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» babble   » from far and wide   » nfld, labrador, pei, ns, nb   » Why is the 60% hurdle wrong for a referendum?

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Author Topic: Why is the 60% hurdle wrong for a referendum?
Brian White
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posted 31 October 2005 11:55 PM      Profile for Brian White   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
BECAUSE In a choice between 2 options one option now just needs 40% to win and another needs 60% to win.
That is totally unfair and undemocratic.
A natural majority is 50%+1
Anyone who suggests change requires overwhelming force is a stick in the mud who is trying to rob voters of their rights.
What does this 40 60 divide really mean?
Simply that one no vote is worth 1.5 yes votes.
Whatever became of one person one vote?
Do not let politicians cheat you out of having a meaningful and fair result in the upcoming referendum in PEI. Join fair vote Canada now and uphold your democratic right to a vote that counts the same as someone elses.
Ask your local politician where they stand on this issue.
Do not vote for someone who denys you that basic human right.
Brian White

From: Victoria Bc | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
white rabbit
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posted 01 November 2005 09:04 AM      Profile for white rabbit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I agree completely Brian. It's a subversion of democracy for a government to unilaterally declare that 60% is a required threshold in order to approve
a referendum. The standard should be 50% plus one. It's in the interests of the PEI government to set the bar this high. The corrupt system of old line party politics is so deeply entrenched on PEI that
it would require a virtual revolt to overturn it.

From: NS | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 01 November 2005 10:39 AM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Whatever became of one person one vote?

It evolved into the idea of "quorum".

My guess is that if a 50%+1 quorum of voters decided to sell your province to the United States, you'd be the first to scream bloody murder and insist that something like that is way too important and way too permanent to chance going 50.01%/49.99%.

Or would you say "the majority has spoken", even as you recite the Pledge of Allegiance?


From: ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Stunned Wind
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posted 01 November 2005 11:21 AM      Profile for Stunned Wind     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Right now our government is selling bits of our province with less than 50% support. That is, they have a majority of the house with less than half the vote. And when it comes to selling bits of BC they don't need to ask us directly what we think! They have a mandate!
From: Well! Now I'm in Victoria-Swan Lake! | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
Brian White
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posted 01 November 2005 11:36 PM      Profile for Brian White   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, Mcgoo, it is much harder to get 50% +1 of the general population to sell out than, say, a foul mouthed guy with the same first name as me, and his 150 or so puppets in parliament.
Those people were "elected" with less than 50% support and in the view of most people i have spoken to, they sold out.
And your distaste for the idea of democracy marks you as an "aristocrat" or "upper class" person who doesnt think the ordinary soul is smart enough to make up their own mind.
Either you prefer to live in a democracy or you don't. 1 person 1 vote is democracy.
Giving 1.5 votes to each of your friends is not democracy.
Brian

From: Victoria Bc | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Ron Webb
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posted 01 November 2005 11:53 PM      Profile for Ron Webb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I agree that 50%+1 is the only natural test, and that includes things like Constitutional changes. On the other hand, there needs to be a certain amount of "hysteresis", for lack of a better word, so that fundamental issues like national boundaries and human rights do change on a whim. Instead of artificially high barriers to change, I think the rule should be that certain fundamental changes require a number of consecutive votes over a period of time, repeatedly affirming society's support for the change.

So instead of a 60% threshold in a single vote, I'd say that if 50%+1 vote that a particular province no longer belongs in Canada, and they say the same thing next year and the year after, only then should the change be made.


From: Winnipeg | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 02 November 2005 12:05 AM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Those people were "elected" with less than 50% support and in the view of most people i have spoken to, they sold out.

But they'll be out in 4 years. Is the same true of your referendum? If it turns out to be a horrible mistake, will you have the opportunity to rectify it in 48 months?

My understanding is that that's why there's a higher cutoff for "big" decisions like "should we separate?" or "should we totally rework our electoral system?"

quote:
And your distaste for the idea of democracy marks you as an "aristocrat" or "upper class" person who doesnt think the ordinary soul is smart enough to make up their own mind.

An "aristocrat"?

quote:
Giving 1.5 votes to each of your friends is not democracy.

