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Michael Hardner

Proportional Representation Discussion

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Yup that's exactly what happened in Ontario.

A lot of money was spent by the dalton libs to pretend to address PR while sabotaging the referendum.

It should not be in the hands of politicians, nor even party members, but a non partisan group.

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The "many parties" aspect of PR gives me great pause in wanting to strongly consider it. We almost experienced what could happen back in the Dion/Layton/Duceppe "coalition" days. That's precisely the type of coalition that could result with PR. For years, the Bloc got a sizable share of the popular vote - and in a PR setting, they could command a substantial say in a coalition government. These regional and single-cause parties may reflect more of an emotional vote than one that is directed to the betterment of the country as a whole - yet these parties tend to weaken the mandate of the coalition - and thus the leadership of the country.

Parry proliferation and single-issue parties are exactly the main problems with PR. There is a strong temptation to form parties, say, that may be anti-abortion or pro-bicycle. If they intrigue 3% (or whatever the floor is) of the voters they become possible coalition partners if an aspiring PM needs 1 or 2 more members to form a government.

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So the multi-party aspect of PR is a strength, imv.

Ok. You must admit though that we're likely to have perpetual minority governments, and also more than likely Liberal-NDP coalitions more often than not.

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Even the "lunatic fringe" might have some good input on legislative topics unrelated to their 'lunacy'.

The "lunatic fringe" can advocate for their position outside of parliament. If they have good ideas the mainstream parties should consider them. The fact that they might have good ideas is not an argument for putting them in a position where they can use blackmail to impose their bad ideas on the country. Edited by TimG

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once the left is back in power PR is out the window.

Keerect, though the left will never actually be in power just as the right will never be.

In Canada all governments are a tad to the left of dead center on a political spectrum. Occasionally they veer ever so slightly a compas poit from that, then flee back when the angry shouts of 'COMMIES' or 'SECRET FASCIST AGENDAS' start echoing.

We have an immediate and growing problem in this country with regard to our inability to build the simplest infrastructure to insure economic stability for the future. We cannot even agree on a Parliamentary policy to deal with sexual harassment, something small companies do routinely in a few hours.

I have no interest in any form of goverance that slows decision making and action stemming from a decision. That includes endless coalition governments. Vote. Consider. Vote again. Decide. Act. And Repeat.

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I think we've had enough fearmongering about the scary 'coalitions'.

I think we've had enough of your nonsense about our non-democratic democratic system and how 'divisive' it is. The relationship between inclusiveness and divisiveness isn't as real as you think it is.

In our minority governments, parties have always collaborated to address every piece of legislation, with the minor parties sometime voting together to defeat bills, or one or another of them sometimes voting with the party in power to pass legislation.

Except not. Hardly any bills get defeated because it usually leads to loss of supply and/or non-confidence. What we usually see, therefore, is a tense game of chicken where confidence in the government has a lot more to do with approval ratings and general attitude rather than the issues or bills themselves.

In my opinion, this is a very healthy form of governance...

I believe that collaboration across ideological lines produces the best quality of policy and governance...

I think such collaboration is the hallmark of sophisticated leadership....

So the multi-party aspect of PR is a strength, imv.

In your opinion, in your view, what you believe and what you think, however, don't appear to be based on much.

Edited by Moonbox

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Ok. You must admit though that we're likely to have perpetual minority governments, and also more than likely Liberal-NDP coalitions more often than not.

I think the power (and corporate cronyism and corruption) of what have been

the two major parties will be seriously challenged, and that would be a breath of fresh air for our democracy.

I disagree with your fearmongering with the 'scary coalition' bogeyman. :/

That's just a poison pill the cpc throws out to stop any discussion of PR.

Please read my post above, for what I say about flexible collaboration on issues and legislation.

You see, there are more possibilities for better governance if you think outside the constraints of the current party structures, because there would be more parties, more diversity of views and less corporate corruption and control of public money.

.

Edited by jacee

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I think we've had enough of your nonsense about our non-democratic democratic system.

Well you can't shut me up, so don't read it and definitely refrain from replying.

Except not. Hardly any bills get defeated because it usually leads loss of supply and/or non-confidence.

True. The cross-party collaborative work is done in committee, so the outcome is usually known before it goes to the House. That wouldn't change.

