Having finally gotten around to reading Michael Chong’smuch-ballyhooed Reform Act, which is being pushed by the media pundit class with a fervor that would make most partisans blush, I feel that, while well-intentioned, what the act proposes is flawed and suffers from a narrowness of view that has trouble looking south of the Queensway.
The act deals primarily with three things: the ability of the caucus to fire the leader, the nomination process (ending the ability of the leader to veto a candidacy by refusing to sign their nomination papers), the removal of MPs from caucus, and the election (Read more…)
There’s one part of the Reform Act that I’m really stumbling over. Specifically the notion that 15% of a party’s caucus can initiate a caucus review of the party’s leadership. If a majority of the members of a caucus agree then that the leader should be removed, the leader is removed and an immediate vote is held to name an interim leader so the party mechanism can be initiated to select a new leader.
Not all parties have the same mechanism to select a leader nor do all political parties leave leadership selection to members only – the Conservatives, and (Read more…)
Michael Chong’s Bill C-559 is a relatively short piece of work, but it has taken me a bit of time to go through it and start to understand the implications of the changes being proposed, mostly because it contains a series of small changes to much larger acts – in particular the Canada Elections Act, but also the Parliament of Canada Act.
As I read through the proposed changes (which required a lot of flipping back and forth to the current Acts to fully understand), I started to come to the conclusion that in some respects this bill (Read more…)
Canadian Democracy is sick. It has been showing alarming symptoms for some time now, they range from the inability of a large portion of our MPs to speak out without first consulting the PMO and a failure to listen to those with opposing or alternate opinions, to totally ignoring the rules and conventions built up over years of parliamentary debate and development, and a total lack of ethics and honesty. A new symptom appearing just this week is the removal of independent and small party MP’s right to intervene at the report stage of proposed legislation and at the Con (Read more…)
Of late there seems to be an increased interest in bringing forward a new way of electing our ‘representatives’ in the House of Commons no doubt brought on by the possibility of the Harper regime winning another majority with a minority vote in 2015. Given their expertise in spinning the truth, using taxpayers money to beat their own drum and fool most of the people most of the time this is a real possibility.
There is little doubt that both electoral and parliamentary reform is needed and that the debate about what is needed and how to accomplish it will (Read more…)
October 8, 2013 – Green Party leader Elizabeth May, speaking at the Speak Up For Democracy Town Hall Meeting in Winnipeg. Photo: Paul S. Graham
Canadian democracy ain’t what it used to be and what it used to be was far from ideal. Still, fewer of us are voting and even fewer are satisfied with the outcome.
In recent years, voter turnout has declined precipitously. Of the 24.2 million citizens eligible to vote in the 2011 federal election, only 14.8 million, or 61.1 per cent did so. Of those who voted, 39.6 per cent, or (Read more…)
The title says it all, our very democracy is in danger of being totally subverted by partisan actions which are aimed at keeping or gaining power with little regard to the well being of Canadian peoples or our country. Elizabeth May is correct when she says there is no consensus on how to achieve the replacement of the flawed and highly biased first past the post electoral system. I fully support the Green party in their long held view that the system is broken and requires a major reform and applaud Ms May’s efforts to leave partisan politics behind and (Read more…)
Green Party of Canada Leader Elizabeth May, MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands, is on a cross country tour, billed as “Save Democracy from Politics,” to call for major reforms in Canada’s Parliamentary system. According to May, Canadian democracy is being undermined by excessive partisanship, a party system that punishes MPs who do not toe the party line, and a Prime Minister’s Office that wields the powers that should be exercised by Parliament.
May was in Winnipeg to speak at a town hall meeting co-sponsored by the Green Party and Peace Alliance Winnipeg. I will post the video from (Read more…)
Even if it could, Senate reform shouldn’t proceed without the provinces – or the people To the surprise of everyone in the Ottawa bubble, Her Majesty’s Minister of State for Democratic Reform, Pierre Poilievre, held a press availability Wednesday not to slam the Liberals for some alleged sins, but to actually speak to an issue of policy substance: the government’s Supreme Court reference on Senate reform. The minister discussed the factum the government has presented to the court outlining its position, marking the first time the words “Pierre Poilievre” and “factum” have appeared in the same sentence. The government (Read more…)
by: Obert Madondo | Twitter: @Obiemad:
Bob Rae. (Photo: Fair Vote Canada)
Former Liberal leader Bob Rae has joined the National Advisory Board of Fair Vote Canada, a grassroots multi-partisan citizens’ campaign for voting system reform in Canada.
