Canada's "Liberals" Break Electoral Reform Promise
|This blog entry is related to the poll:||How to improve Canadian federal elections? (Comparative poll on Election Methods) (Total: 3 posts)|
|It is discussing the poll topics:|| |
One of the Liberal Party of Canada's campaign promises going into the 2015 election was a new electoral system in the first half of their mandate. Knowing that they couldn't get away with introducing a system that exacerbates the disproportionality of the current winner-take-all system, the "Liberals" have abandoned their commitment to electoral reform.1
An EKOS Politics poll of 1,622 Canadians in October found 51 per cent of Canadians felt the electoral system should be changed, and 59 per cent felt “electoral reform is something the Liberal Party campaigned on, so they should deliver on this promise” — though 57 per cent agreed it’s “too important to be rushed.”
In a second phase of that research, with 688 respondents drawn from the original sample, pollsters found 62 per cent of people would move ahead with replacing first-past-the-post, and 63 per cent would prefer proportional representation over a preferential, or ranked, ballot.
An Angus Reid Institute poll of 1,516 Canadians found two types of proportional systems, including mixed-member proportional — one that includes local representation — would be competitive versus first-past-the-post. The poll, released at the end of November, also found 75 per cent of people would want a referendum on any major changes — the desire for which was a sticking point with Conservatives throughout the debate over reform.
Liberals said repeatedly during the election campaign, in their platform and in their first throne speech that the 2015 election would be the last using first-past-the-post.2
If the election was run under proportional representation (PR), Canada would have ended up with 137 Liberal MPs, 109 Conservative MPs, 67 NDP MPs, 10 Green MPs and 15 Bloc MPs. That Liberal-NDP coalition the largest plurality of voters went to the polls to create would have come into being.
With a mixed-member PR system -- one that meets Canadian constitutional requirements that all MPs represent a single- or multi-member district in an individual province or territory -- these MPs would reflect the diversity within each of Canada's regions.
Every province would send NDP and Conservative MPs to Ottawa, in contrast to our current result, in which Conservatives and New Democrats in Atlantic Canada have no MPs. And, for the first time, the hundreds of thousands of Greens in Manitoba, Ontario, Alberta and Quebec would be represented.
If the Liberals' official policy for voting reform, Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) were in effect, we would see a very different result -- -- one that magnified the inequalities of our archaic first-past-the-post (FPTP) system -- according to Nanos Research's polling of voters' second choices in its final pre-election poll.
The Liberal Party would have gained an additional 22 seats, rising to 206 seats; the Conservatives would lose 23 seats, falling to 76; the NDP would do unusually well for a third party, rising to 50, while the Bloc would lose half its caucus, falling to five MPs and the Greens would keep their one seat.
Just as IRV magnifies the disproportionality of our current winner-take-all system, converting the Liberals' 39.5 per cent of the vote into 61 per cent of the seats, instead of the 54 per cent our current system does, it also magnifies regional inequalities.
Not only would IRV insure that the NDP and Conservatives had no Atlantic MPs, it would also reduce these parties' representation throughout English Canada.
The only bright spot for the NDP's picture would be Quebec because the party's first-place tie with the Liberals in Francophone Quebec would result in net gains for both parties at the expense of the Conservatives and Bloc.
Interestingly, when it came to selling armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia, Trudeau said Canada must "stick to its word", even though the "Liberal" government did not need to sign off on the deal and even though there is "video footage that shows the Saudis using similar machines against civilians in the Mideast country."4
Newly released secret documents show how the Foreign Affairs Minister quietly gave the green light to sell combat vehicles to Saudi Arabia – challenging the Liberal government’s claims that their hands were tied on the $15-billion ‘done deal’ brokered by their Conservative predecessors.5
- 1. Smith, Marie-Danielle. "Liberals break electoral reform promise less than a day after signalling collaboration with opposition". National Post, 1 Feb. 2017, http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/canadian-politics/liberals-brea... Accessed 6 Apr. 2017.
- 2. Footnote 1
- 3. Parker, Stuart. " 'Anything but first-past-the-post' is not the answer to Canada's electoral problem". rabble.ca, 30 Oct. 2015, http://rabble.ca/news/2015/10/anything-first-past-post-not-answer-to-can.... Accessed 6 Apr. 2017.
- 4. Chase, Steven. "Canada must ‘stick to its word’ on Saudi arms deal, Trudeau says". The Globe and Mail, 11 May 2016, http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/canada-must-stick-to-its-wo.... Accessed 6 Apr. 2017.
- 5. Annett, Evan et al. "The secret Saudi memo: Dissecting how the document contradicts what Ottawa has said". The Globe and Mail, Last updated: 18 Apr. 2016, http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/the-secret-saudi-memo-disse.... Accessed 6 Apr. 2017.