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» babble   » from far and wide   » bc, alberta, saskatchewan   » How should PR work in Saskatchewan and Alberta?

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Author Topic: How should PR work in Saskatchewan and Alberta?
Wilf Day
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posted 12 July 2004 10:37 PM      Profile for Wilf Day     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Saskatchewan and Alberta babblers, here's a question: if we had proportional representation in federal elections, would you want province-wide lists?

Take the recent election. PR would have given the NDP three MPs in Saskatchewan and three in Alberta.

Should those be the top three people on the list nominated by New Democrats throughout the province? (With the order on the list subject to change by the voters if NDP voters at large prefer someone not ranked in the top three by party members?)

Or should there be regional lists?

To whom should "list MPs" be accountable?

I know, I'm getting ahead of the game. First we have to persuade the government and/or the House of Commons to hold a referendum on PR. We have to focus on that, not get bogged down on details too early.

However, it's also a good idea to have a few sample models available, with alternative options, when people ask "how would it work?"

In Saskatchewan, the four Regina area NDP candidates got 35,007 votes. The four Saskatoon area candidates got 33,256 votes. The six other candidates (rural and northern) got 31, 491 votes. That could be one MP each, the top name on the list for each region nominated by party members.

If we had used the MMP system this year, there would likely be two local MPs from Regina area ridings (say Ralph Goodale won one, and Tom Lukiwski won the other) and two regional MPs (one NDP, one Liberal: the Liberals got more votes than the Conservatives in those four ridings combined.) In the rural area, there might be four local MPs (all Conservatives this year) and two regional ones (one Liberal, one NDP). Saskatoon might be similar, two local Conservative MPs, one regional Liberal and one regional NDP.

Is that the way to do it?

In Alberta, the eight Edmonton NDP candidates got 47,027 votes. The eight Calgary candidates got 29,868 votes. The six other Northern Alberta candidates got 22,533 votes. The six other Southern Alberta candidates got 21,933 votes. That could be one MP from Edmonton, one from Calgary, and one from rural Northern. And if enough discouraged voters voted NDP who stayed home June 28 because their vote wouldn't count, then there would be an MP from rural southern Alberta. Maybe two from Edmonton. And so on: the top name or two nominated by the NDP membership in each region.

Is that the way to do it in Alberta? Or should it be one list for Edmonton and the North (the top two would be MPs) and one list for Calgary and the South (the top one would be the MP).

For more discussion, see the model on my website.


From: Port Hope, Ontario | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Pogo
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posted 12 July 2004 11:15 PM      Profile for Pogo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
As a system I would prefer that the list priorities be set prior to the election. In elections that very much revolve around the leader's tour it is manifestly unfair to use local results to discriminate between candidates. To my mind it would be a more informed vote. As a voter you would have a greater idea of the effect of your vote.

I think that the rural/urban split has to be recognized. You say the four Regina ridings and the Saskatoon ridings. But in reality they are very much urban/rural. Would it be possible to ignore the federal ridings and talk of urban (within the city limits of any city over 25,000).

This is not just an Alberta Saskatchewan situation. I have spoken to people in Northern British Columbia who feel their vote is lost to the population center of Prince George. It would be nice if PR could be used to address a growing national divide.


From: Richmond BC | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
Tim
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posted 12 July 2004 11:50 PM      Profile for Tim     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
If PR is implemented, the boundaries will have to be redrawn in any case, so I think we can certainly ignore the existing rural/urban ridings for the purposes of this discussion.

My first reaction is that regional lists would be the way to go (however the lists are established; I'm beginning to like the idea of best runners-up). I'll have to look at a map and think about this some more, but I don't think people living in La Ronge and Estevan (let alone Prince Albert and Moose Jaw!) would take kindly to being lumped into a single "rural/north" region. Though with only 14 seats it gets a bit challenging.


From: Paris of the Prairies | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Wilf Day
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posted 13 July 2004 12:15 AM      Profile for Wilf Day     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Tim Hutchinson:
Though with only 14 seats it gets a bit challenging.

Indeed. If you had a southern rural region with only 3 MPs, 2 local and 1 regional, they would be 2 local Conservatives, and (by a narrow margin over the NDP) one regional Liberal. Five MPs per region is as small as I want to go, wherever possible.


From: Port Hope, Ontario | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged

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