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Democratic reform

May 13, 2016, 8:35 a.m.
Posts: 354
Joined: June 11, 2013

Just curious if anyone cares . . .

Harper prorogued parliament and people screamed bloody murder and that it was an affront to democracy.

Trudeau is proposing to change how we vote. To me this seems like a pretty big deal. The party in power will change how we select our parliament with 'consultations' of Canadians. No referendum. I know this was part of their platform, but so was a $10 B deficit and 10,000 refugees by Christmas. We know 'promises' are flexible when need be.
Without a referendum, or at the minimum all party support in parliament, it seems to be that it would be difficult to legitimize a new system. People simply may not believe it to be fair, or believe that it was gamed to benefit the Liberals.

Should something as fundamental as how we vote not be put to a national referendum ? Why does it seem that there is low concern about this ? I'm pretty sure if Harper proposed to change the voting system there would have been massive protests on Parliament Hill.

Does anyone care ?

May 13, 2016, 8:45 a.m.
Posts: 16679
Joined: Nov. 20, 2002

Did we get a referendum when the conservatards tabled and passed their unfair elections act, restricting citizens' right to vote and limiting the powers of Elections Canada to investigate electoral fraud?

And now those same conservatards are upset that there's no referendum?

When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity.

When many people suffer from a delusion, it is called religion.

May 13, 2016, 8:53 a.m.
Posts: 354
Joined: June 11, 2013

Did we get a referendum when the conservatards tabled and passed their unfair elections act, restricting citizens' right to vote and limiting the powers of Elections Canada to investigate electoral fraud?

And now those same conservatards are upset that there's no referendum?

Wow, that's insightful. Besides, if the conservatives were 'so good' at suppression and this act helped them undermine democracy, why did they lose so badly ?

Honestly though, put your hate of Harper aside for a second. . . are you not at the least worried that a new voting system may be imposed upon you without your agreement? What if you don't like the system, are you expected to just suck it up ?

How can one party claim that how we vote is not fully democratic, then consider their victory in that 'undemocratic system' to give them a mandate to change it ?

The government is proposing to change how we have elected parliament for 150 years, something we have been doing well and has resulted in stable and largely honest government. Canada is the country it is in part due to the first past the post system, and now the Liberals want to change it without broad agreement ? What are the consequences ? Are we favouring one party ? Will the new system encourage more corruption ? Will it favour one region of the country ?

This is a big deal with doesn't seem many really care about. Just curious why not.

May 13, 2016, 8:55 a.m.
Posts: 298
Joined: Oct. 23, 2003

Id rather a proportional voting system than the turd we have now

Ha Ha! Made you look.

May 13, 2016, 8:55 a.m.
Posts: 5329
Joined: Feb. 3, 2006

The Libs were pretty clear that they were going to do electoral reform during the election, so were the NDP, it was a huge part of their platform and one of the major issues in the election. The Conservatives were against electoral reform, because the existing system benefits their party greatly.

There already was a referendum, the Cons lost and are now trying to sandbag the process.

May 13, 2016, 8:56 a.m.
Posts: 13934
Joined: March 15, 2003

I think that the first past the post system is the better choice, many European countries are actually reverting back to FPTP after popular representation. The reality is, it will favour the Liberal government or at least whatever the people in Ontario and Quebec decide as a government for the rest of Canada.

But, in a democracy, you get what the people want, regardless of how others feel it is being handled. Personally, I would think that the slim majority that the Liberals won by would suggest that their platform was not supported by 64% of the Canadian population and if they chose to force an item like this through (I read a report that it must be decided by December to allow Elections Canada 2 years to make the changes), it may reflect poorly on their next trip to the polls.

I think if more diligence is spent and it is debated and completely understood and shared with Canadians, then that would be best for the public, rather than leaving it to keyboard cowboys like us debating what we don't maybe completely understand. After all, it is 2016.

May 13, 2016, 8:57 a.m.
Posts: 14378
Joined: Feb. 19, 2003

Why don't we at least wait and see what the committee proposes before we flip out.

First past the post has it's fair share of problems, and I think any system that dates 150 years back is worth revisiting to see if we have better systems available.

May 13, 2016, 9:01 a.m.
Posts: 10
Joined: Jan. 12, 2006

Did we get a referendum when the conservatards tabled and passed their unfair elections act, restricting citizens' right to vote and limiting the powers of Elections Canada to investigate electoral fraud?

And now those same conservatards are upset that there's no referendum?

Yeah, no. Two wrongs don't make a right imo. I'm all for electoral reform, but when the parliamentary committee tasked with organizing it is 6 liberals, 3 cons, and one token NDP representitive, that smells of bullshit.

May 13, 2016, 9:06 a.m.
Posts: 13934
Joined: March 15, 2003

Found an interesting article by the Huff of all places - lists the options. Nonetheless, PR will lead to minority governments always bickering and inevitably costing the taxpayers much more in the long run.

And just because a system is old, doesn't mean that it doesn't work well; but it does leave room for improvements. Not too many people changing from round wheels, but they keep getting better.

