Our system is an absolute farce. 38% of the vote gives you 55% of the seats and absolute, unchecked power. Power that is concentrated in the PMO like never before in our history.
When I approach our first past the post (fptp) system I feel the way someone must feel when they have to clean a smoking, loaded and cocked pistol. Who knows what the outcome will be? Certainly not what I intended.
Will some well organized group of fringe radicals through intense discipline, deception, and extreme message control be able to get the required 38% to take absolute power?
We (Read more…)
Assorted content to end your week.
- Barry Eidlin argues that Canada’s comparatively stronger trade unions have led to a far more equal distribution of income than exists in the U.S., and discusses what we need to do to reinforce that tendency: In a recent article and forthcoming book, I put forth a new theory: Canadian unions remained stronger because they were better able to retain a legitimate social and political role as defenders of working class interests. By contrast, U.S. unions got painted as a narrow “special interest.”
These different roles for labour weren’t just (Read more…)
Global News graphic of the horse race
James Armstrong of Global News has a fascinating article about the findings of the Barry Kay team of the Laurier Institute, with three really illuminating graphics. The three diagrams clearly spell out the problems facing the Liberals and the Conservatives, if either Trudeau or Harper are to have a chance of becoming prime minister. Analysing recent polls, Kay projects that if the federal election were held today, Mulcair’s NDP would win the most seats – 130 –with Harper’s tattered Tories coming in with 119, and the Liberals bringing up the rear with (Read more…)
Richard Hughes-Your Humble Blogger
The conundrum of electing our governments based on a ‘First Past the Post’ system has never been as clear as it is today with an October Federal Election just around
As a party member who has been involved with supporting democratic reform initiatives in the Liberal party, I thought I would add a few thoughts to the discussion today on the Liberal Party of Canada’s electoral reform plank, rolled out earlier today. The pledge to “Make every vote count” is as follows: We are committed to ensuring that 2015 will be the last federal election conducted under the first-past-the-post voting system. As part of a national engagement process, we will ensure that electoral reform measures – such as ranked ballots, proportional representation, mandatory voting, and online voting – (Read more…)
Just when Tom Mulcair was starting to measure the curtains in Harper’s home so that he could replace them when he became Prime Minister; when the polls showed a surge of votes for the NDP after the dramatic events in the recent Alberta election; and when pundits have started writing about Justin Trudeau being a washed up politician, Trudeau has taken to the airwaves to unveil a set of promises that will radically change the way that Canadians vote for and interact with their federal government.
The scope of the changes included in the plans to restore democracy in Canada (Read more…)
Politician with Courage
And not a moment too soon! The Liberal Party government of the province of Ontario deserves the congratulations of every Canadian for their bold step in dragging democracy into the 21st century with this step:
The provincial government will change the Municipal Elections Act to allow cities to adopt ranked-ballot voting by 2018.
The announcement, made Thursday morning by Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Ted McMeekin, was the central focus of a current review of the elections act, which will also look at campaign finance rules and enforcement of those rules.
Cities will not be (Read more…)
Among the other possibilities raised by the Alberta NDP’s election victory, plenty of voices have chimed in on a shift to proportional representation. And while there may be limited scope to make a move immediately, electoral reform could well become both good policy and good politics for Rachel Notley.
Let’s start, though, by pointing out where the Alberta NDP has positioned itself on proportional representation.
PR was not a part of the NDP’s platform in the recent election. So there’s ample room for opponents to argue that there’s no immediate mandate for a unilateral change to Alberta’s electoral system, and (Read more…)
This and that for your Sunday reading.
- Brad Delong discusses the two strains of neoliberalism which dominate far too much political discussion – and the reason why the left-oriented version doesn’t offer any plausible analysis of where we stand: (Bill) Clintonian left-neoliberalism makes two twin arguments.
The first is addressed to the left: it is that market mechanisms–properly-regulated market mechanisms–are more likely than not a better road to social democratic ends than command-and-control mechanisms.
The second is addressed to the right: it is that social democracy is the only political system that can in the long run underpin a (Read more…)
I never thought I’d live long enough to see the day, but here it is. The NDP have been elected to the government of Alberta. I am ecstatic. Nonetheless, while my emotions soar, my logical self reminds me that they won a majority only because of our corrupt first past the post electoral system. It’s comforting to know the system rewards the good guys as well as the bad guys, but it’s still an
The Mayor waits patiently …
The political fate of four men might be determined by this week’s UK general election. Two of the men have fluffed their campaigning in parts, while one man has a chance to rise, Lazarus-like, and change the rules of future elections; the fourth man is circling, with vulture-like feigned indifference, waiting for a chance to tear into the carrion-corpse of his party’s leader.
Cameron’s view of the importance of the election: This week Prime Minister Cameron dropped a Freudian Slip when talking about the election: After Mr. Cameron misspoke on Friday and called the election “career-defining” (Read more…)
The Damsel is in distress
The Telegraph has this introduction to the article on safe seats: Has your constituency already been won in the 2015 general election? Find out here. Does your vote really count? New research shows that more than half of MPs are in safe seats. Find your constituency on this map to discover if you’re one of the 25 million people (out of 60 million) who already know who will be your MP after May 7. And here’s the harsh reality:
Have you ever had the feeling that your vote was pointless? You could be right. (Read more…)
. . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Why the UK needs proportional representation
This and that for your Thursday reading.