What we usually see, therefore, is a tense game of chicken where confidence in the government has a lot more to do with approval ratings and general attitude rather than the issues or bills themselves.

In your opinion, in your view, what you believe and what you think, however, don't appear to be based on much.

Nor yours. Edited by jacee

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The "lunatic fringe" can advocate for their position outside of parliament. If they have good ideas the mainstream parties should consider them. The fact that they might have good ideas is not an argument for putting them in a position where they can use blackmail to impose their bad ideas on the country.

Oooo! The scary "blackmail" boogeyman too!

Poison pills everywhere!

Why do some people try to stifle the discussion of PR? Surely if the current system is so wonderful, it can survive a public discussion!

Could be that the outcome will be a renewed understanding and respect for the current system. Who knows at this point?

It's just a discussion.

.

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I think the power (and corporate cronyism and corruption) of what have been

the two major parties will be seriously challenged, and that would be a breath of fresh air for our democracy.

Cronyism is a problem no matter which interest group is behind it.

In the current system, you have more change than you would have under PR.

I disagree with your fearmongering with the 'scary coalition' bogeyman. :/

When you say 'fearmongering' you're imagining that I'm trying to make people afraid. Let's leave my motivations out of it for the moment and address the point. As I see that you didn't answer my questions.

You see, there are more possibilities for better governance if you think outside the constraints of the current party structures, because there would be more parties, more diversity of views and less corporate corruption and control of public money.

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Business will have power in Canada at the end of the day. You can't make that change. The question is how much power. We have a balance that is right in the middle of all nations right now. If we change it, I believe that they will mobilize to create a Canadian Republican party of cloned John Tories that will never go away no matter how many times you chop your axe.

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Well you can't shut me up, so don't read it and definitely refrain from replying.

My comment was tongue-in-cheek, copying your own comment on how you'd "heard enough" of your opponents' fear-mongering. Clearly it went over your head.

True. The cross-party collaborative work is done in committee, so the outcome is usually known before it goes to the House. That wouldn't change.

Even the committee work is usually just smoke-and-mirrors, with the minority party generally getting little/no say in the final outcome.

Nor yours.

I'm not the one crying for change. The justifications need to go beyond your vague feelings, opinions, and beliefs, otherwise you're just advocating change for the sake of change. Fluffy grass-is-greener notions don't really cut it.

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Even the committee work is usually just smoke-and-mirrors, with the minority party generally getting little/no say in the final outcome.

Well if it's as bad as you paint it, maybe we are due for a change.

.

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Cronyism is a problem no matter which interest group is behind it.

In the current system, you have more change than you would have under PR.

How so?

When you say 'fearmongering' you're imagining that I'm trying to make people afraid. Let's leave my motivations out of it for the moment and address the point. As I see that you didn't answer my questions.

Business will have power in Canada at the end of the day. You can't make that change. The question is how much power. We have a balance that is right in the middle of all nations right now. If we change it, I believe that they will mobilize to create a Canadian Republican party of cloned John Tories that will never go away no matter how many times you chop your axe.

You know the defining thing about the 1% & the 99% is ... that there are lots more of us than there are of them, and we each get a vote.

So bring on the corporate corruption party!

I think most Canadians would enjoy NOT voting for a fringe party like them. :D

.

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How so?

In the last 30 years, we had Conservatives from 1984 to 1992 roughly, then liberals until 2006 or so, then conservatives for the last 8 years. Under PR we would have had Liberal minority governments the entire time, as much as you can guess these things.

You know the defining thing about the 1% & the 99% is ... that there are lots more of us than there are of them, and we each get a vote.

Yes, but the way to win power is to win peoples' hearts not to win by negative campaigning or gerrymandering either.

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Much of the financial turmoil in countries like Greece, Spain Portugal etc. can be blamed on governments elected by proportional representation.

Sorry but that is rubbish. In Greece most parties can disagree on domestic policies but they are very unanimous on foreign policy, which means cheat as much out of the EU as you can.

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FPTP functions as a system as long as the two main parties get more than 90% of the combined vote nationally. As soon as there is a third or perhaps a fourth strong national party and maybe a party with a small national support but a strong support in a particular regional area the results of the elections under the FPTP-system become totally capricious.

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I think we've had enough of your nonsense about our non-democratic democratic system and how 'divisive' it is. The relationship between inclusiveness and divisiveness isn't as real as you think it is.

