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Show ALL Forums  > Current Events  > Proportional Representation in Canada & the Electoral Process      Home login  
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 Singlemaltgirl
Joined: 12/31/2004
Msg: 1
Proportional Representation in Canada & the Electoral ProcessPage 1 of 1    
i can only hope (and it's slim a slim one) that proportional representation will be brought forward as key for the next election which will be sooner than we'd all like.

as a voter that has participated in every political and federal election for which i've been eligible, i am feeling more disinclined to do my civic duty and vote.

the negative campaigning and mudslinging, the effort to vote and yet not make an impact in a riding that is hard line conservative makes me wonder why i bother aside from providing my son with the example.

i don't believe my vote means anything or that it counts towards anything like i once did. if anything, this election has made me even more disillusioned by the electoral and political process in canada.

your thoughts?
 Singlemaltgirl
Joined: 12/31/2004
Msg: 2
Proportional Representation in Canada & the Electoral Process
Posted: 1/25/2006 4:02:23 PM
robert - it's not so much that my preferred candidate never had a chance that i am p*ssed off with the current electoral system. if there are so many seats available to each province and ontario and quebec can elect the gov't of canada (and it will always be so given the current division of seats) no matter where the population centres of canada lie, why bother voting?

why is it that young voters are participating less and less in their electoral system? this election 65% of registered voters made it to the polls. that was up from the last election of 60%. either number is dismal given the fact that not all canadians register to vote.

so if we say 75% of eligible voters actually registered and of those only 65% voted, there is a significant amount of canadians who didn't bother voting. why? do they feel that casting a vote means nothing? voter apathy? to have such a large number of eligible voters not voting indicates to me there is a problem with our electoral system. it may not be completely irreparable but i think it is broken.

as for parliamentary fragmentation, perhaps that will eliminate the dictatorships of one party. perhaps it will fuel independents and balance political agendas so that no one party can carry on a rule of "privilege" and "entitlement". perhaps negotiation, compromise and consensus would actually make canada a true liberal democracy. maybe, candidates would represent their ridings better rather than towing the party line.
 Singlemaltgirl
Joined: 12/31/2004
Msg: 3
Proportional Representation in Canada & the Electoral Process
Posted: 1/27/2006 8:19:40 AM
also am a bit irked that this is being brought up in the context of a CPC victory. Suddenly when a party that represents conservative values and Western intrests gets into power as a minority govt the system is broken? That insults me as a citizen, a voter, and a conservative westerner. Suddenly because the "wrong" side ( My side) won the system is broken.


i don't think this issue is solely based on the fact that the conservatives are heading up the next minority gov't. they discussed it as part of their platform so it makes sense that people would be discussing it now. but the west has long asked for the electoral process to be reviewed.

for me, it doesn't have so much to do with the fact that the conservatives are in. it's more about critical issues that don't resonate with me. maybe it's because i'm a westerner, but here goes:

- how is it that there is a national party that once held the official opposition seat but only has candidates running in one province? (the bloc quebecois). to be considered a "national" party, i think you should have to have candidates running in a third of all ridings in all provinces. that would be true regional representation - at least living up to the ideal of it for goodness sakes.

- why is there no recognition of population shifts in provinces/regions? i realize the seats of the house are reviewed every 10 years based on a census but thanks to the "grandfather clause", a province can never have less seats than what they had in 1976 or 1985. that means that the west and the maritimes would have to have an unreasonable surge of population growth to make up for the seats that quebec and ontario have enjoyed for decades and can never lose.

- why do we vote party lines and not for candidates that represent constituents anymore? i can't think of more than a handful of candidates who actually care about their ridings and DO THINGS in their community. i think voter apathy may stem from this as well...if they are all going to tow the party line, who gives a damn who the candidate is, you are just voting for a party anyway.

there are several systems that can be used instead of our plurality voting (first past the post system) and they have worked well to provide democratic gov't. why can't we talk about it? why have we decided plurality is the best? b/c our forefathers decided it and now we can't change it?

and don't get me started on the senate - that is a whole reform process on it's own. why we even have a senate appointed by the pm is beyond me. talk about privilege and entitlement....true democracy must lie with the house. it's just how we elect that house that should be discussed b/c people don't vote anymore. they are unhappy with the current party system and have been for a long while.

and as for understanding other systems - the vast majority of canadians are not stupid. (at least that's what i believe) and can process the idea of a new system and a better electoral process if given the chance. at least, that's what i think....
 Double Cabin
Joined: 11/29/2004
Msg: 4
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History
Proportional Representation in Canada & the Electoral Process
Posted: 1/27/2006 11:21:52 AM
And here some of us saw these as somehow uniquely American concerns?

