Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Electoral Reform - Teddy's Crazy Proposal

I've tried two times before, and both times, I've failed to properly outline my proposal for electoral reform.

I figured the third time's the charm.

The first and most important change is to eliminate the Senate, the House of Commons, and the Supreme Court. To hammer home the point, the buildings housing these institutions should also be torn down.

Part of the problem I've had in the past when explaining this is people get confused. Bulldozing Parliament will help ensure this does not happen.

Next, we need to re-create the three branches of government.

The judicial branch actually works for the most part, so the old system will be brought back.

This is the branch of government which decides what is illegal and what is not.

As such, we will create a place called the "Legislature" to help determine which laws Canada will follow. This body should contain around 300-350 members, as Canada is used to dealing with assemblies of this size.

Elections to this body should be annual, to ensure that the elected members stay in close contact with the public.

The actual method of election is unimportant. It's not like these people make up the government. So I suppose hold a referendum on it, and see what people want, and just go with that.

Now we are down to business. This is the branch that really matters.

The size of the assembly of the executive should be small, perhaps 72 members, or as many as 150. For this example, we will presume 72.

We shall call this assembly "Parliament"

Note that Parliament has nothing to do with the Legislature, and vice versa. the Legislature makes laws, it does not spend any money, nor does it approve any fiscal bills. If there is a dispute as to which branch a particular item belongs (for example, a proposal to tax criminals) the three branches together will decide, with a majority vote among the 3 being the final answer. In short, the supreme court will solve any disputes.

Parliament should have a term long enough to ensure it's policies have a chance to be enacted. Ideally, the term would be long, such as 5, or even 6 years, but given that Canada is a neighbour to a massive country that runs on 4 year executive terms, we shall sync our terms with theirs. As such elections will take place on the monday prior to victoria day, in 2020, 2024, and other years that are multiples of 4.

So why are we doing this? Simple
When Canadians go to vote, they ask themselves many questions. While sometimes the question may be "should gay marriage be legal" the questions tend to reflect the executive. How high should taxes be, what should we spend our money on, who should lead our country, etc.
This reform system will actually let people vote for what they think they are voting for.
Let me repeat: this sytem lets people vote for what people already think they are voting for.

Now that this is out of the way
How do we elect the Executive?
Well we'll take our 72 seats and divide it into two groups. The first group has 40 seats, while the second has 32.

Within that group of 32 seats, there is a further subdivision, with the larger group having 24 seats, and the smaller having 6.

We will call these groups "Group 1" with 40 seats, "Group 2" with 24, and "Group 3" with 8.

At election time, people are presented with the names of the various political parties contesting the election. Parties may, at their own discretion, submit additional possibilities, that include coalitions with other parties.

In the election itself, all the ballots are cast as a preferential ballot. Voters rank the parties (and coalition options) 1, 2, 3, 4, and so forth.

Next, a condorcet count is held. This means that all possible two party contests are tested. This means that each polling place will count the votes - on the first round - as though it is the final round, and do so more than once. The first test may be CPC vs LPC, followed by CPC vs NDP, followed by CPC vs GRN, etc etc etc. This is done until all results have been tested. This may take a week or more.

Once we are done, ideally, one party will beat all others in all matches. If there is no clear condorcet winner (IE someone winning all matches) it defaults to a simple preferential ballot with all parties contesting; the winner is then the party that wins the final round.

Once a "winner" is determined, that party is assigned all 40 "Group 1" seats, and becomes the "Government".

All ballots cast in the election that ranked the winner in the first slot are removed. In fact, lets burn them to avoid confusion. These ballots are burned.

The election is then contested again, now that these ballots are removed. The same methods are used to determine the "second winner" who is assigned all the "Group 2" seats, and becomes the "Official Opposition"

All ballots cast for this new winner are also burned. Then burned again.

A final round is conducted, where a final winner is determined. This winner is assigned all "Group 3" seats, and becomes the "Third Party"

After this we burn all the ballots because why not. In for a penny in for a pound, I suppose.

The parties then fill the slots assigned to them. Once filled, these slots are permanent. Only in the event of an emergency (defined as resignation of death of 25 or more members of Parliament) are these empty places filled. This gives the actual members power, as defections are not accounted for. As well the bar for replacement is low enough that the opposition can force it if and when needed.

In the event the Executive falls into emergency, it's powers are exercised jointly by agreement between the other two branches until emergency elections can be held.


1 comment:

  1. Why do I think people get confused:
    The idea of an assembly, or group, to take on the role of the executive is foreign to us. Switzerland has it, but even in places like that, it's deeply tied to the role of the legislature. In addition, we've gotten used to the idea that a legislature should approve of budgets, and not exclusively pass laws.