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Posted on January 20, 2013 | No Comments

We hope you enjoyed our first 2013 LPC Leadership debate.

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  1. Profile photo of Ray Lorenz Ray Lorenz said on

    I watched the debate, but was disappointed that virtually all of the candidates supported the preferential ballot (Alternative Vote) electoral system. My main concern with the preferential ballot is that it will not help to make Parliament a healthier environment for MPs to work together for Canadians. Like First Past the Post, Alternative Vote artificially privileges minority support with exceptional majority power concentrated in the Prime Minister’s office through our polarizing, single-member, winner-take-all riding system. Bob Rae expressed his frustration with the Prime Minister’s power here: http://bobrae.liberal.ca/journal/power-prime-minister/ . With an Alternative Vote system, we would be gambling with the democratic health of Parliament for future generations by continuing to place all our faith with “the man in power” to “make the rules” for Canadians. Cooperation, collaboration, building consensus, and working together is the normal way for Canadians to interact with one another, and should be normal for Parliamentarians as well. Hopefully, the candidates will reconsider the benefits of a more civilized & proportional electoral system.

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    • Profile photo of Wolfgang Braun Wolfgang Braun said on

      I agree with you Ray…. AV takes us away from a Parliamentary form of government.

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  2. Profile photo of Amanda Bickle Amanda Bickle said on

    Hurry hurry. Want to see it. :-)

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  3. Profile photo of Peter Skipper Peter Skipper said on

    I am thankful for all the candidates offering their leadership and ideas. With the limited time and the strong interest expressed by such a large slate of candidates, the format only offered a preliminary look at our potential leaders. They all would make a strong cabinet. Very humbling and important to make a good choice and each candidate is a hero in my eyes. I was looking for substance and delivery…a whole presence as the eventual leader personifies the Party and represents it to the nation. The next several debates and couple of months of campaigning will likely sort them out a bit more.

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  4. Profile photo of Charles Wilson Charles Wilson said on

    Ya, wasn’t able to watch yesterday. Please post post-haste! TY

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  5. Profile photo of Mary Mary said on

    Debate was very informative. Would have liked to see the names of candidates displayed when they were talking. Some are relatively unknown to most of us.
    I think a few will drop out by the third debate. This will give the real contenders a better chance to debate each other.

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  6. Profile photo of Charles Wilson Charles Wilson said on

    The debate is posted on YouTube: http://youtu.be/F2bvNEsx7cc

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  7. Profile photo of Ken Cunningham Ken Cunningham said on

    The more i research AV or preferential voting the more i find i don’t like it. Now that JT has endorsed it it is more important than ever that we really get the facts on this. I haven’t been able to find much promoting PV as opposed to PR…are there any good sites out there promoting PV or AV. I’m not jumping ship from PV just yet but i’m beginning to think we should do something about the over concentration of power in the system we have first. Start by removing or severely limiting a leader’s ability to sign nomination papers and start to re empower individual mps.

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    • Profile photo of Jennifer Ross Jennifer Ross said on

      Hi Ken and everyone. I am a supporter of proportional representation, but that doesn’t mean I think preferential ballot has no place in Canada. On the contrary, it is ABSOLUTELY the best system for choosing a one. A one such as the candidate for the EDA, party or EDA officers, and so on. I am thrilled we are choosing our leader with a preferential ballot, and was extremely disappointed to discover we were not using preferential at our Convention last year.

      However, when the end result is a many, such as MPs or provincial representatives, it distorts the range of expressions Canadians hold. It seems to me, a preferential ballot would eliminate all MPs from being too out there one way or the other. Over time, everyone will need to hold the middle ground, and the swing from left to right would become infinitesimally small. Sure, easy to govern, but the thing is, where we are at today isn’t where we need to be next year and if you have no voices pushing one way or the other–or both–you end up staying still. Free Trade, Universal Health Care, Charter of Rights and Freedoms–none of those would have been possible, I don’t think, under a preferential ballot. Too radical!

      But that’s just me. I’m not aware of any advocacy group (other than my fellow Liberals) who favour preferential ballots for legislatures. So I have no sites to steer you to, Ken. I can ask the big guns if you want. The only country in the world that uses it for legislative assemblies is Australia. I haven’t looked to see if they have any information to advocate it online (why would they?) and since you used to live there, pretty dumb for ME to tell YOU about Australia.

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      • Profile photo of Ken Cunningham Ken Cunningham said on

        I lived there for just a year and that was 30 years ago now Jenn – si i’m not expert in that area. I’ve read that PV was so unpopular that it necessitating making it manditory…again i don’t know if that is true or not?
        As you point out PV while appearing to moderate and widen choices may in fact over time marginalize more radical voices – not good. We really need to thrash this out as a party.

