Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Desperate Cons and the Referendum Obsession

It's the Con's worst nightmare. The spectre of electoral reform coming after them, and threatening to drive them from power forever. 

And since they know only a referendum can save them, they spend an incredible amount of time calling for or screaming for one. 

Or repeating the same talking point over and over again like a broken record

Press Progress

If you've tuned in to Question Period since the last election, federal Conservatives seem to have one response and one response only whenever anyone brings up the question of reforming Canada's electoral system: referendum!

And of course the idea of a referendum did have to come from Pierre Poilievre.

Poilievre was first to float the referendum talking point back in June 2015, and later proposed a law that would "ban any government from changing our voting system without holding a referendum."

Stephen Harper's ghastly little stooge who rammed through major changes to the election act to try to suppress the vote, without even mentioning the idea of a referendum.

But would demand one to make it harder to reverse those changes. So the Cons could hope to steal one election after the other.

It was a sinister plot, but sadly for Poilievre and the increasingly desperate Rona Ambrose...

Their calls for a referendum are falling on deaf ears. 

The Special Committee on Electoral Reform resumed its deliberations Monday after a two-week break, hearing from three political science professors who all opposed the option of a national referendum on electoral reform.

“I would not put the issue of an alternative voting system to a referendum. It’s unnecessary; it’s a waste of money; and it will almost certainly fail. You may as well recommend not changing the system and save Canadians the cost.”

For not only would a referendum cost about $300 million, the Referendum Act would need to be updated which would take time. And since electoral reform is a complex subject, the result could be easily manipulated. 

Just by changing the words used you can have a dramatic shift in results. Use the word "agree" instead of the word "should" and all of a sudden the yes side jumps a few points. Use "update" instead of "change" and you've shifted an election. 

And that, ultimately, is the problem with referenda. How democratic and fair is it if changing two words can swing the outcome by 15 points?

So Poilievre's little idea is going absolutely nowhere...

And neither are him and his Con gang.

Which explains why Jason Kenney was trying to change tack yesterday, by claiming that proportional representation, being a more consensual form of government, would turn us into a dysfunctional Spanish Parliament.

“You’ve painted a bit of a picture of consensual democracies being sort of bucolic states where everybody is happy,” Kenney said. “Is it not equally true that…some of the most dysfunctional democracies in the world are in the consensual category? Right now, Spain would be a relatively good example.”

As if the Harper regime hadn't run the most dysfunctional Parliament this country has ever seen.

But then of course, like all the other Cons, Kenney is desperate...

For he knows that if they can't get a referendum, and they do have electoral reform imposed upon them, it will blow them to smithereens. 

And unless they change, and become less like a right-wing cult, and more of a centrist party, they could be forced to wander in the political wilderness forever.

And one way or the other it will be the end of the Harper Party...

You know, electoral reform may seem like a boring subject.

But it is the weapon that will finally destroy them...

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  1. Anonymous10:57 PM

    Looks like Baby Doc is gonna finish what Papa Doc started and make us a full fledged socialist country comrade Simon. Trudeau SR was a card carrying communist as well all know.


    1. PET was by far the best PM we have ever had. His accomplishments our foundation. His failures (to cement them) on NEP and anti NAFTA our losses.

    2. hi MC...No Pierre Trudeau was not a card carrying communist, he was actually a devout Catholic. And although I wish he was, Justin is no socialist...

  2. Anonymous7:47 AM

    If only Trudeau and the Liberals had talked about electoral reform during the last election we wouldn't need to waste all this time and money talking about it now. Silly Liberals.

    1. hi anon...actually Trudeau did talk about electoral reform during the last campaign. He said it would be the last election under a FPTP system. He just forgot to say that it would be the end of the Cons....

  3. Anonymous9:52 AM

    If the Libs are smart they'll agree to the Con demand for a referendum. Voters have already voted to eliminate First Past the Post (FPTP) elections by giving the Libs a majority. That leaves the following referendum question: "Do you prefer Mixed Member Proportional Representation (MMPR) or Ranked Ballots (RB)?"

  4. hi anon...yes except that the Cons will also insist that the FPTP system be added to the list of choices, and what I fear is that the process will consume so much time the next election will have to be held using the old system. Which would be of course exactly what the Cons want....