Referendum on how BC votes

Re: Referendum on how BC votes

Postby hobbyguy » Feb 7th, 2018, 12:21 pm

christopher wrote:Best Democracies in the World:
1. Norway - PR
2. Iceland - PR
3. Sweden - PR like
4. New Zealand - PR
5. Denmark - PR
6=. Ireland - PR
6=. Canada - FPTP

Land mass size, population density, on the top 5 are much different than Canada


See the Legatum index, overall governance in Canada is rated much better than Ireland and Iceland. You could fit most of those countries in BC and have change to spare.
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Re: Referendum on how BC votes

Postby Verum » Feb 7th, 2018, 12:32 pm

hobbyguy wrote:
christopher wrote:Best Democracies in the World:
1. Norway - PR
2. Iceland - PR
3. Sweden - PR like
4. New Zealand - PR
5. Denmark - PR
6=. Ireland - PR
6=. Canada - FPTP

Land mass size, population density, on the top 5 are much different than Canada


See the Legatum index, overall governance in Canada is rated much better than Ireland and Iceland. You could fit most of those countries in BC and have change to spare.

Two different indices calculated very differently. Also, the scores on the Legatum index are actually really close for those three, so hardly "much better":
Canada - 78.9
Iceland - 78.57
Ireland - 77.57
And in the Legatum index, Canada is 9th in governance, after 8 PR countries.

How, exactly, does size of country or population density specifically mean that FPTP is more appropriate? It's kind of hard to find any other developed country with a similar population density and for good reasons, so it just reeks of you putting up a barrier to sensible discourse on the topic.
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Re: Referendum on how BC votes

Postby Glacier » Feb 7th, 2018, 12:38 pm

Order is meaningless and utterly anti-science. The only metric that matters is how a country changes AFTER switching their system.
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Re: Referendum on how BC votes

Postby Verum » Feb 7th, 2018, 12:41 pm

Glacier wrote:Order is meaningless and utterly anti-science. The only metric that matters is how a country changes AFTER switching their system.

Then look at the list of former FPTP countries. Most are better off now than when they switched.
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Re: Referendum on how BC votes

Postby hobbyguy » Feb 7th, 2018, 1:08 pm

Verum wrote:
Glacier wrote:Order is meaningless and utterly anti-science. The only metric that matters is how a country changes AFTER switching their system.

Then look at the list of former FPTP countries. Most are better off now than when they switched.


Really? A simplistic answer to a complex question about prosperity. What matters is governance. Provide proof that they are better off? No, you just make an unfounded statement.

Look again: http://www.prosperity.com/rankings

Canada and the UK with FPTP are ranked higher than 95% of the PR countries for effective democracy AND prosperity.

The ONLY countries that sneak in ahead of Canada are small countries, mostly Scandinavian countries. And Luxembourg? Is that really a country in the colloquial sense? (it is about 1/4 of the size of Haida Gwaii).

Do we want racist parties like Geert Wilder has in the Netherlands - or the wink wink white supremacist One Nation in Australia, or the far right AfD in Germany or the FPO neo nazis in Austria? That's the kind of thing PR brings into play. Methinks not.

Are any of those countries better off for having those parties gumming up the political discourse? Methinks not.
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Re: Referendum on how BC votes

Postby Glacier » Feb 7th, 2018, 1:14 pm

^ and in the UK the racist BNP cannot elect even a single member in Parliament, although they did for the city of London in 2008 thanks to a proportional representation rule about getting one seat if you reach 5%.

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Re: Referendum on how BC votes

Postby Verum » Feb 7th, 2018, 1:40 pm

hobbyguy wrote:...
Really? A simplistic answer to a complex question about prosperity. What matters is governance. Provide proof that they are better off? No, you just make an unfounded statement. No, it was a glib response to a relatively unanswerable question. We don't have the ability to do lab controlled experiments on our societies. Nor do we need to apply scientific rigour requiring a 95% certainty of success before making political and societal decisions. Anything with a weighted net benefit should be considered actionable.

Look again: http://www.prosperity.com/rankings

Canada and the UK with FPTP are ranked higher than 95% of the PR countries for effective democracy AND prosperity. And when you look at governance, safety and freedom, they are well down as 10 and 13. Two countries which should be particularly good for all of these and Canada barely makes the top 10.

