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Author Topic: Ottawa stalling on PR?
Wilf Day
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posted 22 September 2005 04:54 PM      Profile for Wilf Day     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Broadbent blasts Liberals for voting-reform delays:
quote:
Mr. Bélanger told The Globe and Mail this week that cabinet will not meet the timeline set out in June by an all-party report of the Commons procedure committee. That report called for a consultation process that would begin Oct. 1 and produce recommendations for actions by Feb. 28, 2006. The minister said cabinet will announce its plans within the next four weeks.

"This is an act of incredible cynicism," said Mr. Broadbent, who said the blame must rest with Prime Minister Paul Martin.

"Mr. Martin himself was recently at the UN and he talked about empty rhetoric going on about UN reform. Well, this is another example of empty rhetoric, promises made by the Liberal government, that have been betrayed."

He said the NDP caucus had yet to discuss whether the government's announcement would be enough to warrant voting to defeat the government when Parliament returns.

Liberal MP Don Boudria, who chairs the Commons procedure committee, said there may be a logical reason for the delay and that he will wait to hear the government's plan before commenting.

Mr. Boudria said Mr. Broadbent's outrage is poorly timed.

"We don't know if the delay is going to be one week or two weeks and ripping our shirt in public because there's a few days [of] delay -- if that's what it is, because we don't know yet -- does not serve a useful purpose," he said.

"If there is a delay now, let's wait and see how long it is first and get excited if need be, as opposed to the other way around," he said.

Fair Vote Canada, a group that advocates a new voting system, said Mr. Bélanger's comments make a "mockery" of the government's Throne Speech pledge in October of 2004, which instructed the Commons procedure committee to recommend a process for studying the issue.

Mr. Smith noted that the Quebec government had made a similar pledge to study the issue at the same time as the federal government and has kept the issue moving forward.

"All four parties agreed with the report but the government is backing away.



From: Port Hope, Ontario | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Burns
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posted 22 September 2005 07:13 PM      Profile for Burns   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
This is probably the best opportunity to test the public resonance of this issue. I've always been cynical about the need for reform and skeptical that the public cares. But this is amazingly crass - even by Liberal standards. People should be mad.
From: ... is everything. Location! Location! Location! | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 22 September 2005 07:15 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The fact that the BC government is considering running the STV referendum again is a good sign, though, and should be used to push the federal government to implement PR.
From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Being
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posted 22 September 2005 07:33 PM      Profile for Being   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post
I have to say I wholeheartedly support electoral reform involving PR. I would also like to add that there should be a more equitable distribution of electoral districts. Urban voters are getting less bang for their buck, as there are way more electors in urban electoral districts than in rural ones.

With true democracy in this country we could pound the Conservatives into the Stone Age.


From: Toronto | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Aric H
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posted 22 September 2005 09:15 PM      Profile for Aric H     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Changing the electoral system of a country is a massive change and needs to be examined seriously. There is also the point that while this would benefit the NDP it would not benefit the other parties in the same way and so naturally that is a factor.
From: Canada | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged
Aristotleded24
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posted 22 September 2005 09:27 PM      Profile for Aristotleded24   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Being:
I have to say I wholeheartedly support electoral reform involving PR. I would also like to add that there should be a more equitable distribution of electoral districts. Urban voters are getting less bang for their buck, as there are way more electors in urban electoral districts than in rural ones.

Then why is all the attention paid to Ontario voters and how they will react? Ontario has more seats than every other province. When we hear people talking about "voterich Ontario" the implicit message that sends to every non-Ontarian is "you don't matter." I've talked to people here in Manitoba who feel that voting is pointless because the election is over once the ballots from Ontario have been counted. When you consider that we span 6 time zones and the population isn't evenly spread out or uniformly dense, for electoral reform movements to be credible they have to involve a discussion that builds a check into the system to prevent the sheer numbers in the more populated regions from overriding everyone else.


From: Winnipeg | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
Wilf Day
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posted 23 September 2005 12:25 AM      Profile for Wilf Day     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Aric H:
while this would benefit the NDP it would not benefit the other parties in the same way . .

It would benefit other parties more in many provinces, if voters had voted as they did last year.

Here it helps the Liberals most:

Alberta: Liberals 6 (not 2), NDP 3 (not 0), Greens 2, Conservatives 17 (not 26).

Manitoba: Liberals 5 (not 3), Conservatives 6 (not 7), NDP 3 (not 4).

Here it helps the Liberals and NDP equally:

Saskatchewan: Liberals 4 (not 1), NDP 3 (not 0), Conservatives 7 (not 13).

Here it helps the Conservatives most:

Quebec: Conservatives 7 (not 0), Liberals 26 (not 21), NDP 3, Green 2, Bloc 37 (not 54).

Here it helps the Conservatives and NDP equally:

New Brunswick: Conservatives 3 (not 2), NDP 2 (not 1), Liberals 5 (not 7).

