Referendum on how BC votes

Re: Referendum on how BC votes

Postby rustled » Feb 7th, 2018, 6:27 pm

Verum wrote:
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.

If you honestly can't wrap your head around why the needs of the people in the various diverse areas of the province are different from the needs of the people in the other areas, if you honestly think that the needs of some British Columbians can be equated with "special interests" and as such should be subjugated to the wishes of the majority, if you honestly think fringe parties deserve representation at the expense of those living in the finge areas of our province, and you are stating all of this while championing PR, then you have really helped convince me that PR is a very, very bad idea.

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Re: Referendum on how BC votes

Postby Verum » Feb 7th, 2018, 7:43 pm

rustled wrote:...
If you honestly can't wrap your head around why the needs of the people in the various diverse areas of the province are different from the needs of the people in the other areas, if you honestly think that the needs of some British Columbians can be equated with "special interests" and as such should be subjugated to the wishes of the majority, if you honestly think fringe parties deserve representation at the expense of those living in the finge areas of our province, and you are stating all of this while championing PR, then you have really helped convinced me that PR is a very, very bad idea.

Yes, resort to trying to insult someone's intelligence. That's an ad hominem attack, but still doesn't address the issue.
I have no doubt that your mind was already made up anyway.

The fact is that a fringe area is a special interest group. They are a group of people who share a common set of interests, usually tied to the locality in which they live. This is also true of other special interest groups, which are not necessarily tied to a common piece of land. There is no reason you have provided why one of these should be treated with preference over the other.

We all have needs. With FPTP the needs of many have been ignored, repeatedly. That's what happens when a minority of voters get to pick the government. PR gives these ignored people a voice and means that their needs are far more likely to be considered. PR supports diversity and giving people a voice. FPTP favours large groups of the population over all others.

It is not that fringe parties deserve representation, it is that all voices do, which naturally gives rise to diversity of opinions and values and potentially parties when the main parties fail to represent the people. The fact is the our current 3 parties do not cover a large number of people's wishes at all and have little incentive to do so. These groups of people, some tied together by location, some by other reasons, are often ignored or treated with lip service. With PR they would be more likely to have a voice and less likely to be ignored, as they currently largely are.
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Re: Referendum on how BC votes

Postby rustled » Feb 7th, 2018, 8:12 pm

I'm sorry you feel I was insulting your intelligence.

There's a very big difference between special interest groups based on their shared ideology and the needs of people who are working for a living in McBride. The needs of people living in McBride won't be the same as the needs of people working in Bella Coola. The wants of the people living Prince George shouldn't take precedence over the needs of the people in McBride or Bella Coola.

These are not special interest groups, lobbying to influence public opinion or advocate change. They are people who need services the rest of the province needs (schools, roads, health care), all of which are to be delivered by our provincial government, but under very different circumstances depending on where they're to be delivered.

That you should see the needs of the fringe areas as the same as "special interests" implies that PR is being advocated for by special interest groups, for special interest groups.

And because PR will be adding MLA voices to the mix, PR will be making it more difficult for MLAs to ensure the services they're responsible for delivering to the entire province, are delivered to the fringe areas. So it sounds to me like PR puts the special interest groups' wants ahead of the fringe areas' needs.

I hope I've made it easier to understand. Again, this isn't about intelligence at all. It's about recognizing that delivering government services properly and fairly to the fringe areas of the province is not the same as giving special interest groups a voice. I'm not opposed to doing the latter, but not at the expense of the former.

And I'd suggest to you that what we saw south of the border in the last election reflected people feeling their needs were being subjugated to the wants (wishes, if you will) of special interest groups.
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Re: Referendum on how BC votes

Postby George+ » Feb 7th, 2018, 8:25 pm

Christy did a good job of delivering on FPTP.

In Lieberal ridings.

