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» babble   » from far and wide   » nfld, labrador, pei, ns, nb   » What went wrong in PEI?

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Author Topic: What went wrong in PEI?
Wilf Day
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posted 30 November 2005 12:06 AM      Profile for Wilf Day     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Continuing the discussion begun at the end of this closed thread.

There are several explanations so far. Some of these were made privately, so I'm excerpting without attribution.

"PEI was the province that most strongly endorsed the Charlottetown Accord. It is a province that is accustomed to a non-harmful elite consensus between Conservatives and Liberals based around a genuine social consensus on key issues. Whereas BC citizens are amongst the least likely to trust their elites, according to polling, PEI citizens are amongst the most likely."

"We heard a lot of fear about losing representation. That has to be overcome, and that's important to listen to."

"The high levels of concern over closed list and abortive attempt to change it appeared to give the message that proportional representation entailed a diminution of direct voter control in selecting the caucuses occupying the legislature and a centralization of power in Charlottetown (where the proposal received the most support)."

See Julian West's map.

"But open lists would have been even worse for the regions that were most opposed. Charlottetown voters are the largest single group. With open lists, they would have been able to move Charlottetown people to the top of the lists, and might well have done so without even trying to. Maybe PEI needed a regional MMP system: a five-seater in the east (three local, two regional), a nine-seater in the west (six local, three regional) and a 13-seater in the middle (8 local, 5 regional). Or something like that."

"In BC, there was a large portion of voters who never really understood the alternative, but still voted "yes". To what extent was that a response to the CA process and what it symbolized? In PEI, it seems the uniformed voters just stayed home. If the PEI alternative had been chosen by a PEI CA, after the give and take of participants from all parts of the island, would it still have been rejected? Would people have stayed home?"

"Politicians can rig the process, starve it of educational funds, introduce it
for consideration on artificially short timelines, and set rules that encourage
failure."

"Even the "No" group insisted throughout the
campaign that they "weren't opposed to electoral reform" and that their opposition was limited to the particular model presented by the Commission on PEI's Electoral Future. "This vote reflects a desire among Islanders for changes to the voting system."

"Only the older people bothered to vote, especially under the difficult circumstances, and they aren't as keen about change."

"Education remains the great task for the electoral reform movement, getting people to make the connection between the dissatisfaction they feel with politics and politicians, and our winner-take-all voting system, which leaves most of us unrepresented and unable to hold our governments to account."

More to follow, no doubt.


From: Port Hope, Ontario | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
white rabbit
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posted 30 November 2005 08:11 AM      Profile for white rabbit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
PEI is a primarily rural province whose voters have a stake in the patronage model of politics. PEI was the last province to pass FOI legislation, services for victims of crime, it will be the last to open adoption records, and it generally is reluctant to embrace progressive change
of any sort. PEI will regretably continue to produce anomalies such as seen where one opposition member is expected to hold the entire legislature to account. Here in NS things aren't much better with the rejection of Sunday shopping by voters in a recent poll. This was a real opportunity lost where the Island could have emerged as a leader but instead it appears the status quo will ensure it remains a sleepy backwater for generations to come.

From: NS | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
RP.
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posted 30 November 2005 08:17 AM      Profile for RP.     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
"Only the older people bothered to vote, especially under the difficult circumstances, and they aren't as keen about change."

This shows the result for the riding that included UPEI. Note that the UPEI poll had a 60% Yes vote, and also had the highest number of people voting at it, in that riding.


From: I seem to be having tremendous difficulty with my lifestyle | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
Aristotleded24
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posted 30 November 2005 10:38 AM      Profile for Aristotleded24   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by white rabbit:
Here in NS things aren't much better with the rejection of Sunday shopping by voters in a recent poll. This was a real opportunity lost where the Island could have emerged as a leader but instead it appears the status quo will ensure it remains a sleepy backwater for generations to come.

*Drift* The CCPA took a stand against Sunday Shopping (as did the local labour council when the debate was active in Brandon) on the grounds of allowing people time to have off. Having mostly been in favour of allowing Sunday Shopping, that article convinced me otherwise. Especially since the article mentions that parts of Europe have stricter Sunday Shopping restrictions than exist in North America, even though most Europeans are not Christians.

quote:
The proponents of Sunday Shopping would have us believe that Nova Scotia is a region stuck in the past that needs to catch up with the rest of the world. In fact much of the industrialised world does not allow wide open shopping on Sundays.

