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Tags electoral reform , FPTP

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Old 2nd December 2012, 11:13 AM   #1
Undesired Walrus
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First Past the Post

Contrary to how I felt in the last few years, I have recently become an increasing fan of FPTP as a method of electing representatives. I used to see FPTP as disenfranchising thousands of voters but have since realised that rather than being disenfranchised, those voters simply lose as we all do in life.

I imagine I'm in a fairly small minority here, so I'll throw open the floor. Why not FPTP?
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Old 2nd December 2012, 02:01 PM   #2
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Growing up in the US, it's the system I'm used to. It is, in some respects, more democratic than the parliamentary proportional representation system.

With FPTP the elected representative must convince the majority of a small group that they are the best choice. With proportional representation one can be elected by a small percentage spread over the whole country.

This usually leads FPTP candidates to run to the center, proportional reps to run to the base.

Both systems seem to work, neither perfectly.
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Old 2nd December 2012, 03:14 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Undesired Walrus View Post
I imagine I'm in a fairly small minority here, so I'll throw open the floor. Why not FPTP?

The results of the Canadian federal election of 2011 perhaps offers an indication of the shortcomings of the method. The Conservative Party nationally accounted for just 39.6% of the votes cast yet garnered 53.6% of the seats in Parliament. The NDP, in contrast, accounted for 30.6% of the votes cast nationally but 33.4% of the seats in Parliament. The Liberal Party received 18.9% of the votes cast nationally and 11.0% of the seats in Parliament.

Arguably, the disparity between the aggregate vote and the resulting seats in Parliament is not as representative of the broader electorate as it might otherwise be.
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Old 2nd December 2012, 04:38 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Pope130 View Post
With FPTP the elected representative must convince the majority of a small group that they are the best choice. With proportional representation one can be elected by a small percentage spread over the whole country.

This usually leads FPTP candidates to run to the center, proportional reps to run to the base.

Both systems seem to work, neither perfectly.
/thread
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Old 2nd December 2012, 04:51 PM   #5
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Apart from the obvious faillings of FPTP pointed out by corsair above, it also has weird side effects - for example, geographically concentrated groups have substantially more voice than geographically distributed groups.

Also in Canada the vast majority of people who cast votes do so to support their preferred party or leader. Relatively few people vote for a specific MP they feel will best represent their riding - so this purported superiority of FPTP is illusory / moot.

Also in FPTP (in Canada at least) you end up with ministers who are supposed to set policy for the whole country while representing their riding. There is a potential for conflict of interest here.

While I personally don't see the need for a riding-based system, I understand a lot of people (by force of habit or otherwise) are loth to part with it. I think the proposed Mixed Member Proportional system would have been great for Ontario, because it would have maintained riding representation while allowing for proportionality in the legislature. That was defeated in a referendum, unfortunately.

Federally, I think you could achieve a pretty good mix of regional representation and proportionality if you apportioned senate seats proportionally after every election and kept the house the same, and then accepted the senate as every bit as 'legitimate' as the house (for any non-Canadians reading this, the senate is considered by many to be a rubber-stamp house full of patronage appointees...)
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Old 2nd December 2012, 07:41 PM   #6
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I'm a fan of a preferential ballot. However, as much as it has to recommend it I don't see it being adopted simply because the party that is in power is loath to change the circumstances that brought it power.

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Old 2nd December 2012, 08:13 PM   #7
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If Government is supposed to be about representation of the people, then those in parliment should be representative of the way the people of the country are.

With FPTP this doesn't happen. Third partys can easily get 25% of the overall vote, and get no seats in the Parliment, while governments can be formed on just 35% of the overall vote.

How can a government that recieved 35% of the overall vote, which might only be 70% of those eligable to vote, claim that it has a meaningful mandate to do anything? Why should a party that was voted for by less than 25% of all possible voters be able to run the country and do anything it likes? That is not democracy.
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Old 2nd December 2012, 11:06 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by PhantomWolf View Post
If Government is supposed to be about representation of the people, then those in parliment should be representative of the way the people of the country are.

