Friday, April 11, 2014

Fascist approach to voting reform self-defeating

Fair Vote Canada has decided to take, what I call, the fascist approach to voting reform.

They are proportional representation zealots who think they’ll win by waging a war against the other option, ranked ballot voting. They even delete posts on their Facebook page that mention RBV.

Not only is this approach ethically bankrupt, it’s self-defeating.


For one, this scheme is anti-democratic. Canadians are split between PR and RBV. So in order to represent Canadians on voting reform, both systems should promoted. This will get more Canadians involved in the cause.

We need a rigorous debate so voters can make the right choice. It’s arrogant to tell RBV supporters their position is wrong. In a democracy, it’s up to voters to decide how we should vote.

Invisible-option vote splitting

Second, two-way referendums are deadly producing First-Past-the-Post false majorities. Over the past decade, 5 two-way referendums have gone down in flames in Canada and the UK.

This is because of invisible-option vote splitting. In a PR referendum, RBV voters think PR goes too far and opt for the status quo. In a RBV referendum, PR supporters feel RBV is a false reform and opt for the status quo.

Fair referendum

The only way to have a fair, winnable referendum is to put all three options on the ballot: PR, RBV and FPP.

If one option doesn’t win with a majority, a runoff vote is held to ensure the choice of Canadians is respected. Given most people feel our voting system is broken, odds are FPP is not going to win.


The fascist approach to electoral reform will end up cementing corrupt FPP as the democratic choice of Canadians — which is the opposite of the truth.

In order to bring real democracy to Canada, electoral reformers must be principled and cooperate for the greater good.


  1. Ron, it will be difficult for electoral reformers to "co-operate for the greater good" if we are calling each other fascists.

    I agree with you wholeheartedly that we should entertain all views on electoral reform. I must point out, however. that PR is not an electoral system and it is confusing to refer to it as such. It is a goal that can by achieved by a wide variety of systems.

    1. I didn't say FVC members were fascists. I said they were taking the fascist approach to voting reform. My hope is that they will come to their senses and stop their war against Ranked Ballot Voting and represent Canadians on voting reform.

      According to Wikipedia, PR is a voting system. Not sure what you are trying to accomplish with your hair-splitting on the issue.

      According to Wikipedia, PR is used by 87 countries. There are three variations of PR: party-list, Mixed-Member Proportional and Single Transferable Vote.

      On this blog I promote both PR and RBV. I favor PR but I respect Canadians who believe RBV is best.

      We should let Canadians choose by putting FPP, PR and RBV on a referendum ballot with a runoff vote. That way one system is chosen by a majority (real democracy.)

      The PR options can also be put on the ballot: party-list, MMP and STV. That way one system will be chosen by a majority and used if PR wins.

      If a citizens' assembly makes the choices for us (with no mandate from voters,) FPP will win the referendum because of invisible-option vote splitting. That's what happened in 4 provincial PR referendums. (Trying the same thing over and over again...)

  2. My Wikipedia defines PR as "a concept in voting systems" and consistently, and correctly, refers to proportional systems (plural). Maybe this is hair-splitting, Ron, but I believe that if we are to convince people of the need for PR, we need to be clear and precise about what we are proposing.

    1. I think the main message about PR is that it fixes our broken voting system by ensuring parties get the same percent seats they got in votes. To me, the kind of PR system we choose is less important.

      I agree we need to do more to explain to Canadians what Mixed Member Proportional and Single Transferable vote are (the most-widely-used modern variations of PR.) God knows the corporate-owned media isn't going to do it.

      But we certainly don't want to confuse the people by throwing 20 different combinations of voting systems at them.

      With my blog, I try to be as clear and concise as possible. I've broken voting systems down to their three main forms: FPTP, PR and RBV. I've broken down PR down to its main three forms: party-list, MMP and STV. That pretty much tames the electoral reform zoo.

      I welcome you to write more about voting reform on your blog. I think this is the most important issue of all because it stops 40% dictatorships which are destroying the country.

      If Canada was a real democracy, we would have better: social programs, infrastructure spending and environmental regulations. The real will of the people would be carried out.

      If we, in the social media, work hard, we can make this happen in 2015. If we don't, we are condemning future generations to a neo-con version of Canada.

  3. “To me, the kind of PR system we choose is less important. ...................
    FPTP, PR and RBV. I've broken down PR down to its main three forms: party-list, MMP and STV.”

    Whilst I agree that most readers do need it all simplified for them I cannot agree that the type of PR does not matter. There is a vast difference between the systems and the effect upon who will represent you locally, how large the riding is and how this translates into seats. Unfortunately it is the details of such voting systems (and even the details within the various types) that need to be spelled out before a meaningful choice can be made. Even those of us pushing for change have difficulty in agreeing upon the best system....... but having the debate is a good thing!

    PS. I agree with the first commenter that over the top rhetoric is not helpfull!

    1. PR is PR. Both Mixed-Member Proportional and Single Transferable Vote (the two modern forms) are excellent at regional representation.

      Fair Vote favors MMP. The Electoral Reform Society in the UK favors STV. The BC citizens' assembly picked STV. The citizens' assemblies in ON and PEI chose MMP.

      I believe that Canadians should choose, not some unelected body that has no mandate from voters.

      Fair Vote's over-the-top rhetoric against Ranked Ballot Voting is really what's detrimental to the cause of voting reform. Again it's up to Canadians to choose what kind of electoral reform we should implement - PR or RBV - not them.

      Fair Vote believes they can wage a war against RBV and weasel in PR. But as I point out in this blog, that approach is actually cementing FPTP as the democratic choice of Canadians because of vote splitting. If Fair Vote kills a fifth (federal) referendum, every form of PR is toast.


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