PEI: Conservatives 1 (not 0), NDP 1 (not 0).

Here it helps the NDP most, but the Conservaties almost as much:

Ontario: NDP 19 (not 7), Conservatives 34 (not 24), Greens 5, Liberals 48 (not 75).

Here it helps the NDP most:

BC: NDP 10 (not 5), Liberals 10 (not 8), Greens 2, Conservatives 13 (not 22).

Nova Scotia: NDP 3 (not 2), Conservatives still 3, Liberals 5 (not 6).

Nfld & Lab: NDP 1 (not 0), Conservatives still 2, Liberals 4 (not 5).

quote:
Originally posted by Aristotleded24:
for electoral reform movements to be credible they have to involve a discussion that builds a check into the system to prevent the sheer numbers in the more populated regions from overriding everyone else.

Agreed.

First, PR doesn't change the number of seats each province has.

Second, no one advocates province-wide lists for Ontario. The North, for example, should be its own region, so that any MPs from "top-up lists" in the North would come from a list nominated in and by the North.

Brandon, Manitoba is interesting. If you were one of the Manitoba members of a Canadian Citizens' Assembly designing a PR system, and assuming Manitoba had 8 local MPs and 6 regional MPs, so you had a local Brandon-Portage seat, would you want province-wide lists for Manitoba? Would you want a three-seat region in southern Manitoba: your seat, a local Provencher-plus seat, and a regional MP? Or a six-seat non-Winnipeg region (4 local, 2 regional?)

[ 23 September 2005: Message edited by: Wilf Day ]


From: Port Hope, Ontario | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Wilf Day
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posted 23 September 2005 12:07 PM      Profile for Wilf Day     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Burns:
This is probably the best opportunity to test the public resonance of this issue.

Chantel Hebert agrees -- "Face it, our election system no longer works:"

quote:
Opponents of proportional representation have a point when they raise the spectre of recurring minority parliaments. But they tend to overstate both the ills of minority governments and the virtues of majority rule.

The successive minority governments of Bill Davis in Ontario in the '70s and those led by Mike Pearson in the '60s were all more productive than average. On the other hand, Brian Mulroney's last majority government lurched from crisis to crisis without resolving any of them.

It is certainly not the minority status of his government that drives Prime Minister Paul Martin to act like the star of a political version of the movie Groundhog Day, forever recycling a mission statement that never seems to translate into consistent marching orders. . .

For all of his flowery texts about governance, the script uppermost on Martin's mind at this point is securing a majority in the next election.

Canadians can continue to wait for the superhero who will manage to rebuild an alternative governing coalition to the Liberals. That task will be Herculean, as it inevitably involves wrestling the Bloc Québécois out of the way.

The alternative is to admit that the shape of the federal landscape has changed permanently and that a more responsive election system is needed to allow democracy to continue to navigate its way through it.



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Aristotleded24
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posted 23 September 2005 06:55 PM      Profile for Aristotleded24   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Wilf Day:
Second, no one advocates province-wide lists for Ontario. The North, for example, should be its own region, so that any MPs from "top-up lists" in the North would come from a list nominated in and by the North.

Brandon, Manitoba is interesting. If you were one of the Manitoba members of a Canadian Citizens' Assembly designing a PR system, and assuming Manitoba had 8 local MPs and 6 regional MPs, so you had a local Brandon-Portage seat, would you want province-wide lists for Manitoba? Would you want a three-seat region in southern Manitoba: your seat, a local Provencher-plus seat, and a regional MP? Or a six-seat non-Winnipeg region (4 local, 2 regional?)

[ 23 September 2005: Message edited by: Wilf Day ]


I don't exactly understand how the list system works. Could someone please explain that?

As for the North, I think it's time to start discussing provincial status and thus grant the region the same autonomy that the other provinces have.


From: Winnipeg | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
RANGER
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posted 23 September 2005 07:54 PM      Profile for RANGER     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I'll try for you, a pure list system can be either open or closed (or flexible- not common but very interesting) Open means you the voter can choose an "individual" whether an independant or from a party, Closed means you choose a party and they will basically serve up the candidate,

The list portion of an MMP system is made up of candidates that cover regions, for simplicity, if a province had 100 seats and 50 came from ridings and 50 came from regions it would be similar to how Germany votes, 2 votes (one constituency, one region) in Wales I believe it's more like 70 constituency, 30 from regions, still two votes but less proportional because the 70 constituencies would be FPTP, the advantage to this in my opinion is that local representation is better because in a provincial context ridings would be smaller under a 70/30 as opposed to a 50/50, there are many more variables like the amount of regions and how they are calculated but that mine is a very simplified example.

It will be interesting to see what Ontarians think is the best version of MMP for their province, they are very fortunate to have that opportunity.

Not an expert, but I hope that helps a bit.


From: sunshine coast | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged

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