Sunday, December 24, 2017

BC Liberals 'Proportional Mis-Representation' straw vote: Compares the country of Belgium to the province of British Columbia

One has to wonder why the BC Liberals seized upon the Washington Post article which used Belgium's 589 days to showcase the possible failure of Proportional Representation here in British Columbia, if implemented, by the Minority government of the NDP supported by the Green Party.

Why didn't the BC Liberals use second place Cambodia's 353 days?

Why use the country of Belgium, or Cambodia, at all as a comparison?

Why not use just ONE of Belgium, or Cambodia, PROVINCEs?

The reason?   BC Liberals couldn't find an example of a Province having a 'problem' with PR from a list of      87 countries.

The BC Liberal Party's official position is:
"Proportional representation leads to confusion and chaos. In Belgium after elections in 2010 it took 589 days for politicians to come to a governing agreement. That's 589 days without a government with a mandate from the people. BC doesn't need an electoral system that leads to confusion and less accountability for voters.
 December 20, 2017
If the BC Liberals are going to quote from the Washington Post then they should go a bit further and give credit to day-to-day affairs of the country were tended to by a temporary government run by a former prime minister' whereas Ms. Strauss was asking for a Caretaker Congress to run the United States, just like Belgium.

Washington Post

The BC Liberals fail to mention that in the 'province of Belgium' voters cast their ballots for their MP and their SENATE.   Yes, Belgians elect their Senators.  Not so in the Province of British Columbia, ooops, in Canada.   Successive Prime Ministers of Canada have that responsibility by appointing their trusted 'foot soldiers' to the Senate until they reach the age 75; retirements with a fully INDEXED pension.  Whereas the Belgians term is for only four years and then must face another election.

Reuters' FactBox
ELECTORATE: About 7.7 million of Belgium’s population of 10.5 million. It is compulsory for all people aged 18 or over to fill in a ballot sheet.

ELECTORAL SYSTEM: Proportional representation, with 5 percent minimum threshold.

PARLIAMENT STRUCTURE: The parliament is split into the Chamber of Representatives (150 seats) and the Senate (71 members of which 40 are directly elected). The Chamber is the more powerful of the two, with control over state finances.

VOTING: Two votes -- one for the Chamber, the other for the Senate. Voters are given a list of candidates from each party and can either vote for this list, backing the party’s order on who should get seats, or choose specific candidates from it, potentially pushing that person up the pecking order.

CONSTITUENCIES: For the Chamber, parties have lists for each of Belgium’s 10 provinces and the Brussels region. The number of seats available depends on each province’s population.

For the Senate, there are just two lists -- one for the Dutch-speaking Flemish community and one for the French-speaking region of Wallonia. Residents of Brussels, the third community, choose from one of the two lists. Belgium’s tiny German-speaking community select from the Walloon list.

While the Chamber has more power, politicians seeking to become prime minister are typically placed as the leading candidate for the Senate because it is a clearer demonstration of their popularity in their respective communities. The Senate vote is effectively a prime ministerial popularity contest.

GOVERNMENT FORMATION: After the election, the monarch typically appoints a senior politician (informateur) to investigate whether potential political coalitions are viable. The informateur can be replaced.

The monarch subsequently appoints a person (formateur) to form a new government. This person will typically be the next prime minister. The monarch can immediately designate someone as the formateur, without the need for an informateur.

The entire process can take from a few weeks to a few months. It is expected to last at least two months this time.

The government is in power for four years.

Google Search Criteria: "Proportional representation" Belgium 2010 it took 589 days 

Google Search Criteria: Belgium Elections via Wikipedia


Provinces of Belgium

Spain’s experience over the last six months suggests that Canadians shouldn’t be spooked into dismissing PR out of hand. Not having a government can be a good thing — in the short term, at least.

After a long recession, the Spanish economy started rebuilding in 2014; last year the economy grew by 3.2 per cent, one of the strongest showings among European Union countries that use the euro. Of course, Spain has still accumulated debt and faces a challenge in keeping the deficit below the ceiling mandated by Brussels: three per cent of gross domestic product. But its overall direction is positive.
Merritt Herald
Historically, Proportional Representation (PR) systems often lead to smaller parties and encourages coalition governments. If we look to other countries as examples of PR, Belgium’s coalition government took 589 days to form government in 2010.