With FPTP this doesn't happen. Third partys can easily get 25% of the overall vote, and get no seats in the Parliment, while governments can be formed on just 35% of the overall vote.

How can a government that recieved 35% of the overall vote, which might only be 70% of those eligable to vote, claim that it has a meaningful mandate to do anything? Why should a party that was voted for by less than 25% of all possible voters be able to run the country and do anything it likes? That is not democracy.
On the other hand, the proportional representation more often than not ends up with one party that heads the coalition in charge, with minor parties serving it's whims. If they're lucky they might actually get some of their unique proposals (if any) through.
It's exactly the same problem, just in a different form. The same goes for voting options, you have a "left" and a "right" option and you usually - but not always - know which side your party is on.

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Old 2nd December 2012, 11:27 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by theprestige
Originally Posted by Pope130 View Post
With FPTP the elected representative must convince the majority of a small group that they are the best choice. With proportional representation one can be elected by a small percentage spread over the whole country.

This usually leads FPTP candidates to run to the center, proportional reps to run to the base.

Both systems seem to work, neither perfectly.
/thread

Pretty much. In graduate school for computer science we studied voting systems as a subset of game theory and decision theory. It's pretty damned hard to design a system that can't be gamed in one way or another, when people aren't just voting for some people, but voting against others.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 05:58 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Captain.Sassy View Post
While I personally don't see the need for a riding-based system, I understand a lot of people (by force of habit or otherwise) are loth to part with it. I think the proposed Mixed Member Proportional system would have been great for Ontario, because it would have maintained riding representation while allowing for proportionality in the legislature. That was defeated in a referendum, unfortunately.


The problem with the particular MMP plan that was offered in that referendum is that how they allocated the Proportional seats was screwed up. They wanted to use them to "top up" those parties that won fewer Riding Seats than their "proportional" vote suggested they should have won. The notion was, that the riding-level votes were inherently flawed, and needed to be "fixed".

They then advertised that this system gave you "more choice", since you could cast two votes, potentially for two different parties. But, if you did that, there was a very real chance your second vote would offset your first vote, meaning most people would just vote the same way with each vote.

Had they promoted a MMP system in which the two votes were entirely unconnected, I'd have voted for it.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 08:18 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
On the other hand, the proportional representation more often than not ends up with one party that heads the coalition in charge, with minor parties serving it's whims. If they're lucky they might actually get some of their unique proposals (if any) through.
The argument I heard against proportional representation is that in the event of a coalition government, minor parties could hold the senior party in the coalition to ransom.

I suppose it depends on whether coalitions are rare (like the UK) or more the norm (like in most of Europe). Some countries seem to cope fine, others not so much
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Old 3rd December 2012, 08:36 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
The argument I heard against proportional representation is that in the event of a coalition government, minor parties could hold the senior party in the coalition to ransom.

I suppose it depends on whether coalitions are rare (like the UK) or more the norm (like in most of Europe). Some countries seem to cope fine, others not so much
And Australia is often governed by The Coalition of the Liberal and National Parties.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 09:42 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Undesired Walrus View Post
Why not FPTP?
It's technologically obsolete. Back in yonder days it made a lot of sense for a village or a district to send someone to the capital to represent them. Today, we have mass communication and mass travel.
How many people today expect their representative to stand for their neighborhood rather than for certain issues?
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Old 3rd December 2012, 09:57 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Captain.Sassy View Post
Apart from the obvious faillings of FPTP pointed out by corsair above, it also has weird side effects - for example, geographically concentrated groups have substantially more voice than geographically distributed groups.
African-Americans provide an interesting case study in that regard. As a disenfranchised minority, they had no adequate representation. Representation of their interests largely resulted from creating voting districts in which they have the majority.
That's a noble goal but this so-called gerrymandering can also be used for less noble purposes.
Either way, it seems to me to be a complete perversion of democracy. The bureaucrats drawing the district lines have an influence on the election far beyond that of the statistically predictable voting public.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 10:43 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
The argument I heard against proportional representation is that in the event of a coalition government, minor parties could hold the senior party in the coalition to ransom.