The ONLY countries that sneak in ahead of Canada are small countries, mostly Scandinavian countries. And Luxembourg? Is that really a country in the colloquial sense? (it is about 1/4 of the size of Haida Gwaii).Well Scandinavian countries are somewhat comparable being similar weather and well educated, etc.

Do we want racist parties like Geert Wilder has in the Netherlands - or the wink wink white supremacist One Nation in Australia, or the far right AfD in Germany or the FPO neo nazis in Austria? That's the kind of thing PR brings into play. Methinks not.Of course I don't want them, but if enough people do want them, their voices should be heard. Ignoring them will not make them go away, but allows for a situation as in Britain where decades of ignoring a rising tide of anti-foreigner and isolationist voices has resulted in the mess they call Brexit. If only they had had to listen to the voices of the masses and try to both inform the people and address their concerns (not necessarily kowtow to them), they would all be better off. Fringe voices should be listened to and addressed, because failure to do so allows them to grow and fester.

Are any of those countries better off for having those parties gumming up the political discourse? Methinks not. And much as I hate what these parties stand for, by listening to them, those countries aren't looking to commit economic suicide by leaving the free trade zone with which they do so much trade.
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Re: Referendum on how BC votes

Postby rustled » Feb 7th, 2018, 4:43 pm

The questionnaire site is pretty helpful in showing how the different PR systems would work in practice. One of the topics they don't cover is how much it will cost us to compensate all the additional MLAs we would elect if we change to a PR system.

Looks like Germany finally sorted their PR results into a coalition:

Chancellor Angela Merkel finally reached a deal Wednesday to form a new German coalition government, handing the powerful finance ministry to the country's main centre-left party in an agreement aimed at ending months of political gridlock.

The centre-left Social Democrats' leaders now have one last major hurdle to overcome — winning their skeptical members' approval of the deal.

https://www.castanet.net/news/World/218 ... -coalition
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Re: Referendum on how BC votes

Postby Verum » Feb 7th, 2018, 4:53 pm

rustled wrote:The questionnaire site is pretty helpful in showing how the different PR systems would work in practice. One of the topics they don't cover is how much it will cost us to compensate all the additional MLAs we would elect if we change to a PR system.

Looks like Germany finally sorted their PR results into a coalition:

Chancellor Angela Merkel finally reached a deal Wednesday to form a new German coalition government, handing the powerful finance ministry to the country's main centre-left party in an agreement aimed at ending months of political gridlock.

The centre-left Social Democrats' leaders now have one last major hurdle to overcome — winning their skeptical members' approval of the deal.

https://www.castanet.net/news/World/218 ... -coalition

There's no reason to think we need more MLAs tu support PR. Even with multi-seat STV we just merge neighbouring ridings into multi-seat constituencies and elect as many representatives as we have merged ridings. So, Kelowna-West, Kelowna-Mission, Kelowna-Lake Country, and Penticton (or some other similarly neighbouring set), become a single constituency and elect 4 MLAs between them. The result means that pretty much everybody will have a representative of similar values to them representing them, giving you a better chance of finding an MLA who will support you and actually represent you.
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Re: Referendum on how BC votes

Postby rustled » Feb 7th, 2018, 5:20 pm

Verum wrote:There's no reason to think we need more MLAs tu support PR. Even with multi-seat STV we just merge neighbouring ridings into multi-seat constituencies and elect as many representatives as we have merged ridings. So, Kelowna-West, Kelowna-Mission, Kelowna-Lake Country, and Penticton (or some other similarly neighbouring set), become a single constituency and elect 4 MLAs between them. The result means that pretty much everybody will have a representative of similar values to them representing them, giving you a better chance of finding an MLA who will support you and actually represent you.

