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Politics and its Discontents: Star Readers And Mandatory Voting

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…)

The Canadian Progressive: NDP MP Craig Scott proposes an “adapted-for-Canada” system of proportional representation

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.

CuriosityCat: Byelections: Thomas Mulcair’s NDP In Denial Phase

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…)

CuriosityCat: Ontario Election: A Good Case for Proportional Representation

Premier Wynne led her Liberal Party to a majority government this week, trouncing the anti-statist (drown the government in a bathtub) frothings of the Conservative Party, and shouldering aside the NDP expectation that governmental power was theirs for the taking, like ripe fruit, without any real effort on their part to justify this to voters. But yet again the majority one is a mathematical majority, but not a moral one. Premier Wynne’s Liberals would be foolish to interpret their majority of seats as being a sign of a massive mandate from a majority of Ontarian voters. It is not. That (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Richard Shillington studies the Cons’ income-splitting scheme for the Broadbent Institute, and finds that it’s even more biased toward the wealthy than previously advertised: • The average benefit of income splitting across all households is only $185, though nine out of 10 households will receive nothing. When one factors in the $3 billion cost in lost federal revenues that will result from this tax policy, income splitting stands to impose net costs on many Canadian households.

• To gain from income splitting, a family with children under 18 must have two parents in (Read more…)

wmtc: why i’m voting liberal on june 12 and why i feel so crappy about it

Need it even be said? The rightward shift of the NDP is a colossal disappointment for me.

I’m part of the NDP’s natural constituency. The NDP has historically been a social democrat party, a party of the working class, a party not tied to corporate interests. The existence of the NDP, a credible, viable party on the left, is part of what made Canada such an appealing choice for me.

Despite the right-leaning leadership of the NDP at both the provincial and federal levels, I still have hope for Canada. Every NDP voter I speak to, and everything I read, (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Buttonwood weighs in on the disproportionate influence of the ultra-rich when it comes to making policy choices which affect all of us: But the analysis backs up earlier work by Larry Bartels of Princeton, author of a book called “Unequal Democracy”, and the general thesis of the late political scientist, Mancur Olson, that government can be in hock to special interests. This may be truer in America than elsewhere since its campaign-finance laws are so liberal: $6 billion was spent on the 2012 elections. This system forces candidates to spend much of their (Read more…)

CuriosityCat: Canada: A Simple Election Law (“SEL”)

At the Montreal convention, the Liberal Party overwhelmingly agreed to Priority Resolution 31, Restoring Trust in Canada’s Democracy. An important part of that resolution is this: AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT immediately after the next election, an all-Party process be instituted, involving expert assistance and citizen participation, to report to Parliament within 12 months with recommendations for electoral reforms including, without limitation, a preferential ballot and/or a form of proportional representation, to represent Canadians more fairly and serve Canada better. Electoral reform has a bad record of success in Canada, with several referenda for modernizing our antiquated and undemocratic (Read more…)

CuriosityCat: Liberal Party Convention: The Most Important Policy Resolution

In my view, the single most important policy resolution at this week’s convention in Montreal is the prioritized number 31, which should significantly reduce our democratic deficits. That resolutionreads: 31. Priority Resolution: Restoring Trust in Canada’s Democracy* BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Liberal Party pursue political reforms which promote: Open, democratic nominations of candidates; Fewer “whipped” votes in Parliament and more “free” votes requiring individual MPs to assume full responsibility for their decisions; Stronger Parliamentary control over public finances, including an annual deadline for the budget; accounting consistency among the Estimates and the Public Accounts; more clarity in voting (Read more…)

CuriosityCat: Ontario Byelections: The change that really counts

It seems that the leaders of all three poltical parties in the province of Ontario sense that voters want change.  Premier Wynne, leading a minority Liberal government, was rejected by voters in the two byelections, but says change is wanted: Real Change Wynne?

After writing off the byelections as “skirmishes” that aren’t indicative of how things will go in a general election, Wynne vowed that the Liberals will do better whenever the campaign is held. “I know people are looking for change in this province,” she said. “Well I’m the change. My plan is the change. My team (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: Electoral reform—PR is not a voting system

Observing debates about electoral reform online and elsewhere, I notice one error cropping up consistently: the notion that proportional representation, like first-past-the-post, is a voting system. It isn’t, of course. It is a goal, something you try to achieve with your voting system.

They are two different things and the difference is important because one frequently encounters the argument

Bill Longstaff: The Conservatives turn on PR

It’s not that all Conservatives are opposed to proportional representation. Senator Hugh Segal is onside and Conservative MPs Peter Braid, Stephen Woodworth and Scott Reid have presented Fair Vote Canada petitions to the House of Commons on behalf of their constituents.

Even Stephen Harper complained about our electoral system in a 1996 essay entitled “Our Benign Dictatorship” he co-authored

CuriosityCat: Canada, want a good Deputy Prime Minister? Look for the man with the hardball in his office

Two of these men could be PM in the next 18 months

Thomas Mulcair says he and his NDP have learned from the disasterous provincial NDP election: “It’s not enough to look at the electorate and say, ‘vote for me, I m good.’ You have to say, ‘vote for me, I’m a good person to replace the party that’s there, and the government has to be replaced for the following reasons.’ “And I don’t think they did a good enough job of defining what those reasons were.” Mulcair, who keeps a scuffed-up hardball on a table behind (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Michael Katz looks back at how the U.S. abandoned its poor – and how that choice continues to affect people across the income spectrum today. And Michael Valpy discusses how Canada can and should avoid travelling any further down the same path – with his “Big Four” ideas focusing on mandatory voting, proportional representation, a guaranteed basic income and protections for vulnerable workers.