I suppose it depends on whether coalitions are rare (like the UK) or more the norm (like in most of Europe). Some countries seem to cope fine, others not so much
I think coalitions become a lot more common with PR systems, simply because PR systems allow smaller parties to survive.

When I was younger I thought FPTP was junk but nowadays I think it generally results in more stable governments. As mentioned FPTP makes radical fringe parties less likely, as most grope towards the center to stay electable.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 10:48 AM   #16
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First past the post systems which allow local groups to select their own candidates can end up with a more maverick, less sheep-like set of parliamentarians. With Proportional Representation, central party control over the order of candidates on a list means that only the absolutely rock-solid toe-the-party-line candidates can hope to get far enough up the list to have a chance of being elected. Party lackies .......lobby-fodder........whatever you want to call them, are the sort of politicians I dislike the most.

I prefer FPTP for that reason, and for the clear results it generally produces. Too many PR governments have perpetual coalitions, meaning small parties can be forever in power, and thus have a disproportionate influence.

The downside of FPTP in my view is the number of safe seats, meaning that elections are geared to a few "swing voters" in a few marginal seats. As I live in one of the safest seats in the UK, my vote counts for absolutely nothing.

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Old 3rd December 2012, 11:12 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
The argument I heard against proportional representation is that in the event of a coalition government, minor parties could hold the senior party in the coalition to ransom.

Federally, there were minority governments from 2005-2011 in Canada. It all seemed to work out well enough. There have been instances of minority governments at the provincial level as well.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 11:21 AM   #18
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In a proportional representation system, of nearly any kind, smaller parties play a part in the legislature and possibly government. This means people whose opinions or priorities aren't encompassed by the major parties principles and priorities participate meaningfully in politics and their voters, at least to some extent, feel represented. It means your vote counts, even if you live somewhere where the majority disagrees with you, as long as there are at least some people who agree with you.

But it does mean less stability, which can be considered good or bad depending on what aspects you examine and value.

My intuition would be that FPTP would lead to lower voter turnout, but the available data doesn't support this.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 11:28 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
The argument I heard against proportional representation is that in the event of a coalition government, minor parties could hold the senior party in the coalition to ransom.
Either that, or they serve their larger masters. Not all that great, overall. It's usually doesn't get that bad.

What Pope130 said, really. Both systems have flaws, yet function.

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Old 3rd December 2012, 12:00 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Corsair 115 View Post
Federally, there were minority governments from 2005-2011 in Canada. It all seemed to work out well enough. There have been instances of minority governments at the provincial level as well.
You seem to remember this time frame differently then I do. I remember it being a praticularly intense time in politics with lots of uncommon tactics and jockeying for power.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 12:04 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Damien Evans View Post
And Australia is often governed by The Coalition of the Liberal and National Parties.
and now by the Coalition of Labor, Greens, and all the other spivs.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 12:54 PM   #22
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Saying that both systems have flaws and both function is like saying both box-cars and Ferraris roll on wheels. Sure, it is technically true, but it is an utterly useless observation.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 07:09 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
On the other hand, the proportional representation more often than not ends up with one party that heads the coalition in charge, with minor parties serving it's whims. If they're lucky they might actually get some of their unique proposals (if any) through.
It's exactly the same problem, just in a different form. The same goes for voting options, you have a "left" and a "right" option and you usually - but not always - know which side your party is on.

McHrozni
I'm not sure where you are, but having lived in a country with MMP for the last six Governments, I have to say that I have yet to see this occur. If anything, as The Don stated, the smaller parties often have more power than they should because they can demand consessions in order to support their larger partner. It can also lead to some centrist parties being in or near the Government benches for a long time, for instance we have one MP who has been either in an alliance or as a supporter of the Government for the past six elections.

