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View Diary: BREAKING: Canadian Government Falls (updated with poll) (243 comments)

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  •  Electoral System (none)
    I see from the Fair Vote Canada web site that a 2004 Law Commission recommended you changed the system so that two thirds of the seats are pure ridings based and the remaining one third based on party lists. This is similar to the systems now used for the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assemblies (and the other regional assemblies like the one for London).

    I presume that the January 2006 round will be under the existing first-past-the-post system as used in the Westminster elections here. Does the system also have the distorting effect that it has in the UK. From a bief examination, it looks like if favors the BQ and disadvantages the NOP when you compare popular support to seats won. Is this the case?

    Are fair votes likely to be an issue and what are the various parties' policies on it?

    •  Yes (none)
      That would be accurate.
    •  It's a fine idea, but do the Scottish parliament (none)
      or the Welsh assembly have any real power?

      That's what it all comes down to. Who has the power and Ontario won't give it up.

      •  Powers (none)
        The Scottish Parliament is the more powerful as the country has a separate legal system so it now makes laws that were previously conisidered at Westminster by the Scottish Grand Committee. It has income tax varying powers although it has not used the. Two aspects of its purview, health and education, are significantly diffeent from England. In particular, changes to the systems for University fees and financial assistance to students are considerably more generous than in Englans. That was a part of the coallition conditions insisted upon by the LibDems. In the Welsh Assembly, Labour has a very small but overall majority.  
        •  Welsh Assembly (none)
          Labour doesn't quite hold a majority in the Welsh Assembly. It holds 30 out of the 60 seats.

          Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. William Ewart Gladstone

          by uklibdems on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 05:52:06 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  The current system has different effect (none)
      depending on the region of Canada you're looking at it from:
      • In Quebec and in the West, it would help the Liberals and weaken the Bloc and Conservatives;
      • in Ontario it would definitely help the Conservatives;
      • The NDP would probably be the greatest beneficiary of a regional list system.

      But there is a caveat: such a system might disrupt "safe seats" for all parties because the constituency map would have to be redrawn from scratch to make up for the "regional" seats.

    •  BQ/NDP (none)
      You can't really compare the BQ and the NDP because the former is a regional party like the SNP or Plaid Cymru while the latter is a national party.

      Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. William Ewart Gladstone

      by uklibdems on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 05:44:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  But the Bloc (none)
        is considerably more powerful. I mean, imagine if Wales had about 15 million people and over half of them backed Plaid Cymru - that would be a comparable situation.

        Ben P

        •  Quebec v Wales (none)
          Wouldn't disagree with you. I was referring to the distortions caused by the FPTP electoral system mentioned earlier in the thread.

          Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. William Ewart Gladstone

          by uklibdems on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 05:55:31 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  No I was thinking of Britiain (none)
        Where at different election the PC or SNP can get considerably more seats than their national support would give them. Because of their much higher support in specific geographical areas I was mentally comparing them to the BQ. The other comparison is between the LibDems and NOP though the demographics of the current LibDem representation concentrated somewhat in parts of the "celtic fringe" and London would mean a mix of gains and losses if the system were changed and the votes remained the same.
        •  PR (none)
          Under a PR system such as the STV the Lib Dems would have picked up around another 80 seats in the Commons. They would have lost a few in the Scottish Highlands & Islands and Cornwall but would have gained everywhere else including London.

          Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. William Ewart Gladstone

          by uklibdems on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 06:02:24 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Agree (none)
            but the system recommended by the Jenkins Commission was the Additional Member System, not STV. In the West country for example this is like to mean few directly elected LibDems with the additional seats being shared among the Conservatives and Labour. Similarly, in an enlarged constiutency, Simon Hughes is likely to lose his seat but the party would get one back under the AMS system. The same may be the case in West London with its block of seats but the figures theere would suggest an overall loss of a seat. I believe either MORI or the BBC extrapolated these from the 2005 results (I seem to remember Peter Kellner doing a piece on it).

            The whole position of the LibDems of course is open to question as the typical by-election experience is that the electorate tips once they are aware of the possibility of a win when they otherwise had only considered the two main parties. This was certainly the case on the ground in Bermonsey when Simon was first elected. That turn-round from a safe Labour to one of the safest LibDem seats was mostly a protest against local
            council ineptitude and Simon's casework record. That contiues to form the basis of his support.

            There is a Canadian exaple elsewhere of the general sympathy for a party not translating in to votes. It's the "I would vote for them if I thought they had a chance but...." comment that ou hear so often on the doorstep.

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