From: Winnipeg | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
Assembly Talker
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posted 30 November 2005 06:38 PM      Profile for Assembly Talker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hi Wilf,


quote:
"The high levels of concern over closed list and abortive attempt to change it appeared to give the message that proportional representation entailed a diminution of direct voter control in selecting the caucuses occupying the legislature and a centralization of power in Charlottetown (where the proposal received the most support)."

If this is what voters were thinking, it was the same conclusion that the BC Citizens Assembly came to as well. Not sure about the Centralization of power in Charlottetown, but clearly voters want more control over their vote.

quote:
"But open lists would have been even worse for the regions that were most opposed. Charlottetown voters are the largest single group. With open lists, they would have been able to move Charlottetown people to the top of the lists, and might well have done so without even trying to. Maybe PEI needed a regional MMP system: a five-seater in the east (three local, two regional), a nine-seater in the west (six local, three regional) and a 13-seater in the middle (8 local, 5 regional). Or something like that."

Just maybe they should have gone with a single transferable vote system!!!

58% in BC looks pretty darn good today.

AT


From: The Heartland | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
Stunned Wind
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posted 01 December 2005 11:29 AM      Profile for Stunned Wind     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think that its a shame that there is almost nothing about the referendum in BC's media. The collapse of the federal government and the campaigning have completely wiped this event off the map.
From: Well! Now I'm in Victoria-Swan Lake! | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
Assembly Talker
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posted 06 December 2005 04:55 PM      Profile for Assembly Talker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hi All,

So all you MMP supporters have had more than a week to digest the overwhelming defeat in PEI. The silence has been deafening.....So does anyone want to attempt an explanation???

AT


From: The Heartland | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
RANGER
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posted 06 December 2005 07:40 PM      Profile for RANGER     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hmmm let's see: under 100,000 people, 75% of the polls closed, hence a 30% turn-out, unlike B.C. where STV had the backing of almost every media outlet and many politicians endorsing it having pro-STV pamphlets at voting stations didn't hurt,also, voting stations where 100% open. I think most that follow this kind of thing figured it out right away.


Maybe your right A.T., I'm sure STV would have gotten them jacked up.


From: sunshine coast | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Assembly Talker
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posted 07 December 2005 01:37 PM      Profile for Assembly Talker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hi Ranger,

Thought you died or something!? Good see you are still kickin'.
I don't remember all this media and politician support in BC??? I do not agree with what happened in PEI as far as the polls, the threshold, and all the democratic games, but we faced much of the same games and misinformation here in BC. But the results were dramatically different.

There is more to this than just the rules of the referendum.

Would an "Open list" system of MMP have received better support?

Were there too many Rangers in PEI spreading misinformation about MMP, you know, claiming the sky would fall, etc. The status quo "FUD" strategy???

Ranger, yourself and many others on this site have claimed pretty strong support for MMP, not to mention the superiority of MMP to STV, but that did not translate at the polls. Why???

If Ontario picks MMP over STV, (again IF), you better understand what PEI voters rejected about MMP. If not, MMP will face the same poor results.

Forget all the rhetoric, it is time for you MMP supporters to sit down and be honest about what you are endorsing. People are not buying what you are selling......you need to find out why???

Your first step is to recognize that any MMP model that operates with any type of closed list is dead in the water. Voters don't like the idea at all. It is my believe that support for MMP drops dramatically when average voters learn how a closed list works.

I would have been curious to see how an open list model would have faired in PEI. I still think that it would have failed, but would the numbers have been better? And by how much???

Hey Ranger, I read a couple of news articles in PEI that claimed that MMP was too complicated for average voters to understand.

Sound familiar???

They needed you out there to explain it to them all!!!

AT


From: The Heartland | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
RANGER
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posted 07 December 2005 04:31 PM      Profile for RANGER     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Assembly Talker:
Hi Ranger,

Thought you died or something!? Good see you are still kickin'.
I don't remember all this media and politician support in BC??? I do not agree with what happened in PEI as far as the polls, the threshold, and all the democratic games, but we faced much of the same games and misinformation here in BC. But the results were dramatically different.

There is more to this than just the rules of the referendum.

Would an "Open list" system of MMP have received better support?

Were there too many Rangers in PEI spreading misinformation about MMP, you know, claiming the sky would fall, etc. The status quo "FUD" strategy???

