Friday, May 08, 2009

Jonathan Kay's Thoughts on STV

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Update: It is never my intention to insult thoughtful people. I feel that the original title of this posting was inflammatory and not respectful to those who I do respect, such as fellow blogger, David In North Burnaby. So I have changed it accordingly.

With that said, I have carefully thought about STV for some time now and simply arrived at a different conclusion than David, and indeed, some personal friends of mine.


nachtwache said...

I've been wondering what is the right way to vote. I'm sure not happy with our options, but what can one do. We basically have two parties. NDP I'll never vote for, although I'm tempted this time because Campbell isn't my choice either. Who else is there? As complicated as the new voting system is, it might give more choices, more variety in the BC legislature.
It would be nice if our representatives actual acted on our behalf and not always looking out for themselves.
Whoever I vote for, I'll have to pinch my nose, it just stinks!
So you really think the STV would not work?

Pelalusa said...

Like you, I'm not entirely happy with the provincial Liberals. For me, they're the least worst choice.

After hearing those Greens last night, I'm deathfully scared that STV would give such radicals the balance of power sometime in the future. That would be truly scary & destructive for all of us.

It would be so nice if a Conservative Party could somehow gain at least a handful of seats, but I just don't see it this time around.

nachtwache said...

I guess I'll vote against the STV then. I'd like to see another strong party, I don't really mind liberals (many are really conservatives) here in the provincial party, what I miss and want is integrity, common sense and serving the people!

David in North Burnaby BC said...

STV is far far superior to first past the post, any PR system is.

Pelalusa said...

I couldn't disagree with you more, David. If no accountability and a string of uncohesive minority governments is your thing then I stand corrected.

David in North Burnaby BC said...

How do you figure a system that more accurately represents the views of the voters lacks accountability? As for the string of minorities, minority governments can't trample all who stand against them. Ireland went to a PR system, they've had the same number of elections as canerduh since.
You think the "friendly dictatorship" is democratic? But then, your big problem is apparently, that people with whom you disagree would be represented in the Assembly, so democratic obviously isn't a big deal with you.
I don't agree with the Greens for example, but their % of the popular vote should count for something whether you or I agree with their policies or not.
You rail against the undemocratic Left, Robert, but really.

Pelalusa said...


You're now accusing me in being in favour of dictatorships?

I have long believed that the prosperity and generally sound governments we've had in Canada have been due to our first-past-the-post system which often results in majority governments.

The lack of accountability I mentioned has to do with multiple MLAs per riding. It'll be a prime opportunity for "passing the buck".

David in North Burnaby BC said...

I can understand why backroom boy Bill Teileman is against STV. I can understand why backroom boy Norman Spector is the only Political Scientist I've ever heard defend first past the post against any form of PR, but if you don't understand the 'soft' or "friendly dictatorship" reference I'm just wasting my time and blood pressure.
You figure Trudeau one of those "sound" governments? Rewrote the constitution and to hell with what anyone else said. Canerdian democracy at its best. Like Human Rights Commisions. Yes, very sound governance, very democratic.
Anyway, the scaremongering of the ignorant by the dogs in the manger will succeed, you'll be spared STV and can continue to enjoy all that "sound" government.
You don't realize it, but you're one of the elites now, Robert. Were you for Meech? ;-P

Pelalusa said...

So first I'm in favour of dictatorships and now I'm an elitist? Geez David, this line of "dialogue" is new for you.

I did not vote 'Yes' for Meech. I did not think that Trudeau governed Canada well.

But I also don't believe that STV is going to solve any of these problems, nor do I think that it'll get rid of the "backroom", to use your terminology.

In fact, the multiple candidates per riding scenario seems a lot closer to me to be like the way Vancouver City Council is elected, which seems to me to be very heavily party-laden. I'd be curious to know the last time an independent was elected as a councillor in Vancouver.

Anyhow, if STV is brought in by those of you who think it's a good thing, I'm not going to whine about. For if that's what the people want then c'est la vie.

David in North Burnaby BC said...

"For if that's what the people want then c'est la vie."

That's just the point of STV, Robert, to more accurately represent what the people want. You know, Democracy.
Have you noticed that the "Yes" side features people from the "citizens" assembly, while the "No" is the likes of Bill T?
That should tell you what side the "elite" is on, if nothing else does.
I know a software developer can catch on to that, because my son is one and he did.
As for "dictatorships", since you remain baffled and have not bothered to look it up, canerdian democracy is often called a "soft" dictatorship. Jeffery Simpson did a book on it a while back, "The Friendly Dictatorship".
So, kindly understand what I'm referring to, then see if you can understand the whole of my argument, then see about refuting it.
What did you make of Gordon Gibson's take on STV?

David in North Burnaby BC said...

Here's a piece from the Interior that puts it wonderfully imo:

and I thoroughly agree with BC's Gibson:
"... British Columbians will have a “marvelous” opportunity to modernize our political system ...
“I have never seen such an opportunity,” he added, calling it a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity to change the way we elect our political representatives in the legislature."

Once in a lifetime indeed. That's what gets my blood pressure so up. Long ago when I was an undergrad and first learned of PR systems and how superior they are to first past the post, I never dreamed I'd get a chance to vote one in.
And Jonathan Kay can mind his own upper canerdian beeswax, thanks. I don't tell them to quit clubbing seals.

David in North Burnaby BC said...

When Christy Clark and I agree on something (and check out her mea culpa!) that says something. ;-)