Ya, they're my golfing buddies and I owe them one. It's a big conspiracy of "aristocrats"


From: ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Stunned Wind
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posted 02 November 2005 01:15 AM      Profile for Stunned Wind     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Ron Webb:
. . . On the other hand, there needs to be a certain amount of "hysteresis", for lack of a better word, so that fundamental issues like national boundaries and human rights do NOT change on a whim. . .
Did you forgot an important word??

Hysteresis is a great word that I don't get to see too often.

Repeated referenda is an interesting idea. Guess we are going to do that here in BC.

[ 02 November 2005: Message edited by: Stunned Wind ]


From: Well! Now I'm in Victoria-Swan Lake! | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
Brian White
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posted 03 November 2005 02:23 AM      Profile for Brian White   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It is pretty glib to say they are out in 4 years and then to compare it to a referendum decision.
They are out after 4 years because they DIDNT do what they said they would do. They didnt do what the voters DIRECTED them to do.
There is a big difference.
A referendum decision cannot lie.
Your understanding is faulty. Giving people on one side in a yes-no decision 1.5 votes each compared to people on the other side with 1 vote each is plain and simple cheating.
You wouldnt accept it in an election if buddys voting for the other party gat 1.5 votes and you got just one.
Why would anyone in their right mind think it was fair in any other circumstance?
It is wrong wrong wrong.
Dont let your lieing premier away with it.
He is giving his people 1.5 votes for every 1 vote the others get.
Morally bankrupt cheating lowlife is a pretty accurate discription of what he is doing.
Mr. Magoo
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posted 02 November 2005 12:05 AM
quote:
Those people were "elected" with less than 50% support and in the view of most people i have spoken to, they sold out.

But they'll be out in 4 years. Is the same true of your referendum? If it turns out to be a horrible mistake, will you have the opportunity to rectify it in 48 months?

My understanding is that that's why there's a higher cutoff for "big" decisions like "should we separate?" or "should we totally rework our electoral system?"

quote:
And your distaste for the idea of democracy marks you as an "aristocrat" or "upper class" person who doesnt think the ordinary soul is smart enough to make up their own mind.

An "aristocrat"?

quote:
Giving 1.5 votes to each of your friends is not democracy.

Ya, they're my golfing buddies and I owe them one. It's a big conspiracy of "aristocrats"
From: ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø, | Registered: Dec 2002 | IP: Logged


From: Victoria Bc | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 03 November 2005 10:27 AM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
It is pretty glib to say they are out in 4 years and then to compare it to a referendum decision.
They are out after 4 years because they DIDNT do what they said they would do. They didnt do what the voters DIRECTED them to do.
There is a big difference.

Uh, my point is that the voters get another chance every four years. If, to use a current example, 50.0001% of Quebec residents voted to separate from Canada, there wouldn't be another opportunity to revisit that decision in 4 years.


From: ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Stunned Wind
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posted 03 November 2005 11:25 AM      Profile for Stunned Wind     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, John Ibbitson discusses the 60% thresholds for PEI briefly in his column in the Globe and Mail today. He mostly talks about how good PR would be for Canada and why its not coming soon.
From: Well! Now I'm in Victoria-Swan Lake! | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
No Yards
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posted 03 November 2005 11:54 AM      Profile for No Yards   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
If 50% plus 1 vote for a new law or policy that requires a future 60% majority to change the new law or policy, then what is one to do?

I guess, 50% plus 1 could vote-in a new constitutional law that says that it only requires 50% plus 1 to change any future law, but then all it would take is 50% plus 1 to over-ride this constitutional law.

One can quickly see the vast potential for this to turn into a meaningless system that would surely "devolve" into a system that by necessity required the vote on major issues to be set to something more demanding that 50% plus 1.

I've never believed that "democracy" required that majority rule be the ultimate determination. I do believe that 50% plus 1 votes can be used as a starting point for requiring further official study and discussion, but the measure of a democracy is a strong constitution that protects the people, and not a more efficient "polling" system.


