Wednesday, July 25, 2007

No campaign is up and running

The campaign to stop MMP is up and running. Our website will be up shortly. A link should appear in the sidebar of this blog.


Matt said...

Voters won't be voting no or yes. They'll be choosing between two systems.

I hope you can try to explain how first-past-the-post, which frequently not only gives power to the SECOND PLACE party (Quebec in 1998, BC in 1996, New Brunswick in 2006), but gives that second place party a MAJORITY government, is somehow more democratic than proportional representation.

All the arguments you've posted on your site thus far against MMP have been poorly thought out and difficult to decipher.

Hopefully your new site will be clearer as to why representation at Queen's Park shouldn't match how people actually voted. I'd like to hear those reasons as you haven't explained them well thus far.

aginsberg said...

Please note the last election in Sweden (uses a system of MMP, although not the one on the ballot) where the New Moderates won in spite of the fact that the Social Democrats received the most votes. People should not vote for change for change sakes. I have stated previously on this blog that I in fact made a submission to the Citizens' Assembly advocating CHANGE to a majoritarian run-off system like the one used in France and Louisiana. I believe we should keep the current system because MMP is a bad option NOT because I think FPTP is perfect. I feel no compulsion to change my method of argumentation because elections Ontario chose to use a ballot question contrary to the wishes of the citizens' assembly. This is especially true when I started my series before the ballot question was announced.

Raymond Lorenz said...


Sweden uses a top-up list system, but the top-up feature is comparable to MMP.

The New Moderates were elected as part of a transparent coalition government based on public & parliamentary support. What's the problem?

(I don't see the Swedes clamoring to change their electoral looks like a very democratic model to many observers)

Andy said...

There's no reason that a "democratic" system couldn't contain a slight bias toward parties with widespread support across a province.

The other point I'd make is that in our system precisely zero votes are ever cast for a party. As voters, what we're selecting are the people who are going to govern the province/country, as individuals as well as as party members. Thus a party that nominated 20 excellent candidates and 25 execrable candidates might get more votes (concentrated massively in the 20 ridings of the excellent) than a party that nominated 45 average candidates, but might lose the election 25-20 for very good reason: the majority of its candidates are terrible and were judged to be such by the voters. Sounds democratic enough to me -- no matter what happens when you calculate the irrelevant statistic of how many votes were won by candidates running under the banner of each of the parties.

The occasions on which the winning party under FPTP doesn't win the most votes are partly artefacts of the fact that winning the most votes overall isn't a goal of the FPTP system, which is concerned with winning the most votes in the largest number of constituencies (is that really "undemocratic"?) Who's to say that if the Parti Québécois had felt it really important to win the most votes overall in 1999(?) it couldn't have easily done so by running more of a get out the vote operation on Montreal's West Island? It didn't do that because the FPTP system has a different priority -- winning seats -- and no amount of GOTV would have won the PQ a seat in that part of the province.

But as aginsberg noted, MMP is the worse of the two options because of the many problems that it presents, not because FPTP is perfect.

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