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Election Reform / Proportional Representation - BC 2018 Referendum


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#61 LJ

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Posted 31 May 2018 - 07:42 PM

Because they are hearing from folks like Sonia Furstenau that your vote is wasted under the current system, when a party can form government with 40% of the vote and your vote should count always...except nobody's vote is wasted under fptp. That 40% was the 1 party that garnered the most of all the votes.

 

Under the proposed systems we will be stuck with the type of disruptive circus we have witnessed this past year. The present system works, if you get tired of the ruling party you vote them out. It works.

 

The only electoral reform I would like to see is a direct vote for Premier and PM similar to Municipal elections.

How can she say that your vote was wasted? Your party may not form government but your preference could still be your representative in opposition.

 

If I voted NDP (God forbid) in my riding and I elected an NDP MLA but the Liberals formed government, I haven't wasted my vote at all, I still have the person I wanted being my MLA.

 

Is she saying all those years the Liberals were in power all the NDP supporters just wasted their votes electing John Horgan?


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#62 spanky123

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 07:44 AM

I hadn't thought of independent candidates in regards to the 5% rule. The solution there is to except independent candidates from that rule (but also mandate they must remain independent for their term if elected).

 

Don't see how that would work frankly.

 

Rarely in our system, with the number of candidates we have, will the 'winning party' get more than 50% of the total vote.  What PR threatens to do by allocating MLAs to match the proportion of vote and eliminating any independent or regional party from any chance of electing an MLA, is ensuring that the Greens always become 'king makers' in any system as they will always hold the balance of power.

 

Is it any surprise that the Greens are pressing for this?. 



#63 Mike K.

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 07:48 AM

60% of poll respondents on VV’s Facebook page support PR, but nearly 70% on CFAX’s poll say they don’t understand what PR entails.

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#64 Nparker

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 07:52 AM

...nearly 70% on CFAX’s poll say they don’t understand what PR entails.

If people are that uninformed or that unintelligent then perhaps they shouldn't be allowed to vote at all. There is lots of time for the electorate to learn about the options being presented. It's everyone's duty to make that effort.


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#65 spanky123

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 07:53 AM

60% of poll respondents on VV’s Facebook page support PR, but nearly 70% on CFAX’s poll say they don’t understand what PR entails.

 

Only goes to prove what people have been saying about Canadian voters for years. We never vote for anything, we vote to boot out or change the existing system because we are frustrated by it.


Edited by spanky123, 01 June 2018 - 07:53 AM.


#66 Mike K.

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 11:28 AM

If people are that uninformed or that unintelligent then perhaps they shouldn't be allowed to vote at all. There is lots of time for the electorate to learn about the options being presented. It's everyone's duty to make that effort.


If you can explain the three options, and the unintended negative consequences of each, succinctly and eloquently in under 200 words each I’ll side with you.

But for now first-past-the-post remains the simplest concept to grasp and apply and is significantly so when compared to the three PR options and their unintended or unforeseen effects.

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#67 Nparker

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 11:37 AM

...But for now first-past-the-post remains the simplest concept to grasp and apply and is significantly so when compared to the three PR options and their unintended or unforeseen effects.

I am not convinced simplest nets the best results. I am willing to learn about the PR options and cast my ballot accordingly.


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#68 Mike K.

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 12:09 PM

Yes, and that's fantastic that you are willing to put in the necessary legwork to educate yourself on the concepts.


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#69 spanky123

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 01:09 PM

I am not convinced simplest nets the best results. I am willing to learn about the PR options and cast my ballot accordingly.

 

Will be hard work since any of the 'education' you get will be from the vested interests that the NDP will be paying the $500K ea to to tell their side of the story. I am sure that the cons will be given the same due attention as the pros!


Edited by spanky123, 01 June 2018 - 01:09 PM.


#70 Nparker

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 01:12 PM

Will be hard work since any of the 'education' you get will be from the vested interests that the NDP will be paying the $500K ea to to tell their side of the story. I am sure that the cons will be given the same due attention as the pros!

Then it's my responsibility to learn the facts. I am not going to abandon the PR concept now based on my feelings about who is presenting the information.



#71 bluefox

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Posted 03 June 2018 - 12:03 PM

If you can explain the three options, and the unintended negative consequences of each, succinctly and eloquently in under 200 words each I’ll side with you.

But for now first-past-the-post remains the simplest concept to grasp and apply and is significantly so when compared to the three PR options and their unintended or unforeseen effects.