From: Defending traditional marriage since June 28, 2005 | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 03 November 2005 12:19 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I've always thought "50% + 1" is too narrow a margin to break up a country, but that's me.

edited to add: after sovereignty, can another govt. down the road have a referendum to re-join the federation - and after a "50% + 1" referendum victory? A separatist referendum victory leading from a "50% + 1" margin is NOT an overwhelming mandate to secede. If we accept "50% + 1" as the standard for breaking away from Canada, then the anti-separatists could force another referendum down the road by having a Quebec-wide plebiscite under the same rules to re-join the federation. Am I missing something here? I think the UN or some body needs to give some guidance on this, rejecting outright the thin margin of "50% + 1" as sufficient to break up a country. A full 2/3's majority should be required, in my opinion. Breaking up a country is too serious to be allowed by the thinnest (50 + 1) margins.

Accepting "50% + 1" as a mandate for sovereignty means that fully half the province, less 2%, does not support the idea of breaking away from the federation, and this can only breed resentment and another referendum on overturning the mandate to secede. A 2/3's majority is definitive. 50% + 1 is NOWHERE near definitive enough.

[ 03 November 2005: Message edited by: Boom Boom ]


From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Stunned Wind
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posted 03 November 2005 05:31 PM      Profile for Stunned Wind     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
And what if Quebec, once separated, wanted to come back? Why would they get to do that without the rest of the country having something to say about it? Why it would it only be their decision? Separating is a one way trip - coming back would be much harder.

If we have a say about their coming back, then why doesn't the rest of the country have a say about them leaving in the first place?

[I suppose that this is topic drift?]


From: Well! Now I'm in Victoria-Swan Lake! | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 03 November 2005 07:13 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It's because of all these questions that I think the bar must be raised to require a 2/3's majority to leave the federation. 50% + 1 simply isn't good enough.
From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Andrew_Jay
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posted 03 November 2005 08:24 PM      Profile for Andrew_Jay        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
50%+1 simply isn't good enough for major decisions, it has to be demonstrated that the overwhelming majority of society agrees with a proposal.
From: Extremism is easy. You go right and meet those coming around from the far left | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
cco
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posted 03 November 2005 08:34 PM      Profile for cco     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Boom Boom:
edited to add: after sovereignty, can another govt. down the road have a referendum to re-join the federation - and after a "50% + 1" referendum victory?

Of course. Newfoundland and Labrador joined with a 52% vote, IIRC. The Liberals could run in the first post-sovereignty election on a platform of going back to Canada. The PQ isn't terribly worried about Québecers voting to rejoin Canada; rarely has any sovereign state renounced its independence to become part of another (the only contemporary example I can think of is Belarus, which has been trying to re-join Russia [and being rebuffed by Russia] since it ended up independent with the dissolution of the USSR. Of course, Belarus is a dictatorship, not a democracy).

As you pointed out (and as Belarus demonstrates), if sovereignty made Québec a basket case economically, there's no guarantee Canada would accept Québec back into the federation. Also, I think there's a good probability that at least some of the hardest-core federalists would leave Québec after a separation, making the threshold for returning that much harder to reach.


From: Montréal | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 03 November 2005 08:38 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Thanks for the reminder about NL. I'd still like to see the threshold for an important event like separation raised to a clear majority, 2/3's sound reasonable to me. I'm going to be writing a lot of letters on this subject to MP's and see how they respond. May even send one to the UN.
From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Wilf Day
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posted 03 November 2005 09:17 PM      Profile for Wilf Day     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Let's get real here. Right now government supported by only 40% of voters make huge decisions.

It's certainly right to say that the mere election of a secessionist government does not give it the mandate to secede, if it was elected under such a skewed system. That's why a referendum to secede is necessary.

However, artificial thresholds just don't work. Look at ex-Yugoslavia. If more than 50% vote a secessionist government into power, and more than 50% then vote to secede in a referendum, trying to hold them against the will of the majority is a formula for civil war. No thanks.


From: Port Hope, Ontario | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Ron Webb
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posted 03 November 2005 09:44 PM      Profile for Ron Webb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Andrew_Jay:
50%+1 simply isn't good enough for major decisions, it has to be demonstrated that the overwhelming majority of society agrees with a proposal.
Here's what I don't understand: if 51% want something, and 49% want the opposite, why should the 49% have their way just because that happens to be the status quo?

