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interesting op piece in the globe n mail(maybe it was the Hearld) today by andrew coyne...suggesting the progressive parties come together for one election to bring in electoral change, running only one candidate in each riding defeating the conservatives with the sole intention of changing our very flawed electoral system and once that is done(1 or 2 years) holding another election back under their separate party platforms...

It's got my approval biggrin.png

Edited by wyly

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No system is going to be perfect. America's system allows for crippling checks and balances where little can actually be done.

Maybe there is some merit to little being done except where there is a consensus for change. For example, in the U.S. Obama used some quirks in Senate and House rules to force through health care changes. If those work as poorly as I expect maybe people will realize that there are reasons for requiring a consensus for major change.

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Didn't the Democrats actually gain more votes in the recent House of Representatives elections than the Republicans but thanks to the gerrymandered electoral districts, the Republicans still won a majority?

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Didn't the Democrats actually gain more votes in the recent House of Representatives elections than the Republicans but thanks to the gerrymandered electoral districts, the Republicans still won a majority?
Ah no. Just like in Canada, rural districts tend to have fewer people than urban districts. This is not gerrymandering - this is a basic feature of representational democracy that only becomes an issue if the skew is too large. Edited by TimG

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Didn't the Democrats actually gain more votes in the recent House of Representatives elections than the Republicans but thanks to the gerrymandered electoral districts, the Republicans still won a majority?

No. If that happened what happened was that the urban districts ramped up their support for Obama. It would have no effect if it didn't spill outside to other districts.

Ah no. Just like in Canada, rural districts tend to have fewer people than urban districts. This is not gerrymandering - this is a basic feature of representational democracy that only becomes an issue if the skew is too large.

Not true since the Baker v. Carr "one man one vote" decision. Except perhaps for states where the total population is under the size of an average district, such as Alaska.

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No. If that happened what happened was that the urban districts ramped up their support for Obama.

Why do you suppose that is?

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Why do you suppose that is?

Just keep those checks coming. It's back to the plantation but this time with a black master.

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Isn't there PR in use in the provincial elections in British Columbia?

No, we cocked that up and we're still stuck with the same old same old.

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What should be the goal of an electoral system?

What special considerations or interests need to be protected?

What is the best possible system to achieve your goal?

The electoral system should be able to provide people with a government, and ideally, one that is stable enough to call itself a government. What is "Stable"? This differs from country to country. Coalitions have never been done here in Canada on a federal level, whereas in Europe, they are done all the time. Thus an electoral system that provides a coalition in Canada would not be as stable as one in in Europe. Each country thus has a different "need" for a different electoral system.

One of the most important things you need, beyond a stable government, is a healthy opposition. You could easily make a law that says the party that gets the most votes wins all 308 seats, but even the most ardent FPTP supporter would see that is a terrible idea. Creating and sustaining a healthy opposition is important. This is again, where countries become involved. In the US it might not matter if some area or state has 0 opposition members, but in a country as regionalized as Canada, it matters a great deal. A good electoral system will thus ensure that the Liberals win seats in Alberta and the Tories win seats in Montreal.

For Canada the best system is like that used in Japan. FPTP with a few PR seats. The important thing is that we do not do the usual PR thing, but rather, use a parallel system, like in Japan. This means, in short, that if your party wins 40% of the vote, they win 40% of the PR seats, regardless of how many FPTP seats they've won. Using a system like this would give the opposition a presence in all regions, while also allowing the government to bolster it's weaker areas, and, retain it's majorities.

An example can be found here: http://www.mapleleafweb.com/forums//index.php?showtopic=20318&st=195#entry865903

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At the very least an electoral system should provide people with honest governance that can be trusted. If it can't, it's a waste of time.

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At the very least an electoral system should provide people with honest governance that can be trusted. If it can't, it's a waste of time.

The BC NDP governments sure provided that. </sarcasm>

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What exactly is the formula used to define the number of seats in the Canadian House of Commons? I can see it has been 308 for the past four elections. I can also see that there seems to be no regard for odd or even number of seats as previously there were 301 seats and 295 but then again 282.

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What exactly is the formula used to define the number of seats in the Canadian House of Commons? I can see it has been 308 for the past four elections. I can also see that there seems to be no regard for odd or even number of seats as previously there were 301 seats and 295 but then again 282.

Current formula is simple.

305 seats for the provinces, 1 for each of the 3 territories.

No province can have less seats than it had in 1974

Quebec has to have the same share of seats before the adjustment as after.

The formula formula was even simpler

272 seats for the provinces, 1 each for the 3 territories (and future territories)

No province can have less seats than it had when this formula was introduced (1974)

Adjustments to the boundaries are done after each census.