- Jeffrey Simpson describes the Cons’ narrow focus on about 10 per cent of the Canadian electorate in the lead up to the next federal election, while Andrew Jackson (Read more…)

CuriosityCat: Why Stephen Harper will call an early election in spring 2014

George S. Patton

I expect the Throne Speech in late January 2014 to be the timing for Prime Minister Stephen Harper to dissolve Parliament and call for an election in the spring of 2014, rather than wait for the legislated October 2015 date. The Liberal Party under Justin Trudeau are targeting a spring election a year later: “We’re building a (campaign) approach that’s very much flexible. I think one of the aims we’re working at is spring of 2015,” he said, noting that Harper has ignored his own law in the past. Paul Wells in his Macleans article, (Read more…) . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Why Stephen Harper will call an early election in spring 2014

Pop The Stack: Conservative Party Does Not Believe in Equality of Voters

This fascinating and scary post just showed up on the FairVote Canada Facebook page:

The Conservative version of equality. Bigger picture below.

A couple of things to notice here and I’ll just leave it at that.

They’re Worried

The Conservative party is worried about what the NDP and Green Party have to say about reforming our democracy. They are scared of PR and Elizabeth May and the NDP. They are scared that Canadians will finally say yes to staring to improve our unfair system.

Ridings, Not Voters

“Our country was founded on the equality of riding first and foremost.”

(Read more…)

Pop The Stack: Conservative Party Does Not Believe in Equality of Voters

This fascinating and scary post just showed up on the FairVote Canada Facebook page:

The Conservative version of equality. Bigger picture below.

A couple of things to notice here and I’ll just leave it at that.

They’re Worried

The Conservative party is worried about what the NDP and Green Party have to say about reforming our democracy. They are scared of PR and Elizabeth May and the NDP. They are scared that Canadians will finally say yes to staring to improve our unfair system.

Ridings, Not Voters

“Our country was founded on the equality of riding first and foremost.”

(Read more…)

CuriosityCat: 2015: The ballot question in Canada’s next election?

Methinks John Ivison has hit the nail right on its head with this:

If the Auditor-General’s report does suggest a systemic problem of corruption and abuse, who would bet against the Conservatives using the Senate as a classic wedge issue, pointing out that the Liberals are in favour of preserving the country’s most expensive eventide home as is.

One approach could (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: 2015: The ballot question in Canada’s next election?

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Andrew Coyne sees the disproportionate influence wielded by the representatives elected by a minority of voters in Canada and the U.S. as evidence that both countries should move toward proportional representation: Two systems, both dysfunctional, in opposing ways. Is there nevertheless a common thread between the two? I think there is. Both have become hostage to small groups of voters, the objects of vastly disproportionate amounts of the parties’ time and attention. In both, the parties are sharply divided on regional lines. And in both, politics has become increasingly, corrosively nasty. I (Read more…)

Parchment in the Fire: Wrestling with Democracy

Wrestling with Democracy is an ambitious, historical examination of the changes in voting systems across a large number of Western liberal democracies over the course of the twentieth century that argues that ‘most major voting system reforms in the twentieth-century west have been intimately linked to larger social struggles over the parameters of democracy itself, specifically just what any democratic state should do with its power (49).’ Unlike many political science studies of voting systems reform, this is not a book about numbers, graphs and dependent variables; rather, it is a book about ‘democratic struggle, what shape it will (Read more…)

Song of the Watermelon: Vancouver Sun Letter

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

CuriosityCat: Stéphane Dion: Let our MPs take a pocketful of votes to Parliament

A pocketful of votes

Dion gave an interesting talk at Joyce Murray’s meeting in Vancouver this morning, dealing with the different kinds of electoral reform that we could adopt. One new idea that he dropped on the table is interesting, and, I believe, novel: that our MPs votes in Parliament be counted in an entirely different way than they are now. In the past Dion has proposed his P3 variant of proportional representation, which might work well. His new idea is intriguing: let our MPs take a pocketful of votes to Parliament. It works this way. We use his (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Mixed Member Proportional Representation (MMP) An Idea Whose Time Has Come

Richard ‘Hub’ Hughes- Political Blogger

Here is a snapshot of opinion from Cowichan Conversations readers who voted in the poll in response to changing our electoral system from ‘First Past the Post’ to a ‘Proportional Representation’ system that is used in many countries throughout the world today.

There is a wealth of sites easily googled that provide a great deal of information. Britain’s ‘History Learning Site is a good source of information on voting options. Fair Vote Canada is another source of information.

 

In BC, interest in a change from the present FPTP system has been discussed somewhat during (Read more…)

Leftist Jab: Justin Trudeau’s Message to Elizabeth May: Not Running A Candidate in Labrador Is Patronizing

Why does the Green Party want to cooperate with the Liberals again?

Consider Green Party of Canada leader Elizabeth May who’s fought for progressives to cooperate in elections. To that effect, the Green Party has not fielded a candidate in the Labrador by-election as she explains in this statement:

The Green Party is committed to electoral cooperation in the interest of proportional

The Canadian Progressive: NDP Convention 2013: Resolution on Electoral Reform

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.