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UK election implications for electoral reform

I’ve said before I’m cheering for the Liberal Democrats to do well in the UK general election on May 6, and I’m very thrilled obviously to see them turn this election into a 3 party horse-race with their leader Nick Clegg doing very well in the leaders debates so far (one more to go next week), and some polls indicating they’re actually leading – in popular vote percentage anyhow.

I should say I’d be delighted if they actually pulled off the biggest upset in UK electoral politics and actually formed the government, but failing that, there is another electoral result that is possible and which I wouldn’t mind seeing; […]


Some advice for electoral reformers: better messaging needed.

That’s what my friend and colleague Michael Taube writes in the Calgary Herald in this column, about how proponents of electoral reform can have better success.

Last week, I trotted out the idea that electoral reform advocates needed to now forget about MMP or STV and instead start advocating the voting voting model known as Instant-Runoff-Voting (IRV), which I felt would be easier to explain to people, as well as be a bit more of an incremental change that Canadians might accept. Mike takes a more general view – he doesnt pick out a specific voting model, but related to my “pick a voting model that is simple and easy […]


How does the STV proposed electoral reform model in BC work? (and I endorse STV)

Well, try this site out and take a look. Thanks to Andrew Coyne for finding that, who is trying to do some dramatic last-minute posts at Macleans endorsing STV to get it over the hump. Heck, even Paul Wells has jumped on the STV endorsement wagon, and that’s something, because I recall at the very least he was agnostic about the MMP proposal in Ontario in 2007.

I obviously endorse STV and hope it passes – if only so I don’t have to read another smirking editorial from the Toronto Star (led I won’t doubt by Ian Urquhart, if he’s still involved in the editorials over there. Ian has always […]


On the cusp of electoral reform in BC.

I saw news about this poll yesterday at several different blogs, and as a supporter of electoral reform, of course I’m very happy to see this:

Poll: 65 per cent of British Columbians support BC-STV Younger voters overwhelming in their support

Vancouver, B.C. – The numbers are in and British Columbia voters are giving a big thumbs up to electoral reform with 65 per cent saying they will vote for BC-STV in the upcoming referendum on May 12. That is the top line result of a major survey conducted by Angus Reid Strategies. Support for a new way of electing our MLAs is particularly strong among younger voters – those […]


Trying to move the goalposts

Well, here’s a topic we haven’t discussed in a while: electoral reform. Look for more of it though, as the referendum approaches in BC asking if voters wish to change theircurrent First-Past-The-Post voting system to Single Transferable Vote, or STV for short.

I noticed this morning that my Liberal colleague David Eaves was questioning among other things whether this upcoming referendum was too soon after the last one (I don`t think it`s an issue, because I believe in the US, propositions that get defeated on the ballot can get resurrected every 4 years , as far as I understand), and the other question he asked was whether a 60.1% YES […]


On electoral reform and Instant Run-Off Voting (IRV)

David Graham had a detailed article written in the Guelph Mercury that he highlighted at his blog yesterday about how he was in favour of reforming the voting system we have by changing it from what we currently have (First Past The Post) to Instant Run-Off Voting.

David and I have disagreed many times – sometimes vehemently – over what type of electoral voting system reforms Canada should have. We were on opposite sides of the MMP referendum last year in Ontario. That said, I follow the view of the website Liberals For Electoral Reform, who yesterday affirmed that while the site does support the Single-Transferable Vote Option that […]


Going over like a lead balloon.

Three cases of that statement that caught my eye this evening.

First, Harper’s statements on climate change and declaring that Kyoto was ” a mistake” earned him a unanimous disassociation of that statement in the Quebec legislature by all 3 parties. Regardless of what Chantal Hebert opines, I believe Dion should be hammering on that issue everywhere, but particularly in Quebec come next election.

Secondly, and on a related note, the UN issues about as unsubtle a diplomatic rebuke as you can do with regards to Harper and Canada’s position on Climate Change.

Thirdly, the decision by the NDP and Jack Layton to support the Cons. motion on prohibiting veiled voters from casting ballots has enraged traditional NDP supporting bloggers, and unaffiliated blogs on the progressive left who are normally sympathetic to the NDP today, although with the NDP’s view on blogging regarding it as the black sheep of the family, one wonders what if any effect it will have, or if anyone in NDP HQ even notices the discomfiture this has caused amongst their normally very loyal supporters.

Liberal and Con. blogs and the netroots for those parties may have no more influence on their respective parties, but we do know they get read up on the Hill by the MP’s and staffers. I’m not sure the same can be said of the NDP MP’s and staffers for the NDP bloggers, whose party seems to treat the venue and those who use it as pariahs. Perhaps the better way to get their attention is to get the media notice their rumblings, like say, Kady O’Mally, who wrote today wondering who exactly came up with this strategy to vote for this in the NDP backroom. People like her and others in the media could make a few NDP’ers rather uncomfortable when its pointed out to them that their netroots/grassroots supporters aren’t too happy about this.

And I support their stance, by the way. How can we have a problem with MAYBE a few hundred veiled voters, when we have thousands of Canadians sending in absentee mail-in ballots who apparently are just fine and dandy and we have no problem trusting who they are? The appearance of fearmongering against Muslims is way too obvious here.


There sure are a lot of “small persons” in Confederation, all of a sudden.

The title of course is referring to the comment that Conservative House Leader Peter Van Loan made about Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty when the Premier protested about the unfairness of Albertan and BC getting seat redistribution that would accurately reflect representation by population for them, while Ontario got shortchanged of seats.

I have said prior that this was nothing more then a gerrymandering exercise to get more seats in provinces that the Cons have a better shot of winning then in urban Ontario, and it appears via Impolitical, the Premier of Quebec and the Premier of Manitoba agree with Dalton’s position on this.

I am willing to bet you won’t […]


Stacking the deck

The best way to summarize Conservative House Leader Peter Van Loan and the Harper Government’s attitude to the province of Ontario on their complaints of being short-changed on the proposed seat re-distribution in Canada where BC and Alberta are getting seats that will accurately reflect their increase in population. while Ontario does not is this:

“We don’t understand why Ontario would be crybabies over our attempts to add more seats in areas of the country where we are more likely to win them”

As we saw yesterday, this continues a pattern of attempting to demonize a rival by the Cons government – it’s painfully obvious to others as well, and […]


The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

I have to disagree slightly with Impolitical. I don’t think Jack Layton and the NDP are being used at all by Harper. I think they’re using each other in another partisan attempt to embarrass the Liberals over this motion to hold a referendum to abolish the Senate (which would have no legal standing, since it requires the majority of provinces and the feds to agree to make such a change). I think Jack was well aware that Harper and the Cons would probably support this motion when he put it forward. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a not-so-disguised joint effort – even if not formally talked about by the […]

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