Tag Archives: election reform

By-elections

singhThe NDP Leader is running in a by-election in Burnaby south on February 25. There are two issues here, the one of Party Leaders running in by-elections in order to have a seat in the House of Commons, and the second of the calling of by-elections. I’ve suggested solutions to both in previous posts.

For seats in the House have a class of non-voting members of the Commons. Many legislatures have this around the world. Any Leader of a Party that has members in the House would become a non-voting member of the Commons when they become Leader, if not already a member of the House of Commons. Immediate access to the House and no need to ask a Party MP to step aside as so often happens.

The second issue of the timing of by-elections is to take it out of the hands of the political monarch (PM) of the day. Have 4 set by-election dates set 3 months apart. Example being the first Monday of the months of November, February, May, and August. When a seat goes vacant then a by-election to fill the seat is held on the second set date after the seat goes vacant. Example if a seat went vacant now, January 15, then a by-election would be held for the first Monday in May. A by-election is held 3 to 6 months after a seat goes vacant. Simple for the voters, but beyond the comprehension of politicians, and not even thinkable for Party Leaders. Especially for those who think they will be the political monarch after the next election.

Still here and belonging to a Federal political Party where I as a rank & file member directly vote on all resolutions, policies, by-laws, and Party constitution amendments. This done by being a registered member of the National Assembly of the Federalist Party of Canada.

Alberta General Election 2015

o-ALBERTA-ELECTION-2015-facebookDual Electoral System

Voting is done by a preference ballot. On the first count of the ballots the top two candidates in each riding are elected. On the second count of the ballots the elected candidates get one vote for every ballot they have the lower number on. All the votes cast for the candidates who did not get elected are transferred to one of the top two candidates in that riding.

In the Legislature each member has one vote in regular session. In legislative session they have one vote for each of the votes they received on the second count of the ballots. The Legislature goes into legislative session every Thursday at 1 PM and during that session any bills up for a vote that week are voted on and passed or defeated. Any bills that were adopted by the Assembly are on the desk of the Lieutenant-Governor Friday morning for Royal assent.

Try it before you buy it. Form the Legislature advisory council. The members are the top two candidates from each riding. Each member has the one vote in regular session of the council. All of the candidates not on the council transfers their votes to one of the council members from their riding. All votes do get represented. These are voted when the council is in legislative session. Regular session votes advise the Assembly on procedural votes and in legislative session on votes to pass legislation.

Alberta General Election 2015

Party

Popular vote

Seats

Dual seats

Dual votes

NDP

41%

53 / 61%

71 / 41%

38% – 41%

PC

28%

10 / 11%

67 / 39%

41% – 44%

Wild Rose

24%

21 / 24%

33 / 19%

15% – 17%

Liberal

4%

1 / 1%

2 / 1%

1% – 2%

Alberta

2%

1 / 1%

1 / <1%

1%

Where the votes go on the second count of the ballots under the Dual Electoral System.

All the NDP vote goes to the PC candidate in the ridings where the top two are the PC and Wild Rose candidates. All the PC votes goes to Wild Rose where its the Wild Rose and the NDP. All the Wild Rose votes goes to the PC where the PC and NDP are the top two candidates. All the Liberal vote goes to the NDP

A clear majority votes for conservative parties but the Left-wing NDP gets 61% of the seats in the Legislature because of vote splitting. Wild Rose gets fewer votes then the PC but end up with more then double the seats. Time for a change. Time to try it before you buy it with the Dual Electoral System.

Under the Dual Electoral System the PCs would have ended up with a plurality of the votes in legislative session because of the transfer of votes from defeated Wild Rose candidates and some from the NDP in ridings where the top two candidates are the PC and Wild Rose. Together these conservative parties would have 56% – 60% of the votes in legislative session.

