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PickLeZ
11-12-2008, 06:43 PM
(From another thread...to prevent unnecessary drift):


RichardS (http://www.connect2edmonton.ca/forum/member.php?u=4)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PickLeZ http://www.connect2edmonton.ca/forum/images/c2ebuttons/viewpost.gif (http://www.connect2edmonton.ca/forum/showthread.php?p=151593#post151593)

(...)and work within the best democratic system the world has yet seen.



You had me until this line...ok, this is the only line that made me go HUH?

It is not the best, it is what we have. Recent events have more than proved that IMO. However, Alberta can play a lead role in reshaping some elements of this democracy to make it the best the world has ever seen.

Alberta is a part of Canada and succeeds because it is a part of Canada. Here I agree wholeheartedly.


Here, we have a fundamental difference of opinion. I believe that recent events are proving the benefits we receive from our system.

I believe Canada's parliamentary/constitutional democracy is the best on the face of the Earth. I think you may have been driving the point that it is not perfect, which I can certainly agree with. The Senate leaves a fair bit to be desired, among other things. But I do not believe there is another system of national government currently existing anywhere on this planet that achieves better results for its people than our government does for us.

The rock-paper-scissors of GG over government/government over law/law over government/constitution over legislature/legislature over government/government over GG/public oversight through the House of Commons/open, free, and anonymous elections over the legislature...all these tools that the Canadian people have at their disposal to effect some kind of influence and oversight of our democratically-elected governments actions make it very, very difficult for the government to go awry--and nearly impossible for it to do so without our knowledge. I do not know of any other national government that allows for the people to have so much oversight, so much influence, and it pleases me greatly.

Beyond that initial disagreement, however, I believe we both look at the current political situation in absolute agreement, with regards to strenghtening our democracy. The current situation is the greatest opportunity Alberta and the West have ever had to take a leadership role in Canadian politics, above all others. The influx of Easterners during this last boom has made it so that Alberta is projecting political power not only through its traditional avenues (Provincial government/business leaders/federal MPs), but also through the sheer number of people who have come here from elsewhere in Canada, love this province, and want to put forward and defend its interests.

If we are going to 'reshape' or strengthen our democracy, now may be the best opportunity the West has to ensure it is done in the very best possible way, coast-to-coast-to-coast.

The question is, how do we go about that?

For my part, I do not see much room for improvement outside of the Senate.

Green Grovenor
11-12-2008, 09:58 PM
One thing that works very well in Canada is the separation of the offices of head of state and head of government. Right-wingers in the United States made the case that people who opposed George Bush's invasion of Iraq were unpatriotic. In time of crisis, they asserted, Americans are supposed to rally around the president.

In Canada, you can hate Harper's guts, but still be loyal to the country. That's an important check on the power of the prime minister.

Here's one small change I'd like to see. At election time, I often end up voting against the party I hate the most. In the first-past-the-post system, a ballot that's not marked for a contender is essentially wasted. I'd like to be able to vote positively for the candidate I want to represent me in Parliament.

Proportional representation has been suggested as one way of accomplishing that objective. I think I'd prefer a less radical change: if no candidate in a riding wins 50 per cent of the vote on election day, the top two finishers advance to a second ballot, held the following week.

So you get to vote for the person you like the first time, and against the person you hate the second time.

Also, I think, coalitions forged at the local level, during a run-off election, would be credible than the option recently presented by the Libs and NDP.

moahunter
11-12-2008, 10:53 PM
Proportional representation has been suggested as one way of accomplishing that objective. I think I'd prefer a less radical change: if no candidate in a riding wins 50 per cent of the vote on election day, the top two finishers advance to a second ballot, held the following week.

I think that's a bit costly / annoying. At a local level, you can essentially achieve the same result with single transferable vote, which is a form of proportional representation, that gives a lot of power to local politicians.

All political systems have their pros and cons. People say that PR is nirvana, but its not, it can give too much power to minor parties and install career politicians (especially MMP). Just because its popular in Europe, doesn't make something better.

I like Canada's system, aside from the senate (which I'd like abolished), and some of the authorities for things (for example, I think cities take on too much, the police and fire service could be done more efficiently by the province). Overall though, the system suits the country, reflects the country (not Europe or somewhere else), and serves it well enough. Now - how to find better politicians - that would improve things...

JayBee
11-12-2008, 11:18 PM
The problem in Canada is parties (not only moahunter's) winning nearly absolute power with less than 40 ridiculous percent of the vote.

