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So you want to have an election and break from Canadian tradition by not allowing the party with the most seats the opportunity to form a government? Why do you hate Canada? Why do you hate democracy and freedom?

It's actually a perfectly legal move and has been used in other democratic countries

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If Mulcair wins, and Rae does end up permanent Liberal leader Harper will be the baby. Assuming Harper doesn't pull a Mulroney in 2015 that is.

In 2015 Rae will be 67, Mulcair will be 61 and Harper will be 56.

I never thought of it like that.

Also, apparently Romney is 65 today. I don't think I would have even guessed 60. Or approaching 60.

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old people don't care about young people like me, they are out of touch with the youth

What do you expect when you invent something as lowbrow as hiphop?

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agreed,

So is prorogation, and I am encouraged to learn that you support PM Harper every time he chooses to use it, since legality is your major motivator.

that is true, and liberals have used it before..harper can prorogue as much as he wants then

that wouldn't stop the ndp and lpc from making a coalition and going to the GG

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No it doesn't.

You are correct, it does not (coalition governments), but there is a general perception out there with mainstream voters that it does. I fall in the middle on the issue. I think I would be comfortable with a coalition government made up of parties where none of which received the greatest number of seats if the "winning" party only won a handful of seats more than the 2nd place one. With a 63 seat spread in 2008 between the first place party and the 2nd place one, the prospect of a coalition power play seemsed a lot less appealing and the majority of Canadians felt so at the time. Not the mention the fact that it would have made Stephane Dion Prime Minister less than 2 months after he was rejected overwhelmingly by Canadians when he was running for that job. The fact that it would have been propped up by a party determined to break up the country is a side issue, but it made it all the more questionable.

So here is a hypothetical. With the Bloc out of the equation now that stick cannot be used by Harper next election (assuming they do not mount a huge comeback). If Harper does get bumped down to a minority, preferably a thin one (20 seats or less) and the NDP combined with the Liberals eclipsed the Tories by the same number, or more, I think a coalition government would be far easier to stomach. If the Tories though came within 5-10 seats of a majority, I think it would be a far more difficult sell for the opposition parties to make, just like in 2008.

Of course, the answer to this dilemma is really electoral reform. Mixed-Member-Proportional, and that way coalition governments will most likely be a necessity for anyone to govern. I think that's where the real education should be.

Edited by UofGPolitico
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You are correct, it does not (coalition governments), but there is a general perception out there with mainstream voters that it does.

You're quite right. We have been hearing these calls for electoral reform every since Harper first won a minority. Nobody cared before!

The Tory-haters want this because they think it will give them more power, plain and simple. They know they can't compete under the present system so they want to change the rules. Period and end of story.

For the record, I would never want to see a coalition government where the losers took power! I could never consider that anything but a tyranny of the minority.

The worst scheme I ever saw was the one put on the ballot for PR a couple of elections ago. They actually wanted to put MPPs in power from a list CHOSEN BY POLITICIANS!

The most flagrant abuse of power one could imagine and yet they seriously proposed it!

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You're quite right. We have been hearing these calls for electoral reform every since Harper first won a minority. Nobody cared before!

Well the NDP and Greens have always cared because it would benefit them more, but I suppose you could be correct.

For the record, I would never want to see a coalition government where the losers took power! I could never consider that anything but a tyranny of the minority.

Well, not really. Because they'd be seizing power from another party which did not command the votes of the majority either.

The worst scheme I ever saw was the one put on the ballot for PR a couple of elections ago. They actually wanted to put MPPs in power from a list CHOSEN BY POLITICIANS!

The most flagrant abuse of power one could imagine and yet they seriously proposed it!

To be fair, no political party with power in Ontario wanted that referendum. An interest group was able to go through all the loop holes to force it on the ballot.

Edited by UofGPolitico
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For the record, I would never want to see a coalition government where the losers took power! I could never consider that anything but a tyranny of the minority.

Stephen Harper cut a back door deal with the NDP & Bloc to oust the Liberals but chickened out at the last minute

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You are correct, it does not (coalition governments), but there is a general perception out there with mainstream voters that it does. I fall in the middle on the issue. I think I would be comfortable with a coalition government made up of parties where none of which received the greatest number of seats if the "winning" party only won a handful of seats more than the 2nd place one. With a 63 seat spread in 2008 between the first place party and the 2nd place one, the prospect of a coalition power play seemsed a lot less appealing and the majority of Canadians felt so at the time. Not the mention the fact that it would have made Stephane Dion Prime Minister less than 2 months after he was rejected overwhelmingly by Canadians when he was running for that job. The fact that it would have been propped up by a party determined to break up the country is a side issue, but it made it all the more questionable.

So here is a hypothetical. With the Bloc out of the equation now that stick cannot be used by Harper next election (assuming they do not mount a huge comeback). If Harper does get bumped down to a minority, preferably a thin one (20 seats or less) and the NDP combined with the Liberals eclipsed the Tories by the same number, or more, I think a coalition government would be far easier to stomach. If the Tories though came within 5-10 seats of a majority, I think it would be a far more difficult sell for the opposition parties to make, just like in 2008.

Of course, the answer to this dilemma is really electoral reform. Mixed-Member-Proportional, and that way coalition governments will most likely be a necessity for anyone to govern. I think that's where the real education should be.

I don't think I'm convinced and the reasons are highlighted. Well, examples are. I'm not saying I can't be swayed but I'm one of those mainstream voters you mentioned. Part of my problem is with the case by case basis. I don't have a problem with coalitions in general and I like the compromise it somewhat forces but if we have one party win more of the vote than the 2nd place party I don't see how allowing that 2nd place party to form a government doesn't go against the voters.

I'm open-minded though.

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Even as a supporter of the NDP, I'm not comfortable with MM-PR. I don't like the idea of having party lists that can be exploited by the parties' leaders. These MPs would be nothing more than sock puppets for the leadership.

Moreover, they have no constituents, so what work would they do? Would they earn the same salary as a regular MP without constituents to address?

Another problem is that MM-PR proposes to "top-up" the parties by bringing them up to the amount of representation they ought to have earned from popular vote. Notwithstanding, the Conservatives have 53.9% of the seats with 39.62% of the votes. The Bloc Quebecois was even worse the previous election earning 15.91% of the seats with 9.98% of the vote (>50% more seats). There is no mechanism for adjusting an over-representation, not that I'm suggesting there should be. Regional concentration will always benefit parties and arguably it should.

Finally, you're adding more seats to the House and thus increasing the cost of government through more salaries and pensions. These party lists will be a ranking of patronage appointees or merely failed candidates, like the shadow MP in Irwin Cotler's riding. This is an odd position for the NDP to support when they're so keen on getting rid of the Senate on similar grounds.

MM-PR, imo, is not the way to go if we're going to change from FPTP. I don't know what would be better, but I lean towards the IRV (Instant Run-off Voting) system and its variants. I probably wouldn't support a pure IRV system, as there needs to be a mechanism to avoid getting 1% (3 seats) fringe parties in the House. Also, I wouldn't require voters to rank every candidate. Voters would instead be directed to rank as many candidates as they like. Thus, if they only wanted to choose a single candidate and did not want their vote to be transferred they wouldn't be forced to, as they do in Australia. The downside, of course, is that the system is complicated for those who would rather not rank candidate.

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According to a lot of people. Like it or not Harper won.

We don't have a presidential system. Harper won a seat in Calgary. In a Parliamentary system, the government only governs with the confidence of Parliament. Saying that one party with a plurality but a minority of seats should be able to govern regardless of Parliament's preferences is an attitude that undermines Parliamentary democracy: this is tyranny of the minority.

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