From: Winnipeg | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
Brian White
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posted 03 November 2005 10:01 PM      Profile for Brian White   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
All your twists and turns boom boom and mcgoo.
Just to allow a minority to get their way.
I got this today from England. HG Wells stood for democratic ideals. His words then apply just as much today to the pei guys who try to prevent an improvement to their system.
(MMP was not yet invented at that time)
"H G Wells on PR/STV
"British political life resists cleansing with all the vigour of a very dirty
little boy." --
My favorite quote from H G Wells on Parliament's resistance to PR/STV, in
1918.
For a bibliography, with quotations, of Wells' writings on the subject,
Ive put up a web page: World peace thru democracy: H G Wells' neglected third
phase.
Its URL is:
http://www.voting.ukscientists.com/welsdemo.html


Yours sincerely,
Richard Lung.


From: Victoria Bc | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Brian White
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posted 03 November 2005 10:13 PM      Profile for Brian White   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I just got this from Fair Vote Canada
"If you're not aware, Premier Binns
announced the
same 60/60 threshold used in BC. Also, he announced they'll
only open 25% of
the usual polling stations - and he may not act on the
result if there is a
"low" (undefined) turnout."
If this happened in zimbabwe or Iraq, you guys would be up at arms at the trampling of democracy.
Complacency rules in Canada.
WAKE UP
A 60% threshold means that supporters of one side in the arguement are getting 1.5 votes each while supporters of the other side get just 1 vote each.
It aint right and it probably aint legal.
Where are the legal and human rights advocates to prevent this trampling of basic democratic values?

From: Victoria Bc | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Stephen Gordon
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posted 03 November 2005 10:46 PM      Profile for Stephen Gordon        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Ron Webb:
Here's what I don't understand: if 51% want something, and 49% want the opposite, why should the 49% have their way just because that happens to be the status quo?

Quite right. If 51% choose to slaughter the remaining 49%, why should that 49% have their way, just because they happen to be alive?

[ 03 November 2005: Message edited by: Stephen Gordon ]


From: . | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged
RANGER
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posted 03 November 2005 11:23 PM      Profile for RANGER     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Quote:
They are out after 4 years because they DIDNT do what they said they would do. They didnt do what the voters DIRECTED them to do.
There is a big difference.
A referendum decision cannot lie.

-------------------------------------------------

Voters don't direct, THEY VOTE and most hope they don't get screwed by the people that they put their trust in, yes a big difference,

As far as a referendum being a liar? From what we've seen in B.C. 3% knowledge turns into 57% approval in a matter of days?

BE AFRAID very AFRAID


From: sunshine coast | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 03 November 2005 11:28 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Originally posted by Brian White:
All your twists and turns boom boom and mcgoo.
Just to allow a minority to get their way.

I find your posts somewhat incomprehensible, but at least I can respond to this one line.

How are we a minority? We're at least half the population that does not want Quebec to secede.

That may have changed in the short term because of Gomery, but it remains to be seen how the next referendum will turn out.


From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Ron Webb
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posted 03 November 2005 11:33 PM      Profile for Ron Webb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Stephen Gordon:
Quite right. If 51% choose to slaughter the remaining 49%, why should that 49% have their way, just because they happen to be alive?
Conversely, if 51% vote to stop the slaughter, why should such a slim majority be allowed to put an end to a fine tradition, eh?

From: Winnipeg | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
Stephen Gordon
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posted 04 November 2005 12:12 AM      Profile for Stephen Gordon        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
That's an extraordinarily lame response; do the math.
From: . | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged
Ron Webb
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posted 04 November 2005 12:19 AM      Profile for Ron Webb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
If it's lame, Stephen, you shouldn't have any trouble in answering it. Why does your example have merit, while mine is lame?

The assumption you're making is that the status quo should take precedence over any proposed change, all other things being (approximately) equal. That is an attitude more suited to a conservative, isn't it? Hardly progressive...


From: Winnipeg | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
Woodford
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posted 04 November 2005 12:37 PM      Profile for Woodford     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
A few people mentioned the 52% vote of Newfoundlanders to join Canada.

