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Parchment in the Fire: Italy’s Looming Referendum Risk Splits Southern Europe’s Bond Markets – MoneyBeat – WSJ

Italian 10-year yields are now nearly half a percentage point above their Spanish cousins, the highest in five years.

Source: Italy’s Looming Referendum Risk Splits Southern Europe’s Bond Markets – MoneyBeat – WSJ

Filed under: Eurozone crisis Tagged: Italy, Referendum, Renzi

. . . → Read More: Parchment in the Fire: Italy’s Looming Referendum Risk Splits Southern Europe’s Bond Markets – MoneyBeat – WSJ

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how the impression that our votes for change don’t produce the expected results can lead to the public putting up with a destructive alternative just to have an alternative at all.

For further reading…– For background on Prince Edward Island’s electoral reform plebiscite, see Susan Bradley’s report on the results, Sara Fraser . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Accidental Deliberations: On decision points

Needless to say, it’s disappointing that there now doesn’t seem to be any prospect of a shift to a more proportional federal electoral system without a referendum. But the NDP’s move to build a consensus among the opposition parties on a referendum offering a choice between mixed-member proportional representation and first-past-the-post makes sense given the . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On decision points

CuriosityCat: PEI leads the way in remedying our democratic deficit!

Way to go PEI!

Voters strike a blow for a better democracy; our federal government and other provinces should pay heed:

A non-binding plebiscite on electoral reform in Prince Edward Island has shown voters support a switch to a form of proportional representation. Mixed member proportional representation was the most popular option, drawing more . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: PEI leads the way in remedying our democratic deficit!

Cowichan Conversations: The Votes Have Been Counted – Will The European Common Market Unravel Further?

The shock will take some time to wear off, especially in Britain or what may be left of Britain as a result of the referendum vote to leave the European Union. Of course, they remain Read more… . . . → Read More: Cowichan Conversations: The Votes Have Been Counted – Will The European Common Market Unravel Further?

Politics and Entertainment: Is a Referendum the Best Way to Determine an Electoral System?

.Is a Referendum the Best Way to Determine an Electoral System?

Theoretically a referendum may seem like the most obvious and democratic way to determine whether electoral reform is desirable in Canada; but, as we have seen with referendums at the provincial level in BC, PEI, and Ontario, the results almost always render the status quo, not change, largely because of the nature of the choices: the known against the unknowns. That is, first-past-the-post, whether on the referendum ballot or not, is stacked in a binary structure almost always against both a ranked ballot system and proportional representation. There is of course a built in psychological bias for the known in such a situation, and inevitably the unknowns tend to split the alternative vote. Those who want a referendum and favour FPP would seem to be aware of this potential structural deficiency, recognizing that first-past-the-post would inevitably be triumphant either by choice or default.  In this context, then, a referendum is an illusion of democracy.
And so it’s clearly in the interests of those who enjoy a substantial degree of power through first-past-the post to maintain it. In this case, that would be the good old Conservative Party of Canada, who  – let’s be honest – don’t really want a referendum because in fact they really don’t want electoral reform.* Instead, they just don’t want Parliament to consider the issue,** for their real concern is maintaining the power they enjoy through the status quo. Their call for a referendum, in other words, is a mere political ploy, not a genuine gesture in the direction of real democracy; and, sad to say, they’ve sucked in quite a few on the left of the political spectrum.  THE CPC know that were proportional representation, for example, to be established, in many of the ridings where they have won by FPP  – particularly rural ridings – their power would be significantly eroded.***
A referendum offers a second advantage to those who don’t want electoral reform in that it provides a much more straightforward opportunity to lobby if not propagandize against whatever systems are presented as alternatives to FPP by way of various media, editorials,**** op eds, radio talk shows and advertising – a much more difficult task to execute if reform were to be considered through a consultative all-party parliamentary process that would have the sanctioned weight of the representatives Canadians have elected to govern them. It is certainly one of the reasons some want a referendum rather than parliamentary consideration: it allows for substantial direct  “partisanship” spin.
________________________
*Cf. Robin Sears: “The Conservatives are already demanding a referendum on any change to the electoral system, secure in the knowledge that that would mean certain defeat for any reform. Some gullible journalists have defended a referendum as an essential democratic test. What that naively fails to recall, of course, is that there has never been a non-partisan “democratic” referendum. The final choice will inevitably be political and require partisan approval.” 
**Why would they? First-past-the-post is not on the agenda, as the Liberal election platform clearly says: “We are committed to ensuring that 2015 will be the last federal election conducted under the first-past-the-post voting system.We will convene an all-party Parliamentary committee to review a wide variety of reforms, such as ranked ballots, proportional representation, mandatory voting, and online voting.This committee will deliver its recommendations to Parliament. Within 18 months of forming government, we will introduce legislation to enact electoral reform.”
***Under FPP, less populated rural ridings carry as much representational weight in parliament as do densely populated urban ridings. Because of that discrepancy, they are really less democratically representational. Both a ranking ballot system and PR in particular would in fact be more representational of all voters in a given riding and thus more democratic.
****This has already begun in rural newspapers and even The Globe and Mail.