The problem with the senate is that it can stop moahunter's party from absolute absolute power, apparently.

nobleea
12-12-2008, 08:55 AM
Yes, I quite like our system though it does have it's problems. One of the biggest challenges is that a lot of voters don't understand how it works. You vote for an MP, not a party and not a party leader.

Perhaps there could be a split of direct representation and proportional representation. For example, reduce the number of ridings down to 150 or 200 (based on population) and then the remaining seats get assigned based on the popular vote.

moahunter
12-12-2008, 09:27 AM
Perhaps there could be a split of direct representation and proportional representation. For example, reduce the number of ridings down to 150 or 200 (based on population) and then the remaining seats get assigned based on the popular vote.
That's called MMP. New Zealand changed to this system. Ontario just rejected it. If you asked New Zealanders, the bulk of them would prefer to return to FPP, as there are too many whackos in parliment (far right anti-immigration extremists, etc.), who cannot be voted out, as they always poll about 5% of the total countries votes.

nobleea
12-12-2008, 09:43 AM
One thing I would like to see is that you can only have national parties. You have to run candidates in at least 50% of the ridings as well as half the provinces. I believe the Green party would qualify, and the Bloc would certainly not. The Reform party probably wouldn't have qualified either?

RobW
12-12-2008, 12:25 PM
One thing I would like to see is that you can only have national parties. You have to run candidates in at least 50% of the ridings as well as half the provinces.

This is a proposal I would support. Or at least 50% of the provinces...

JBear
12-12-2008, 02:59 PM
Here's one small change I'd like to see. At election time, I often end up voting against the party I hate the most. In the first-past-the-post system, a ballot that's not marked for a contender is essentially wasted. I'd like to be able to vote positively for the candidate I want to represent me in Parliament.

Proportional representation has been suggested as one way of accomplishing that objective. I think I'd prefer a less radical change: if no candidate in a riding wins 50 per cent of the vote on election day, the top two finishers advance to a second ballot, held the following week.

So you get to vote for the person you like the first time, and against the person you hate the second time.

I'm not a big fan of this either, because what if I hate all the parties/people except mine? IE If I voted Conservative I would not like any other party. I want my vote to count towards the party I voted for! If Green party got 0.325% of the total vote, they would get 1 seat in the House of Commons. If 40% of the population decided not to vote, well then 40% of the seats would be empty. Okay maybe that is going to far. :P

Last election I might as well of just spoiled my ballot because where I live, I knew that my vote WOULD NOT HAVE MATTERED.

The only problem with my idea is that which person is going to represent what area?

moahunter
12-12-2008, 03:20 PM
This is a proposal I would support. Or at least 50% of the provinces...
But what would it practically mean? The Bloc would simply hire some no-body's to stand in 50% of provinces, without making any serious effort. The current situation is sort of more honest than that, they don't even have to pretend.

Andrew Knack
12-12-2008, 03:35 PM
I think I'd prefer a less radical change: if no candidate in a riding wins 50 per cent of the vote on election day, the top two finishers advance to a second ballot, held the following week.

So you get to vote for the person you like the first time, and against the person you hate the second time.

Also, I think, coalitions forged at the local level, during a run-off election, would be credible than the option recently presented by the Libs and NDP.

As mentioned, I think the concern with this idea would be cost and voter turnout so I thought of another way to look at this idea (I don't even know what I really think about it yet) but what if we vote for our top two choices? So you vote for your first choice and in case they don't finish in the top 2, then you have your 2nd choice to represent you. One potential negative with this is it still may be hard for new parties to get elected, but it may help address some problems.

In regards to the Senate, they should be elected. It is ridiculous that we still don't have a say in who represents us in the Senate.

While we are at it, I think we should have term limits for the Prime Minister (probably 2 or 3 four year terms).

PickLeZ
12-12-2008, 04:48 PM
I think term limits make it too easy for the parties to simply 'power-share' the way they seem to in the U.S. Democrats for 8 years, Republicans for 8 years, wash, rinse, repeat.

As much as things seem to go stagnant or even sour beyond those terms, I do like knowing that should we ever get another leader the likes of John A., or Laurier, or Bennett, or even (as much as it chokes me to admit), Chretien--we can choose to keep them in power. This stability is very good for the nation, IMO--and allows us to get a little bit loose and crazy with our democracy every once in awhile (like now).

With regards to the Senate...I like that it's there, and would not support its abolishment. For the life of me I can't figure out how to improve it though. It does seem a bit ridiculous that it is an unelected body. I don't like that Senate seats are, almost by necessity, purely patronage appointments. I DO like the quotas that give the Maritimes, somewhere in Canada's government, a bit of an edge.

