Thursday, September 01, 2016

Craig Scott's testimony at ERRE #23

Notes from his presentation at the electoral reform committee today because Kady didn't blog this morning's meeting and the ERRE committee is taking about two weeks to post transcriptions. 


Craig Scott - law professor at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, former NDP critic for democratic reform

16 of 31 Liberals voted for MMP/PR electoral reform in the House in December.

MMP is the best of two worlds - local representation and fairness both addressed. 
MMP takes both local and regional candidates more seriously than any other form of PR or FPtP because voters can vote for preferred candidate and party separately. Local candidates vote is based on the candidate's work in their community without worrying about strategic vote. Regional MPs have to look at bigger picture of national issues because we currently have deficit of attention to national vision.

Any PR system would address these FPtP faults : 
~false majorities result in less diversity of opinion, 
~some regions unrepresented in Parl, ie NDP swept 80 seats in Quebec in 2011 with 40% of vote.
~exacerbates regionalism, ie Alberta IS Conservative
~feeds into unduly executive-dominated Westminster system of parliament via false majorities
~ silo-vision re legislation, rather than have to encounter different points of view
~tends away from consensus and collegiality and towards adversarialism and hyper-partisanship and organizing for next election.

Alternative Vote is ranked ballot within single member districts, and is in Liberal Party Policy Book.
Nothing in AV counteracts FPtP problems and it exacerbates disproportionality.
If last election had been under AV, Eric Grenier says 224 Libs would have attained seats instead of 185 seats under current system.
AV does not fulfill committee mandate of making every vote count because it never gets to counting the second candidates after the first round.

Compromise to get to multiple goals is to use the Jenkins Model of MMP allowing ranked voting on the local election side only or STV model with more local attention.

Naysayers are saying this committee is set up to be a "noble failure" due to deadlock impasse. This committee is formed the way proportional representation committees will be formed in the future. You guys can be proof that a system like this can work. 

End of notes from Scott.

I'm rather alarmed to learn from the IPSOS poll discussed at yesterday's meeting that only 3% of Canadians are following the issue of electoral reform at all closely - older, more educated, affluent males - and that only one in five Canadians are aware of it at all. 
.

1 comment:

Chris Markevich said...

I'm not surprised at all that only 5% of voters are following this. It's still summer. Most of them are either on vacation themselves or are winding up their back to school shopping for their kids. It was a poor choice (if not calculated) by the Liberals to start this off the way they did. Not to mention their lack of preparation (read: Iqaluit).

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