Rae joins a cast of distinguished Canadians and progressives already serving on the board, including David Suzuki, Mel Hurtig, Maude Barlow, Dr. Lloyd Axworthy, Hugh Segal, Rafe Mair and Ed Broadbent.
This release from Fair Vote Canada:
Fair Vote Canada is pleased to announce the addition of former Liberal Leader Bob Rae, PC, OC, OOnt, QC, MP, to its National Advisory Board.
“Canadians need to (Read more…)
. . . → Read More: The Canadian Progressive: Former Liberal Leader Bob Rae Joins Fair Vote Canada’s Advisory Board
A letter of mine found its way into the Vancouver Sun today. This one comes in response to a piece last week by Senator Mobina Jaffer about the role of Canada’s Senate in protecting minority rights. In my letter, I argue in favour of abolishing the Senate and ensuring fair representation for minorities in the House of Commons by means of some kind of proportional representation. Please click here to read it.
Filed under: Canadian Politics, Democracy Tagged: electoral reform, minority rights, Mobina Jaffer, proportional representation, Senate, Vancouver Sun
. . . → Read More: Song of the Watermelon: Vancouver Sun Letter
Something good happened at Toronto City Hall this week.
I know, I know. I’m as surprised as you are.
Councillors vote to seek end of ‘first past the post’ system in city elections
Toronto city council took a significant step on Tuesday towards dramatically changing how the city elects its leaders — and who gets to cast a ballot.
By a vote of 26 to 15, the governing body asked the provincial government to allow it to use the ranked choice voting system, which demands that the winning candidate accumulate at least 50% of votes cast. It also asked, by (Read more…)
But no results overturned……… Just hours ago the long-awaited Federal Court ruling on election fraud was released…In a clear and bold statement, Judge Richard Mosley wrote: “I find that electoral fraud occurred during the 41st General Election.”
While his ruling stopped short of annulling election results, this is a powerful victory for Kay Burkhart, Ken Ferance, Yvonne Kafka, Bill Kerr, Sandra McEwing, Tom Parlee, Jeff Reidand Peggy Walsh Craig – the eight brave Canadian voters who launched their legal challenges and the thousands of us who continue to stand behind them.
Its been awhile since I’ve posted, so I figured why not 2 on the same day (plus it gives me something else to do besides continue lamenting last night’s tragic Maple Leafs loss).
I just wanted to say I’m very pleased to read that the ranked ballot initiative proposed for Toronto Mayoralty elections – better known by the group name that supports it – RaBIT – survived a 3-3 committee vote to indefinitely table/defer it (which would have in essence killed it) and now goes on to the full Toronto City Council for a vote on whether to recommend to (Read more…)
By: Obert Madondo | The Canadian Progressive: 5-02-13 Resolution on Electoral Reform, submitted by Craig Scott, the MP for Toronto-Danforth. WHEREAS the current federal electoral system contains major shortcomings generating a significant democratic deficit; WHEREAS the decline in voter turnout in federal elections in the last twenty years in Canada is worrying; WHEREAS any electoral reform [...]
The post NDP Convention 2013: Resolution on Electoral Reform appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.
By: Obert Madondo | The Canadian Progressive: Liberal leadership hopeful and Member of Parliament for Vancouver Quadra, Joyce Murray, is absolutely certain that opposition electoral cooperation in the Labrador by-election “will ensure progressive win and Harper fail”. That it would demonstrate how electoral cooperation works to arrest the perennial anti-democratic trend [...]
The post Joyce Murray: Electoral cooperation in Labrador by-election guarantees progressive win and Harper fail appeared first on The Canadian Progressive | News & Analysis.
Justin Trudeau’s Big Enchilada?
This extract from The Vancouver Courier just about sums up the fate of electoral reform’s future right now:
Political cooperation isn’t a new concept, but University of B.C. political science professor Philip Resnick says it’s worth noting that in both the NDP and Liberal leadership campaigns, it has been the B.C. candidate who has advanced the concept of political cooperation.
“Nathan Cullen in the NDP contest, Joyce Murray in the Liberal one. Add Elizabeth May to the mix and you have three,” he told me by email.
“The idea would appeal to
. . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Is Justin Trudeau trying to win the big enchilada on his own?