 

Dual-Member Proportional

  • Generally, two districts are combined into one district but retain two MLAs.
  • In the version of DMP the government is offering, rural seats in the north stay single-member and boundaries are unchanged. So northern voters get to keep FPTP.
  • Each party runs a pair of candidates in the dual-member districts. Your vote goes to the party's pair – you cannot split your vote between a candidate from one party and one from another.
  • Like FPTP, seats are first allocated to whoever wins a plurality of votes among all candidates running in the district.
  • Unlike FPTP, the second seat is allocated based on provincial voting results, meaning the seat may not go to the person who came second in that district, or may not be filled at all.

Mixed-Member Proportional

  • A portion of the seats in the legislature remain single-member districts where seats are awarded like FPTP; however, those districts greatly increase in land area.
  • The remainder are allocated from a "party list". For example, New Zealand has 71 districts and an additional 49 party list seats. A like breakdown in BC based on our legislature would be 51 districts and 36 party list seats.
  • You cast two votes - everyone has a district MLA like FPTP, but you also vote for your preferred party.
  • If, for example, a party's share of the vote entitles it to five party list seats, the first five people on their list are elected.
  • The number of MLAs in the legislature may not be static with MMP. Alternatively, BC's version of MMP could set the number of MLAs by fixing the number of districts and requiring the number of MLAs elected from a list to be no more than a certain number.

Rural/Urban Proportional

  • Uses MMP in urban areas only — and the single-transferable vote (STV) system in rural areas.
  • STV was rejected by rural voters in 2005 and 2009 so this will likely be a non-starter.

 

 

In my opinion, MMP is the simplest form of PR to understand and adopt coming from an unproportional system, and retains the best parts of FPTP such as local and/or geographic-based representation. Another benefit I see is that it could encourage party leaders to run as the top list candidate rather than running in a district, thereby freeing up that district to retain local representation (i.e. you don't have Christy Clark occupying a seat in a place she doesn't live or work).

 

BUT – you asked for an explanation, not my opinion. ;)


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#72 rjag

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Posted 03 June 2018 - 12:19 PM

 

Mixed-Member Proportional

  • A portion of the seats in the legislature remain single-member districts where seats are awarded like FPTP; however, those districts greatly increase in land area.
  • The remainder are allocated from a "party list". For example, New Zealand has 71 districts and an additional 49 party list seats. A like breakdown in BC based on our legislature would be 51 districts and 36 party list seats.
  • You cast two votes - everyone has a district MLA like FPTP, but you also vote for your preferred party.
  • If, for example, a party's share of the vote entitles it to five party list seats, the first five people on their list are elected.
  • The number of MLAs in the legislature may not be static with MMP. Alternatively, BC's version of MMP could set the number of MLAs by fixing the number of districts and requiring the number of MLAs elected from a list to be no more than a certain number.

 

I fear with MMP if, as you say the first 5 on the list are elected that it becomes a job for life for certain members who hold more sway within their party and not with the public. All the focus would be on making sure you are in good standing with the party to ensure your name is in the first 10-15 spots to keep your job, less focus on contact with the public.

 

ie the Libs and the NDP have probably 15-20% of hard core voters that will never change their vote so you just have to stay within that range to keep your job...thats not good. Its like incumbent local councillors, they just have to ensure name recognition in the election year to pull a large number of votes not because they are good but because their name is recognised...how is that good for democracy?



#73 Cats4Hire

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Posted 03 June 2018 - 12:23 PM

I fear with MMP if, as you say the first 5 on the list are elected that it becomes a job for life for certain members who hold more sway within their party and not with the public. All the focus would be on making sure you are in good standing with the party to ensure your name is in the first 10-15 spots to keep your job, less focus on contact with the public.

 

ie the Libs and the NDP have probably 15-20% of hard core voters that will never change their vote so you just have to stay within that range to keep your job...thats not good. Its like incumbent local councillors, they just have to ensure name recognition in the election year to pull a large number of votes not because they are good but because their name is recognised...how is that good for democracy?

We already have pretty heavy party discipline both provincially and federally (the whip is an official position). If you want to become a cabinet minister for example you're going to vote how the party tells you no matter what the people in your riding want.

 

There's even a Wikipedia page just on Canadian whips https://en.wikipedia...y_Whip_(Canada)


Edited by Cats4Hire, 03 June 2018 - 12:24 PM.


