A blog to give a voice to our concern about the continued erosion of our democratic processes not only within the House of Commons and within our electoral system but also throughout our society. Here you will find articles about the current problems within our parliamentary democracy, about actions both good and bad by our elected representatives, about possible solutions, opinions and debate about the state of democracy in Canada, and about our roles/responsibilities as democratic citizens. We invite your thoughtful and polite comments upon our posts and ask those who wish to post longer articles or share ideas on this subject to submit them for inclusion as a guest post.
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Sunday, June 22, 2014

Electoral Reform Needed!

In the recent Ontario Election out of every 100 (eligible) citizens approximately 52 voted and one or two of those either declined or (deliberately?) spoiled their ballots We have no means of knowing how many tried to vote but were turned away due to being at the wrong poll or not having proper ID but judging from the feedback I have received it is probably in the thousands rather than the hundreds.

Unofficial results released by Elections Ontario on Wednesday showed 31,399 voters chose to decline their ballots, the highest since 1975, there were 22,687 rejected ballots and 12,059 unmarked ballots from last week’s election.”

This tells us two things, that the actual voting system needs a lot of work yet to make it easier to vote (or express our dissatisfaction with the choices) and that we need to impress upon our citizens the need to take the opportunity to make our wishes known even if that preference is 'non of the above'. We do need, I believe, to have that choice on the ballot but I suspect that our political will never give us that choice for fear of the answer they will get! I note that in the Federal election even the choice of declining the ballot is not available so the only choices for those that wish to express such feelings is to not vote or spoil the ballot (which is not generally considered as a protest vote).

With the summer recess coming up and with the almost impossible task of keeping up with all the threats to democracy from the Harper Regime and others (including his idea of electorate reform!) I will be revisiting the whole subject of “Electoral Reform” over the next few months. From how we vote to the way the votes are counted to how that translates into who get a seat in the legislature and what party forms government it is a very complex subject and one that will not see any substantial change in the foreseeable future. Despite this we should all be trying to find common ground in the system we want, right now even those who are vocal in their call for change cannot agree on what precisely they want..... an therein lays the problem!

I am going to try and document the most obvious problems and spell out some of the proposed solutions and alternatives, including that overdone call for 'proportional representation' which is largely meaningless unless the exact system of voter input and representational adjustment is spelt out. This is equally true of all alternative voting systems, each has numerous slightly different details that make a difference in the outcome and representation that emerges both at the local and the governmental level that must be considered. As I say above its complex, I don’t know how successful I am going to be in producing a concise overview of it all but I am going to try, I will be interested to see how much I can add since I tackled this subject in 2012. Posts may be a bit thin over the next few months whilst I attempt this challenge, stay tuned.

Meanwhile here are a few posts on the same subject from 5 years ago ........ how little things have changed for the better!

Support Democracy - Recommend this Post at Progressive Bloggers


Ron Waller said...

Only windbags make the idea of voting reform complex. Voting reformers in Canada are divided between Ranked Ballot Voting and PR. Any type of PR (MMP or STV) adequately provides regional representation. Problem solved!

Of course, I applaud your efforts to muddy the waters and help kill another PR referendum... Then at least idiots will shut up about it.

Rural said...

Thank you Ron, I have read your highly biased and one sided opinions on you blog but do applaud your efforts to bring your simplistic ideas on electoral reform to more citizens. If you wish you future comments to be published please restrict your rhetoric to the subject at hand.

Ron Waller said...

Nothing biased about my blog. I support Canadians on voting reform. They either support ranked ballot voting or PR.

The choice should be theirs and put on a referendum ballot. If a citizens' assembly chooses some arbitrary form of PR for Canadians, Canadians will reject it as they did in ON, BC & PEI. Then PR is toast.

So good luck on your efforts to destroy all hope of ever bringing PR to Canada! You think you know better than Canadians. Canadians will beg to differ. And they have the final word.

Rural said...

Ron, I dont know where you get the idea that I have any more insight into Electoral Reform than any other Canadian who has taken the time to study the options, I simply do not believe the choices and the way of deciding are simple and that the various types of PR should be considered from a position of knowledge. I agree with you that AV (Ranked Ballot) is something to be considered in electing our riding MPs, attacking me for expressing my support for change and trying to clarify the various possibilities does nothing for the cause.

Ron Waller said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rural said...

I will be covering all these issues over the next few weeks, stay tuned!