Blog: NonSuch HP
Between 2010 and 2011, Belgium spent 589 days without an elected government. During this time, they broke the world record for the longest time for a democratic country to go without an elected government, overtaking Cambodia’s record of 353 days set in 2003 to 2004.
Hmmmmmmm CAMBODIA'S RECORD OF 353 DAYS?????  Cambodia has PR????  Countries in transition???

Cambodia Daily
“For countries in transition [such as Cambodia], elections ex­perts often argue that proportional representation works better” because it lets various factions help reconstruct the country, said Mark Stevens, deputy chief observer for the European Union Election Observation Mission.

"Belgium has become the country that in peacetime has known the longest period without official government," says the Guinness entry. "Iraq still has the record for longest period without a democratic government after a period of conflict."
November 22, 2017

.......  the small matter that this is not remotely typical of proportional representation systems, least of all Germany’s: it was in fact the first time negotiations had failed to produce a coalition — though they still might — in the history of the Federal Republic. That’s why it came as such a shock. In every one of the previous 18 elections (that’s four fewer, by the way, than Canada has held in the same period) any negotiations had been concluded successfully. ....


Here you go BC Liberal-lites.... 86 other examples in addition to Belgium with PR

 Wikipedia:  Countries with PR

1 Albania
2 Algeria Party list
3 Angola Party list
4 Argentina Party list
5 Armenia
6 Aruba Party list
7 Australia For Senate only, Single transferable vote
8 Austria Party list, 4% threshold
9 Belgium Party list, 5% threshold
10 Bénin Party list
11 Bolivia Mixed-member proportional representation, 3% threshold
12 Bosnia and Herzegovina Party list
13 Brazil Party list
14 Bulgaria Party list, 4% threshold
15 Burkina Faso Party list
16 Burundi Party list, 2% threshold
17 Cambodia Party list
18 Cape Verde Party list
19 Chile Binomial voting (party list with 2-seat districts)
20 Colombia Party list
21 Costa Rica Party list
22 Croatia Party list, 5% threshold
23 Cyprus Party list
24 Czech Republic Party list, 5% threshold
25 Denmark Two-tier party list, 2% threshold
26 Dominican Republic Party list
27 East Timor Party list
28 El Salvador Party list
29 Equatorial Guinea Party list
30 Estonia Party list, 5% threshold
31 European Union Each member state chooses its own PR system
32 Faroe Islands Party list
33 Fiji Party list, 5% threshold
34 Finland Party list
35 Germany Mixed-member proportional representation,
36 Greece Two-tier party list Nationwide closed lists and open lists in multi-member districts. 
37 Greenland Party list
38 Guatemala Party list
39 Guinea-Bissau Party list
40 Guyana Party list
41 Honduras Party list
42 Iceland Party list
43 Indonesia Party list, 3.5% threshold
44 Iraq Party list
45 Ireland Single transferable vote (For Dáil only)
46 Israel Party list, 3.25% threshold
47 Italy Party list The winning party or coalition receives a majority bonus
48 Kazakhstan Party list, 7% threshold
49 Kosovo Party list
50 Kyrgyzstan Party list, 5% threshold
51 Latvia Party list, 5% threshold
52 Lesotho Mixed-member proportional representation
53 Liechtenstein Party list, 8% threshold
54 Luxembourg Party list
55 Macedonia Party list
56 Malta Single transferable vote
57 Moldova Party list, 6% threshold
58 Montenegro Party list
59 Mozambique Party list
60 Namibia Party list
61 Netherlands Party list
62 New Zealand Mixed-member proportional representation, ......
63 Nicaragua Party list
64 Northern Ireland Single transferable vote
65 Norway Two-tier party list, 4% national threshold
66 Paraguay Party list
67 Peru Party list
68 Poland Party list, 5% threshold or more
69 Portugal Party list
70 Romania Party list
71 Rwanda Party list
72 San Marino Party list If needed to ensure a stable majority, .... majority bonus
73 São Tomé and Príncipe Party list
74 Serbia Party list, 5% threshold or less
75 Sint Maarten Party list
76 Slovakia Party list, 5% threshold
77 Slovenia Party list, 4% threshold
78 South Africa Party list
79 Spain Party list, 3% threshold in small constituencies
80 Sri Lanka Party list
81 Suriname Party list
82 Sweden Two-tier party list, 4% national threshold or 12% in a district
83 Switzerland Party list
84 Togo Party list
85 Tunisia Party list
86 Turkey Party list, 10% threshold
87 Uruguay Party list





Bill and Sue and Bob have set up a Society with opposing goals

We will support Proportional Represention  sic
We will support Proportional Representation 


Scotty on Denman said...

