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bill_barilko

Single Transferable Vote

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RM,

Again, with name calling. When you compare FPTP to a dictatorship, you show yourself as being strident and you lose my interest.

Who am I supposed to be calling a name? FPTP was not designed to be dictatorial but the parties have usurped almost all of the power and made it so.

The 'system' doesn't need to reflect the population, but the result should.

As I'm amply demonstrated, the result does not reflect the population.

As I have said, we have a good balance now.

For the major parties, sure.

The NDP holds the Liberals' feet to the fire, and sometimes can get something good done. I think that Quebec has more power within Canada than befits its population, and I think that helps keep them in confederation. I think they would not accept reduced regional representation.

Quebec would not have reduced representation, only the Bloc would have reduced representation. The Bloc does not represent the view of all Quebeccers.

BTW, nationally the NDP supports PR as does Ontario's provincial NDP. But as an NDP supporter, you must know that, right?

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You continue to bring up the Green Party. While the Green Party is a readily available example of discrimination in our FPTP system, STV and PR are about giving proper representation to parties, not the Green Party.

It was you who brought the Federal GPC into the discussion of PR.

Someone then talked about radical rightwingers holding the balance of power, just like others have brought far left groups into the discussion.

Mr. McHale campaigns are grounded upon Racism and Inequality. I brought forth an independant candidate who didn't win, but did exceed a party you are familiar with. He received 10% of the vote.

What you have suggested is that this person would have a better chance at getting elected under a PR system.

This scares the hell out of me.

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Mr. McHale campaigns are grounded upon Racism and Inequality.
It is not a theoretical risk. STV opened the door for Maori rights party in New Zealand. I realize that the "only-whites-can-be-racist" types out there will likely think that is a good thing but I see all parties which put race forward as their identifying attribute are equally vile. STV makes it a lot easier for such parties to get into government. Edited by Riverwind

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Let's say we lived in a country where 50%+1 of the people consistently voted for a single party. This would mean that 49% of the population would never have any say in the government. I assume this would be ok with you because democracy says the majority rules?

The point I am trying to make is people who only represent 10% of the population have no business believing that their minority views should be 'represented' in the government on a regular basis. Trying to manipulate the system in a way that gives too much power to these minority views actually undermines the principals of democracy.

The philosopher Plato contrasted democracy, the system of "rule by the governed", with the alternative systems of monarchy (rule by one individual), oligarchy (rule by a small élite class) and timocracy [rule by landowners, etc].

No one ever said that 'rule by the majority' is a principle of democracy.

Democracy means that all people - all views - are equally represented.

That requires more diverse representation, and more intelligent politics.

We need that.

badly

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Democracy means that all people - all views - are equally represented.
A fine sentiment that is completely impractical in reality because certain segments of the population have views which are fundamentally incompatible with the values of the majority. Putting a system in place that gives these minority views the power to impose these views on the majority is wrong headed. Edited by Riverwind

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A fine sentiment that is completely impractical in reality because certain segments of the population have views which are fundamentally incompatible with the values of the majority. Putting a system in place that gives these minority views the power to impose these views on the majority is wrong headed.

They're not imposed. They are just represented. As they are in the country. Big deal.

So ... are you saying that democracy ... "rule by the people" is "impractical" because people might disagree with the 22% 'majority'?

:blink:

What principle of 'democracy' is that? :lol:

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It was you who brought the Federal GPC into the discussion of PR.

Someone then talked about radical rightwingers holding the balance of power, just like others have brought far left groups into the discussion.

Mr. McHale campaigns are grounded upon Racism and Inequality. I brought forth an independant candidate who didn't win, but did exceed a party you are familiar with. He received 10% of the vote.

What you have suggested is that this person would have a better chance at getting elected under a PR system.

This scares the hell out of me.

It doesn't scare me at all. First of all, under STV, he would still need to get the same number of votes as he does under FPTP - he just gets to draw them from a wider area. If he's as big a wingnut as you suggest, he likely won't draw outside of his own little constituency. Second, if he does become a contender, the media are going to start noticing him. They're not known for being kind to racists. Finally, even if he gets elected, then what? He's one MP out of 308.

I guess the bottom line here is that democracy demands that you have faith that most of the people are going to make good choices. There have been plenty of knuckle-draggers elected under the banners of the Reform and Conservative parties that have had some views that are either silly or just downright offensive. I don't go and suggest that we change the voting rules to prevent their constituents from electing them. Ralph Klein stood up in legislature and essentially said that it was good that Pinochet overthrew a democratically elected government because it was socialist in nature. People with questionable views can be elected in any system and you're mistaken if you think that the party system weeds them out.