Ranger, yourself and many others on this site have claimed pretty strong support for MMP, not to mention the superiority of MMP to STV, but that did not translate at the polls. Why???

If Ontario picks MMP over STV, (again IF), you better understand what PEI voters rejected about MMP. If not, MMP will face the same poor results.

Forget all the rhetoric, it is time for you MMP supporters to sit down and be honest about what you are endorsing. People are not buying what you are selling......you need to find out why???

Your first step is to recognize that any MMP model that operates with any type of closed list is dead in the water. Voters don't like the idea at all. It is my believe that support for MMP drops dramatically when average voters learn how a closed list works.

I would have been curious to see how an open list model would have faired in PEI. I still think that it would have failed, but would the numbers have been better? And by how much???

Hey Ranger, I read a couple of news articles in PEI that claimed that MMP was too complicated for average voters to understand.

Sound familiar???

They needed you out there to explain it to them all!!!

AT



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


They don't need me A.T., any average voter will do, one vote for your favorite candidate, one vote for your favorite party, this kind of voting takes some of the unfairness out of our current system,no tranfers,quotas,math equations,to worry about,just voting.


If you choose not to remember the media support for STV that's up to you, Rafe Mair had many of his friends spreading the "good word" also both major B.C. papers advertised in plain view to vote for STV, also a listing on a few "Yes" sites that most local newspapers in B.C. endorse STV, don't forget the pro-STV reports at voting stations.(a violation of the elections act) also money was easily 10 to 1 in favor of yes, that's on top of what the taxpayers chipped in for the whole C.A. process, and do you think Gordon Gibson got a good deal on print space for his many pro-STV editorials and how it cured cancer?

If you want to come on here and state that if STV was on the table in P.E.I. they would have jumped on it,and it would have passed?, be my guest.

There are many "closed" list MMP jurisdictions that are examples of how they where accepted by the voters and whether they would go back to their old systems. For the most part voters that use MMP would like to keep MMP, I prefer "open" lists but would accept "closed" in a heartbeat.

Would just that fact (open vs closed) have changed the P.E.I. outcome? I don't think so, Do I think P.E.I. is a perfect template to compare B.C.? I don't think so.


What we do know is many people don't always vote for something because they understand it, sadly a silly and misleading slogan works wonders, I would not personaly take any pride in MMP's acceptance anywhere if I was asked to make up stories about it, I will say from the small bits of information I did see MMP was not sold as well as STV was in B.C. The C.A. factor makes a big difference.

As far as people not buying MMP? I'm not positive but isn't it the most popular (in the last ten-twenty years) of new democracies? In the last hundred years or so two countries have adopted and kept STV (not inc. civic). I wouldn't call that "flying off the shelf" but then again you see things a bit differently.


From: sunshine coast | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Brian White
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posted 08 December 2005 01:45 AM      Profile for Brian White   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I read a tiny bit (probably in a tc) about the pei referendum result. (and the thing came from associated press or some other news agency).
It said that mmp was rejected in a HIGH turnout.
I have to say that was really shitty reporting.
Thats propaganda too. Saying it was a high turnout is an attempt to add legitimacy to the result.
(Making the rejection more solid than it was).
The fact is they closed as many polling stations as they could to stop people voting, they made sure first past the post only needed 40% to win, november in pei is probably not nice driving weather and people probably thought it was pointless because of all those hurdles.
Fair reporting might have said, ¨ low turnout due to government closing many of polling stations.
UN observers noted no intimidation (due to closed polling stations). Old people, disabled and poor people unable to vote due to distance and expense incurred¨

From: Victoria Bc | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
PEIguy
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posted 08 December 2005 11:18 AM      Profile for PEIguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Lessons learned:

PEI has a large rural poluation relative to urban. There is a standing concern that the rural representation is low, and that Charlottetown (and to a lesser extent Summerside) get all of the money and attention. With neither the Conservatives nor the Liberals (the NDP are virtually non-existent here!) informing anyone how the lists would be created, this fear was allowed to grow. What if the lists were loaded with C'town folks? That was the biggest problem.

The way the governing Conservatives treated the plebiscite as if it were nothing more than a minor irritation and not part of any agenda at all increased the apathy towards getting out to vote. Weather had nothing to do with it, in fact it hasn't even snowed here yet. A lot of folks just didn't seem to realize that this was an important event. For example, I had to convince the people I work with to get out and vote (YES, of course), and they are all under 30.

