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…)
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
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.
People Aren’t Smart Enough For Democracy To Flourish, Scientists Say
This article touches on a core problem for democracy. But add to this the fact that the corporate media and the corporate parties (Conservatives and Liberals in Canada) prey on this weakness of the populace in order to sway the people to vote against the people’s own interests. This makes anything that improves the democratic process, like proportional representation (or even procedures that take baby steps toward P.R.), critical to helping make democracy work better for the people. Better education and less corporate control of the media (Read more…)
Hat tip to BluntObjects for the LeadNow poll of Canadians’ views about the need to fix our broken electoral system. The poll shows massive support by Liberals, Dippers and Greens for some form of proportional representation (the key plan of the Joyce Murray fix-it-now campaign for leadership of the Liberal Party): Q: Do you support proportional representation?
Even a sizeable number of Tories think the system is broken. The Liberal Party’s pallid preferential vote system is just that: a meaningless sop to serious electoral reform.
Let’s hope that our party gets its act together and starts listening – really
. . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Poll: Massive support for Proportional Representation
By: Obert Madondo | The Canadian Progressive: Last week, Liberal leadership hopeful and Member of Parliament for Vancouver MP, Joyce Murray, called for opposition electoral cooperation in the Labrador by-election. To void splitting the vote. To ensure a “progressive win and Harper fail“. The Greens immediately heeded the call and are now challenging the [...]
The post Greens won’t contest Labrador by-election, urge the NDP to also desist appeared first on The Canadian Progressive | News & Analysis.
A Confederation denied legitimacy
Here is a startling analysis of the impact of the recent redistribution, the probability of a permanent Conservative majority in the House because of our archaic First Past the Post system. A must read for everyone interested in politics in Canada. Please pass on this post to those you know, and tweet it to your own connections. We need an urgent discussion about a better system of electing our MPs or we face a permanent Harper government. Hat tip to PatriciaXXXX for raising this on the Liberal site!
REALITY CHECK: Here is how the last
. . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Harper’s Permanent Majority through Redistribution & FPTP
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
Andrew Coyne – truthteller
Andrew Coyne in an article in the Vancouver Sun headed To improve our politics we have to repair our broken electoral system, puts a devastating case forward as to why pre-election cooperation followed by post-electoral meaningful electoral reform is necessary:
If you never make the case for electoral reform, then yes, it will remain an abstraction in the public mind. But if you believe it is necessary, presumably it is because of the real-world problems of the current system.
So many of the well-known ills of our politics — the phoney majorities, the exaggerated
. . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Electoral Reform: The Case that 7 of the 8 Liberal candidates will not or cannot answer
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?
Both are recommending to their tens of thousands of members that they join the Liberal Party as Supporters and vast votes for meaningful electoral reform when voting for the next leader. But there is one startling statistic that should impact their strategy if they really want to be effective, and it is that one third of Liberal ridings are dormant, non-existent, pining for the Norwegian fjords:
Liberals estimate that approximately 80 of their 308 riding associations across the country are now dormant: with only a handful of party members in the riding, a non-functioning or dysfunctional riding executive and little or no ability to raise funds. Some party leaders believe the number is closer to 100.
Because the rules for the election of the next Liberal leader give each and every one of the 308 ridings equal votes (100 each), the Liberal leader will be chosen by . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Liberal Leadership Race: Critical Strategy for Leadnow and Fair Vote Canada
Richard Hughes Political Blogger
Chatter in political circles of the centre and centre left variety have been underway for years. It seems that today’s NDP are more comfortable propelling and then propping up Harper than actually cutting a deal with the Liberals. Power players in the NDP inner circles have moved the party to the middle with a goal of eclipsing the Liberals, thus becoming the party of the middle.
Well they have moved to the mushy middle and yet that has not happened, has it. Truth is that the NDP are as close as they will ever get under the present electoral structures.
Prepare yourselves for haughty
. . . → Read More: Cowichan Conversations: The Liberals and the NDP Will Assure Another Harper Victory, Unless…
The debate is gathering steam, and Andrew Coyne has posed several questions which every candidate for leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada (and particularly Justin Trudeau, whose father modernized the Canadian democracy almost beyond compare with his priceless gift of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms): Fundamentally, it comes down to this: are the opposition parties serious? Do they really want to beat the Conservatives, or just talk about it? Are they serious about electoral reform, or is it, too, just a talking point? And assuming they mean either, do they realize how crucially each depends on the other? Let me put it plainly: They aren’t going to beat the Conservatives until they change the electoral system. They aren’t going to change the electoral system until they beat the Conservatives. And they aren’t going to do either until they find some way to cooperate.
Justin Trudeau: . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Justin Trudeau, read Andrew Coyne if you are a bold, serious leader
MP Elizabeth May
MP Joyce Murray was interviewed by the Canadian Press on the possibility of a pre-election electoral cooperation taking place in ridings that choose to do so before the 2015 election. Joan Bryden’s interesting article on the interview includes this comment on the extraordinary significance that such cooperation might have : On a national scale, however, it would be difficult for the Liberals and Greens, without the help of the NDP, to unseat the Conservative government. Based on the 2011 election results, a combined Liberal-Green vote could have theoretically defeated the Tories in just over a dozen ridings — not enough to defeat the governing party, although sufficient to reduce it to a minority.