. . . → Read More: Politics and Entertainment: Is a Referendum the Best Way to Determine an Electoral System?

Montreal Simon: Why We Don’t Need A Referendum on Electoral Reform

There's nothing that scares the Cons as much as electoral reform, and Justin Trudeau's plan to scrap the so called first past the post system.They know that it would cripple their chances of ever ruling Canada again, and that the only thing th… . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: Why We Don’t Need A Referendum on Electoral Reform

Accidental Deliberations: On voting from experience

If I have any concern with Nathan Cullen’s suggestion that Canada hold a referendum on electoral reform only after seeing a different system in action, it’s that it may concede too much to the people looking to set up roadblocks in the face of a clear … . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On voting from experience

Accidental Deliberations: On twisted outcomes

At the moment, plenty of Canadians are looking forward to waking up on October 20 and finding that Stephen Harper’s Conservatives have lost the election, to be replaced by a government determined by the MPs elected by voters. And we should certainly be hoping for, and working toward, that outcome.

But imagine if the electoral . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On twisted outcomes

The Disaffected Lib: Greece – Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don’t

Greek voters appear poised to rather narrowly reject another round of austerity measures demanded by the IMF, the European Commission and the EBC.

It’s something of a “heads I win, tails you lose” proposition.  Be it Yes or No, the Greek people are pretty much screwed either way.

As observed in Der Spiegel, even . . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: Greece – Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don’t

Song of the Watermelon: The Case for ‘Yes’ in Metro Vancouver’s Transit Referendum

Well, anybody could have called this one.

According to a new survey by Insights West, 53 per cent of residents plan to vote No in the upcoming 2015 Metro Vancouver Transportation and Transit Plebiscite. Only 38 per cent say they will vote Yes to the proposed half-percentage-point sales tax increase to help fund more buses, . . . → Read More: Song of the Watermelon: The Case for ‘Yes’ in Metro Vancouver’s Transit Referendum

Writings of J. Todd Ring: Referendum On Scottish Independence: Why it matters to us all – no matter who we are or where we live

An excellent overview of the Scottish referendum on independence, which is happening today, was just pointed out to me by a friend – and, we should note that the referendum has great significance all around the world, and not only for the Scots. The article is well worth two minutes of your time to read, . . . → Read More: Writings of J. Todd Ring: Referendum On Scottish Independence: Why it matters to us all – no matter who we are or where we live

Polygonic: Let’s dream a bigger dream, Yes People

I like the Yes People. Who wouldn’t? They’ve got a fantastically daring vision, and they’re unafraid to upset the status quo in favour of creating a society that’s more just. They seem like builders. With all their zeal to engage the world as a blank slate rather than an inherited order, I think I’d like . . . → Read More: Polygonic: Let’s dream a bigger dream, Yes People

The Scott Ross: Vote PQ To End Separatism

All federalists should want the Parti Quebecois to win Quebec’s election this Monday. Why? Because support for separation is so low that holding a referendum would end the issue for a generation, if not for good.

