Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Now There's an Idea! Every Vote Should Count.

Now, if you're one of those people who doesn't spot the obscenity in some guy who just won 33 per cent of the vote crowing about the grand mandate he had received - that is if you're a Liberal or a Conservative - this probably isn't for you.

Elizabeth Renzetti has a fine op-ed in today's Globe
At a time when concerted international action is required on many issues, climate change paramount among them, our election felt like a food fight at a toddler’s birthday party. So much screaming; so many insults. We’re all ready for a nap – just when the real work of cleaning up has to begin. 
Does anyone feel today that the country is pulling together toward that goal? As I write this, the ugly word “Wexit” is trending on social media, in reference to Western Canada’s feeling of alienation from the diminished but still ruling Liberal elite in Ottawa. (That anyone could think Brexit is worthy of emulation suggests a lack of attention to the news in the past three years.) 
We should not discount that frustration. Where is the representation for Conservative voters from the West? The Conservatives, with more than 34 per cent of the vote, have 121 seats. The Liberals, with 33 per cent of the vote, have 157. The NDP went down four per cent in the popular vote – and lost 20 seats.
The Ghost of 2015 - Electoral Reform.
...Is there any chance that Justin Trudeau’s Liberals will revisit their once-popular policy/now infamous betrayal? That direction seems profoundly unlikely, because from a purely cynical, short-term perspective it would gain them nothing. So what if electoral reform, an issue that’s popular with young voters and might go some way to restoring trust in our democracy, took such a kicking in this election? 
The Liberals have buried electoral reform in a lead-lined coffin, under a pyre of stones, behind a barbed-wire fence. (Although you can still read about the government’s online consultation on the subject, which drew a remarkable 383,000 submissions between Dec. 2016 and Jan. 2017, and which showed that almost one-third of respondents were dissatisfied with our country’s democracy.)
Renzetti places her hope (not her confidence, just her hope) that Jaggy Singh's quid pro quo for supporting the Dauphin will be electoral reform but wonders if he might settle for concessions on pharmacare or wealth tax instead.

It's called democracy and the Liberals should really give it a try.


Trailblazer said...

the ugly word “Wexit” is trending on social media.

Few push the idea of Alberta separation more than the Post Media group.

That a foreign owned entity promotes disunity within Canada is disturbing.


The Mound of Sound said...

It should be disturbing, TB, most of all to our federal government. The same government that commissioned the Davey report into Canada's mass media in 1969 and the Kent enquiry report in 1980 and then promptly ignored their warnings of the dangers posed to Canadian democracy.

For some reason I had imagined that Justin would revisit this when he was propelled to office in 2015 but it's not even on his or his government's radar. In a sense you could say that the Trudeau Libs are looking the other way. Not the first time.

Anonymous said...

The Conservatives killed electoral reform - along with the help of the NDP by insisting on a decisive referendum.


Anonymous said...

Should be “divisive” referendum.


The Mound of Sound said...

That's utter bullshit, UU, and you know it. Trudeau had a powerful majority. He could have implemented electoral reform without regard for Tory or New Dem interference. You know that so why try this on?

Anonymous said...

From above - "Although you can still read about the government’s online consultation on the subject, which drew a remarkable 383,000 submissions between Dec. 2016 and Jan. 2017, and which showed that almost one-third of respondents were dissatisfied with our country’s democracy."

So, 2/3 are satisfied? Why would the Liberals unilaterally try to screw with that?

Plus, what version of "electoral reform"?


rumleyfips said...

There are lots of opinions about voting systems. I don't like Proportional Rep because MP's who were never selected by riding association, green lit by party committee or faced a single voter could be appointed. We already have such a system and we call it The Senate. Strange that some who speak harshly about the Senate plump for Prop Rep. Mixed member has all the problems of PR with the added benefit of being supremely confusing. I can't see either of these systems helping. That left Ranked Ballot.

We know that Liberals are the second choice of NDP,Green and Bloc voters. The progressive/centrist 65% vote tallied Monday reinforces this polling. The Cons and PPC have lower second choice support.

I got a chance to look at the numbers today. I looked up the results in 15 ridings chosen fairly randomly from the list at the Huffington post. There was some sorting to ensure 11 different jurisdictions, 5 political parties and 5 leaders were included.

5 ridings were won by more than 50% and no statistical manipulation would be needed. 3 of the leaders polled more than 50% but May and Singh did not. In both cases, second choice would have put them over the top.

In most cases a ranked ballot would have made no difference. The only seat that would have flipped was West Nova. In the other 14, the candidate who got the most votes would have won with either FPTP or Ranked Ballot.

After doing the work, I am less anxious to institute Ranked Ballot. It may be much ado about nothing. Democratically speaking, any time the idea of changing the system has come to a vote, Canadian electors have rejected it. Maybe they know something I don't

John B. said...

In a version of MMP (with or without ranked ballot) the parties would prepare, either through a standardized procedure or through some approved mechanism of it choosing and on a regional or national/provincial basis, a list of candidates for top-up seats and submit their names for the ballot. Electors would register two votes: one for the direct representative; and the other for a candidate seeking a top-up position. This could work if electors could be made to understand what’s going on and provided that no independents are elected. Then again, who cares if the electors know what’s actually happening?

I don’t think that any systems involving a runoff, whether instantly through preferential ballot or by holding a separate vote, would be likely to produce a result proportional to actual voting, although in some cases they could.