Over all I do prefer MMP to FPTP, and most NZ'ers prefer a proportional system with MMP being the favoured brand of those. It is being looked into currently and there could be a few changes, but I actually think that rather than radicalise parties to the extremes, it tend to pull Governments towards the centre because that is where the majority of their Coalistion partners are. I think that, from my experience, FPTP actually can lead to more radical policies and parties, simply because you need less of the vote to win overall, and often because it results in a two party system, voters don't feel that they have a choice even if the party they have most in common with is more radical than they would like.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 09:20 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
The argument I heard against proportional representation is that in the event of a coalition government, minor parties could hold the senior party in the coalition to ransom.
That's its strength! It limits the ability of the governing party to do what ever it likes.

When the Howard government won control of both houses of parliament in 2004 it enabled him to bring in an unpopular legislation ("work choices") which he had hitherto never dared to let slip that it was part of his agenda.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 09:43 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by lopeyschools View Post
You seem to remember this time frame differently then I do. I remember it being a praticularly intense time in politics with lots of uncommon tactics and jockeying for power.

And that doesn't happen with majority governments? Question Period is as much political theatre as it is anything else. The biggest thing about minority government is that there is less time between elections.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 10:36 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by PhantomWolf View Post
I'm not sure where you are, but having lived in a country with MMP for the last six Governments, I have to say that I have yet to see this occur. If anything, as The Don stated, the smaller parties often have more power than they should because they can demand consessions in order to support their larger partner. It can also lead to some centrist parties being in or near the Government benches for a long time, for instance we have one MP who has been either in an alliance or as a supporter of the Government for the past six elections.
I guess it depends on the country, where I live it's been the opposite for about as long. Sure, smaller parties do get some proposals through - that were pretty much in line with the government policy from the onset - sometimes even change governments to please their constituents, but the policy is primarily set by the reigning party.
We've also had a whole party moving from left to right depending on who's been in charge, and so on. This is political opportunism, nothing more.

Both scenarios are things that can happen. It doesn't mean they will always happen.

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Old 3rd December 2012, 10:57 PM   #27
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Sorry, I should have included a smiley to show that I was being ironic. Opponents of PR seem to claim that minor parties are both overwhelmed by the senior coalition partner and exert undue influence at the same time.

IMO coalitions work well in genuine multi-party democracies where the coalition is made up from many parties with similar aims. In the UK where we don't have a history of coalitions and we have a 2 1/2 (in England), 3 1/2 (in Scotland and Wales) and 4 1/2 (in Northern Ireland) party system we end up with a less successful coalition. Whether this is because the Conservatives have so many more MPs than the LibDems or whether Nick Clegg is just a patsy, I'm not sure.

One of the things I like about PR is that it allows parties that have significant national support, but not enough to secure a seat in a FPTP system, to be represented in parliament. As a left/right winger it's also true that the nutters on the right/left wing also get representation but that's only fair.

One of the things I don't like about PR is that currently my MP at least represents the views of 35%+ of the local population who could be bothered to vote and that the representative is my representative for better or worse (even though he's the "wrong" party my local MP has been very helpful in my dealings with BT to get the local telecoms upgrades). Under PR, as I understand it, I'd end up with a group of MPs serving a much larger group of constituencies - so it may be much more difficult to hold them to account. I'm not sure how many people would feel represented by the successful BNP candidate.

On balance I feel that PR, and the coalitions that go along with it, would be a positive step for the U.K but it will take us a while to work out the wrinkles and get that coalition process working properly.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 11:44 PM   #28
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is it too late to point out that everyone is discusing the wrong question : single member v. multimember electorates.