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Current formula is simple.

305 seats for the provinces, 1 for each of the 3 territories.

No province can have less seats than it had in 1974

Quebec has to have the same share of seats before the adjustment as after.

The formula formula was even simpler

272 seats for the provinces, 1 each for the 3 territories (and future territories)

No province can have less seats than it had when this formula was introduced (1974)

Adjustments to the boundaries are done after each census.

Thanks for that.

Funny how one province, in this case Quebec, has been chosen as a benchmark.

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Thanks for that.

Funny how one province, in this case Quebec, has been chosen as a benchmark.

Prior to 1974 the formula was (and I don't remember if it was 75 or 65 so forgive me if I get them mixed up) but it was:

Quebec gets 75 seats

Whatever the population-per-seat Quebec happens to get from this is what the other provinces get

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http://www.elections...sentation_e.htm

The original formula was a Quebec formula, where Quebec had 65 seats and all the other provinces had ridings equal to that.

Also, no province could lose seats unless it lost more than 5% of it's population.

In 1915 it was amended so no province could have less MPs than Senators.

In 1946 it was changed to give the provinces 255 seats

In 1951 it was amended so no province could lose more than 15% of their seats in a single adjustment

In 1974 it was changed to some complicated crap, with large and small and medium sized provinces and so on and so forth, etc, but at it's core, it was a Quebec based formula, with Quebec getting 75 seats. Remember that the old 1915 No-Less-MPs-Than-Senators was in effect at this time.

In 1981 they realized the 1974 formula was crap, so they changed it to what I outlined earlier.

And finally in 2012 they changed it to what I also outlined earlier.

Note that the "Grandfather Clause" - that says no province can have less MPs than they had in 1974, means the "Senatorial Clause" is pointless, since that clause was in effect in 1974, thus in order to have less MPs than Senators, you'd need to have less MPs than you had in 1974. The Grandfather Clause, however, is just part of the election act, while the Senatorial Clause is part of the Constitution.

Current formula:

http://www.elections...nt=index〈=e

"Electoral quotient" was determined by dividing 305 by the population of all the provinces combined.

305 was chosen as it happened to be the number of seats in the provinces at that time.

Interesting to note that in 1915 the change was forced by the courts, while all the other changes (1946, 1951, 1874, 1981) were done by Liberal governments. The current formula is the only one done by a Conservative government since Confederation (though it could be argued the original 1867 formula was done by Conservatives, but that was prior to confederation)

Also interesting that the current formula represents the largest increase in raw numbers (30) and share (9.7%) to the House of Commons since confederation

...

I think. I'm pretty sure and usually I check this stuff before claiming it, but I'm full of Christmas Cheer at the moment, so I'll check it later if anyone wants to challenge it.

Edited by TheNewTeddy

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On my last line

04 = 1871 = 2.21%

15 = 1872 = 8.11%

06 = 1873 = 3.00%

05 = 1882 = 2.43%

04 = 1887 = 1.90%

-2 = 1892 = -.93%

01 = 1903 = 0.47%

07 = 1907 = 3.27%

13 = 1914 = 5.88%

01 = 1915 = 0.43%

10 = 1924 = 4.26%

00 = 1933 = 0.00%

10 = 1947 = 4.08%

07 = 1949 = 2.75%

03 = 1952 = 1.15%

-1 = 1966 = -.38%

18 = 1976 = 6.82%

13 = 1987 = 4.61%

06 = 1996 = 2.03%

07 = 2004 = 2.33%

30 = 2012 = 9.74%

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And list the countries where the PM was from a party that got more than 50% of the vote?

Britain, in most elections besides the last one, and a few during the mid-1970's. Canada, in 1984.

Ah no. Just like in Canada, rural districts tend to have fewer people than urban districts. This is not gerrymandering - this is a basic feature of representational democracy that only becomes an issue if the skew is too large.

We're actually pretty close to having solved that problem. Only Alaska and a few other states have a smaller than average population for their one congressional district, since every state is guaranteed one representative.

It is true that the apparent popular vote for a party can be skewed by uber-majorities in some districts and close elections for other districts.

Edited by jbg

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No. If that happened what happened was that the urban districts ramped up their support for Obama.

Why do you suppose that is?
Dead or unqualified voters in some cases.

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BC and Ontario have asked voters if they would like to change the FPTP system and in both cases people choose to stick with the status quo. That is evidence that our system is good enough to meet the required goals.

I think it would be more accurate to say that the referendums are evidence that our system is simply more desirable than the alternatives proposed according to the voting public. This doesn't say anything about meeting goals or that people are satisfied with the FPTP system.

Edited by Moonlight Graham

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