every four years is a secondary concern. A system that makes complete transitions of power rare is bad for the country.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: cybercoma on February 15, 2017, 07:40:58 pm
Then that is a problem with the largest parties, not the smaller ones. If they can't get along, then how are we to believe they represent the majority of Canadians. This inability to compromise is the problem with the larger parties, they are out for total dominance.
Not to mention that was one of the only things that was very clear from the MyDemocracy.ca survey, which was a methodological dumpster fire. People who completed the survey expect parties to work together and compromise.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: ?Impact on February 16, 2017, 03:38:51 pm
No - this is a consequence of your desire to make parties the the legal center of politics.

I have long talked out against party politics, I do not have the desire you allege I do. Politics is however about compromise, and parties are one way of achieving that compromise. Suggest a better alternative, I am all ears.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: TimG on February 16, 2017, 05:53:00 pm
People who completed the survey expect parties to work together and compromise.
What people say and what people vote for are very different things. Parties that endlessly compromise going either lose their "brand" or lose their "base". Either leads to electoral oblivion.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: TimG on February 16, 2017, 05:57:46 pm
I have long talked out against party politics, I do not have the desire you allege I do.
You want to change the system so the seat count in parliament reflects the percentage of the vote gotten by each party across the country one day every for years. By supporting such things you are saying that parties are the most important entity in our electoral system because the system is only judged based on how it is fair to parties. If you are really against party politics then I suggest  you revisit your opinions on electoral reform.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: ?Impact on February 16, 2017, 06:15:15 pm
You want to change the system so the seat count in parliament reflects the percentage of the vote gotten by each party across the country one day every for years. By supporting such things you are saying that parties are the most important entity in our electoral system because the system is only judged based on how it is fair to parties. If you are really against party politics then I suggest  you revisit your opinions on electoral reform.

FPTP is all about parties gaining a majority in Parliament in order to dictate to other Canadians what a minority want. I suggest you revisit your opinion on electoral reform.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: TimG on February 16, 2017, 06:55:17 pm
FPTP is all about parties gaining a majority in Parliament in order to dictate to other Canadians what a minority want. I suggest you revisit your opinion on electoral reform.
Actually no. Under FPTP there are 308 contests where an MP is chosen each election. These MPs then get to vote on which one of them should be the prime minister and fill the various cabinet posts. Parties have no official role in the existing system. They only show up because individual MPs recognize that associating themselves with a "brand" increases their chances at the polls.

We could reform the the system to disallow many of the things that parties have created to unofficially preserve the power of parties. But you don't want that. You want to double down and make parties the central component of our electoral system. Which is why I say you need to give your head a shake if you claim to dislike party politics while insisting that it be entrenched in the electoral system. PR means party politics on steroids.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: wilber on February 16, 2017, 07:29:12 pm
Actually no. Under FPTP there are 308 contests where an MP is chosen each election. These MPs then get to vote on which one of them should be the prime minister and fill the various cabinet posts. Parties have no official role in the existing system. They only show up because individual MPs recognize that associating themselves with a "brand" increases their chances at the polls.



The MP's don't chose a Prime Minister, the leader of the winning party becomes Prime Minister and he is chosen by unelected party members and he choses his cabinet. What you say is true in theory and that is the way it should work but nowhere near true in reality. Prime Ministers have been dumped because they have lost control of their MP's. Even when Chretien was forced out, Martin still had to win a leadership convention before he could succeed him as Prime Minister

The problem with our system is that party leaders are given too much control over elected MP's. After all, the party leader is just another elected MP chosen by party members, not elected by the country as a whole. I have never seen a PM or Premier's name on any of my ballots. My mayor on the other hand.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: TimG on February 16, 2017, 07:42:55 pm
The problem with our system is that party leaders are given too much control over elected MP's. After all, the party leader is just another elected MP chosen by party members, not elected by the country as a whole. I have never seen a PM or Premier's name on any of my ballots. My mayor on the other hand.
I agree completely. My point is we could get back to the original system by prohibiting party constitutions that prevent MPs from deposing a PM. Parties will not like this but it would create a system where the PM and cabinet is accountable to MPs as it was originally designed.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: ?Impact on February 16, 2017, 08:36:52 pm
I agree completely. My point is we could get back to the original system by prohibiting party constitutions that prevent MPs from deposing a PM. Parties will not like this but it would create a system where the PM and cabinet is accountable to MPs as it was originally designed.

What about taking away the powers of appointment that the Prime Ministers over time have gained? What about sending to jail the party whip? What about eliminating party platforms, and having the individual MPs express their personal opinions to their own constituents?

There are countless practices in our current system that make it a party system, far removed from the ideal MPs accountable to their constituents you claim.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: TimG on February 16, 2017, 08:47:55 pm
What about taking away the powers of appointment that the Prime Ministers over time have gained? What about sending to jail the party whip? What about eliminating party platforms, and having the individual MPs express their personal opinions to their own constituents?
Yet you want increase the power of parties by changing the electoral system. How could you possibly think those these are bad but wish for a system that makes them worse?

Seems to me that limiting the power of parties inside a FPTP framework makes more sense.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: ?Impact on February 16, 2017, 09:14:56 pm
Yet you want increase the power of parties by changing the electoral system.

No, I want to decrease the power of parties by making it highly unlikely we will get more dictatorships from the minority as we have had for much of the past 150 years. The ever increasing power centred in the PMO in recent decades illustrates the problem with the current system.
Title: Re: The Abandonment of Electoral Reform
Post by: wilber on February 17, 2017, 08:59:05 am
I agree completely. My point is we could get back to the original system by prohibiting party constitutions that prevent MPs from deposing a PM. Parties will not like this but it would create a system where the PM and cabinet is accountable to MPs as it was originally designed.

Trudeau's statement that it is his decision alone to decide how Canadians get to elect their representatives is a perfect example of what I am talking about. Any Liberal MP that contradicts him risks winding up as an independent MP. By repatriating the Constitution and instituting the Charter of Rights, his father did something much bigger than mere electoral reform. I don't think Justin has it in him to take such a step. Not at this point in his life anyway. He talks a good line but it seems he is just another autocrat at heart.

It will be interesting to see if young people keep pushing for reform, or if their voter turnout in the next election will be even lower than it was before the last.