Except not. Hardly any bills get defeated because it usually leads to loss of supply and/or non-confidence. What we usually see, therefore, is a tense game of chicken where confidence in the government has a lot more to do with approval ratings and general attitude rather than the issues or bills themselves.

In your opinion, in your view, what you believe and what you think, however, don't appear to be based on much.

Jacee tends to express his/her self through emotion. He/She has a profound, almost irrational dislike for anything Conservative. PR is the latest ploy to justify a seething belief that Harper should not be the Prime Minister.

Edited by Keepitsimple

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Canada is known for its electorate being, what the editors call fickle, which means that there are not that many bastions or strongholds for one party in any particular area.

In the UK under the FPTP-system if you are a Tory-voter living in Northern-England or a Labour voter living in SE_england you can just as well not bother to turn up at the election because your vote is going to be wasted. About 50% of overall votes in the UK-elections are wasted votes.

I think this is a fundamental flaw in the FPTP-system. Everyone's vote should be of equal value all across the country. Another argument against the FPTP-system is that its main argument is that it always returns a government with a majority.

Except that it doesn't. You've had two elections in Canada where the election didn't return one party with a majority and the lates UK election was another example.

Moreover, even when the system produces a single-party majority it is often grotesquely undemocratic like in the UK-elections of 2005 when the Labour-party received 35% of the votes but received 55% of the seats. Call it what you want but it is not democracy.

Do I totally detest FPTP? Mostly yes but if there is one argument to be made in favour of FPTP it is as follows: FPTP according to its critics always returns white middle-aged men as MP's and excludes minorities. Well, I really do support a system where white middle-aged men are the decision-makers instead of some barely out of their nappies hippies.

But in all seriousness, the FPTP is a relic and it should go.

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In the last 30 years, we had Conservatives from 1984 to 1992 roughly, then liberals until 2006 or so, then conservatives for the last 8 years. Under PR we would have had Liberal minority governments the entire time, as much as you can guess these things.

Ya, a cozy corrupt duopoly.

So let's change it up a bit more, make the trained seals do some real work on behalf of Canadians, have a purpose instead of just a paycheque, collaborate across party lines to do whats best for ALL Canadians ... people focused, not party.

Once elected, they are all accountable to all of us.

Yes, but the way to win power is to win peoples' hearts

PR has to do that, and is.

not to win by negative campaigning or gerrymandering either.

Tell that to Harper. :/

That's why PR is gaining so much steam even Harper himself has to give lip service to it.

.

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In the last 30 years, we had Conservatives from 1984 to 1992 roughly, then liberals until 2006 or so, then conservatives for the last 8 years. Under PR we would have had Liberal minority governments the entire time, as much as you can guess these things.

Yes, but the way to win power is to win peoples' hearts not to win by negative campaigning or gerrymandering either.

I'd just like to see all votes count. Every riding can tally up the votes. And whoever is gets the most out of the three (major parties) wins that riding. However over several ridings the individual votes could show a completely different story. Proportional representation is not very bad in my opinion. Why should 10,000 people in one province have as much say as 1,000,000 in another? Even if you go with an individual vote, areas that are less populated could still get the shaft.

I would also like to throw away the idea of a political party. I want to be able to vote for someone based on their policy and not because they wear a certain badge. Then people with that same policy can band together on that topic for some appropriate action. You might actually get them working more together across party lines to start taking into consideration stuff that actually matters to Canadians.

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Well if it's as bad as you paint it, maybe we are due for a change.

So you say, but the last thing I want is more government by committee. I'll pass on PR.

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The CPC is catching up in the polls. Better start saying that another win by them would be completely illegitimate.

If JT wins with less than 40% no one is going to say bleep.

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I'd just like to see all votes count.

I don't agree with that slogan, as it implies that losing votes aren't "counted".

Why should 10,000 people in one province have as much say as 1,000,000 in another? Even if you go with an individual vote, areas that are less populated could still get the shaft.

Regionalism is an important aspect of Canadian democracy. Try telling Quebec or the West that their locally elected representatives such as the Bloc should be elected based on national support. Areas with low population are traditionally over-represented.

I would also like to throw away the idea of a political party. I want to be able to vote for someone based on their policy and not because they wear a certain badge.

Parties form naturally.

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