- Scott Sinclair studies the effect of NAFTA on government policies, and finds that it’s been used primarily (and all too frequently) to attack Canadian policy choices: A study released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) finds over 70% of all NAFTA investor-state claims since 2005 were brought against the Canadian government and the number of challenges against Canada is rising sharply. From 1995-2005, there were 12 claims against Canada, while in the last ten years there have been 23.
“It appears that the federal government’s strong ideological commitment to (Read more…)
Never ones to shy away from expressing strong opinions, Toronto Star readers weigh in again on the best way to try to defeat Mr. Harper in the next election:
Re: Pondering a union of moderates, Letters Jan. 10 Federal NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau must get their heads together. Prior to 2006, the federal conservative parties realized they were fighting each other. They became one party and have been in power ever since. In 2011, with a vote increase from approximately 37 per cent to 39 per cent, they went from a minority to a majority (Read more…)
Talk of proportional representation has been around for a long time. Linda McQuaig writes:
The most widely-supported version of PR for Canada — called Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) — is used in Germany, Scotland and New Zealand, and has the advantage of combining local representation with a seat count in the legislature based on the popular vote. MMP was recommended by the Law Commission of Canada in a 2004 report on (Read more…)
Den Tandt: Muclair cannot count
So, what will our next federal government look like? Today is the last day of the year 2014, and most commentators have hidden their heads in the sand rather than venture a public guess.
Michael Den Tandt is one of the braver ones.
In an article in the National Post he forecasts a minority government for Stephen Harper, without any attempt by the two opposition parties – which combined will have more MPs than the Tory minority government – to vote him out in a no-confidence vote. Den Tandt believes that Harper will survive for (Read more…)
Mulcair: The man who would bring democracy to Canada
Thomas Mulcair, that very capable MP who is leader of the NDP, has publicly committed himself to remedy our democratic deficit, as this post indicates. Mulcair is to be commended for two things. First, for signing the Fair Vote Canada declaration (click herefor the full text). Second, for strongly coming out in favour of a modified proportional representation system of electing our federal MPs. The Fair Vote Canada declaration has this very important commitment:
What is important about the Fair Vote Canada declaration is that it is the modern equivalent (Read more…) . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Mulcair leads the way to a more democratic Canada
Which one, or two, of these men will lead Canada?
The end of the Harper government is clear from this latest poll, which shows that the Harper scare tactics of the past have run their course: Liberal and NDP supporters, meanwhile, have expressed a tepid willingness to consider each other, suggesting that a Liberal-NDP coalition may be feasible should the Conservatives pull off a minority win in 2015. Indeed, unlike in 2011, it appears now that Liberals and NDP supporters are equally likely to say they are certain to be voting. The rise of greater commitment to vote in (Read more…)
Here, taking a quick look at Canada’s options for electoral reform while arguing that an MMP system would create far better incentives for our political leaders than the alternatives.
For further reading…- Alison wrote about our options in advance of yesterday’s vote on the NDP’s electoral reform proposal. – Eric Grenier discusses the possible outcomes under the three main alternatives based on current polling. And I’d argue that the current party standings offer a useful litmus test as to one’s weighting of representativeness versus defaulting toward majority government – as a preferential system would put the Libs within (Read more…)
New Democrats introduce in the House of Commons a motion for a mixed-member proportional representation electoral system at the federal level.
The post NDP Introduces Mixed-member Proportional Representation Motion appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.
“Strategic” voting is a bad idea. Organized “strategic” voting improves nothing. Worse, “strategic” voting creates an illusion of trust where there are no possible checks and balances. It’s a scheme just asking to be gamed. Participants in “strategic” voting schemes will get taken advantage of and lose their voices. The aberration of “strategic” voting results from a poorly structured democratic system. We still have a flawed, first-past-the-post system in Canada but that flaw does not justify “strategic” voting’s ina … Continue Reading →
In response to a recent column by Susan Delacourt discussing mandatory voting, Star readers weigh in with their usual perspicacious observations, the majority in favour of a less radical solution to the problem of low voter turnout. Here is a small sampling of the responses:
Re: It’s time for mandatory voting laws, Insight Aug. 30
Mandatory voting attempts to address only one symptom of Canada’s corrupt 12th century first-past-the-post (FPTP) electoral system under which most voters do not cast a ballot for a winning candidate. Mandatory voting will not correct this, but merely result in more votes which do not (Read more…)
NDP MP Craig Scott proposes an “adapted-for-Canada” system of proportional representation as a route to parliamentary reform and democratic renewal.
The post NDP MP Craig Scott proposes an “adapted-for-Canada” system of proportional representation appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.
Mulcair in denial
Four byelections, and a thumping for the NDP, but that party is still refusingto face up to reality (my bolding):
Mulcair said the NDP needs to run campaigns that go beyond strictly local matters and focus on broader “kitchen table” issues, such as gas prices, ATM fees and transit, which are of concern to many Canadians of different political stripes.
“When we head into the general (election), we’re going to be broadening from where we are,” he said.
The NDP leader said Cressy got strong support from the party base, but the “mathematics of the vote” (Read more…)