Finally, just because someone holds the balance of power (as you put it), it doesn't automatically follow that the other parties have to accept whatever they propose. The parties need to ensure they are upholding their principles.

Bottom line: I think you're fear-mongering and trying to make an issue where none exists.

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They're not imposed. They are just represented. As they are in the country. Big deal.

So ... are you saying that democracy ... "rule by the people" is "impractical" because people might disagree with the 22% 'majority'?

:blink:

What principle of 'democracy' is that? :lol:

Apparently, having a minority dictate what happens is OK but only if that minority gets a majority of seats thanks to the arbitrary nature of FPTP elections. It all makes perfect sense - you just need to medicate more heavily. :blink:

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So ... are you saying that democracy ... "rule by the people" is "impractical" because people might disagree with the 22% 'majority'?
I am saying that some times (actually most fo the time) the minority needs to be told to go pound salt because the majority disagrees. Look at the issue of abortion. 25% of the population disagrees with the practice and would like to see restrictions. Are you suggesting that the majority should sacrifice access to abortion because of this minority view? Would you be ok with restrictions getting imposed because some pro-life party representing 10% of the population demanded that as a price for supporting the government?

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Apparently, having a minority dictate what happens is OK but only if that minority gets a majority of seats thanks to the arbitrary nature of FPTP elections. It all makes perfect sense - you just need to medicate more heavily. :blink:
The minority in FPTP might elect the government but the system provides incentives that require that the winner to consider the interests of the people that did not vote for them. A system that gives the balance of power to parties representing a much smaller minority provides incentives that result in the majority opinion getting overridden.

For example, In the current system the Tories have a strong incentive to tell their pro-life backbenchers to pound salt. In a system where those same pro-life backbenchers were elected to a separate pro-life party the Tories would have to make concessions to the pro-lifers if they wanted to form government.

To make matters worse, pro-choice right of center voters would have no choice but to accept these odious concessions because the alternative (e.g. Liberal concessions to the Green party) would be much worse.

Bottom line: when evaluating political systems one must look at how they work in practice given the range of political opinion in the country. Arguments based on abstract number crunching are meaningless because they don't take into account the incentives created by the system.

Edited by Riverwind

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Arguments based on abstract number crunching are meaningless because they don't take into account the incentives created by the system.

And yet, when we account for the dismal number of voter turnouts and the disincentive to vote that the system has created...the argument is labled as being meaningless.

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And yet, when we account for the dismal number of voter turnouts and the disincentive to vote that the system has created...the argument is labled as being meaningless.
That assumes that there is a connection. I think non-voters would simply find another excuse if the system was changed and that dropping participation rates are not a justification for changing the system.

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That assumes that there is a connection. I think non-voters would simply find another excuse if the system was changed and that dropping participation rates are not a justification for changing the system.

There's a connection alright. I think your assumption that non-participants are merely looking for excuse not to vote is about as disdainful and arrogant as it gets in this debate. Its no wonder democracy is such a worthless excersize to you.

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That assumes that there is a connection. I think non-voters would simply find another excuse if the system was changed and that dropping participation rates are not a justification for changing the system.

It also assumes non-participation is a bad thing.

I prefer to look at it as a positive type of self-selection, whereby those who are interested in participating in democracy make the effort to do so. Bringing democracy to everyone might be a noble cause, but it would be better if people weren't so lazy, that they would bring themselves to democracy.

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It doesn't scare me at all. First of all, under STV, he would still need to get the same number of votes as he does under FPTP - he just gets to draw them from a wider area. If he's as big a wingnut as you suggest, he likely won't draw outside of his own little constituency.
Unfortuneately you don't understand the situation. A person from outside the riding came in banged the drums and in a very short period of time, got a solid following. If the net is wider, it could well give him the extra votes, as there are people who share that mindset, but their votes have never been able to be brought into a heavy concentration.

You have suggested, not me, that it is easier for independants to get elected, and whereas it is very unlikely for McHale to overthrow Dianne Finley, a PR system could give him a larger platform.

Second, if he does become a contender, the media are going to start noticing him. They're not known for being kind to racists. Finally, even if he gets elected, then what? He's one MP out of 308.
I don't want to see that person sitting in the HOC.

As for the Media, they created McHale. Gave him alot of publicity. And yes they knew exactly what he was about. Media didn't only start to notice him, they haven't found the "ingore" button yet.

He has been on Local Television, radios and newpapers and it was this publicity that led to his parachuting into the riding.

But, thanks for downplaying what could happen in a PR system.

Quite Frankly he could get elected in a FPTP system with a minority of the vote. But he would have to do alot more then beat the Green Party, or nip at the heels of the NDP. He would actually have to beat the machines of the LPC and CPC.

