Objectives of Proportional Representation

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This topic contains 47 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Mark Henschel 2 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #26921

    Mark Henschel
    Participant

    David, sorry. I’m just reacting to the dismissive character of most of the conversations I have (ie with Robert) going back to… forever.

    I’ve been busy too.

    Rather than list everything or completely describe a candidate system I like I clearly chose to make one suggestion for an additional objective. Can’t that work? It should, no?

    Again, I am suggesting that FV should be categorical in not pushing for features that take us backwards in an aspect that is clearly important to Canadians (and MPs) and has definite roots in our electoral system.

    I’m suggesting we do not offer more opportunities for party leadership and backrooms to make candidates and MPs more beholden to them than to the electorate and than they are under the current system.

    I’d be happy to discuss this. But not to field straw men as Robert seems to want me to do.

    Again, I offer this as a suggestion for FV to enhance and grow its appeal to voters by adding value in addition to PR. I can’t see how that makes be unhelpful or demanding. This has nothing to do with STV (although it might… 😉 )

    Really, I cannot see why you would be reluctant to tart up what you’re offering. It works with cars and all kinds of merchandise.

    Go team go.

    #26922

    Robert Jarman
    Participant

    A lot of these details are TBD. There are different types of models and Canada could plausibly go for any of them.

    I can only tell you what sorts of systems parties use now for their specific situations, but as far as I know, only state elections in Bavaria have open list MMP.

    The Parliament of Canada is written such that it doesn’t imagine anything other than single member ridings. The idea of standing in multiple ridings doesn’t make sense if they are single member, but if you can both stand in a region and a municipality, that isn’t as bizarre.

    Plus, parties don’t just have a leader, and many parties around the world give very little power to such leaders. A party boss would have very little they can do to get the candidate to do what they want, but the general membership of the party could exert a great deal of influence. Australian party leaders are regularly rotated through and have little influence over the caucus, the caucus drives the leader instead. The Greens in New Zealand for instance hold a party referendum to their entire membership over whether or not to approve of the proposed list of candidates (closed list). Some other parties have the local party associations create nomination committees by a vote of their members and then they create the lists of candidates. If these committees are elected by the local members and the party members have to ratify the list, and especially if nominees need the signed support of a certain fraction of the party, then it is very hard to ignore the party members and makes the bosses less relevant. A full open primary is also possible, as happened in a couple ridings in the UK for the 2010 Commons election for the conservative party where any registered voter could vote.

    #26923

    Mark Henschel
    Participant

    Running in two ridings — any kind of ridings — doesn’t make a lick of sense. And the problems are the same for multiple ridings as they are for singles particularly when you have open lists that are supposed to actually work for the voter rather than being a placebo.

    What happens to votes for that candidate in the riding that he chooses (or is forced ) not to represent? The voters who voted for him — and one has to assume that they cast their ballots with intent — then have their votes magically converted into party votes. That’s not an effective candidate (open) vote is it.

    You have to do something to have their votes count like everybody elses. It could be a ranked ballot.

    The chappies who wrote the Parliament of Canada Act resolved the problem by prohibiting dual candidacy. I think that makes sense.

    MMP aficionados complain that this impacts their system. But I would argue that it is MMP’s self-inflicted problem. The problem is the mixed character which creates two classes of candidates and representatives and runs contrary to the logic of the Charter: that for all voters to be Charter equals wrt Parliament their representatives must be Charter equals too. MMP flies in the face of the Charter.

    You’re right that electoral systems and institutions can be configured to deal with what people want. That presupposes that you know what you want and articulate that aspiration… and design the system to suit. Not the other way around. This is the whole point of having a discussion about “objectives” right? You don’t implement a system and then choose your objectives (though you may wind up designing via buyer’s remorse).

    The Australians do this. The Germans do that. Who cares? We are neither country.

    The point of discussing objectives is to define the bull’s eye on the target we’re aiming at in this endeavour.

    I think the first place to start is to define the logical ideal: that every voter gets a rep of their choosing and every rep represents the same number of voters. Equality and inclusion together. The latter is the root of proportionality.

    To that… we should be adding the suggestions generated here.

    Gotta go. Hope this helps.

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