The debate should not be political football where parties seek advantage for themselves, claiming high ground, diminishing rivals’ capacity and ability to oppose, and manipulating public opinion, among other tactics. The BC Liberals are taking advantage of this excessive partisanship by inventing, then championing, a rural faction supposedly being taken unfair advantage of by the upcoming electoral reform referendum.

The moribund neo-right party is desperate: trickle-down has failed, causing inequities, environmental degradation, and corruption. Electoral reform is a last resort for the BC Liberals, but they use it with impunity for partisan self-interest because everybody else is doing it.

The “confusion and chaos” the BC Liberals accuse the NDP of is actually used by all parties in the debate. BC’s STV referenda had ulterior, partisan purpose: to preclude strong, majority governments that might subsequently undo neo-right sabotage of public enterprise; the different result of the second Referendum from the first show voters suspected they were being played. Reform at the federal level saw partisanship assiduously cultivated. BC has been drenched in reform wrangling, now more partisan than ever, causing more “confusion and chaos,” and disappointing both proponents of change and voters who prefer SMP and wish the fuss would stop.

The BC Liberals’ use a “rural redoubt” ideography, the typical siege mentality of the neo-right. Pro-reppers resort to similar notions while styling their system as antidote to the neo-right.They’ve been chauvinistic in their circular reasoning that pro-rep is good simply because it is proportional, or that pro-rep is just good, pointe finale. Perhaps more reasonable, but just as partisan, is that pro-rep is good because it is not neo-right. The fact that pro-rep may just as well advantage the neo-right is not something pro-reppers acknowledge (the kind of vicious ad hominem directed at Bill Tieleman for making this observation substitutes for reasoned, civil debate).

BC Liberals join the partisan dance already in progress, and appear legitimate, therefore, in adding their own stylizations to this supposed debate while real concerns are obscured: can government by any party provide timely and effective legislation? Do any of the electoral systems available fit with the reality of parliamentary confidence? Can reasonable debate happen by rote partisanship — and, increasingly, ad hominem?

BC Liberals do not represent SMP, nor the Greens pro-rep, but discernment is difficult in the current vortex. Most galling to someone like me who detests the neo-right is the system-gaming the BC Liberals appear to be getting away with. Confusion and chaos result in safe, secure, choices. Even though I support SMP, I’d prefer voters to reject or approve it on a basis of sound reason, not partisan rhetoric — or BC Liberal hoodwinking (they accuse the NDP of).

Why would a party that tried to get STV twice now oppose pro-rep? It’s simply that circumstances have changed for the BC Liberals who once thought they had it in the bag and history had ended: the sabotages of the public enterprise were thought installed and needed only to be made permanent with the certainty of hung parliaments. Now, instead, they are indicted by their record, their sabotages undone, left only with hope that one day they might get the chance to try again. If they thought they’d be saved or spared by pro-rep, they’d deploy their usual deception to get it, perfectly camouflaged because, leading up to the Referendum, everybody else is attempting the same thing, each for self-interest instead of the best interests of the democratic whole.

To reverse this mess, partisan propaganda should be banned, politicians recused, and the BC Electoral Office — proven experts at impartiality and all things electoral — charged with conducting the exercise and invigilating advertising bans.

Partisanship employed to select a system that must be totally impartial and non-partisan will fail to satisfy, as it always has.

e.a.f. said...

Perhaps the B.C. Lieberals took a page out of a joke book from out of the 1970s which was about the Belgiums being always confused.

The B.C. Lieberals are desperate and will resort to anything and everything. I can hardly wait for them to start their "separation" talk. You know the rurals aren't being represented so they ought to join something else or start their own province.

Guess Christy's ex and brother need a job and want to ensure they get whatever money is still floating around the province. What they believe worked for Trump, they will try to use in B.C. This is only the beginning.

Anyhow, every one ought to know, its the civil service which gets the work done, the actual running of the province. Most cabinet ministers don't have a clue about what is going on in the ministry, what they ought to be doing, and what their jobs are. Horgan did bring change in that department by appointing cabinet ministers who actually know something about the subject of their portfolio, starting with people like Eby, Heyman, and Judy Dorsey.