FFP belongs to First past the post v. preferential vote or run off election
ie more votes than anyone else v. more votes than everyone else.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 11:54 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
Sorry, I should have included a smiley to show that I was being ironic. Opponents of PR seem to claim that minor parties are both overwhelmed by the senior coalition partner and exert undue influence at the same time.
Yes. There can be two (or more) small parties in a coalition, some serving their overlord in the larger party and some holding him/her/it effectively for ransom of governance you know

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Old 4th December 2012, 02:47 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by bjornart View Post

My intuition would be that FPTP would lead to lower voter turnout, but the available data doesn't support this.
Depends on where you look. I've graphed voter turnout by riding against the win margin for the winning candidate in Canada. What I found was a pronounced negative correlation between the two - in 'shoo-in' ridings, voter turnout was generally lower than in hotly contested ridings. This suggests voters are rational in the FPTP system and realise that their vote won't count unless the race is tight.

Now whether or not voter turnout, in and of itself, is an important goal is kind of debatable IMO. Voter turnout is more useful as a proxy for political involvement / paying attention. Though, again, less so in the 'shoo-in' ridings.

As for stability, we've got a "Strong, Stable Conservative Majority" (tm) in a country where 2/3 of us voted against the Conservatives and a majority would have preferred a liberal-dipper coalition:

http://www2.canada.com/edmontonjourn...0-e60b5a6ef238

Finally, (and not in response to your posts, bjornart) wrt the argument about 'the fringe kingmakers', I find this overblown for a number of reasons. First, there is the implied proposal that after some members are elected from an extremist party, they will be able to wield the balance of power and get their bills made into law. This relies on a few assumptions that don't really bear up to scrutiny: first, this proposal assumes that centrist parties won't be able to find any common ground. Secondly, it assumes that centrist parties (which presumably will still hold the majority of the power) will find more in common with a fringe party than with other more centrist parties. Finally, it assumes that centrist powers will find common ground with extremist parties on extremist issues - if they do find common ground it is likely to be on a more mainstream agenda.

Another reason why the 'extremists' boogeyman is overblown, at least as an argument against PR, is that it assumes extremism is only ever geographically dispersed. If you have a very extremist riding, then the chances are just as great if not greater that an extremist will be elected to parliament under FPTP as they are under PR.
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Old 4th December 2012, 02:52 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Horatius View Post
The problem with the particular MMP plan that was offered in that referendum is that how they allocated the Proportional seats was screwed up. They wanted to use them to "top up" those parties that won fewer Riding Seats than their "proportional" vote suggested they should have won. The notion was, that the riding-level votes were inherently flawed, and needed to be "fixed".

They then advertised that this system gave you "more choice", since you could cast two votes, potentially for two different parties. But, if you did that, there was a very real chance your second vote would offset your first vote, meaning most people would just vote the same way with each vote.

Had they promoted a MMP system in which the two votes were entirely unconnected, I'd have voted for it.
Yeah, maybe. I dunno. I think people were also scared off by some of the tactics of the 'yes' side, like hanging big banners off of overpasses.

It made MMP look like some kind of radicalist coup lol.

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Old 4th December 2012, 02:53 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Tsukasa Buddha View Post
Saying that both systems have flaws and both function is like saying both box-cars and Ferraris roll on wheels. Sure, it is technically true, but it is an utterly useless observation.
hahaha
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Old 4th December 2012, 09:52 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Horatius View Post
The problem with the particular MMP plan that was offered in that referendum is that how they allocated the Proportional seats was screwed up. They wanted to use them to "top up" those parties that won fewer Riding Seats than their "proportional" vote suggested they should have won. The notion was, that the riding-level votes were inherently flawed, and needed to be "fixed".

They then advertised that this system gave you "more choice", since you could cast two votes, potentially for two different parties. But, if you did that, there was a very real chance your second vote would offset your first vote, meaning most people would just vote the same way with each vote.

Had they promoted a MMP system in which the two votes were entirely unconnected, I'd have voted for it.
I was going to comment on this but I have to admit I was confused by the terms you used, I still am unsure if I really have a clue on what a Riding Seat is, I thought it sounded like something to do with horses, some sort of fancy saddle.

However your MMP option sounds very close to what we actually have.

