Wednesday, October 16, 2019
The Electoral Reform Cult and the Vote Splitting NDPers
As Jagmeet Singh heads for the finishing line, still urging Canadians to vote for the NDP even in ridings where that party can only split the vote and elect Cons, his supporters react in kind:
And since I can imagine what they will say, if they elect a Scheer majority that will dismember our country and its values.
I thought I might suggest that those who believe that electoral reform can cure all that ails our democracy, might read this review of a book that strongly suggests that proportional representation is not as advertised.
It is easy to debunk the idea that a PR system would deliver better governance to Canada. Studies by noted scholars (many of whom also presented to the parliamentary committee) have demonstrated that voters in proportional systems are no happier with how they elect their legislatures than Canadians are with their FPTP system. People are not pleased to see government depend on political coalitions that, in turn, rely on small parties to stay in power. They do not like the idea that these coalitions are formed by agreements hatched in the dark. What is all the more remarkable is that people who voted for parties that are left out of governing coalitions are even less satisfied. In other words, there is absolutely no empirical evidence that Canadian democracy would be improved by the adoption of some system of proportional representation.
Many advocates of PR imagine that the Canadian parliament in a system such as this would remain as it is, but with more seats for the NDP (or the Greens). The reality, given the history of Canada, is more likely that such a system would give life to multiple parties of regional and sectoral interests, each with valid claims. People have forgotten that over a dozen parties (including the big-tent parties) have been represented in the House of Commons since 1867. Dozens more were also created, but never succeeded. In a system where there is already a strong impulse to create parties, a PR model would encourage it even more. The evidence is clear in other jurisdictions that have adopted it. It makes for great political theatre, but makes governance unpredictable and unstable.
As for me, this best explains why Justin Trudeau opted not to go ahead with electoral reform at that time, after the ratty partisan Nathan Cullen sided with the Cons to demand a referendum.
Polls and referendums consistently show that, notwithstanding its flaws, the FPTP system is considered valuable and that only a minority of voters want it changed. Various surveys also clearly show that Canadians want any proposals to be put to a popular vote.
For if only a minority of Canadians support the idea of electoral reform, a divisive and extremely expensive referendum would have almost certainly resulted in yet another defeat, and effectively buried the idea for a generation.
So it can be argued that Trudeau actually saved ER for discussion at another time.
But of course now is NOT that time.
Now is the time to put our country before our parties, and vote for those in every riding who can best keep the ugly American and his RepubliCons out of power...
You know, ABC. Anyone but the Cons.
It sounds so simple, but with NDP friends like Mr Bottom, who needs enemies?
Here's another reality check. Jagmeet Singh may be a really nice guy, and I think he's really cool. But he's no man of the people.
Jagmeet has a taste for dandy luxuries that don’t comport with the monkish minimalism of his party. He wears bespoke suits in the slim British style—his favourite is a brown tweed with cobalt-blue stripes, designed by a tailor in New Delhi, which he often pairs with a millennial-pink turban. He owns two Rolex watches, an Oyster Perpetual Datejust and a Submariner (both were gifts); a crimson BMW coupe; and six designer bicycles.
Yes, yes. I know.
The truth is inconvenient, but only it can set us free...