Saturday, September 7, 2013

Andrew Coyne: principled voting reformer

In a national electoral reform debate mired in polarizing rhetoric, Andrew Coyne stands out as a principled example to follow.

Although he's a conservative, he doesn't favor First-Past-the-Post because it gives the Conservative Party an unwarranted advantage.

Although he favors Proportional Representation based on its merits, he also promotes PV ranked ballot as an obvious vast improvement over corrupt FPP.

No doubt members of the center-left will disagree with Mr. Coyne on many issues. But on voting reform he is clearly in the right.

PR and PV supporters need to join forces to get Canadians involved in the debate. This is the best way to ensure we get a democratic voting system. Let Canadians decide which system is best for Canada.

5 comments:

  1. Having written about this subject extensively over at Democracy Under Fire and supported PR (MMP), I now find myself agreeing with Mr Coyne and preferring PV. if for no other reason than it is a compromise that just might pass if presented to the voters. True proportional voting is not possible in a country as varied in population as ours without disenfranchising some of the lower populated areas so let us at least make this small step forward and make our second choices count.

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    1. I think PV is a good first step. It will put a stop to the perverse effects of our present system, FPP. I also believe it will lead to a more proportional system down the line.

      Please continue to blog about electoral reform. It's up to us in the social media to make this a key election issue in 2015. The corporate media (which endorsed a Harper majority in 2011) sure won't do it.

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  2. Join Fair Vote Canada.

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    1. Fair Vote is a good organization if you're a PR supporter. Unfortunately, they do not welcome PV ranked ballot supporters. I think FVC should represent all Canadians on voting reform.

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  3. It is true that Fair Vote Canada supports PR. It also opposes PV if it is merely a tweak to our existing system. The argument is that preferential voting of this sort would not change the result in the vast bulk of cases and could potentially might make our system even less proportional by working against smaller parties. These are convincing arguments. However, there is no reason why PV cannot be included in a mixed member proportional (MMP) approach as proposed by the Canadian Law Commission in 2004. This approach combines local ridings of the usual sort with with regional ridings allocated to ensure proportionality. St├ęphane Dion advocates a system that is at once proportional, preferential and personal. These principles all have merit, and there is no reason why all three could not be blended into the MMP approach. I would encourage anyone interested in these issues to join Fair Vote Canada. It is a great source of analysis of these issues, and if we don't get these reforms as part of the 2015 election campaign, I fear it will never happen! Let's get involved!

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