Good luck my friends. Singlemaltgirl, you have posted some excellent threads in my coming up on a year here in these forums.
 Frrosty
Joined: 3/21/2004
Msg: 5
Proportional Representation in Canada & the Electoral Process
Posted: 1/27/2006 12:12:28 PM
why has every modern democracy except Canada, the U.S., and Britain gone to a proportional representation system,


Geography.

What, the Electoral College? It is the stupidest system ever


Very very much agreed.

because an MP that can keep their constituancy quiet and pacified will get promotions.


Best way to do this: make sure their wishes are granted and their concerns are addressed.

That person is still going to pull the party line which I did vote for


Our MPS do not always "toe the party line".


Perhaps a system of "popular vote" would be more in order...allowing anyone to run for office using the "100,000" limit....if a person can get 100,000 people to vote for him/her...they go to office to represent those people. If they get 200,000...that representative gets 2 votes. If they only get 199,999...only 1 vote. This makes EVERY vote count. It would basically force the voter to make the decisions as to how this country would be run.
Australia has mandatory voting....50 buck fine for not voting. We could go along with that. Those who "refuse" to vote, pay a 50 dollar fine. They don't go gonzo about collecting it...if it hasn't been paid by tax time, it shows up then.(or could...).

We could have Parliament as a real peoples voice. Send the representatives in and they tell their constituants what the issues are..and the people tell the rep in what direction to vote. He would basically be a number cruncher....so much percentage of his riding says "yes"...so many say "no" so many "abstain"....whichever of the 3. These numbers are added up and the law either passed or not depending on it. If the majority abstained, it would be postphoned because either not enough people feel informed or feel it is too "hot" politically...or perhaps thinks politics has no place in saying what Canadians should do...as in the case of gay marriages. (Let the Churches decide what THEY are going to do...allow civil unions for purposes of taxation and pension rights) An "abstained" vote would need further consideration.

It could be done with the technology available..and the politicians would have to be in close contact with their constituants to find out "which way the wind is blowing".


I like this; accept the part about postponing decisions. THIS would happen so very very often that so many Bills and issues would get frozen forever chief.

- how is it that there is a national party that once held the official opposition seat but only has candidates running in one province? (the bloc quebecois). to be considered a "national" party,


Charter. "Special Status"

- why do we vote party lines and not for candidates that represent constituents anymore?


IN KW; we don't. The Liberals STILL took 2 of the 3 biggest ridings here; based on their personal contributions and cares for their community. Karen Redman/Andrew Telegdi...BOTH have quite the tenure representing their constituents...because they do what they are asked by their people to do.


- why is there no recognition of population shifts in provinces/regions?


There are, unless I am madly mistaken. Heck; even Dundas and surrounding area got reform and boundary changes based on surging populations. (as did Oakville and Mississauga area)
 Singlemaltgirl
Joined: 12/31/2004
Msg: 6
Proportional Representation in Canada & the Electoral Process
Posted: 1/27/2006 3:39:54 PM
- how is it that there is a national party that once held the official opposition seat but only has candidates running in one province? (the bloc quebecois). to be considered a "national" party,

Charter. "Special Status"


but quebec didn't vote for the charter of rights and freedoms did they? they are the one province who chooses to accept and not accept what parts of the charter they want and don't want given they didn't vote it in.



why do we vote party lines and not for candidates that represent constituents anymore?

IN KW; we don't. The Liberals STILL took 2 of the 3 biggest ridings here; based on their personal contributions and cares for their community. Karen Redman/Andrew Telegdi...BOTH have quite the tenure representing their constituents...because they do what they are asked by their people to do.


we have 308 seats. name more than a handful of candidates that got elected based on what they did for their ridings. i'll accept at least a third of the mp's elected. it should be a majority of mp's but i'll accept a third of the seats housing mp's who were elected based on their constituency record and not their party.


- why is there no recognition of population shifts in provinces/regions?

There are, unless I am madly mistaken. Heck; even Dundas and surrounding area got reform and boundary changes based on surging populations. (as did Oakville and Mississauga area)


i did mention there is a review every 10 years based on the census. however, quebec and ontario will never lose seats that they had as of 1975 b/c those seats have been grandfathered in. so other provinces would have to have a huge surge in population in order to gain more seats to compete with central canada.

boundary changes do not add up to more seats either, btw.
 HalftimeDad
Joined: 5/29/2005
Msg: 7
Proportional Representation in Canada & the Electoral Process
Posted: 1/27/2006 4:21:42 PM
A pet idea of mine for years has been to make the Senate based on PR. Easier for parties to recruit star candidates in tight ridings if it's understood that they'll get a seat in the Senate if they lose. It hardly ever happens that one party gets 50% of the vote, so the Senate would be more balanced. Parties would ensure that they appointed people from parts of the country they were shut out in and the governing party would use these people in cabinet. The Liberals governed for years with very few western MP's to choose from under Trudeau in particular. In this Parliament, the Tories could have some real stars from Quebec and Atlantic Canada in cabinet instead of having to choose from those who got elected.
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