"Just merge neigbouring ridings"? I lived in the north when we merged school districts, and had first-hand experience in why you don't get good representation for fringe areas this way. Again, we are back to making sure the needs of the fringe areas are not subjugated to the wants of the more heavily populated areas.
List PR: Reduced connection between communities and MLAs because of large, even provincewide, electoral districts. May result in many parties being represented in the Legislative Assembly, making government accountability less clear

MMP: Creates two “classes” of MLAs – those who represent a local district and those who are elected from a large regional or provincewide list. Challenging for voters to hold individual MLAs accountable if they can be included on party list and elected despite not winning an electoral district seat

STV: Larger electoral districts may reduce connection between local communities and MLAs

MMR: Creates two “classes” of MLAs – those who represent a local district and those who are elected from a regional or provincewide list. Challenging for voters to hold individual MLAs accountable if they can be included on party list and elected despite not winning an electoral district seat

More MLAs and/or less accountability (most likely both)? Doesn't appeal at all.
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Re: Referendum on how BC votes

Postby Verum » Feb 7th, 2018, 5:34 pm

rustled wrote:
Verum wrote:There's no reason to think we need more MLAs tu support PR. Even with multi-seat STV we just merge neighbouring ridings into multi-seat constituencies and elect as many representatives as we have merged ridings. So, Kelowna-West, Kelowna-Mission, Kelowna-Lake Country, and Penticton (or some other similarly neighbouring set), become a single constituency and elect 4 MLAs between them. The result means that pretty much everybody will have a representative of similar values to them representing them, giving you a better chance of finding an MLA who will support you and actually represent you.

"Just merge neigbouring ridings"? I lived in the north when we merged school districts, and had first-hand experience in why you don't get good representation for fringe areas this way. So, you experienced merging but with a reduction in resources and representation, not the same thing at all. If you live in any of the ridings I mentioned above, and you are truly rural, you are not getting proper representation. PR actually results in any small group dispersed within these areas in getting a chance to get represented Again, we are back to making sure the needs of the fringe areas are not subjugated to the wants of the more heavily populated areas. People complain that PR brings in the fringe elements and parties, and that they exclude them. Which is it?
List PR: Reduced connection between communities and MLAs because of large, even provincewide, electoral districts. May result in many parties being represented in the Legislative Assembly, making government accountability less clear

MMP: Creates two “classes” of MLAs – those who represent a local district and those who are elected from a large regional or provincewide list. Challenging for voters to hold individual MLAs accountable if they can be included on party list and elected despite not winning an electoral district seat

STV: Larger electoral districts may reduce connection between local communities and MLAs May, but probably won't and will increase the chance that a voter has access to a local representative with similar values to represent them.

MMR: Creates two “classes” of MLAs – those who represent a local district and those who are elected from a regional or provincewide list. Challenging for voters to hold individual MLAs accountable if they can be included on party list and elected despite not winning an electoral district seat

More MLAs and/or less accountability (most likely both)? Doesn't appeal at all.
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Re: Referendum on how BC votes

Postby hobbyguy » Feb 7th, 2018, 5:58 pm

Verum wrote:
hobbyguy wrote:...
Really? A simplistic answer to a complex question about prosperity. What matters is governance. Provide proof that they are better off? No, you just make an unfounded statement. No, it was a glib response to a relatively unanswerable question. We don't have the ability to do lab controlled experiments on our societies. Nor do we need to apply scientific rigour requiring a 95% certainty of success before making political and societal decisions. Anything with a weighted net benefit should be considered actionable.

Look again: http://www.prosperity.com/rankings

Canada and the UK with FPTP are ranked higher than 95% of the PR countries for effective democracy AND prosperity. And when you look at governance, safety and freedom, they are well down as 10 and 13. Two countries which should be particularly good for all of these and Canada barely makes the top 10.

The ONLY countries that sneak in ahead of Canada are small countries, mostly Scandinavian countries. And Luxembourg? Is that really a country in the colloquial sense? (it is about 1/4 of the size of Haida Gwaii).Well Scandinavian countries are somewhat comparable being similar weather and well educated, etc.

Do we want racist parties like Geert Wilder has in the Netherlands - or the wink wink white supremacist One Nation in Australia, or the far right AfD in Germany or the FPO neo nazis in Austria? That's the kind of thing PR brings into play. Methinks not.Of course I don't want them, but if enough people do want them, their voices should be heard. Ignoring them will not make them go away, but allows for a situation as in Britain where decades of ignoring a rising tide of anti-foreigner and isolationist voices has resulted in the mess they call Brexit. If only they had had to listen to the voices of the masses and try to both inform the people and address their concerns (not necessarily kowtow to them), they would all be better off. Fringe voices should be listened to and addressed, because failure to do so allows them to grow and fester.