Well... that means that pretty much half of the voting NFLD didnt want to a part of Canada. Since the referendum in 1948 anti-confederation and anti-Canada notions are heard everyday. Today the streets are filled with young and old wearing "Republic of NFLD' & Free NFLD t-shiirts. Most 40+ Newfoundlanders consider themselves a NFLDer first, and a Canadian second.. if that,, with as well as a lot of the youth thinking this. There are soo many older people in the province now days who still want nothing to do with Canada, hate Joey Smallwood, and refuse to clamn themselves as a Canadian.

The seperating from Canada notion has been here since Confederation in 1949. NO ONE forgets that the vote was just over half, no one.

With all that said... i do think that the 50 + 1 vote is wrong. A strong majority should be voted for, none of this 51-49... or in NFLD's case 52-48.

If Quebec seperates with a margin like this... it will be the same as here in NFLD, but only 100x worse.

I think it should be 60-40% for sure. This is a major decision... that should have a major majority or votes.


From: st john's | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
white rabbit
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posted 04 November 2005 04:24 PM      Profile for white rabbit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Woodford:
A few people mentioned the 52% vote of Newfoundlanders to join Canada.


With all that said... i do think that the 50 + 1 vote is wrong. A strong majority should be voted for, none of this 51-49... or in NFLD's case 52-48.


I think it should be 60-40% for sure. This is a major decision... that should have a major majority or votes.


In 1999, Australians voted in a referendum on whether to become a republic. They voted on whether to keep the Queen as head of state. The
winning side required a majority of 50% (plus one).

If this formula was acceptable for Australia, it should be fine for Canada's smallest province of PEI.


From: NS | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 04 November 2005 05:00 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
If this formula was acceptable for Australia, it should be fine for Canada's smallest province of PEI.

And you could equally easily say that if 60/60 is good enough for BC, it should be fine for Canada's smallest province of PEI.

I'm betting that most of the critics of a 60% quorum are also hoping the vote passes. Am I right? Is that what this is really about? Or is it truly a case of principle?

As I asked above, if Canadians held a vote to consider joining the United States and being governed by George Bush, would any of you seriously fight the need for a 60% majority on that vote? Would you really argue, in that case, that if 50%+1 of us said yes, we should all be forced to say the Pledge of Allegiance and pay for health care out of our own pockets?

I seriously doubt that.


From: ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Stunned Wind
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posted 04 November 2005 05:08 PM      Profile for Stunned Wind     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
If we need 60% to pass a new electoral system then why shouldn't we need 60% to KEEP the status quo? This treats each choice equally. But what happens when neither reaches the 60% threshold? We end up in a conundrum of not knowing what to do!

The 50% + 1 is the only one that treats each choice equally while providing a definitive answer either way.


From: Well! Now I'm in Victoria-Swan Lake! | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 04 November 2005 05:15 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
If we need 60% to pass a new electoral system then why shouldn't we need 60% to KEEP the status quo?

Because the status quo is a known entity. Because it won't cost the taxpayers any money to "switch to" the status quo.

Think of it this way: you're considering picking up stakes and moving across the country. Obviously you're only going to do that if you really, really want to, because it's a big undertaking and it's going to cost you a lot of money to do so. Clearly the move and the status quo don't get equal opportunity. If you're 50/50 on the idea, you'd likely choose to stay where you are. With no clear and obvious preference, why put yourself through that?


From: ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Ron Webb
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posted 04 November 2005 08:02 PM      Profile for Ron Webb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Binns has set a 60 per cent province-wide threshold as a sign Islanders want change, and he added that 16 of the Island's 27 electoral districts will also have to vote in favour of the new system....

During a call-in show on CBC Radio Friday the premier said a vote close to the levels he's set could trigger a second plebiscite.
CBC News, P.E.I..


I'm not sure if Binns has this in mind, but it suggests an interesting modification of my idea: either a strong (60%) majority, which would bring the amendment into force immediately, or repeated results at the 50%+1 level, which would bring it in after several years. I could go with that.