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There's a connection alright. I think your assumption that non-participants are merely looking for excuse not to vote is about as disdainful and arrogant as it gets in this debate. Its no wonder democracy is such a worthless excersize to you.
I have little patience for whiners blaming the system for their personal short comings. Almost every riding has independent and/or minority parties running. A vote for one of those is recorded and does result in funding (at least in the case of parties). This means there is no such thing as a wasted vote for those that really care. Edited by Riverwind

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There's a connection alright. I think your assumption that non-participants are merely looking for excuse not to vote is about as disdainful and arrogant as it gets in this debate. Its no wonder democracy is such a worthless excersize to you.

It is a fact that people find better things to do then vote. I could preach PR till the cows come home, and voter turnout isn't going to change. Voting is an activity that nearly half of Canadians don't believe in.

"I don't vote" means I DON'T VOTE.

It doesn't mean, I don't vote because of the system.

In fact, taken to extremes, I know a person who believes that if he doesn't vote the system will collapse.

I don't believe in politics or I don't trust politicians, or they are all out to screw me, or it doesn't matter who I vote for they all do the same thing, is commonly heard.

Non Participants are non participants. Getting people interested is difficult at the best of time.

PR could give voter turnout a bump. But I wouldn't expect the voter turnout like we see in other countries.

If you want voter turnout, mandate it like in Australia.

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I have little patience for whiners blaming the system for their personal short comings. Almost every riding has independent and/or minority parties running. A vote for one of those is recorded and does result in funding (at least in the case of parties). This means there is no such thing as a wasted vote for those that really care.

While I disagree with the CHP on many issues, the CHP have some excellent policies. I am not certain if the CHP would be represented in a PR system.

That would be a wasted vote, if you believe that votes are wasted.

I know for a fact that those 500 die hard CHP voters show up every election and not once have their supporters indicated they are wasting their vote.

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I know for a fact that those 500 die hard CHP voters show up every election and not once have their supporters indicated they are wasting their vote.
Exactly. Democracy is about standing up and making your opinion known even there are not enough others with the same opinion to make a difference.

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It also assumes non-participation is a bad thing.

I prefer to look at it as a positive type of self-selection, whereby those who are interested in participating in democracy make the effort to do so. Bringing democracy to everyone might be a noble cause, but it would be better if people weren't so lazy, that they would bring themselves to democracy.

According to professor of political science Dennis Pilon, PR doesn't improve voter participation that much but the type of voter changes. He said that under the current system informed voters quite understandably come to the conclusion their vote doesn't matter very much, particularly in certain 'safe' ridings. Instead, in close ridings you have lots of voters who aren't very well informed coming out when the party does a 'we need to bring out the vote' emergency call.

The more knowledgeable voters come out under PR because they can see that their votes matter.

I should add, though, that non-participation is a bad thing. Democracy requires people to get involved.

Edited by ReeferMadness

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It is a fact that people find better things to do then vote. I could preach PR till the cows come home, and voter turnout isn't going to change. Voting is an activity that nearly half of Canadians don't believe in.

"I don't vote" means I DON'T VOTE.

It doesn't mean, I don't vote because of the system.

In fact, taken to extremes, I know a person who believes that if he doesn't vote the system will collapse.

I don't believe in politics or I don't trust politicians, or they are all out to screw me, or it doesn't matter who I vote for they all do the same thing, is commonly heard.

Non Participants are non participants. Getting people interested is difficult at the best of time.

PR could give voter turnout a bump. But I wouldn't expect the voter turnout like we see in other countries.

If you want voter turnout, mandate it like in Australia.

What evidence do you have for your beliefs about why people don't vote?

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Exactly. Democracy is about standing up and making your opinion known even there are not enough others with the same opinion to make a difference.

So democracy is an exercise where you exercise futility once every four years. How inspiring.

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The more knowledgeable voters come out under PR because they can see that their votes matter.

I should add, though, that non-participation is a bad thing. Democracy requires people to get involved.

Reefer,

Well, more knowledgeable voters would be a good thing.

I agree that Democracy requires people to get involved; it requires people to get involved, not for the system to kowtow to laziness and indifference.

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The more knowledgeable voters come out under PR because they can see that their votes matter.
Any voter who does not vote because they think it 'does not matter' does not deserved to be called 'knowledgeable'. Self absorbed and narcissistic is probably a better description. The people that I know who are knowledgeable but dissatisfied with the main parties will always find a minority candidate to park their vote with (many end up voting Green).

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So democracy is an exercise where you exercise futility once every four years. How inspiring.
There is nothing futile about casting a vote. It is niave to think that one vote makes a difference no matter what the system. More importantly, public opinion polls have more of an effect on government policy than elections.

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