Saturday, July 14, 2012

Now That's Interesting



Gordon Gibson floats a truly interesting idea in this morning's Globe and Mail. He suggests that the antidote to our political polarization, which Stephen Harper has worked so hard to create, lies in a Single Transferable Vote. The idea has been proposed before -- in B.C., and by former Liberal leader Stephane Dion. But Gibson suggests that STV may be an idea whose time has come.

The concept is not foreign to our politics. On one ballot, preferences are listed, 1, 2, 3, and so on. After first choices are counted, lower candidates drop off and their supporters’ second choices are counted, and so on. Most of the parties use a variation of this system to choose their leaders. It not only gauges sentiment and support most accurately; it also militates in favour of civil politics and against polarization. If a candidate wants your second-choice vote, they will be respectful of your first choice.

However, it would take some cooperation between the NDP and the Liberals to make it happen:

To get a joint majority as a temporary coalition, they would only need to prevail in 170 seats, so this kind of deal in, say, 200 ridings should produce that. In a recent poll, 64 per cent of NDP and Liberal supporters liked some such idea. The only condition would be that the winning party (probably the NDP as we speak) would promise as a first item of business to bring in an STV system for future elections. The coalition would then continue to govern for a bit under agreed terms of engagement (as have the Conservatives and Liberal-Democrats in Britain), with the next election and next government chosen under the new and better rules.

There is definitely something out of joint with a system that gives the party that gains 33 - 39% of the vote an overwhelming majority. Gibson's proposal would give the concept of one person/one vote new meaning.

13 comments:

Mogs said...

Won't happen as long as Stevie BOY un-wonder is in power...

Right now it is a top down dictator-ship leaning heavily to the right or starboard, hopefully it will capsize long before the next election.

Mr. Harper you look worse than captain Bligh...

Only the whippings go on behind closed doors to those that don't agree with how you steer the ship of state CANADA.

Allot of real progressive conservatives who were conned into the con party by MacKay and Harper in an illegal back room deal may jump ship this summer because the harper cons have so riled up the country from coast to coast...

And the bilges are full of BS...

We don't want it no more Mr. Harper, Mr. Mulcair time to step up to the puck you are no longer prime minister in waiting the majority of the country wants you as prime not opposition, minister.

Owen Gray said...

Certainly Mr. Harper will do everything in his power to keep first past the post, Mogs.

But an NDP-Liberal coalition could bring in the new system -- and prevent a future dictatorship by any party.

Mogs said...

We will see young man, we will see.

The thing that I don't want is an NDP Liberal merger than we have the same beast the harper government sprang from...

A US two party system...

"On May 31, 2003, Peter MacKay won the party leadership after securing the endorsement of fellow leadership candidate David Orchard. Orchard's endorsement of MacKay was predicated on four bullet points laid out in the Orchard-MacKay agreement, one of which expressly forbid the merger of the PC Party of Canada with the Canadian Alliance."

From:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progressive_Conservative_Party_of_Canada#Merger_with_Alliance

expressly forbid:

Not good see how Pete has been rewarded for his criminal/immoral behavior in merging the two parties when he had an explicit agreement not to?

A free ride...

I would prefer even though Stephen say's "it's evil" to have a coalition run by NDP and Liberal and Stephen Harper's Con's all backbenchers...

In my opinion it would be better for the country. Meanwhile back at home in BC I live where the former Mayor of Sparwood BC is now our MP. You remember that turncoat David Wilks?

One day in Revelstoke BC he is on record of opposing Bill C-38, next day he was all gagga, "it's the best bill I've ever seen", yet we all know he never even read it.

That's on record too.

I am trying to organize a community meeting here in the Elk Valley to discuss his future. We don't need liars and yes men in Parliament that are so afraid of Harper that they ignore us and bow to him. We want our voices heard!

Its over Stephen...

And David I feel sorry for your future.

Owen Gray said...

I don't think we need a merger between the NDP and the Liberals, Mogs. A choice between two options is almost always a false choice.

But there is nothing wrong with coalition government. What we need is a system that makes coalition government easier to arrange.

Mogs said...

agreed...

Anonymous said...

Gibson's suggestion that Canada introduce the STV system bordered on desperation. If we don't change one of the most fundamental aspects of our electoral system, he argued, we could see the Conservatives in power until 2032. How old would that make Mr. Harper when he retires - in his late seventies, perhaps, when most of us find it difficult to be flexible? What a charming thought.

Still, it seems rather extreme to turn on its head the way Canadians vote in order to unseat one man. That's really what occasioned Gibson's suggestion, isn't it? A way of ridding the Country of Mr. Harper?

Lately, I think the weather's been just too hot for words.

Anonymous said...

Is the rumor true? Some of Harper's ministers are right fed up with, Harper controlling everything they say or do? Some of the ministers, really don't like Harper's omnibus bill? That Harper is really, no true Conservative?

Why do the true Conservatives, stand aside and permit Harper to totally destroy the Conservative Party name? Harper has made some very serious enemies, not only among Canadians, but other country's too.

Well over 2/3 and counting Canadians, believe Harper cheated to win, with the robo-call cheat. He is using every dirty tactic in the book, to quash the investigation. Harper is appointing one of his own boys into Elections Canada. What does that tell us?

Harper is also trying to prevent, the disputes of the election wins, in some of the ridings. Harper is appointing two new Conservative judges. What does that tell us. They are stalling the decision. One of Harper's judges, takes over in August. We have to watch that one too.

Owen Gray said...

Still, it's worth remembering that the proposal to move to some sort of proportional representation predated the rise of Stephen Harper.

And because parliamentary democracy is founded more on precedents than a strict division of powers, we have been given glaring examples of what can happen when someone like Harper simply ignores those precedents. He has said, for example, that being found in contempt of parliament simply means being outvoted.

Given the abuse that can occur, perhaps proportional representation is the best way to limit it.

Owen Gray said...

It would be encouraging to know that some members of the Conservative caucus have the backbone to stand up to the prime minister, Anon.

So far, we have no evidence of that. Or, more precisely, those who did have the backbone -- Bill Casey, Belinda Stronach and Garth Turner -- have left politics.

Anonymous said...

That was a goofy artical Gibson The NDP supports mixed proportional representation, which means that's what the NDP will offer to the Liberal, not STV which just aweful. I for one would spoil the rest of my choices after NDP in protest, because I'd rather die then vote Liberal.

Also I love Polarization, real choices, choices that actually matter, instead of two parties that believe in nothing, on the look out for all the,patronage pork they can find, we have two choices, a one dark future of rightwing cruelty and stupidity, the other progress, a fair taxation system, national pharmacare, national daycare, proper enviromental regulations, a restored wheat board, cap'n trade, affordable housing, capable ministers. All the Liberals did was bait and switch and muddy the waters so Canadians can't clearly see what the real choices are.

So mad props for polarization, I love polarization.

Mogs said...

Harper has been a liar since the day he was born and his parents encouraged it...

Owen Gray said...

I daresay you're not alone, Anon. If only the world were that simple.

Unfortunately, it's not.

Owen Gray said...

Well, one thing is for sure, Mogs. Harper is not a man who encourages a lukewarm response!