From: Winnipeg | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
white rabbit
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posted 04 November 2005 08:10 PM      Profile for white rabbit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Magoo:

I'm betting that most of the critics of a 60% quorum are also hoping the vote passes. Am I right? Is that what this is really about? Or is it truly a case of principle?

As I asked above, if Canadians held a vote to consider joining the United States and being governed by George Bush, would any of you seriously fight the need for a 60% majority on that vote?
I seriously doubt that.


I definitely hope the new system is approved. In
this particular circumstance, where Islanders will be discouraged from making the effort to vote due to the few numbers of polling stations, it benefits the vested interests if the 60% threshold is not met. This PEI vote, although important to Islanders, will not have the paradigm-shifting consequences of the scenario you have described
in which Canada is absorbed by the US. If a vote with such high stakes were ever to occur, voting should be mandatory for all citizens.


From: NS | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
Erik Redburn
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posted 04 November 2005 10:08 PM      Profile for Erik Redburn     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
If STV leads to George W Bush becoming an MP then I'm migrating back to the Ireland. Or Germany. Or whoever will take me. Seriously though, Brian is right, 60% is probably a bit too high second time around, 54% would be fine. Lower than the previous but still a nice 6 to 5 ratio, sos a mathematical glitch or spoilt ballot couldn't swing the referenda either way. Too bad Brian doesn't feel that its democratic that other choices be added to an already rejected system.
From: Broke but not bent. | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Stunned Wind
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posted 04 November 2005 10:14 PM      Profile for Stunned Wind     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
One thing missing from the discussion here is that BC had two 60% thresholds. The second one was that 60% of the ridings should pass it with a simple majority. In other words, 48 of the 79 ridings must pass it at 50% + 1. I presume that this rule was established so that one area of the province couldn't overwhelm another.

Was this threshold passed? It's almost invisible in the media and in discussions like this one.

In fact, 77 ridings passed the referendum and the two who failed it had greater than a 49% Yes vote so its not like those two ridings overwhelmingly rejected BC-STV.

One of the problems with the 60% threshold is why 60%? Why not 59% or 62% or 55.256%? All that it really has going for it is that it is a round number.


From: Well! Now I'm in Victoria-Swan Lake! | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
Erik Redburn
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posted 04 November 2005 11:30 PM      Profile for Erik Redburn     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Round number that's fifty percent higher than 40% I guess. If the local ridings had to achieve the same levels then it would have only passed in 14 of them, but that too is moot question now.
From: Broke but not bent. | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Brian White
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posted 05 November 2005 12:32 AM      Profile for Brian White   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Erik, I have not any more idea what you are talking about than you do.
PEI is voting to choose MMP as their new system for electing their ledge, not STV. (And of course in a straight choice between the joke they have now and mmp, I fully support mmp). Ok?
1 person 1 vote is the democratic way. 60% thresholds are a sneaky way of giving 1.5 votes each to your friends.
Mcgoo is bringing up weird stuff. Canada isnt going to join the USA but if the majority wanted to join the US, why should a minority be allowed to stop them? As for Quebec, if more of them want to leave than to stay, then who are we in the rest of canada to force them to stay? If you were married and the wifie and kids below voting age wants to go, do you outvote her with a 60% embargo on her going?
"Sorry, baby, I'm screwing you over but its the status quo" "YOU ARE STAYING!"
A 60% rule could very easily cause civil war in Canada. If 52% of Quebec people want to leave, or 55% of Newfoundlanders, you have got to respect their decision, otherwise, you are just a colonial empire, like the Britain or Germany of old.
50% +1 is the international standard for referendums. That didnt just happen by chance. It is supported by mathematics. The ideal of 1 person, 1 vote is completely overturned by the 60% threshold whether you have the decency to admit it or not. 60% thresholds is exactly the same as giving your friends 1.5 votes and your enemys just 1 vote. Yes or no? The only slight problem is that it is illegal to do this.
Well, there is another problem too. If the canadian greaseball politician does it, then the asian or african or south american despot politician will do it too. So by been asleep on democracy watch in Canada, you help really nasty people the world over.
If some greaseball politician trys to sugarcoat the stealing of your democratic right to the same vote as the next guy, it is your duty as a good Canadian to shout stop.
Brian
Erik the Red
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posted 04 November 2005 10:08 PM
If STV leads to George W Bush becoming an MP then I'm migrating back to the Ireland. Or Germany. Or whoever will take me. Seriously though, Brian is right, 60% is probably a bit too high second time around, 54% would be fine. Lower than the previous but still a nice 6 to 5 ratio, sos a mathematical glitch or spoilt ballot couldn't swing the referenda either way. Too bad Brian doesn't feel that its democratic that other choices be added to an already rejected system.
From: Lotus Land. | Registered: Feb 2004 | IP: Logged