Stacking the deck against success (60% YES vote and 75% of the polling stations not opened) also sucked the initiative out of many folks, I saw an attitude of 'why bother, it's going to fail anyhow...'.

This was an excellent exercise in 'how to discourage people from participating in a democratic process'.

I am curious, in the countries where this has been adopted, how did the various parties participate? Did they stand up for or against? Did they establish a criteria for list creation?

I fear it will be a long time before we in PEI get to see this come around again, good luck to the next province to try!


From: PEI | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
scott
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posted 08 December 2005 12:53 PM      Profile for scott   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by PEIguy:
Stacking the deck against success (60% YES vote and 75% of the polling stations not opened) also sucked the initiative out of many folks, I saw an attitude of 'why bother, it's going to fail anyhow...'.

This was an excellent exercise in 'how to discourage people from participating in a democratic process'.


Would the result have been different if all the polls had been open, or if the hurdle had been 50%+1?

I think that we have to look elsewhere for the reason that it was rejected.

I have heard that closed lists scared some people. Were there other factors?


From: Kootenays BC | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
tallyho
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posted 08 December 2005 12:57 PM      Profile for tallyho        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
This was a plebiscite. The people voiced their opinion loud and clear. A recipe for never succeeding is to look underrocks and in dark corners for reasons why folks rejected the concept. Rejection was not because of the weather, the media or fewer polling stations or the 'whatever'.

The 'idea' itself wasn't presented well OR it was crystal clear and people didn't like what they saw. So called 'progressive' individuals are always quick to pounce on the 'ignorance' of the masses when they fail to win support.


From: The NDP sells out Alberta workers | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged
Wilf Day
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posted 08 December 2005 01:37 PM      Profile for Wilf Day     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by PEIguy:
PEI has a large rural poluation relative to urban. There is a standing concern that the rural representation is low, and that Charlottetown (and to a lesser extent Summerside) get all of the money and attention. With neither the Conservatives nor the Liberals (the NDP are virtually non-existent here!) informing anyone how the lists would be created, this fear was allowed to grow. What if the lists were loaded with C'town folks? That was the biggest problem.

I expect you're right.
quote:
Originally posted by scott:
I have heard that closed lists scared some people.

However, the New Brunswick Commission on Legislative Democracy (which has done the best job yet designing a provincial MMP model, although it's not perfect) discussed this very issue at p. 41:
quote:
The Commission gave great consideration to the issue of whether an open or closed list is best for New Brunswick and we heard conflicting views. Understandably, voters generally seem to favour open lists as this increases the amount of choice they have. In an open system, voters not only determine how many list MLAs each party receives, their votes directly determine who these MLAs are. On the other hand, we heard from both the Advisory Council on the Status of Women and from academic experts that closed lists are more likely to result in a substantial increase in the number of women elected. We also heard from both experienced politicians and from students of political parties that open lists would lead to a sharp increase in intra-party competition during general elections that might well lead to a general decline in the health of our parties, and how they are perceived by the public. The Commission is also concerned that an open list might result in voters from a large city within a region ranking candidates from that city at the top of the list, at the expense of candidates from other less populated parts of the region. . .

After much deliberation, the Commission concludes that closed lists would be best for New Brunswick. Closed lists will encourage parties to ensure that their nominated candidates (and the rank order of candidates) in each region best reflects their representational values in terms of gender, geography, language and other important considerations. Voters will judge them accordingly. In reaching this conclusion, the Commission recognizes that this is not really a diminution of current voter choice. In our single member plurality system, party members choose the parties’ candidates, not voters. Nonetheless, the Commission believes that the adoption of closed party lists makes it imperative that parties conduct open nomination contests, and voters have easy access to participation in candidate selection processes. Thus, the Commission is recommending in the part of Chapter 4 entitled Improving Party Democracy, a series of steps that parties take to ensure that all interested voters are able to participate in a meaningful way in the selection of candidates both in the single member constituencies and on the party lists.


They recommended four regions, three of which have urban centres (Moncton, Saint John, Fredericton) that might well dominate their regions.

So in PEI, closed lists might be dominated by Charlottetown. So might open lists. People thought little PEI was too small to need regions, and could work with province-wide lists. But maybe not. Looks like every place in Canada rejoices in (or suffers from) regionalism.