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2016/02/01/a-primer-on-alternatives-to-canada-s-first-past-the-post-electoral-system_n_9129764.html

May 13, 2016, 9:20 a.m.
Posts: 298
Joined: Oct. 23, 2003

I think that the first past the post system is the better choice, many European countries are actually reverting back to FPTP after popular representation. The reality is, it will favour the Liberal government or at least whatever the people in Ontario and Quebec decide as a government for the rest of Canada.

But, in a democracy, you get what the people want, regardless of how others feel it is being handled. Personally, I would think that the slim majority that the Liberals won by would suggest that their platform was not supported by 64% of the Canadian population and if they chose to force an item like this through (I read a report that it must be decided by December to allow Elections Canada 2 years to make the changes), it may reflect poorly on their next trip to the polls.

I think if more diligence is spent and it is debated and completely understood and shared with Canadians, then that would be best for the public, rather than leaving it to keyboard cowboys like us debating what we don't maybe completely understand. After all, it is 2016.

http://www.cbc.ca/news2/interactives/results-2015/

I know it went in the direction of my own personal favour, yet I don't think 7% extra votes deserves 100 additional seats.

Ha Ha! Made you look.

May 13, 2016, 9:37 a.m.
Posts: 13934
Joined: March 15, 2003

http://www.cbc.ca/news2/interactives/results-2015/

I know it went in the direction of my own personal favour, yet I don't think 7% extra votes deserves 100 additional seats.

Exactly - and those numbers show that over 60% didn't vote for the Libs, even though many people 'tactical voted' to oust Harper. Three provinces including BC already had referendums about changing our election process away from FPTP to PR and all three turned it down, including Ontario which is a Liberal hotspot and a majority of our country's population. Kind of shows you how some of the population truly feels about the idea.

I think legalizing mary jane got the Libs more votes than their proposed plan to change the electoral system. Either way, it is going to be interesting.

May 13, 2016, 10:35 a.m.
Posts: 354
Joined: June 11, 2013

I really like the stability of the FPTP system. Yes, we get majority governments with under 40% of the vote, but, the government knows it can be turfed and tends to become more centrist when in power.

Although proportional representation is more representative 'in theory', I am unsure if that is true in reality. You end up with fringe one issue parties with, say, 5% of the seats holding the balance of power in parliament.

Let's say the Liberals win with 45% of the vote, the Greens get 7%. The Liberals require Green support to pass legislation, they are effectively held hostage by the Greens. 7% of the electorate that voted Green is massively over represented in legislation.

My worry with pure proportional representation is that we will end up with the current parties for a while, then they will start to split. We will have
- 2 conservative parties from the current one
- NDP will split between old school union NDP'ers and new school Naomi Klein style social issue NDP'ers
- emergence of ethnic parties in certain regions of Canada. No reason why the 'Pan-Asian' party could not win in parts of Vancouver

Without a good national discussion and thing about the outcomes, we risk putting Canadian politics down the road of ruin.

May 13, 2016, 10:37 a.m.
Posts: 3465
Joined: May 23, 2006

Did we get a referendum when the conservatards tabled and passed their unfair elections act, restricting citizens' right to vote and limiting the powers of Elections Canada to investigate electoral fraud?

No of course we didn't but the Libs plan is just as sleazy - basically freezing out the NDP/Greens with this 1st/2nd/3rd choice shit.
Just do proportional representation ffs and get it over with.
Peoples seemed to be best represented by minority govts. here in the past p/r would be a version of that, no?
Except that the NDP/Greens would wield greater influence and that's unpalatable to the capitalist swine who run this dump.

Freedom of contract. We sell them guns that kill them; they sell us drugs that kill us.

May 13, 2016, 10:39 a.m.
Posts: 354
Joined: June 11, 2013

The Libs were pretty clear that they were going to do electoral reform during the election, so were the NDP, it was a huge part of their platform and one of the major issues in the election. The Conservatives were against electoral reform, because the existing system benefits their party greatly.

There already was a referendum, the Cons lost and are now trying to sandbag the process.

I don't know if I buy that. It was part of their platform, but it was not a 'major' part. It was never focused on, never any real thought given to it, no proposal as to what it would be. The last Canadian election run on a single issue was likely NAFTA when Mulroney won, something as important to Canada as electoral reform really needed to be debated during the election to be considered 'major'.

I just worry that we're imposing a new system on Canadians that many will not see as legitimate. Once our system loses it's legitimacy, we're in trouble as a country.

What happens if the "Ontario-Quebec" party forms and controls parliament permanently? How would that impact the west ? A new voting system could risk the existence of Canada.

May 13, 2016, 10:40 a.m.
Posts: 14378
Joined: Feb. 19, 2003

I really like the stability of the FPTP system. Yes, we get majority governments with under 40% of the vote, but, the government knows it can be turfed and tends to become more centrist when in power.

I don't think I'd agree that Harper became more centrist.

And a sitting government with an elected majority can't "be turfed", a general election would need to be called. What you are describing is more likely to happen with a minority governement/coallition via a non-confidence vote. This scenario is more likely to occur in a proportional representation system.

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