From: Victoria Bc | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Ron Webb
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posted 05 November 2005 01:00 AM      Profile for Ron Webb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Brian White:
A 60% rule could very easily cause civil war in Canada. If 52% of Quebec people want to leave, .. you have got to respect their decision...
And if next month, 52% want to rejoin Canada, do we have to respect that decision too? And two months later, if the separatists regain a bit of support, do they separate again? Do you think we can run a country like that?

Like I said, there needs to be some sort of hysteresis built into the system. What would you suggest?


From: Winnipeg | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
Brian White
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posted 05 November 2005 03:44 AM      Profile for Brian White   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Ok,here is the deal,
Let the voters decide.
Same as in your ledge or in parliament.
Each person has one vote, and you count up the votes and whichever option has the most votes wins.
And decent politicians respect the voters decisions.
Crooks and slimeballs give their friends 1.5 votes and progressive people 1 vote and call it a 60% treshold and hope that people are too thick to know the difference and too weak willed to fight back.
Save all the hypotethical bullshit about needing an overwhelming majority to make change. Thats just a pathetic excuse to twiddle your thumbs and do nothing. over 57% was the majority in BC. But 57/43 is 1.32 Thats right, 34% MORE people voted to change the system than to keep the old one!
But this is the wild wild west and sheriff campbell doesnt fund education.
People dont know what majority means here, or democracy. Gordie tells them and he is liberal with the truth.
Hopefully you in PEI are a little more awake and prepared to defend yourselves against Binns and his snakeoil.

From: Victoria Bc | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Erik Redburn
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posted 05 November 2005 03:53 AM      Profile for Erik Redburn     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Oh, stop your one track moaning. Why the heck should you care anyhow, you already got STV in your home and native Ireland don't you?
From: Broke but not bent. | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Brian White
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posted 05 November 2005 04:08 AM      Profile for Brian White   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
But 60 60 is NOT good enough for bc.
They changed the law for that referendum.
All prior referendums in canada required 50%+1.
60 60 has not been tested legally. Why should my vote to have a new system be worth two thirds of some other persons vote to keep the old system?
Thats f***ing insulting. And it tramples on my democratic rights. There IS a charter of rights.
I bet that 60% thresholds contravenes that charter. All it will take is a semi intelligent lawyer and 60% will disapear like the emperors new clothes.
Imagine how a proud Quebec Canadian will say if you try to foist that bullshit on them?
Its enough to turn someone separatist.
Mr. Magoo
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posted 04 November 2005 05:00 PM
quote:
If this formula was acceptable for Australia, it should be fine for Canada's smallest province of PEI.

And you could equally easily say that if 60/60 is good enough for BC, it should be fine for Canada's smallest province of PEI.


From: Victoria Bc | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Brian White
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posted 05 November 2005 04:20 AM      Profile for Brian White   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, Ron, you really think they are all bi polar in Quebec, dont you? Canada is a federal country? Right? So, if they want to leave they can and they will. Trying to force them to stay will just make them mad. Its like a bully twisting someones arm and saying "be my friend, OK?".
So, let your inner bully go. Be fair with the quebec people and they will be fair back.
Brian

Ron Webb
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posted 05 November 2005 01:00 AM
quote:
Originally posted by Brian White:
A 60% rule could very easily cause civil war in Canada. If 52% of Quebec people want to leave, .. you have got to respect their decision...
And if next month, 52% want to rejoin Canada, do we have to respect that decision too? And two months later, if the separatists regain a bit of support, do they separate again? Do you think we can run a country like that?