From: Port Hope, Ontario | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
PEIguy
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posted 08 December 2005 02:48 PM      Profile for PEIguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Scott: Yeah, the overall result would have been the same, the NO's would have won regardless mainly because of the regionalisation problem stated by Mr. Day above. Clearly the problem was in the proposal and the way it was presented.

The other factors, however, I feel have distorted the final outcome somewhat and we do not have an accurate picture of everyones feelings. This is not good, because the Conservatives are saying that the process was so under-whelming that there is no point in persuing it anymore. That's the problem.


From: PEI | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
Assembly Talker
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posted 08 December 2005 05:27 PM      Profile for Assembly Talker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hi All,

Good debate, interesting info.

I'm looking at things from a perspective of what we can learn for our next referendum in BC for our proposed STV system.

I'm not surprised by the concerns over the lists. It is interesting the concerns for Local representation and Regional representation, urban vs rural. With Vancouver and the Lower mainland we face similar issues. Geographically our issues are even greater.

So it is interesting that PEI was more concerned with where the list candidates would come from. We were worried about that here in BC too, but we were also concerned about the accountability issues of a candidate who's position on the list could be greatly affected by party loyalty issues and association with the party leadership, Was there discussion of these issues in PEI???

Wilf, I would be curious to hear what you think you have learned. Have you considered making changes to your approach in Ontario???

Ranger, you are a bitter man......entrenching yourself into such a strong position is ok as long as the sides of the trench don't cave in on you....

You should try to keep an open mind, because it might be a benefit to your preferred MMP system, as well as a better democracy some day.

I agree with you on all the problems with the process in PEI. I had problems with the process in BC too, so it would be unfair to complain on one hand, then ignore the same issues on another. But the results in PEI are much different 58% vs 34% is a significant difference. You can't blame the process entirely for 2 out of 3 people voting against MMP. There is more to it than that. I'm not a big fan of MMP, so it is no skin of my nose, but I'm interested in how people have voted in regards to PR in general. I also want to learn what I can, so that I can reflect on our BC-STV decision we made.

For BC-STV, the results in PEI, both invokes confidence that we have made decisions that are more in line with concerns of the average voter. On the other hand, there are also red flags that need to be understood. This local and regional representation issue in PEI has to be evaluated and understood. I still feel good that STV better serves these issues, but it should be considered carefully, and explained properly to the public in 2008.

AT


From: The Heartland | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
RANGER
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posted 08 December 2005 07:18 PM      Profile for RANGER     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Quote:

but it should be considered carefully, and explained properly to the public in 2008.


_________________________________________________

Completely agree! this will finally put a stake in the heart of STV in B.C.


From: sunshine coast | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Assembly Talker
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posted 08 December 2005 07:55 PM      Profile for Assembly Talker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Ranger,

Bitter, bitter man.......

AT


From: The Heartland | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
Brian White
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posted 08 December 2005 10:43 PM      Profile for Brian White   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Will Campbell follow the PEI example and close 75% of the polling stations for the next vote?
I guess he cannot because it will be at the same time as the municipal election.
But almost nobody votes in the municipal elections. So, that is likely to be a real problem. The party activists WILL vote. And sadly party activists on both sides would not want to break the ndp or bc lib fact of life in bc government making.
In a 30% or so municipal turnout, The first past the posters have a huge advantage, their people
ndp and bc lib party activists WILL be there and will vote to continue as is.

From: Victoria Bc | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Stunned Wind
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posted 08 December 2005 11:50 PM      Profile for Stunned Wind     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Thus, the Commission is recommending in the part of Chapter 4 entitled Improving Party Democracy, a series of steps that parties take to ensure that all interested voters are able to participate in a meaningful way in the selection of candidates both in the single member constituencies and on the party lists.

The Commission's ability to look at and recommend how the parties should behave is a big advantage that they had over BC's assembly and over the model proposed for PEI. Otherwise you are simply handing the parties a 'carte blanche' for how they choose those list members.

The problem that urban areas might dominate the choice of list members in open lists could be diminished by using transferable ballots instead of a single X.


From: Well! Now I'm in Victoria-Swan Lake! | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
Wilf Day
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posted 09 December 2005 12:12 AM      Profile for Wilf Day     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Assembly Talker:
Wilf, I would be curious to hear what you think you have learned. Have you considered making changes to your approach in Ontario???