PR would force parties to work together and
deliver for all the province.
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Re: Referendum on how BC votes

Postby hobbyguy » Feb 7th, 2018, 8:26 pm

Verum wrote:
rustled wrote:...
If you honestly can't wrap your head around why the needs of the people in the various diverse areas of the province are different from the needs of the people in the other areas, if you honestly think that the needs of some British Columbians can be equated with "special interests" and as such should be subjugated to the wishes of the majority, if you honestly think fringe parties deserve representation at the expense of those living in the finge areas of our province, and you are stating all of this while championing PR, then you have really helped convinced me that PR is a very, very bad idea.

Yes, resort to trying to insult someone's intelligence. That's an ad hominem attack, but still doesn't address the issue.
I have no doubt that your mind was already made up anyway.

The fact is that a fringe area is a special interest group. They are a group of people who share a common set of interests, usually tied to the locality in which they live. This is also true of other special interest groups, which are not necessarily tied to a common piece of land. There is no reason you have provided why one of these should be treated with preference over the other.

We all have needs. With FPTP the needs of many have been ignored, repeatedly. That's what happens when a minority of voters get to pick the government. PR gives these ignored people a voice and means that their needs are far more likely to be considered. PR supports diversity and giving people a voice. FPTP favours large groups of the population over all others.

It is not that fringe parties deserve representation, it is that all voices do, which naturally gives rise to diversity of opinions and values and potentially parties when the main parties fail to represent the people. The fact is the our current 3 parties do not cover a large number of people's wishes at all and have little incentive to do so. These groups of people, some tied together by location, some by other reasons, are often ignored or treated with lip service. With PR they would be more likely to have a voice and less likely to be ignored, as they currently largely are.


So now you don't want fringe groups to be represented?

What large number of people's wishes are not covered? 97.48% of people voted either Green, NDP or Liberal. 16 other parties participated in the election. Surely among the 16 other parties there was one for the few that didn't?

Voices being represented is a function of involvement, not of the electoral system. Want your voice to be heard? Get involved, put in the work.

Voices being represented in the elections CAN be done better. But NOT by changing the electoral system.

Change the Campaign system, and party finance system. Put a very small cap, $50-100 on donations and have Elections BC take the money the BC NDP are trying to steal from the taxpayer, and use that to have Elections BC run the campaigns - every candidate gets equal access to the media and other mechanisms that Elections BC would then provide.

Then independents, smaller parties, start up parties, would be on a level playing field. Then the voters decide whose voice they want to listen to - that's democracy. If you don't make the cut because your "Flouride Free BC" party doesn't garner enough votes - so be it.
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Re: Referendum on how BC votes

Postby hobbyguy » Feb 7th, 2018, 8:29 pm

George+ wrote:Christy did a good job of delivering on FPTP.

In Lieberal ridings.

PR would force parties to work together and
deliver for all the province.


Do you have something valid to add to the conversation? This isn't a partisan issue.

IF you want to look at partisan issues, I suggest that you look at the 4 ridings in Victoria. 3 NDP, 1 Green. Analysis says that with PR it would be 2 Green, 1 Liberal, 1 NDP.

So what's your point George?
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Re: Referendum on how BC votes

Postby George+ » Feb 7th, 2018, 8:39 pm

Good. Debate does not mean going on forever about nothing!

Maybe you missed the last sentence?..in my previous post.
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Re: Referendum on how BC votes

Postby Verum » Feb 7th, 2018, 8:59 pm

hobbyguy wrote:...

So now you don't want fringe groups to be represented? No, I want all people represented, equally. No special preference for any group. No exclusion of unpopular voices just because they are.

What large number of people's wishes are not covered? 97.48% of people voted either Green, NDP or Liberal. 16 other parties participated in the election. Surely among the 16 other parties there was one for the few that didn't? The problem is that most people know that a vote for anyone but the major 3 is a wasted vote. Hence the result. PR would reduce the number of wasted votes.

Voices being represented is a function of involvement, not of the electoral system. Want your voice to be heard? Get involved, put in the work. Voting is being involved. That is how most people's voices are heard.

Voices being represented in the elections CAN be done better. But NOT by changing the electoral system. I completely disagree, though it certainly isn't the only step I would take (Ted talk on Lesterland for more info).

