Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Electoral Reform

I won't go over exactly what each system does, why they are used, or how we can use them, as I've done that before
and here
but I will give a quick summary explanation.

There are two ways I can do these examples.

One is to find the result from each polling box; there are 700,000-1,000,000 of these across Canada. I would then need to note those results for each party. Then, after consulting with Canadians from coast to coast to coast, I'd need to re-draw the electoral boundaries to create 287 ridings across the country. This way, when my additional Proportional ridings are added, the final end total is the same 338 we have now. This would not add any MPs. This entire process would take me 8 hours a day working for probably a month, and cost thousands upon thousands in advertising and transportation. If Canada were to adopt my proposals, this is what Canada would do. As such, no MPs are added.

Two, is to take fifteen minutes to simply add a few more MPs to make the calculation easier. I've opted for the latter. I want to make clear, however, that my proposal does not increase the number of MPs, only that I'm doing so in this example to save myself from going insane.

Lets start with our current results.

157 L
121 C
32 B
24 N
3 G
1 O

This gives us 338 MPs, the actual number of MPs we have.

My examples, however, all represent a house with 400 MPs. As such, we need to inflate this number. I've done so, and a 400 MP house with FPTP might roughly look as follows:

186 L
144 C
38 B
28 N
3 G
1 O

As such, keep these figures in mind, not the 338 figures, as it will make comparison easier.

First off, lets assume straight up simple MMP PR as is often proposed. What would that have resulted in? The answer:

141 C
136 L
65 N
31 B
26 G
1 O

This is a radically different Parliament. While the Tories and the Bloc end up roughly where they are in our above 400 seat example, the Liberals, NDP, and Greens move quite a bit. A Liberal+NDP coalition would barely obtain the 201 seats they'd need for a majority.

As I've mentioned before, in the posts linked to above, this is not what Canadians want. Canadians want stable government, majorities. The Pro MMP campaign likes to call this "False Majorities". Then so be it, Canadians demand "False Majorities". So, lets see what we can do to give that to them.

One way to achieve this is to simply lower the number of proportional seats compared to the number of single-member seats. Germany splits this in half. New Zealand has 71 single-member seats and 49 proportional seats. I propose 338 single-member seats and 62 proportional seats; or at least, that's what I am using in my example (see my rant about how this does not add any MPs above)

Why 62? Simple; I want 0.175 proportional seats for every riding in each area. Our proportional areas, where the math will happen, would be Ontario, Quebec, BC, Alberta, Atlantic Canada, and the Prairies + The Territories. Pretty much the same as how I divide my maps. In fact, if not for the additional math it would involve, I would split Ontario and Quebec as my maps are as well, as doing so will help make the PR system work better.

Why 0.175? Also simple; in my system I hope to limit list candidates to those who are running in a riding. This will thus ensure that at least roughly 1/7th of MPs come from a party different from the party that has swept the area. I hope each province adopts my system and we have seen, in PEI, in Alberta, and rarely elsewhere, (BC 2001 for example) massive majorities elected with little to no opposition in the Legislature. This would stop that, permanently.

Why 1/7th? That's more a gut thing. My gut says that's "enough" of a "minimum" for an opposition to "be heard"

Regardless, back to the math.

First, I want to divert from my proposal to an alternative; which is to use these limited PR seat numbers, but use standard MMP. Doing so produces an interesting result.

164 L
130 C
54 N
32 B
19 G
1 O

This is not nearly as drastic a change from the FPTP result as the pure MMP result would see. The Liberals are only 37 seats short of a Majority here, enough for the Bloc and the Greens to bridge.

This, however, is still to radical of a change for my tastes, and for the tastes of many Canadians. As such, I'd like to go over my proposal.

Lets start in Alberta, where we get to use my "riding candidates are list candidates" rule. The Tories, who should win 5 seats, win only 1, being unable to fill the other 4 seats. As such, they are assigned to the other parties. This means the Liberals win 3 Alberta seats, and the NDP win 2. This is above and beyond what they've won in the ridings; meaning the NDP gets a grand total of 3 NDP MPs from Alberta. Likely meaning an NDP MP from Calgary, and perhaps one from the Rural regions. The Liberals too would be able to have MPs from Edmonton, Calgary, and the Rural parts of Alberta. Not only does this allow for NDPers and Liberals in those areas to have their voices heard in Parliament, but allows those voters to have their voices heard in Caucus. There is now a voice from Rural Alberta in each Liberal or NDP caucus meeting.

Next, is the Atlantic, which also elects 6 Proportional members. The Tories get 2, the Liberals 3, and the NDP 1. The Tories could thus put George Canyon in the house, or choose to have MPs for both PEI and Newfoundland. The Greens narrowly miss a seat here, but that narrowness is important in demonstrating that this system is not designed to radically change elections, but rather to smooth over the rough edges that FPTP can produce.

In the vast Manitoba+Saskatchewan+Territories region, the Tories, who have a massive vote lead, get a whopping 4 list MPs. The Liberals and NDP both get one, which means Ralph Goodale would stay in the house, for better or for worse. The NDP too would be likely to have a Saskatchewan MP selected, meaning Saskatchewan goes from being a shut out, to having voices from three parties.

British Columbia takes us to 8 PR seats. 3 of those would go to the Tories, 2 to the Liberals, 2 to the NDP, and 1 to the Greens. Tories in Vancouver, and interior Liberals, are likely to sit in the House as a result.

Quebec leaps up to 14 PR seats. 6 of these go to the Liberals, and 5 to the Bloc. Given how well the Liberals did in Montreal, and how poorly they did outside of it, and how the Bloc mirrored this in reverse, it is not hard to guess how these MPs would be distributed. The Tories get 2 seats, likely meaning a Montreal Tory as an MP. The NDP meanwhile gets 1, likely meaning Ruth-Ellen Brosseau keeps her seat.

Finally, Ontario, gets 22 PR seats. 8 of these are Tories, more than enough room for Lisa Raitt to remain an MP. 9 are Liberals. 4 are NDP. And 1 is a Green, likely Gord Miller.

Our end result is thus as follows:

181 L
141 C
37 B
35 N
5 G
1 O

Similar to the Parliament we just elected, yet, with some important differences. All 3 large parties now find themselves with MPs from all, or nearly all, of the provinces. You now have Montreal and Toronto Tories. You now have rural Albertan Liberals and NDPers. As is common in PR systems, you have more women elected, more ethnic and religious minorities. You end up with numbers that show some similarity to FPTP with all its potential to elect stable majorities, but without the yawning chasms of lacking representation that FPTP can create over geographical areas. You also get to keep quality MPs, like Ralph Goodale, Lisa Raitt, and Ruth-Ellen Brosseau, even if the regions they happen to represent see wild partisan swings. The end result is simply a better, stronger Parliament, that can create a better, stronger Canada.

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