Perhaps if Senate candidates were nominated by MPs and placed on federal ballots during the general elections, so that the government would still have a hand in the appointments but the public would get the ultimate say?

Jeff
12-12-2008, 04:56 PM
I believe that recent events are proving the benefits we receive from our system.The recent Opposition MP coalition response to Harper’s antics is continued evidence of the need to strengthen a cornerstone of our democracy… specifically, attention to the operations and relationships required to facilitate a successful minority government. Harper’s callous disregard for Parliament and the disrespect shown to the Opposition is a presentation to the Canadian public of comparable failings played out daily at the committee levels… where the ‘real’ business of Parliament occurs.

In a minority situation the combined Opposition committee members can outvote the Harper committee members… dare I say, they forge coalitions to alter, or defeat, passage of particular legislative intent. Can we say, “acceptable kcantor coalitions!" http://www.connect2edmonton.ca/forum/images/icons/icon10.gif

By design intent, the rules provide for government members to chair the committees. So… in the spirit of genuine cooperation and conciliation aimed to project a willingness by the Harper committee chair members to work with Opposition party committee members, we give you the Harper Conservative’s 200 page guidebook outlining exactly how Harper government members could disrupt committee work and specifically how the Harper government chair members could out-and-out obstruct the work of committees. Meanwhile, Harper trumpets the dysfunctional workings of Parliament and pushes for an election aimed to secure that elusive majority… “because government isn’t working!!!”. Meanwhile… $300 million later… and still no Harper majority. Yes, there is something very dysfunctional and his name is Steeeeeve!

The answer – an answer… put in place a committee level mechanism to deal with partisan antics of all committee members – particularly those that feel it appropriate to work from a 200 page guidebook, “The Harper Idiot’s Guide To Disrupting Government”.

Handbook on Paralyzing Parliament (http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20070518/tories_parliament_070518/20070518)

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20070518/tories_parliament_070518/20070518


http://i38.tinypic.com/2jd157b.jpg
(http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20070518/tories_parliament_070518/20070518)

kcantor
12-12-2008, 04:58 PM
One thing I would like to see is that you can only have national parties. You have to run candidates in at least 50% of the ridings as well as half the provinces. I believe the Green party would qualify, and the Bloc would certainly not. The Reform party probably wouldn't have qualified either?



One thing I would like to see is that you can only have national parties. You have to run candidates in at least 50% of the ridings as well as half the provinces.

This is a proposal I would support. Or at least 50% of the provinces...
the problem with this proposal is that it would eliminate any potential of your running as an independent candidate in your riding. not only would you be "forbidden" from running for office, you would be "forbidden" from voting for anyone representing any viewpoint other than that of someone running with the support of a party capable of running candidates in at lease 50% of the ridings and half the provinces... one of the "mainstays" of our parliamentary system is that any one of us can run for office and if we can convince enough voters in a single riding to support us we can be elected. the price of eliminating that would be too costly for me to support even if that means "putting up with" the bloc. we should be recognizing their "concerns" and addressing them as a country, not devising schemes to exclude them that would have us all pay a price that isn't even being recognized here.

kcantor
12-12-2008, 05:11 PM
I believe that recent events are proving the benefits we receive from our system.… dare I say, they forge coalitions to alter, or defeat, passage of particular legislative intent. Can we say, “acceptable kcantor coalitions!" http://www.connect2edmonton.ca/forum/images/icons/icon10.gif
...
jeff, you can "dare to say" anything you want and you're free to post anything you want (subject to any objections the moderators may have). having said that, what you have been saying and posting is something that two-thirds of the county clearly and vocally disagrees with you on. so if you want to set "acceptable" as a criteria to legitimize anything, it would appear most of the country - regardless of who they voted for in the last election - is simply not prepared to agree with you and thinks your "coalition solution" is unacceptable and wrong regardless of how often you say it or how many times you post it.

Jeff
12-12-2008, 05:21 PM
I believe that recent events are proving the benefits we receive from our system.… dare I say, they forge coalitions to alter, or defeat, passage of particular legislative intent. Can we say, “acceptable kcantor coalitions!" http://www.connect2edmonton.ca/forum/images/icons/icon10.gif
...
jeff, you can "dare to say" anything you want and you're free to post anything you want (subject to any objections the moderators may have). having said that, what you have been saying and posting is something that two-thirds of the county clearly and vocally disagrees with you on. so if you want to set "acceptable" as a criteria to legitimize anything, it would appear most of the country - regardless of who they voted for in the last election - is simply not prepared to agree with you and thinks your solution is unacceptable and wrong regardless of how often you say it or how many times you post it.