If the PQ loses however, which is looking likely, separatism will continue to simmer until the PQ forms government . . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: Vote PQ To End Separatism

The Scott Ross: Vote PQ To End Separatism

All federalists should want the Parti Quebecois to win Quebec’s election this Monday. Why? Because support for separation is so low that holding a referendum would end the issue for a generation, if not for good.If the PQ loses however, which is lookin… . . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: Vote PQ To End Separatism

CuriosityCat: Quebec election: 20 days and 5%

Premier Marois’ Lobster Strategy

What a difference a campaign can make! Just four weeks ago, it seemed the Marois-led PQ juggernaut was a shoo-in for a majority government in the province of Quebec, and now it seems the wheels have fallen off the machine, as pollster Three Hundred Eight illustrates. In less than 20 . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Quebec election: 20 days and 5%

Pop The Stack: Marois: It’s not a priority for me to break up the country…right now.

So Pauline Marois wants to focus on issues other than a referendum on breaking up Canada.

“It’s not a priority for Quebecers at the moment and it’s not my priority either. Our priority is to reinforce Quebec, reinforce it in all areas, reinforce the economy and adopt a charter.” -Pauline Marois

“At the moment” … . . . → Read More: Pop The Stack: Marois: It’s not a priority for me to break up the country…right now.

Pop The Stack: Marois: It’s not a priority for me to break up the country…right now.

So Pauline Marois wants to focus on issues other than a referendum on breaking up Canada.

“It’s not a priority for Quebecers at the moment and it’s not my priority either. Our priority is to reinforce Quebec, reinforce it in all areas, reinforce the economy and adopt a charter.” -Pauline Marois

“At the moment” … . . . → Read More: Pop The Stack: Marois: It’s not a priority for me to break up the country…right now.

drive-by planet: Massive turnout in Crimea: 96.77 vote for integration with Russia: jubilant crowds capture the mood

There was a massive turnout in the Crimea referendum, with 81.3 percent of eligible voters participating. When the final tally was in 96.77 percent voted “yes” to integration with the Russian Federation. The way it breaks down in terms of numbers is 1,233,002 votes for integration out of a total of 1,274,096 ballots cast.

. . . → Read More: drive-by planet: Massive turnout in Crimea: 96.77 vote for integration with Russia: jubilant crowds capture the mood

drive-by planet: Crimea votes: ‘CrossTalk’ discussion with George Galloway, Michael Hughes and Dmitry Babich

drive-by planet: Double standards, threats and false claims in run-up to March 16 referendum in Crimea

The referendum in Crimea scheduled for March 16 has been declared invalid by US secretary of state John Kerry who also issued warnings of serious consequences if Russia “annexes” Crimea.  He promised that sanctions against Russia would “get ugly fast.” This was echoed by Germany’s Angela Merkel who has made dark references to “massive . . . → Read More: drive-by planet: Double standards, threats and false claims in run-up to March 16 referendum in Crimea

CuriosityCat: Ukraine: Russia punts ball down the field to gain time

Lavrov to punt …

So Kerry and Lavrov met and walked on a soccer field, during a six-hour discussion of events in the Crimea and Ukraine. At the end of that session, they agreed to disagree: Lavrov said Crimea was very important for Russia but added that he could not comment further on the . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Ukraine: Russia punts ball down the field to gain time

CuriosityCat: Quebec election: The real ballot box question

PQ lobster trap for unwitting Quebecers

Try as they might, the PQ cannot direct the definition of the ballot question in the upcoming provincial election into fields of their choosing. They would rather talk about their Charter of Values, which has given them a good crack at Francophone votes to boost them into a . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Quebec election: The real ballot box question

CuriosityCat: Quebec: The separatist Premier who is committed and not committed

The Impartial Premier – Trust Me

Premier Pauline Marois believes she can have her cake and eat it, too. So she is sucking and blowing at the same time about whether a vote for her Parti Quebecois is really also a vote to start the journey to yet another referendum on independence for Quebec. . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Quebec: The separatist Premier who is committed and not committed

Cowichan Conversations: Brent Beach On The Shawnigan Basin Society 50K Per Year Grant

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

As we continue to look at the Shawnigan Basin Society’s attempted tax grab through the discredited Alternate Approval Process (AAP) this Brent Beach December column is being reproduced here.

It is well worth a read especially for those who may have missed it in the Shawnigan Focus.

To me there . . . → Read More: Cowichan Conversations: Brent Beach On The Shawnigan Basin Society 50K Per Year Grant