Here we have 60 Electorial Seats (I'm assuming that is what you call a Riding Seat) and 60 List seats. The Electorial seats are based on FPTP with voters being able to cast one vote for their local MP. A second vote is cast for the party you want representing you nationally, and the other 60 seats are shared out so that the 120 seats are proportional to the nationwide party vote. There is one twist to this in that a party must either gain more than 5% of the national vote, or gain an electorial seat to get its share of seats in Parliament. Thus a party with 4.5% of the national vote but who failed to gain an electorial seat would not get any seats at all despite being entitled to 5 of them.

This has lead to some peculiar results for instance where a party with 2% national vote has gained seats in Parliament while one with 4% didn't because the first gained an electorial seat and the second didn't. A second oddity is that a party may win more Electorial seats than it is entitled to by its national vote, which leads to more than 120 seats in the house for that term.

Now having said that, we are currently going through a inquiry to see if we need to change things to make it fairer on all, and some changes mentioned are that even if you win a seat you can't bring in others until you hit the 5% threshold, or lowering the threshold so that these strange incidents no longer occur.

Over all I would have to say that it does actually work pretty well (despite a few oddities that can occur) and people are starting to get used to the stategy of vote splitting, where you may vote for a representative in one party and then voting for a different overall party. It certainly means that your vote is worth casing, even if you are in a safe opposition seat and also means that you can vote for a representative you really like, even if they belong to a party that is different to the one you want for Government.
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Old 5th December 2012, 05:54 PM   #34
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One thing it consider is that there are other majoritarian vs consensual aspects than just the election. Which parties forms the Cabinet and how it is decided are also a key concerns. And there are different types of coalitions, so discussing a coalition in NZ might be different than a coalition from a non-westminister modelled nation.

I like these books on this topic:

Elections as Instruments of Democracy: Majoritarian and Proportional Visions

Patterns of Democracy: Government Forms and Performance in Thirty-Six Countries
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Old 5th December 2012, 07:26 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by PhantomWolf View Post
I was going to comment on this but I have to admit I was confused by the terms you used, I still am unsure if I really have a clue on what a Riding Seat is, I thought it sounded like something to do with horses, some sort of fancy saddle.

However your MMP option sounds very close to what we actually have.

It is similar, the only difference is that there was no mechanism for changing the number of seats in the legislature.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ontario...ectoral_system



Quote:
A second oddity is that a party may win more Electorial seats than it is entitled to by its national vote, which leads to more than 120 seats in the house for that term.


And that right there is the mindset that bothered me. If you're going to complain about how many electoral/riding seats you're "entitled" to, you might as well scrap FPTP entirely, and just have a PR system.

As it is, it looks like people trying to sneak a PR system in, rather than addressing the issue forthrightly.
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Old 5th December 2012, 08:56 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Horatius View Post
And that right there is the mindset that bothered me. If you're going to complain about how many electoral/riding seats you're "entitled" to, you might as well scrap FPTP entirely, and just have a PR system.

As it is, it looks like people trying to sneak a PR system in, rather than addressing the issue forthrightly.
Ummm, MMP is a proprotional representation system. There is no sneaking one in with it, it's pretty much out there and blatently obvious about being one. NZers knew this when we first voted it in, and we knew it when we voted to retain it last year. The entire idea is that the final percentages of parties in the house are at or approximately at the percentages of votes for each of those parties nationwide. Thus yes, a party is entitled to a certain number of seats based on their nation wide party vote.

The only part of it that is still FPTP is for your local representative (and to be honest you don't even need to do that as FPTP, you could use STV or another method to select local Representatives.) You could get rid of local Reps, but the trouble with this is that there is no guarantee that there will be a list MP near you, and so you lose the ability to contact a local MP if you need their help. By retaining the Electoral Seats you keep that local representation as well as gaining PR in the house.
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Old 5th December 2012, 09:56 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
On the other hand, the proportional representation more often than not ends up with one party that heads the coalition in charge, with minor parties serving it's whims. If they're lucky they might actually get some of their unique proposals (if any) through.
That is not how it tends to actually function. One thing particularly noticeable about MMP is that the first few cycles basically do operate like this, but after a few cycles the entire electorate becomes much more mature, and the workings of government become more more representative of the people.


Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
It's exactly the same problem, just in a different form. The same goes for voting options, you have a "left" and a "right" option and you usually - but not always - know which side your party is on.
This might be true of a highly polarised political landscape like in the USA, but frankly I consider that one of the worst effects of FPTP.
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Old 6th December 2012, 12:08 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by gumboot View Post
That is not how it tends to actually function. One thing particularly noticeable about MMP is that the first few cycles basically do operate like this, but after a few cycles the entire electorate becomes much more mature, and the workings of government become more more representative of the people.
I certainly hope that's true, for the sake of my country. My guess is that the first set of politicians must go away as well for this to happen-

Quote:
This might be true of a highly polarised political landscape like in the USA, but frankly I consider that one of the worst effects of FPTP.
As I said, if both suffer from the same problem, then in FPTP you at least know what you're voting for. If this doesn't happen in representative system, it's obviously a better choice. It's far from immune to it though.

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Old 6th December 2012, 12:09 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by PhantomWolf View Post
Ummm, MMP is a proprotional representation system. There is no sneaking one in with it, it's pretty much out there and blatently obvious about being one.


But that isn't how it was presented here. If you look at the wiki link, and read the pdf at note 1

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ontario...um,_2007#Notes

you'll see they took a look at several examples of MMP systems. Not all of them feature this "topping up" aspect, so it's clearly not an automatic thing that MMP will be a nearly PR system. They tried to dress it up as "Having more choice!", without really pointing out that exercising that choice might actually be counter productive to the voter's intent. That's what I meant about sneaking it in.

If you read that wiki link, you'll see they really dropped the ball in how they presented this new option. Lots of people weren't even aware of the referendum even as late as one month before the election date.
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Old 6th December 2012, 02:35 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Horatius View Post
But that isn't how it was presented here. If you look at the wiki link, and read the pdf at note 1

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ontario...um,_2007#Notes
Perhaps I'm reading it differently, but I'd say that it was pretty obvious that it was a proportional system...

MMP = Mixed Member Proportional

Quote:
Election results are proportional: The share of seats in the legislature that each party wins is roughly equal to its share of the party vote. For example, if a party receives 25% of the vote, it wins about 25% of the seats in the legislature.
Quote:
By adding a total of 22 seats, the new system achieves proportionality and provides more representation for Ontario’s population
Quote:
An MMP system combines local representation with proportionality. It provides local representation through single-member districts, like those in Single Member Plurality systems. It also ensures proportionality through a multi-member list tier, which is used to compensate parties for disproportional results produced by elections in the single-member districts.
Quote:
The list tier is designed to compensate for lack of proportionality in the election of local members.
Quote:
The purpose of the province-wide list tier is to provide parties with as much compensation as possible for disproportional results in the election of local members, while maintaining a legislature of a reasonable size. All other system design elements being equal, a province-wide list tier achieves proportionality with a comparatively small number of list seats.



Quote:
you'll see they took a look at several examples of MMP systems. Not all of them feature this "topping up" aspect, so it's clearly not an automatic thing that MMP will be a nearly PR system. They tried to dress it up as "Having more choice!", without really pointing out that exercising that choice might actually be counter productive to the voter's intent. That's what I meant about sneaking it in.
The systems they look at mostly are ours and Germany's, particularly ours. I don't see any systems they show that don't feature the list seats topping up the elected seats. In fact I don't know how you would do MMP without list seats to top up parties that didn't win their proportion of electorates. Are you sure you aren't confusing "different MMP systems" with "other types of Proportional representation"?

Quote:
If you read that wiki link, you'll see they really dropped the ball in how they presented this new option. Lots of people weren't even aware of the referendum even as late as one month before the election date.
This isn't an issue with the system though, it's an issue with the advertising. Here we had a lot of advertising and explaination of how the various systems (MMP and others) worked.
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