Change the Campaign system, and party finance system. Put a very small cap, $50-100 on donations and have Elections BC take the money the BC NDP are trying to steal from the taxpayer, and use that to have Elections BC run the campaigns - every candidate gets equal access to the media and other mechanisms that Elections BC would then provide. This is hard to work and has other issues. There is no silver bullet

Then independents, smaller parties, start up parties, would be on a level playing field. Then the voters decide whose voice they want to listen to - that's democracy. If you don't make the cut because your "Flouride Free BC" party doesn't garner enough votes - so be it. They would have no chance without a major misstep of one of the major parties. Simply put, we will not get significantly increased diversity of opinion without more parties and FPTP is notorious for reducing the party count towards 2.
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Re: Referendum on how BC votes

Postby twobits » Feb 7th, 2018, 9:04 pm

George+ wrote:Good. Debate does not mean going on forever about nothing!

Maybe you missed the last sentence?..in my previous post.


George, the only thing you have mastered is going on about nothing. You are actually an embarrassment to the NDP you support. Even Horgan would ask you to stand down and shut up.
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Re: Referendum on how BC votes

Postby Glacier » Feb 7th, 2018, 9:34 pm

Verum thinks it's great to merge half of BC into a single riding represented by a single MLA in Fort Nelson who has constituents over 1000 km away in Masset who have nothing in common with the oil patch.
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Re: Referendum on how BC votes

Postby Verum » Feb 7th, 2018, 9:39 pm

Glacier wrote:Verum thinks it's great to merge half of BC into a single riding represented by a single MLA in Fort Nelson who has constituents over 1000 km away in Masset who have nothing in common with the oil patch.

Thank you for telling me what I think. Shall I make up stupid thoughts for you too?
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Re: Referendum on how BC votes

Postby hobbyguy » Feb 8th, 2018, 12:15 am

Verum wrote:
hobbyguy wrote:...

So now you don't want fringe groups to be represented? No, I want all people represented, equally. No special preference for any group. No exclusion of unpopular voices just because they are.

What large number of people's wishes are not covered? 97.48% of people voted either Green, NDP or Liberal. 16 other parties participated in the election. Surely among the 16 other parties there was one for the few that didn't? The problem is that most people know that a vote for anyone but the major 3 is a wasted vote. Hence the result. PR would reduce the number of wasted votes.

Voices being represented is a function of involvement, not of the electoral system. Want your voice to be heard? Get involved, put in the work. Voting is being involved. That is how most people's voices are heard.

Voices being represented in the elections CAN be done better. But NOT by changing the electoral system. I completely disagree, though it certainly isn't the only step I would take (Ted talk on Lesterland for more info).

Change the Campaign system, and party finance system. Put a very small cap, $50-100 on donations and have Elections BC take the money the BC NDP are trying to steal from the taxpayer, and use that to have Elections BC run the campaigns - every candidate gets equal access to the media and other mechanisms that Elections BC would then provide. This is hard to work and has other issues. There is no silver bullet

Then independents, smaller parties, start up parties, would be on a level playing field. Then the voters decide whose voice they want to listen to - that's democracy. If you don't make the cut because your "Flouride Free BC" party doesn't garner enough votes - so be it. They would have no chance without a major misstep of one of the major parties. Simply put, we will not get significantly increased diversity of opinion without more parties and FPTP is notorious for reducing the party count towards 2.


The whole point of democracy is that everyone gets a chance to voice concerns and then everyone reaches a consensus on which voices they choose as the most valid. IF you have Elections BC run the campaigns so that all have a level playing field, as many parties as choose to participate will have an equivalent shot. If their message is not one that the public wants to hear, then they ought not be represented in governance.

It is equal opportunity that is the goal, not participation awards.