New Brunswick Election

1024px-Flag_of_New_Brunswick.svgThe Dual Electoral System is inspired from the House of Commons where you have a Leader representing the majority of the House and a Leader representing the largest minority of the House. Voting is conducted by a secret preference ballot where the voters mark the candidates in order of choice (1, 2, 3, 4, etc). The ballots are counted with the two candidates with the most votes getting elected. The ballots are counted a second time where the elected candidate with the lower number gets one Legislative vote for every vote received on the second count. In regular session each member has one vote which for the last New Brunswick General election would give both the PC and Liberals one vote less then 50%. The Legislature would operate on a consensual basis because no party can get a majority in regular session. The legislature would have a legislative session once a week where any bills requiring approval are voted on. Each member would have votes equal to their popular vote in their riding. All votes do count in an election for one of the elected candidates from your riding will receive your vote and cast it in Legislative session to determine the passage of legislation.

nb1

As the first table shows in the last General Election in New Brunswick ended with the PCs getting 76% of the seats though a majority of the voters voted against the conservatives. Also 17% of the voters voted for parties that gained no seat and so all those voters have no representation of any kind in the Legislature. The phrase “Taxation without Representation” comes to mind.

nb2

The second table shows the results using the Dual Electoral System. The top two candidates in each riding are elected. This gives both the Conservatives and Liberals the same number of seats and one seat shy of 50%. In regular session its one member one vote so no party rules the Legislature. In the riding of Woodstock the top two candidates were the PC candidate and an Independent Mr David Allen. In the riding of Tracadia-Shelia the top two candidates were the candidates for the Liberals and the NDP. In all other riding’s the top two candidates belonged to the PC and Liberals.

In Legislative session for the riding’s that elected the PC and Liberal candidates I made the assumption that 2/3 of the remaining vote would go Liberal and 1/3 to the PC. For the riding of Woodstock I decided all the secondary vote goes to the Independent candidate Mr David Allen. For the riding of Tracadia-Shelia I awarded all the votes for the PC to the Liberals and none to the NDP. The Legislative vote that the PC and Liberal parties would have better reflects the way the voters voted; PC 54% Leg / 49% Pop, Liberal 45% Leg / 34% Pop. Also all the votes cast for the other candidates just doesn’t disappear they go somewhere. If your vote doesn’t go to your first choice it goes to a secondary choice who in effect proxy votes it in the Legislative session of the New Brunswick Legislature. All votes do count!

If the Dual Electoral System were ever used create 25 provincial ridings with the smallest having at least 50% of the number of electors as the largest riding. This gives you a Legislature of 50 members from 25 dual member ridings. Each member having a number of votes in Legislative session equal to the votes received on the second count of the ballots. You mark your preference for all candidates and one of them will be voting your vote in the New Brunswick Legislature.

The New Brunswick Legislature should first create the Legislative Council consisting of the top two candidates in every riding giving you 98 members. In regular session of the Council its one member one vote. In each riding all the other candidates transfer their popular vote to one of the elected candidates for that riding. This is added to their own popular vote and the total is the number of votes they have when the Council is in Legislative session. The Legislative Council advises the Legislature by regular session on all motions before it. When the Legislature votes to pass a bill the Council advises it by voting in Legislative session. The 49 runner up candidates for each riding don’t get paid. With the operation of this advisory council one would get to see how the Legislature would work under the Dual Electoral System . In other words you can “try it before you buy it”!

Quebec election

pmAnother election triggered by a wave of the hand of the political monarch (PM). If its good enough for the National Assembly to pass legislation setting municipal elections to a fixed 4 year term on a set date then why is the same not good enough for the Quebec government?

Set Quebec elections for a set date every 4 years. Separate the vote for the executive and legislature. The Quebec voters directly vote for who they have confidence in to be the government in the next parliament. The top 4 councils nominated by the National Assembly are on the ballot in an executive vote the same as voting for a mayor in local elections. No more then 6 candidates for the National Assembly in a legislative election. No more confidence motions they are replaced by a motion of dismissal that can dismiss a minister by a two thirds majority vote of the National Assembly with the premier dismissed by an absolute two thirds majority (84). These means getting rid of the Westminster style of government and replacing it with the provincial version of our municipal governments. This is 21st century Quebec not 19th century Britain.