Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A Fork In The Road Ahead

It's done. The absurdities of Canada's antiquated electoral system aside, the Bloc went nowhere, the Greens went nowhere, the New Democratic Party went nowhere (okay, a dismal two-per-cent [correction - less than one per cent] gain in the popular vote over 2006 - wow), so it's up to the Liberals to make their move:

Merge with or pillage the NDP:

I believe very strongly, as do a majority in the House of Commons, that we should do as we did during the Vietnam War. - Bob Rae, September, 2008.

Marginalize and scatter the NDP:

. . . you also have to remember that the most bitter fights in modern politics are actually between liberals and anybody to the left.

- Michael Ignatieff, August, 2006.

The NDP and the Greens have only one important question to confront: Do you want to be beautiful losers, or do you believe the things you say sincerely enough to actually want to win?

A coalition might work, but better for everyone (including Conservatives) would be to rejuvenate the movement to scrap the first past the post system, and replace it with, say, a single transferable vote system, like they have in proper democracies.


Blogger thebookmistress said...

Problem being, a serious party must be pragmatic. One can say that Liberal pragmatism crossed the line into pandering, if one likes. However, the last time NDP tried being pragmatic, the base rioted and the man who attempted to combine small-L liberal principles with facing reality joined big-L Liberals.

The majority of the NDP base, like the majority of the Green base, God bless them, sincerely enjoy ranting about their pet causes. Would they consider giving it up in order to run a country? Isn't it pretty to think so...

9:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

More like forks in the road ahead.

The Big losers in last night’s election

Mr. Dion - ‘nuff said

Lizzie May – Proves she has the political instincts of a Mastodon - she sold out her own party trying to “Stop Harper”.

The Green Party - A fringe Party that has, unfortunately, hitched its wagon to the Global Warming horse – too bad because Global Warming isn’t what the media and invested scientists keep telling us. It is over, it is just too embarrassing for all the Believers to admit they were wrong.

Just for fun, take the quiz http://tinyurl.com/46ed3d

The NDP – blew the entire $electoral $wad and still can’t get over the 20% voter support mark

Danny Williams & NFLD - effectively have eliminated themselves from Government and Cabinet participation, which means they won’t be sharing the lolly when the Navy and the Coast Guard build new ships etc. Just proves Danny is a loud mouthed fool who cares not for his province, just his own petty vendettas.

The Liberal Party of Canada - the party is leaderless, effectively bankrupt, running without a rudder or a compass and on the verge of collapse.

9:59 AM  
Blogger Mark, Ottawa said...

As long as BQ votes are required to pass it, PR will not happen. Theygot 50 seats under first past the post with 10% of the national vote. Under PR around 31 seats (308 total).

Think about if folks. Efficient voting, as they say.


12:59 PM  
Blogger Mark, Ottawa said...

I don't know how the BQ vote would work out under STV however.


1:41 PM  
Blogger Ryan said...

Am I alone in thinking the merits of FPTP are underrated?

You may or may not consider it a problem, but the character of FPTP is that it tips fairly rapidly into majoritarian governments.

The most important benefit of elections is not the ability to choose your government, it's the ability to peacefully evict the current government.

FPTP aids this by allowing the stabilizing effect of mostly-majority governments, while allowing unpopular governments to very quickly be tipped out of power in an election.

I may be wrong: this may be more of an effect than a benefit, but I'd be wary of the unintended consequences of novel electoral systems.

Please note that Italy, a proper democracy under your formulation, has recently introduced electoral reforms that bias the system in ways designed to encourage larger, stabler party blocs (to the exclusion of smaller parties, I assume).

10:54 AM  

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