Thursday, October 16, 2008

Proportional Representation

With the election over we again hear calls for proportional representation, mostly from those that didn't get anyone elected, but here is something Elizabeth May or anyone else always fail to mention in their PR pr.

If we adopt some form of PR in Canada we would NEVER again have an independent elected to Parliament.

Think about that for a moment.

Think about last night and both André Arthur and Bill Casey.

Think back to 2004 and Chuck Cadman.

Think about an average person never again being able to run for Parliament unless they were members of some national political party .

That would not be a step forward for democracy, it would be a step backwards.


Wayne Smith said...

It is the current system that makes it almost impossible for independents to get elected.

Both proportional systems being considered for Canada, MMP and STV, allow voters to vote for an independent candidate without losing their ability to participate in choosing a government.

Proportional representation would make it much easier for an independent to get elected.

Frankly, it's not a significant consideration. Almost all voters vote for a party or a leader, not for a local candidate.


Ardvark said...

"Frankly, it's not a significant consideration. Almost all voters vote for a party or a leader, not for a local candidate."


Chris said...

Maybe I'm wrong, but with MMP, wouldn't it be that whoever gets the most votes in a riding gets elected (say, an independent), and then there's a pool of non-local candidates to even out the proportion of seats for the parties? It's only been a year since the Ont. referendum and I've forgotten how it works. Although I realize the ridings would be bigger as a result so it might be harder for an independent to gain recognition in a larger area.

I think I like STV better, because I can rank my choices. However, either way, we'd certainly never see a majority again. Perhaps that could be a good thing, though. But... I want my Harper majority in 2011! (Too soon?) ;)

Surecure said...

It's pointless to even talk about PR at this time. We had a referendum on it only 2 years ago. To even consider discussing it again anytime soon is a waste of time.

The voters have spoken on PR. They said no. Time for those wanting PR to take a break because we're not going back there for a long time.

wilson said...

PMSH should invite Casey into cabinet.
And invite a number of Liberals (Mulcair?) elected in Quebec into cabinet as well.

PMSHs cabinet is small and could be increased easily to include elected MPs from other parties.
Expand cabinet re: economy, and Quebec issues.

Anonymous said...

The larger the riding the less chance of a local independent getting elected.

If you go to a 2 vote system the second vote is made for a party and again independents would be getting the shaft.

Anonymous said...

What happens to an independent who comes in second place such as Jim Ford in Sherwood Park? How do his voters get their choice recognized in a prop rep system?

Pissedoff said...

Wilson I usually agree with your comments, but this time as far as I see it Harper has enough MPs from Quebec. He doesn't need other Mps from Quebec, at least not in cabinet. If Montreal wants to be Libs, let the buggers.
To get a majority then fine.

Wayne Smith said...

Here is the final report of the Ontario Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform:

It's easy reading. Read it, and you will know exactly what was proposed, by whom, and why. This is far more than the people of Ontario knew when they voted against it. Not their fault, most of them didn't even know there was a referendum on. McGuinty made sure of that.

The ridings were to be reduced from 107 to 90, which would make them a bit larger. That's a problem, because they are already too large. They are identical to the federal ridings, a cost saving measure that didn't save any money, brought in by Mike Harris, but don't get me started.

To create the list seats, you have to either reduce the number of ridings or increase the size of the Legislature. The Ontario CA decided to do both so they wouldn't have to do too much of either. This was a noble attempt at compromise, but pleased nobody.

In fact, there is an excellent case to be made that the size of the Ontario Legislature should be doubled, but try telling that to a taxpayer.

In any case, the size of the ridings and the Legislature, and the number of list seats, are features of the particular proposal, not of the system. These are details that can and will be adjusted later.

Wayne Smith said...

Here's why the question of PR is not settled in Ontario.

As for why PR is now the hot question in Canada, check your election results and compare them to the popular vote totals. In particular, note the following:

- Green Party: 940,000 voters supporting the Green Party sent no one to Parliament, setting a new record for the most votes cast for any party that gained no parliamentary representation. By comparison, 813,000 Conservative voters in Alberta alone were able to elect 27 MPs.

- Prairie Liberals and New Democrats: In the prairie provinces, Conservatives received roughly twice the vote of the Liberals and NDP, but took seven times as many seats.

- Urban Conservatives: Similar to the last election, a quarter-million Conservative voters in Toronto elected no one and neither did Conservative voters in Montreal.

- New Democrats: The NDP attracted 1.1 million more votes than the Bloc, but the voting system gave the Bloc 50 seats, the NDP 37.

Ardvark said...

I say PR should get the same shot as the referendums did in Quebec.

How about best 3 out of 5?