As far as the illogical statement about "wasted votes": first off no vote is wasted. No one has any guarantee that any party will win the election, or any party will win a seat, or a particular seat. Voting is an expression of each individual's opinion and preference. No single opinion or preference will ever dominate, and if you have a fringe opinion, that's the way it goes, people won't listen to you nor agree with you.
The second point I would make is that while "wasted votes" is oxymoronic as no vote is ever wasted, in BC 97.48% of voters voted for a party that got seats and is represented in government. In Canada 99.2% of voters voted for a party that got seats and is represented in government. Both of those are FPTP. In Germany, with PR, only 95.9% of voters voted for a party that got seats and is represented in governance. That makes the "wasted" (they aren't) votes HIGHER in a PR system. 2.52% "wasted" votes in BC, 0.8% "wasted" votes in Canada, and 4.1% "wasted" votes in PR Germany.
The third point I would make is that if you think party A is the one to vote for, and party A is dominant in your riding, is your vote for party A "wasted" - of course not, even though your vote is likely not needed to elect party A in your riding. If you live in Vancouver-Mount Pleasant and you vote Conservative is your vote "wasted" - of course not. You know the NDP is going to win that riding, but you vote Conservative because that is your choice, and the more Conservative votes that show up, the moderating the influence on the NDP winner.
No vote is "wasted".

Diversity of opinion is not restricted by the electoral system, nor restricted by the party system - flawed as it is. Whether or not that opinion is reflected in governance is another matter. My opinion is that we should just stick with PDT - but if that's not the majority opinion, I don't get to see that. That's what democracy is about. You might want strictly PST, I want strictly PDT, but 3 other folks all want the current system. So, the governance position is the status quo for clocks.

That doesn't mean that I should stamp my foot and demand representation in governance for the PDT party. The PDT position lost, the PST position lost, and the SQ position won. That's democracy. You can't have a constant anarchic fuss over it. You can please most of the people most of the time, but you can't please all of the people all of the time.

PR solves nothing, is much more expensive and less efficient way of doing things, and is far more divisive. FPTP isn't perfect, but it's better, more efficient, and has served Canada and its provinces very well for a long time.

The problems, as I will continue to point out, are not in the electoral system, but in the party, campaign and party finance systems which are open to corruption. Quebec has a $100 limit on political party donations. Why can't we have that?
We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. - Louis D. Brandeis

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Re: Referendum on how BC votes

Postby hobbyguy » Feb 8th, 2018, 12:25 am

Verum, I forgot to mention that your statement about FPTP being notorious for reducing to a 2 party system is very questionable.

The UK - FPTP - 6 parties with seats.
Canada - FPTP - 5 parties with seats
Germany - PR - 6 parties with seats.

The average number of parties under PR is 4.4.

The data just doesn't seem to support that statement when applied to a parliamentary system, although if the US is an example, perhaps it applies to republics. Kind of complex question... context matters.
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Re: Referendum on how BC votes

Postby Verum » Feb 8th, 2018, 12:34 am

hobbyguy wrote:Verum, I forgot to mention that your statement about FPTP being notorious for reducing to a 2 party system is very questionable. That isn't what I said at all.

The UK - FPTP - 6 parties with seats.
Canada - FPTP - 5 parties with seats
Germany - PR - 6 parties with seats.

The average number of parties under PR is 4.4.

The data just doesn't seem to support that statement when applied to a parliamentary system, although if the US is an example, perhaps it applies to republics. Kind of complex question... context matters.

No, statistical analysis shows that FPTP systems have significantly fewer parties, tending towards two.
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Re: Referendum on how BC votes

Postby Verum » Feb 8th, 2018, 12:57 am

hobbyguy wrote:The whole point of democracy is that everyone gets a chance to voice concerns and then everyone reaches a consensus on which voices they choose as the most valid. IF you have Elections BC run the campaigns so that all have a level playing field, as many parties as choose to participate will have an equivalent shot. If their message is not one that the public wants to hear, then they ought not be represented in governance. So, hypothetically what if 20% of the voters, evenly spread throughout BC are of a specific opinion? They will not get a single seat despite having a massively popular opinion. That is a massive number of people whose voice would be completely missing from representation. The current system is designed to reward the most popular party, and heavily penalise all others to the point that almost all others either amalgamate or collapse. Thus tending towards 2.