#74 bluefox

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Posted 03 June 2018 - 12:34 PM

I fear with MMP if, as you say the first 5 on the list are elected that it becomes a job for life for certain members who hold more sway within their party and not with the public. All the focus would be on making sure you are in good standing with the party to ensure your name is in the first 10-15 spots to keep your job, less focus on contact with the public.

 

ie the Libs and the NDP have probably 15-20% of hard core voters that will never change their vote so you just have to stay within that range to keep your job...thats not good. Its like incumbent local councillors, they just have to ensure name recognition in the election year to pull a large number of votes not because they are good but because their name is recognised...how is that good for democracy?

 

A perfectly reasonable solution would be to term-limit list MLAs (or all of them!)


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#75 Mike K.

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Posted 04 June 2018 - 09:58 AM

And that could lead to an even bigger problem of the party playing favourites in order to give the chosen ones a nice pension within their maximum three or four terms.

 

Politics shouldn't be about the party, it should be about the people. But these alternatives to FPTP reek of removing power from constituents and handing it over to the parties under the guise that FPTP doesn't represent the true wishes of the electorate and PR is more equitable.


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#76 Greg

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Posted 04 June 2018 - 11:04 AM

I'm not sure this is all so mind-boggling or experimental. After all, there are currently 94 countries, including most of Europe, who use some form of proportional representation. If you are in favor of "tried and true" systems, then I think there is actually more cumulative experience with PR than with FPTP.


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#77 Mike K.

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Posted 04 June 2018 - 12:34 PM

And look at the insane wrangling in Europe. They're more often chasing their tales in Europe trying to appease one party while staving off an attack from another under the guise that their "coalitions" work.


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#78 rjag

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Posted 04 June 2018 - 12:54 PM

I'm not sure this is all so mind-boggling or experimental. After all, there are currently 94 countries, including most of Europe, who use some form of proportional representation. If you are in favor of "tried and true" systems, then I think there is actually more cumulative experience with PR than with FPTP.

 

Yup, fair point....but do we want to be like Italy or Greece

 

The only reason this is being discussed is because 1 political party with 3 members is holding up another political party and they want to gain more power...when Eby announced he was dropping the threshold to 50%+1 the fix was in. Heck the NDP Constitution cant be changed without a 60% vote....but they can shove this down everyones throats.

 

They arent even taking the time to explain the 3 options, 2 of which I gather have never been used and havent been fully thought out....seriously???



#79 bluefox

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Posted 04 June 2018 - 01:39 PM

I agree the referendum is clearly structured to give MMP the best chance to be adopted and I'm actually okay with that. It was either this or spend millions on yet another "Citizens Panel" like 2005 just to tell us we should have a "FPTP vs. [system x]" referendum question.

 

In all honesty, I think 57% was enough of a mandate for change — and we should be 13 years into STV by now. But we're not.

 

The question's structure is the best part, in my opinion, because we could end up having the attempt at PR fail on the first question, and then which system is best is moot.

 

This will be the last attempt at ER in our lifetimes if it doesn't pass, so if it can't meet even these lowered thresholds for success, then clearly the mandate to keep FPTP is there.


Edited by bluefox, 04 June 2018 - 01:40 PM.

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#80 Bernard

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Posted 04 June 2018 - 05:35 PM

I really do not like the way the referendum has been set up.  I do not like the fact the details are not being provided about the three options.   None of the three options is a really a PR system but hybrids.   

 

Mixed Member Proportional is one I really do not like because I follow German politics closely and see the nightmare that it has become there.   The most common sort of government in Germany is a coalition of the left and the right, in Canadian terms Harper backed by Mulcair or Andrea Horwath in Ontario backed by Doug Ford.   Many people are upset because no matter how they vote they get the same government.   You vote left and get a right wing government.   You vote right wing and get a left wing government.   

 

MMP has a tendency to create two classes of political parties, there are the large broad based ones that win direct seats and the small more ideologically pure parties that only need to get 5% to get seats.   

 

MMP in BC will most likely long term mean a permanent BC Liberal/NDP government with the larger party providing the premier. 

 

STV works well and achieves PR while keeping local representation and not making the power of political parties stronger.   But it is not being offered as an option.

 

Dual Member proportional is one that has never been used anywhere.   It is hard to judge what it would do to our politics if we were to go with that one.

 

The Rural/Urban proposal is one that was used on the prairies from the 1920s to the early 1960s.   It meant that only urban areas had any proportionality and parties popular in rural areas benefited out being able to win all those seats because there was no PR in rural areas.   It is a bad model for everyone and could so easily be improved simply by going to a proper provincewide STV model.


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