MP Joyce Murray – Reformer
(Read more…) . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Liberal leadership race: Liberal-Green pre-election ceasefire could prevent Harper majority in 2015
Joyce Murray – Reformer
Tomorrow MP Joyce Murray will be given the chance to kickstart what could be the most important public discussion in Canadian politics in two decades, when she debates the other candidates for leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada. Susan Delacourt has an interesting (and must read) article in The Star on Murray and the first debate: Liberal leadership contender Joyce Murray enters the first debate this weekend with two advantages on her side.
First, the event is being held on the home turf of the Vancouver MP, the only candidate who makes her home west of Ontario. As well, the nine candidates are due to discuss electoral cooperation with other parties — an issue on which Murray has already staked out some clear ground in favour of strategic, progressive alliances. In a field crowded with candidates making appeals to the centre-right of the . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: MP Joyce Murray to kickstart the Canadian debate on electoral reform tomorrow
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.
- Frank Graves writes about the decline of Canada’s middle class – and notes a parallel between the type of economy which tends to produce broad social failure, and the Cons’ familiar obsession with extraction: The other key factor is rising inequality and a failing middle class. Our evidence has shown that as economic issues have become the dominant concerns for Canadians they are — for the first time in our research — twinned at the pinnacle of public issues with blended concerns about fairness and inequality. These are not the traditional and more
. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Afternoon Links
Joyce Murray – Progressive Reformer
MP Murray’s position on pre-election cooperation between the Liberal, NDP, Green and Blog parties in order to remove Harper’s right wing government from power, and her commitment to serious electoral reform, bears repeating in full:
Our principal challenge is to give Canada the 21st century electoral system it deserves.
• One that will be responsive to the urgent and long term issues facing the country.• One that will produce rational and thoughtful debate.• One that will encourage the input of diverse perspectives.• One that will enable the best progressive policies to
. . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Liberal Leadership Race: Joyce Murray’s Electoral Reforms Promise
Richard ‘Hub’ Hughes-Political Blogger
The Greens, often seen and promoted as an alternative to the old line parties are not really all that different when it comes to democratic decision making. They are just as bad as the other parties it seems, well maybe not worse than the BC Liberals who also have a penchant for fixing nominations by running roughshod over local constituency associations, but still democracy seems to be a bumpy road, especially with our first past the post system.
If we had proportional representation as an electoral model many of the ingredients for rigging the game and stacking the
. . . → Read More: Cowichan Conversations: The BC Green Party Dictates That The Means Justify The Ends!
Richard Hughes-Political Blogger
How long is it going to take before some of the Conservatives MP’s wake up and stand up for Canada?
Our PM Steve Harper lies to us with an ease uncommon, even for politicians.
Canada is being drained and our nation is up for sale, but why?
What drives Harper? He is hurting Canadians, farming out our jobs to Chinese workers and selling off our raw resources with little, damn little benefit to Canadians?
Even stupider, the extraction processes harm our country’s land, rivers and people.
It is time that our elected representatives put Canada ahead of
. . . → Read More: Cowichan Conversations: We Must Restructure Canada To Save It!
Richard Hughes- Political Blogger
The Chinese curse is upon us. ‘We live in interesting times!’ Although the origins of this pearl have been disputed and dissected by academics the general message still rings true today.
Our political parties of the centre left have shifted to the centre right-the centre left is becoming a desert sparsely populated at best. Our old political standard bearers have retained their political and philosophical substance in name only. Our national stage is the site of a trainwreck at every level, our provincial governments only a tad better in a spotty sort of way. Only Nova
. . . → Read More: Cowichan Conversations: Liberal Joyce Murray, Green MP Elizabeth May and NDP MP Nathan Cullen Have All Called For Co-operation On The Centre-Left!
John Van Dongen-Independent MLA
Our Canadian Democracy has been hijacked by the political party system for far too long. Slowly but possibly surely politicians are speaking out, most often it is when they are on their way out the door.
Not all wait until retirement. Former BC Liberal Cabinet Minister John Van Dongen and former BC New Democrat Bob Simpson spoke out while still serving their terms. Van Dongen left the BC Liberal Caucus willingly while now former NDP MLA Bob Simpson was booted out of the NDP by former leader Carole James. Simpson and Van Dongen now sit as
. . . → Read More: Cowichan Conversations: Provincial-Federal Politicians Neutered In Our Present System Of Party Discipline
The Undemocratic Democracy
Recent byelections have once more proved that The Power Trap has the leaders of two of the opposition parties firmly in its grip. The State of Play post Calgary Centre Byelection Some recent reflections on the divided opposition parties:
Yet most Liberals here still see other parties joining them rather than the other way around.As for the Greens, they are enjoying a surge of support, particularly in B.C., where they came close to winning the byelection in Victoria. Combining forces with one of the old-line parties — the NDP or the Liberals — would
. . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: The Joyce Murray Cooperate First, Reform Later Plan’s advantages