Are any of those countries better off for having those parties gumming up the political discourse? Methinks not. And much as I hate what these parties stand for, by listening to them, those countries aren't looking to commit economic suicide by leaving the free trade zone with which they do so much trade.


You need to look at the balances in all cases.

The Scandinavian countries are far different than the Canadian context, they are far less diverse, and if you look at second generation Canadians versus second generation Scandinavians the total difference is really stark. The population of Scandinavian countries is nowhere near as diverse and culturally diverse as Canada.

The key to Canada's success is having been able to bring all that diversity together around central goals. The FPTP post system promotes that by forcing any party that wishes to have real power to be "big tent", accept that diversity, and to ensure that their policies reflect that diversity and move the ball on central themes that benefit all, while leaving none behind. Canada has failed somewhat in that latter category, but our existing system has responded and is responding by trying to ensure that those who were left behind are given more opportunity.

A PR system may work in a country that does not face the diversity of cultures and populations coupled with significant geographic differences that Canada faces. In fact, the most analogous PR country in terms of those factors is Russia, where PR has failed miserably.

Germany was NOT having a problem with the far right until its immigration spiked and culturally diversity became an issue. PR allowed reactionary far right to gain traction. The same scenario arose in several other countries with PR. The alt-right Jobbik was able to really get itself established, and wiggle into the "balance of power" position in Hungary through PR.

Canada, and BC, would blow apart under such stresses. As it stands now with FPTP, the major parties seeking power MUST consider cultural diversity and wide range of needs of Canadians in order to get elected. That is as it should be.

Under PR, a party need only meet the expectations of 2.1% of the population to gain status and public funding under the BC NDP new rules. There is no incentive whatsoever in that for any party to be other than narrow and divisive.

Some may wish to have fringe groups like the alt-right to have a voice in governance, but I do not. FPTP forcing political parties to have the broad interests of the whole province and all its diverse peoples, rural, urban, immigrant, indigenous, young and old etc. is by far preferable.
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Re: Referendum on how BC votes

Postby rustled » Feb 7th, 2018, 6:11 pm

^^Verum: You're conflating fringe areas (regions of the province that have unique needs) with fringe elements and fringe parties. Not at all the same thing.

I know the last time we talked about this, instead of acknowledging that the needs of the few shouldn't be subjugated by the wants of the many, you twisted my words around to suit your own message. That's the problem we already have with democracy: the needs of the few can be subjugated to the wants of the many. None of the PR systems presented on the questionnaire website look to me like they'll provide a solution to this problem. Instead, they'll make it worse by combining the ridings, weakening the voices of those representing the fringe areas.

You're all about individual voters within BC's diverse regions having access to an MLA who will represent them. I get that, but in a province with as much regional diversity as British Columbia, you simply cannot have that without having an awful lot more MLAs. (You're looking at the rural areas of the Okanagan ridings? Heck, try looking at the diversity in our northern ridings. I wonder if this is why you're totally unable to understand what I mean by fringe areas. No experience outside the non-fringe areas.)

We don't get terrific value for the number of MLAs we have now, and the bigger the legislature is, the more likely it is that individual voices, most especially those trying to represent the fringe areas, will be completely drowned out.

Nope. I don't see any of the PR options as being any genuine improvement over what we already have. And when you look at the complications PR has created for places like Germany, it looks like "out of the frying pan, into the fire". Wrong solution entirely, in my opinion.
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Re: Referendum on how BC votes

Postby Verum » Feb 7th, 2018, 6:13 pm

hobbyguy wrote:You need to look at the balances in all cases.

The Scandinavian countries are far different than the Canadian context, they as far less diverse, and if you look at second generation Canadians versus second generation Scandinavians the total difference is really stark. The population of Scandinavian countries is nowhere near as diverse and culturally diverse as Canada. Yes, and we artificially reduce the representation of this diversity by using a poorly representative form of voting.

The key to Canada's success is having been able to bring all that diversity together around central goals. By excluding much if not most opinions from the discussion The FPTP post system promotes that by forcing any party that wishes to have real power to be "big tent", accept that diversity, and to ensure that their policies reflect that diversity and move the ball on central themes that benefit all, while leaving none behind. Lol! No. It actually means that anyone who really considers the needs of the fringes (which can be pretty big) is at a major disadvantage if it at all conflicts with the desires of the central majority. Canada has failed somewhat in that latter category, but our existing system has responded and is responded by trying to ensure that those who were left behind are given more opportunity.