Like I said, there needs to be some sort of hysteresis built into the system. What would you suggest?
From: Winnipeg | Registered: Feb 2002 | IP: Logged


From: Victoria Bc | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Brian White
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posted 05 November 2005 04:34 AM      Profile for Brian White   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Dear Erik, there is a referendum in PEI this month that might bring in MMP as their new system for electing parliament. Premier Binns wants to discount all the yes votes to pretend that the no's win. (Like Campbell did in BC).
He is only opening up a few polling stations in the hope that there is a low poll so that he can ignore a yes vote. You have claimed to support MMP in the past. Are you Erik the Red because you go round stabbing yourself in the back?
I want a clear victory for MMP in that referendum.
Is that a problem for you?
Erik the Red
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posted 05 November 2005 03:53 AM
Oh, stop your one track moaning. Why the heck should you care anyhow, you already got STV in your home and native Ireland don't you?


From: Victoria Bc | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Erik Redburn
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posted 05 November 2005 05:24 AM      Profile for Erik Redburn     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Sigh. No Brian, it's closed list last I heard so I'm not crazy about it either, but I have no intention of standing in its way. A half a loaf and all that. Not my business anyhow, except in the most abstract sense. I just wish you'd stop going on about the same bitch at times, I still believe you have more to offer than that.
ETR. Oh, and my chosen name means very little to me, thanks, you'll just have to needle me on something closer to home. Start with my sloppy grammar say, then go from there.

From: Broke but not bent. | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Wilf Day
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posted 05 November 2005 11:42 AM      Profile for Wilf Day     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Brian White:
Be fair with the quebec people and they will be fair back.

For an Irishman, you have a good flair for paraphrasing Sir John A. Macdonald:

quote:
While the British North America Act did not specifically mention the two founding peoples, it did acknowledge the distinctiveness of Quebec and French Canada . . . The "French Canadian nationality", as George Etienne Cartier said at the time, was to be given its own margin of manoeuvre in Quebec while being called upon to play a role in a larger political scene. Sir John A. Macdonald clearly signalled his understanding of recognizing this distinctiveness when he wrote Brown Chamberlain on January 21, 1856 in reference to his French-speaking compatriots, explaining, "Treat them as a nation and they will react as a free people generally do -- generously. Call them a faction and they become factious."

[ 05 November 2005: Message edited by: Wilf Day ]


From: Port Hope, Ontario | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Ron Webb
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posted 05 November 2005 12:00 PM      Profile for Ron Webb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Brian White:
Well, Ron, you really think they are all bi polar in Quebec, dont you?
Polls can vary a few percent from one week to the next. Legislation and national boundaries cannot react to every twist and turn in the public mood. There needs to be some indication that a change is going to be long-term -- whether a 60% threshold, or a series of consecutive majorities over a period of time. Otherwise the nation will be bipolar.

From: Winnipeg | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
Brian White
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posted 06 November 2005 12:59 PM      Profile for Brian White   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Ron, Referendums are not polls.
Many polls are commissioned to influence public opinion by political partys and their friends and are only small samples of what might be.
In modern democracys, referendums are BINDING on governments and the international standard for referendums is 50%+1 approval.
Before you argue with that, I was at a fair vote canada meeting yesterday, 2 political scientists there, someone asked about referendums to change voting systems and one of them checked. France, 50%+1, Belgium 50%+1, Australia 50%+1, Germany 50%+1, New Zealand 50%+1, Ireland 50%+1
The political Scientist, Dennis Pilon, also said, that 57% was a super high result.
Your task for today, Ron, is to go back and see how many of those referendums got higher than 60% approval.
The truth is out there.
Brian

Ron Webb
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posted 05 November 2005 12:00 PM
quote:
Originally posted by Brian White:
Well, Ron, you really think they are all bi polar in Quebec, dont you?
Polls can vary a few percent from one week to the next. Legislation and national boundaries cannot react to every twist and turn in the public mood. There needs to be some indication that a change is going to be long-term -- whether a 60% threshold, or a series of consecutive majorities over a period of time. Otherwise the nation will be bipolar.
From: Winnipeg | Registered: Feb 2002 | IP: Logged


From: Victoria Bc | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged

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