Trudeau: Ideology over science
Hat tip to Impoliticalfor this remarkable summary of why Trudeau has decided, in is wisdom, to ignore the wishes of the majority of Canadians for a more democratic electoral system. Read the whole article for the exchange between Trudeau and Murray on proportional representation. Here’s a summary of how the science actually is the opposite of Trudeau’s personal ideology: “That’s not just theory,” adds Wayne Smith, FVC Executive director. “Most developed countries have used proportional voting systems for most of the last century, so we can see how they work in the real world. Consensus . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: If Justin Trudeau really wanted to engage Canadians, he would do this
Fair Vote Canada clarifies one of the assertions made during Sunday’s debate on proportional representation. “In a remarkable exchange during the Liberal leadership debate in Halifax on Sunday, March 3…”
Release is worth a read.
So there’s this incredible story on CBC right now that deserves attention and what-on-earth-were-they-thinking treatment: “Literacy guide uses partisan example to conjugate ‘elect’.” Here’s a screen shot of one of the sentences that is being used to teach people how to read in government financed literacy programs in the Harper Government™ era.
Suggested completion of sentence 5 above: “The majority of voters DO NOT VOTE conservative and as a result they MOST UNFORTUNATELY STILL END UP WITH a Harper government.”
Or, have your own fill in the blanks fun!
Hilarious if it weren’t so shamefully wrong and all that…
Came across this map proposal yesterday in the course of some other reading. It shows the new downtown layout for federal Toronto ridings (and presumably provincial if it follows suit, which has been the plan). There are two newly created ridings: Spadina-Fort York (aka condo central) and University-Rosedale. Notably, Trinity-Spadina gets broken up posing a question on where Olivia Chow would run if she runs in 2015.
I see that folks on rabble are discussing the changes based on a map I posted a while back in the heavy post-May 2011 election period. The babble discussion is guessing who has
. . . → Read More: Impolitical: New downtown T.O. ridings
So, will there be electoral reform?
The cutoff date to register as a member or supporter of the Liberal Party of Canada in order to choose the next leader is March 3. Those registered by that date have to register to vote in the contest by March 14, with the next leader officially revealed in April. However, by March 4, the total number of registered members and supporters will be known to all of us, and each of the candidate camps will know how many supporters they managed to sign up via their websites in each of the 308 ridings. . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: We are 7 days from choosing the next Liberal Party leader
Joyce Murray – She walks the talk
Joyce Murray’s electoral reform proposals are the most democratic of all candidates for leadership.
Unlike the others who are simply practising old-style top-down command politics, Joyce is actually walking the talk of participatoty democracy in the party.
Her pre-election cooperation idea leaves the decision up to the ridings involved; ALL the other candidates are denying the ridings a say in this decision. How does that square with regenerating the party, engaging Canadians?
Her idea for a Royal Commission after the election to review electoral changes, is more democratic than Trudeau’s decision to insist
. . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Joyce Murray’s electoral reform proposals are the most democratic of all leadership hopefuls
I decide when …
The third debate is over. No-one blew their brains out. No-one surprised the audience. The race will be decided by March 4, when each of the candidates will be able to compare the number of supporters they signed up in each of the 308 ridings, calculate that number as a percentage of the total members and supporters signed up in each such riding, multiply that percentage by 100 to get their probable share of the riding’s vote, and add these all together. So by the afternoon of March 4 rumours will be sweeping the country about vote counts come the official election day in April. But between now and March 4 are a few more debates, lots of signup steps, media interviews, journalist comments, and bloggers waxing eloquent. (Read more…) . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: The Liberal leadership race is between Trudeau and Murray, with a 2014 early election
Trudeau vs Reformer Murray
Justin Trudeau told a crowd in Hamilton that a Liberal Party led by him would take steps to reengage Canadians in our political life: The Liberal Party’s first step in a Federal election should be reengaging people who have given up on politics, says leadership contender Justin Trudeau.
“We need to reengage citizens across this country with the idea of being citizens,” Trudeau said at an appearance at the West Town Bar and Grill in Hamilton Saturday afternoon. “Being a citizen is more than just paying your taxes and voting and obeying the law. It’s about understanding that you are responsible for the society of which you are part,” he said. While addressing a crowd of onlookers at the Locke Street restaurant, Trudeau lamented that Canadians are becoming cynical about politics. “But we’re sick and tired of being cynical about politics,” he added. (Read more…) . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Political disengagement in Canada: Why is Justin Trudeau ignoring the obvious?