A PR system may work in a country that does not face the diversity of cultures and populations coupled with significant geographic differences that Canada faces. In fact, the most analogous PR country in terms of those factors is Russia, where PR has failed miserably. Russia has a failed democracy. It's only really one in name alone. It would be like me bringing up Ethiopia as a representation of FPTP. The fact is that PR actually would better support the diversity, not forcing a result which favours the largest population groups, but rather supports a wide variety of diversity.

Germany was NOT having a problem with the far right until its immigration spiked and culturally diversity became an issue. Yes, the Neo Nazis weren't an issue for a long time. Yes, the issue is getting more coverage now and is being dealt with. PR allowed reactionary far right to gain traction. Yes, but also allowed the other parties to work together to get a handle on things and the next few years will result in changes in Germany to address the issues which concern these voters and also the rise of this sentiment. The same scenario arose in several other countries with PR. The alt-right Jobbik was able to really get itself established, and wiggle into the "balance of power" position in Hungary through PR. And it caused the UK to commit a really stupid act, because they never addressed the far right in their own political sphere.

Canada, and BC, would blow apart under such stresses. As it stands now with FPTP, the major parties seeking power MUST consider cultural diversity and wide range of needs of Canadians in order to get elected. That's largely a myth That is as it should be.

Under PR, a party need only meet the expectations of 2.1% of the population to gain status and public funding under the BC NDP new rules. The problem there is not with PR but with the funding rules. I agree that they should change. There is no incentive whatsoever in that for any party to be other than narrow and divisive.

Some may wish to have fringe groups like the alt-right to have a voice in governance, but I do not. FPTP forcing political parties to have the broad interests of the whole province and all its diverse peoples, rural, urban, immigrant, indigenous, young and old etc. is by far preferable.

By denying them access to representation, all you do is ignore the issue. It is rising in Canada (Proud Boys, audience of The Rebel, etc.) and will continue to do so until we do something about it. Pretending it isn't an issue will likely result in Canada having our own Trump moment.
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Re: Referendum on how BC votes

Postby Verum » Feb 7th, 2018, 6:17 pm

rustled wrote:^^Verum: You're conflating fringe areas (regions of the province that have unique needs) with fringe elements and fringe parties. Not at all the same thing. Why should an area of land be part of it? Why should localised special interest groups be represented and dispersed special interest groups not? People matter, not land.

I know the last time we talked about this, instead of acknowledging that the needs of the few shouldn't be subjugated by the wants of the many, you twisted my words around to suit your own message. Yes, because you were completely missing the point in my message and creating a strawman argument That's the problem we already have with democracy: the needs of the few can be subjugated to the wants of the many. None of the PR systems presented on the questionnaire website look to me like they'll provide a solution to this problem. Instead, they'll make it worse by combining the ridings, weakening the voices of those representing the fringe areas. Again, areas need no representation. People, communities, they do. Communities are not tied to the land, some are dispersed over large ares. The land doesn't and shouldn't have a vote.

You're all about individual voters within BC's diverse regions having access to an MLA who will represent them. I get that, but in a province with as much regional diversity as British Columbia, you simply cannot have that without having an awful lot more MLAs. (You're looking at the rural areas of the Okanagan ridings? Heck, try looking at the diversity in our northern ridings. I wonder if this is why you're totally unable to understand what I mean by fringe areas. No experience outside the non-fringe areas.)

We don't get terrific value for the number of MLAs we have now, and the bigger the legislature is, the more likely it is that individual voices, most especially those trying to represent the fringe areas, will be completely drowned out.

Nope. I don't see any of the PR options as being any genuine improvement over what we already have. And when you look at the complications PR has created for places like Germany, it looks like "out of the frying pan, into the fire". Wrong solution entirely, in my opinion. Germany has one of many different forms of PR. Taking examples of issues in one as indicative of problems in the entire set of possibilities is simply a fallacy. It's like saying that Ford pick up trucks are unreliable, therefore all pick up trucks are.
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