I was always inclined to regional open lists, and to give the CA a choice of two models -- a "longer list" option that will be better for women, and a "shorter list" option which will be more locally accountable. Then let them choose, keeping in mind that the region size could range from a huge region for the GTA to a three-seater for northwest Ontario, so they can mix and match as they see fit, with no loss of proportionality if they follow the MMP model your CA was working on, provincial proportionality with regional assignment.

What I've learned is that, when some folks say "regionalism is not a big force," don't believe them. Which, again, I already knew.

If someone designs an STV model with province-wide proportionality, that would be okay too. Then there are hybrid models like Wayne Smith's which have seven- or eight-seaters in Toronto, and districts almost as large in other urban areas, single-seats in non-urban areas, and MMP top-up seats on top. It seems to assume provincial lists, not regional lists, but it could use regional lists and still work. It assumes pure list for the urban areas rather than STV, but it would work with STV too. So you might end up with a "topped-up Nick Loenen model" (only BC CA members will truly understand that reference.)

However, the hybrid model runs into the objection from Ontario's Select Committee that "The Committee is agreed that at the end of any reform process, Ontario must have
one electoral system, common to all regions of the province." I expect this is not likely to be made part of our CA's Terms of Reference, so it will not be binding, but I expect they may reach the same conclusion, which could doom the hybrid models.


From: Port Hope, Ontario | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
JKR
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posted 09 December 2005 12:35 AM      Profile for JKR        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Another possibility may be the most obvious - the voters in PEI prefer SMP over proportional representation.

If the politial culture in PEI is truly dominated by only two parties, it makes sense that the voters in PEI would prefer SMP. SMP was made for a two-party system and works well when a polity is dominated by two parties. If 90% of PEI'ers support either the Liberals or Tories then it makes sense that PEI'ers are happy wuth SMP. SMP may be favoured in PEI because supporters of the two dominant parties know that if their party is in favour their party will be given a strong majority government. With SMP the two main parties never have to share power with small parties like the NDP or Greens. This may be just what the PEI voters want - a winner take all process where their party wins it all when it is favoured by the people.

SMP breaks down when a polity moves from a two-party system to a multi-party system. Maybe this has not happened in PEI?


From: Vancouver | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
jrootham
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posted 09 December 2005 12:56 AM      Profile for jrootham     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Data is not as easy to find as I hoped. No vote counts or percentages on the Elections PEI site.

There has only ever been 1 NDP member of the Legislature and nodice polls have the NDP less than 10% in all polls.


From: Toronto | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Wilf Day
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3276

posted 09 December 2005 01:31 AM      Profile for Wilf Day     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by jrootham:
nodice polls have the NDP less than 10% in all polls.

In the last federal election the NDP got 12.5% in PEI. In 1996 when the NDP won a provincial seat it got 7.82% across the Island.

One possibility is that, since part of the impetus for electoral reform in PEI came from lopsided majority governments, they would have been satisfied with a parallel (Mixed Member Majoritarian) system, where the additional list members don't compensate for disproportional local results, they just add some extra MLAs of ALL parties in proportion to the popular vote. Since this would still have the list problem, and would not satisfy proponents of real electoral reform, I see no reason to think it would have done any better. But I'm sure some Islanders favoured it.


From: Port Hope, Ontario | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
PEIguy
recent-rabble-rouser
Babbler # 10514

posted 09 December 2005 09:24 AM      Profile for PEIguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
PEI Electoral Reform Stats:

Eligable voters: 97,000
Votes cast: 32,265
NO votes: 63.58%
Yes votes: 36.42%

Lowest voter turnout for any vote ever in PEI.


From: PEI | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
Assembly Talker
rabble-rouser
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posted 09 December 2005 01:00 PM      Profile for Assembly Talker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hi All,

JKR

I agree with you about PEI being more content with the current system. I think that the same situation exists in Alberta, where electoral reform does even his the radar screen.

Wilf

Thanks Wilf, your ideas sound interesting. I was more open to hybrid systems like Loenen's, but the assembly as a whole really didn't like the idea of using different types of systems in different parts of the Province. I was surprised by the Assembly's reaction at the time, but I suspect that the public would react the same.

Do you know when the selection process for the Assembly will begin in Ontario???

AT


From: The Heartland | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged

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