It is equal opportunity that is the goal, not participation awards. The problem is that it does not provide equality of opportunity. It's like a system where the guy in front is given a boost to make sure that he stays there. PR just helps level the playing field a bit.

As far as the illogical statement about "wasted votes": first off no vote is wasted. No one has any guarantee that any party will win the election, or any party will win a seat, or a particular seat. Voting is an expression of each individual's opinion and preference. No single opinion or preference will ever dominate, and if you have a fringe opinion, that's the way it goes, people won't listen to you nor agree with you. You obviously don't understand what one means by a vote being wasted. Voting is not about getting lovely feels, it's about getting representation and if you are in a constituency where you have no chance of influencing the election in a way which favours your opinion, your vote is wasted. FPTP is almost designed to waste the maximum number of votes.
The second point I would make is that while "wasted votes" is oxymoronic as no vote is ever wasted, in BC 97.48% of voters voted for a party that got seats and is represented in government. Yes, largely because they know that what they want won't happen and so they are limited to voting in a broken system with far fewer options than would be ideal. For most people, the parties are borderline Hobson's choice. In Canada 99.2% of voters voted for a party that got seats and is represented in government. Both of those are FPTP. In Germany, with PR, only 95.9% of voters voted for a party that got seats and is represented in governance. That makes the "wasted" (they aren't) votes HIGHER in a PR system. 2.52% "wasted" votes in BC, 0.8% "wasted" votes in Canada, and 4.1% "wasted" votes in PR Germany. Now compare with all the other PR systems and see what the results look like. Cherry picking one to meet your needs is relatively meaningless. Additionally, compare how likely FPTP systems were to result in the representatives of a minority of voters having a majority of control with PR's similar stats. Guess which one is less likely to create a situation where most people are being ruled by people they didn't vote for at all?
The third point I would make is that if you think party A is the one to vote for, and party A is dominant in your riding, is your vote for party A "wasted" - of course not, even though your vote is likely not needed to elect party A in your riding. If you live in Vancouver-Mount Pleasant and you vote Conservative is your vote "wasted" - of course not. You know the NDP is going to win that riding, but you vote Conservative because that is your choice, and the more Conservative votes that show up, the moderating the influence on the NDP winner.
No vote is "wasted".

Diversity of opinion is not restricted by the electoral system, nor restricted by the party system - flawed as it is. Whether or not that opinion is reflected in governance is another matter. My opinion is that we should just stick with PDT - but if that's not the majority opinion, I don't get to see that. That's what democracy is about. You might want strictly PST, I want strictly PDT, but 3 other folks all want the current system. So, the governance position is the status quo for clocks.

That doesn't mean that I should stamp my foot and demand representation in governance for the PDT party. The PDT position lost, the PST position lost, and the SQ position won. That's democracy. You can't have a constant anarchic fuss over it. You can please most of the people most of the time, but you can't please all of the people all of the time.Yes, but PR means that 40% can make a demand and the remaining 60% have to go along with it. They have no choice. At least with PR this is very rare. In your example, it would be as if most of the people want to scrap DST, roughly evenly split as to which TZ to settle on, but all certain they want to get rid of DST anyway, but a large minority get their way and we keep DST. That is FPTP in a nutshell.

PR solves nothing, is much more expensive and less efficient way of doing things, and is far more divisive. FPTP isn't perfect, but it's better, more efficient, and has served Canada and its provinces very well for a long time. The cost difference is tiny and essentially irrelevant in the scheme of things. FPTP has usually resulted in the representatives of a minority of the population having complete say over the majority. Do you honestly not think that is broken? Don't bother, you'll justify the tyranny of the minority, despite it not being justifiable.

The problems, as I will continue to point out, are not in the electoral system, but in the party, campaign and party finance systems which are open to corruption. Quebec has a $100 limit on political party donations. Why can't we have that? The is off topic and irrelevant to the current discussion.
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