snapshot polls subject to a public knowledge gap and influenced by the CONS spin cycle... by the by... within that same post of mine you're quoting from I also reference the needless (wasted) $300 million spent on the last election... an election run under the guise of a falsely labeled dysfunctional government - falsely labeled by Harper. You stated in an earlier post that you were more than willing to spend another $300 million to allow you to (I paraphrase), "exercise your right to vote". How ya feeling about the cost of that election in the face of the Harper handbook on paralyzing Parliament... how ya feeling about your exercised right? (snicker™).

kcantor
12-12-2008, 05:36 PM
I believe that recent events are proving the benefits we receive from our system.… dare I say, they forge coalitions to alter, or defeat, passage of particular legislative intent. Can we say, “acceptable kcantor coalitions!" http://www.connect2edmonton.ca/forum/images/icons/icon10.gif
...
jeff, you can "dare to say" anything you want and you're free to post anything you want (subject to any objections the moderators may have). having said that, what you have been saying and posting is something that two-thirds of the county clearly and vocally disagrees with you on. so if you want to set "acceptable" as a criteria to legitimize anything, it would appear most of the country - regardless of who they voted for in the last election - is simply not prepared to agree with you and thinks your solution is unacceptable and wrong regardless of how often you say it or how many times you post it.

snapshot polls subject to a public knowledge gap and influenced by the CONS spin cycle... by the by... within that same post of mine you're quoting from I also reference the needless (wasted) $300 million spent on the last election... an election run under the guise of a falsely labeled dysfunctional government - falsely labeled by Harper. You stated in an earlier post that you were more than willing to spend another $300 million to allow you to (I paraphrase), "exercise your right to vote". How ya feeling about the cost of that election in the face of the Harper handbook on paralyzing Parliament... how ya feeling about your exercised right? (snicker™).
if you're asking if i would have been happy to spend my proportionate share of that 300 million (all of about twenty bucks based on turnout and less than that based on eligible voters) at the time i voted the answer is yes and i would quite happily spend it again tomorrow if need be. as far as i am concerned, no one has the right to "buy" my vote by not holding an election in the first place. and it may be a "snapshop" poll as you note in trying to delegitimise it but so is an election result a "snapshot poll" taken on a particular day. snapshot or not the results are still legitimate and accurate and your not agreeing with them and not wanting to recognize them doesn't change that in the least.

Jeff
12-12-2008, 05:52 PM
I believe that recent events are proving the benefits we receive from our system.… dare I say, they forge coalitions to alter, or defeat, passage of particular legislative intent. Can we say, “acceptable kcantor coalitions!" http://www.connect2edmonton.ca/forum/images/icons/icon10.gif
...
jeff, you can "dare to say" anything you want and you're free to post anything you want (subject to any objections the moderators may have). having said that, what you have been saying and posting is something that two-thirds of the county clearly and vocally disagrees with you on. so if you want to set "acceptable" as a criteria to legitimize anything, it would appear most of the country - regardless of who they voted for in the last election - is simply not prepared to agree with you and thinks your solution is unacceptable and wrong regardless of how often you say it or how many times you post it.

snapshot polls subject to a public knowledge gap and influenced by the CONS spin cycle... by the by... within that same post of mine you're quoting from I also reference the needless (wasted) $300 million spent on the last election... an election run under the guise of a falsely labeled dysfunctional government - falsely labeled by Harper. You stated in an earlier post that you were more than willing to spend another $300 million to allow you to (I paraphrase), "exercise your right to vote". How ya feeling about the cost of that election in the face of the Harper handbook on paralyzing Parliament... how ya feeling about your exercised right? (snicker™).
if you're asking if i would have been happy to spend my proportionate share of that 300 million (all of about twenty bucks based on turnout and less than that based on eligible voters) at the time i voted the answer is yes and i would quite happily spend it again tomorrow if need be. as far as i am concerned, no one has the right to "buy" my vote by not holding an election in the first place. and it may be a "snapshop" poll as you note in trying to delegitimise it but so is an election result a "snapshot poll" taken on a particular day. snapshot or not the results are still legitimate and accurate and your not agreeing with them and not wanting to recognize them doesn't change that in the least.

nope... I wasn't asking if you would, as you state, "have been happy to spend my proportionate share of that 300 million (all of about twenty bucks based on turnout and less than that based on eligible voters) at the time i voted the answer is yes". Nope that wasn't what I asked you.

what I did ask you was whether you had reservations about spending that amount (proportionate or otherwise) on an election, recognizing that the election was grossly misrepresented as a requirement to deal with a dysfunctional Parliament - one, as it turns out, significantly and purposely dysfunctional at the hand of Harper and his merry band reading from the "Harper *****'s Guide to Paralyzing Parliament". Did Canadians get good value for that $300 million? Did you?

now... why would there be a need for you to appear to diminish the significance of that $300 million amount by attempting to cast it as a minimally impacting proportionate share of "about twenty bucks". Oh wait - I get it!... that's why Harper Conservative supporters are so free with the election dollars... here a twenty for that election, there a twenty for that election - no problem! (snicker™)

PickLeZ
12-12-2008, 06:52 PM
KNOCK IT OFF, you two. This thread is not here to continue the Harper/Coalition/election-spending-waste debate.

There are plenty of other threads for that.

I am curious as to what elements of our democracy people think should, can, or need to be improved--and how. The only way the current political climate should even be brought up is if you want to use examples to prove a point with regards to our POLITICAL PROCESSES.

But please leave the politics itself out of this thread as I think it is an important one and don't want it to die just because you guys have a beef with each other's politics.

Jeff
12-12-2008, 07:53 PM
get stuffed noob ... (board) democracy in action http://www.connect2edmonton.ca/forum/images/icons/icon10.gif ... I gave you a democracy improvement suggestion amplified by a democracy failure (cause and effect) relationship; i.e. failure of democracy due to Harper shenanigans at the committee level - the cause... needless election expenditure of $300 million - the effect. That guy who makes quirky distinctions about acceptable versus unacceptable coalitions took exception - that's all.

carry on

PickLeZ
12-12-2008, 08:10 PM
Take a hike ya ol' weezin' geezer.

You indicated only that a 'mechanism' should be put in place.

You didn't suggest what kind of mechanism, in your haste to leap into a (soft) attack.



The answer – an answer… put in place a committee level mechanism to deal with partisan antics of all committee members – particularly those that feel it appropriate to work from a 200 page guidebook, “The Harper Idiot’s Guide To Disrupting Government”.
(http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20070518/tories_parliament_070518/20070518)

Jeff
12-12-2008, 09:03 PM
ok, ok, ok - my work is never done!

let's say that mechanism to counter the partisan workings at the committee level (like following the Harper Idiots Guide to Paralyzing Government playbook)... takes the form of the Speaker of the House interceding, at the committee level, when partisan gridlock ensues. If the Speaker of the House becomes ridiculously overloaded (ya think)... then dedicated "Speakers of the Committees" might be needed. Better decision making through facilitation - what a concept!

Admin
12-12-2008, 11:16 PM
Jeff and PickleZ, cut it out.

The next person who insults another forumer will be suspended for a week.

PickLeZ
13-12-2008, 02:38 PM
Jeff and PickleZ, cut it out.

The next person who insults another forumer will be suspended for a week.

Ah, yes. In swoops C2E powers-that-be to guard the integrity of the most humourless place on the internets.

PickLeZ
13-12-2008, 02:42 PM
ok, ok, ok - my work is never done!

let's say that mechanism to counter the partisan workings at the committee level (like following the Harper Idiots Guide to Paralyzing Government playbook)... takes the form of the Speaker of the House interceding, at the committee level, when partisan gridlock ensues. If the Speaker of the House becomes ridiculously overloaded (ya think)... then dedicated "Speakers of the Committees" might be needed. Better decision making through facilitation - what a concept!

That is an interesting concept, actually. Open an Office of the Speakers of the House and give him a staff with which to rule the committees.

That might centralize too much power with the Speaker, though. And should his whole staff be derived from elected MPs? While we are often able to find ONE such individual that everyone can respect I think we might have difficulty finding very many more.

bobinedmonton
14-12-2008, 08:25 PM
Jeff and PickleZ, cut it out.

The next person who insults another forumer will be suspended for a week.

Ah, yes. In swoops C2E powers-that-be to guard the integrity of the most humourless place on the internets.

I warned all of you!!! Humour, or any attempt thereof, is NOT permitted on C2E!!!!!

Centrist
14-12-2008, 08:48 PM
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20081214.wdohcanada1214/BNStory/politics/home


D'oh Canada! We hardly know you.

The prime minister is not our head of state. We are not a representative republic. We do not elect our prime minister directly.

A new survey for the Dominion Institute taken in the aftermath of this month's political crisis suggests a woeful ignorance when it comes to our system of government.

For example, results of the Ipsos Reid survey show 75 per cent of Canadians asked believe the prime minister, or the Governor General, is head of state. Bzzzz — wrong.



This would explain why Steve is able to get away with his lies, and suck in soooo many ignorant people.