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        • Profile photo of Jennifer Ross Jennifer Ross said on

          Okay, well then I’ll tell you that yes, voting is mandatory in Australia. I have no idea if that came in at the same time as ranked ballots, before, or after. But I do have some good news! There is someone coming to our electoral reform debate next Sunday for the express purpose of taping it. You know, someone who actually knows what he’s doing and with equipment and everything.

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  8. Profile photo of Peter Skipper Peter Skipper said on

    I would like to hear what the objections are to preferential ballot. To me it is more democratic than first past the post. If we elect our party leaders by it to represent a majority of voters, I don’t see why such a principle should not be used for MP’s to represent their ridings. It encourages people to be more aware of alternatives I think. It may also temper extremism by knowing that to be elected you may need the support of a wider range of constituents.

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  9. Profile photo of Chris Chris said on

    I was impressed with 4 of the 9 candidates. We should have a process to cut it down to 5 to get to the nitty gritty.

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  10. Profile photo of Dougald Lamont Dougald Lamont said on

    One way of reducing the power of the Prime Minister would be to make it possible for his caucus to remove him/her as leader. This is what happened recently in Australia.

    As for the issue of voting reform, there are disadvantages and advantages to preferential ballot vs. proportional representation.

    Preferential ballot means you get consensus candidates, and whoever is elected will have to win over 50% of all the ballots cast (and redistributed). It means that the MP would tend to have broader support from their constituents. This is positive, since under first past the post, with a three-way split an MP can be elected with 34% of the vote.

    The other is that with the preferential ballot, constituents have a specific MP representing them, and MP’s represent a specific area. This is also positive.

    The preferential ballot is also the system that all political parties use to choose their leaders! It’s simple for voters: they just rank who they want, 1, 2, 3, etc. It also should encourage candidates to reach beyond their core, because they want to be ranked 2nd as well as 1st.

    The downside is that the final makeup of the house of commons would not be directly proportional to voter’s *first* choice selections, but, like first past the post, the distortions mean that you can elect a stable majority.

    With proportional representation, everyone’s vote counts equally and is reflected in the House of Commons. So parties who get 5%, 20% and 30% of the popular vote get 5%, 20% and 30% of MPs in the House (instead of more than 50%+ of the MPs with 40% of the popular vote).

    The problem with proportional representation is just how you make it proportional. One way it is done is to have direct elections, and then “floating” MPs are added to round the numbers up to accurately reflect the popular vote.

    There are a couple of problems with this system – how are those MPs picked? They tend to be from party lists. They are not accountable to their constituents – they don’t have any. So you have a weird situation where a system that makes every vote count results in people who are not directly elected at all being MPs.

    It also tends to require coalition governments, which are shifting and less stable.

    So they each have their strengths and weaknesses.

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  11. Profile photo of Ray Lorenz Ray Lorenz said on

    The preferential ballot platform suggests to voters that Canada basically has a healthy democracy and a working Parliamentary system that just needs a little “tweaking” of a few representatives in some closely fought ridings. Is that worth the time & trouble of making the change to AV?

    One point I would make about the “floating MPs” is that New Zealand uses this system and recently had its 2nd referendum on their mixed member proportional system. Voters approved it for a 2nd time, after giving it a test run for 15 years. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Results_of_the_New_Zealand_voting_system_referendum,_2011

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    • Profile photo of Ken Cunningham Ken Cunningham said on

      And i’m pretty sure Ireland has a form of STV and the people love it, but the pols don’t. The good news is the folks over there refuse to give it up – always a good sign.

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  12. Profile photo of Ray Lorenz Ray Lorenz said on

    Is history destined to repeat itself?

    In an interview with CTV’s Question Period, Ignatieff says that a vote for Jack Layton’s NDP or Gilles Duceppes’ Bloc Quebecois is essentially a vote for another Conservative government.

    “What I’m saying is, it’s time for Canadians to make a choice between two governing parties,” Ignatieff said. http://www.ctvnews.ca/voting-ndp-or-bloc-is-a-vote-for-harper-ignatieff-1.588768 #ixzz2J8x2UzjJ

    “In order to win the next election and have the first federal NDP government, our party must reach beyond its traditional base and unite all progressive forces under the NDP’s banner,” Mulcair said in his victory address. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2012/03/24/pol-ndp-leadership-convention-vote-result.html

    With the party concentrating its resources in a single riding, the Green popular vote across the nation fell sharply. Party strategists on Monday night sounded content with the tradeoff, saying they’ll target as many as eight ridings in the next federal election.
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/elizabeth-may-wins-first-seat-for-greens/article578488/

    “We’re honoured, we’re humbled by the mandate we received from Canadians we received last night,” said Harper.

    “We got that mandate because of the way we have governed, because of our record. Canadians expect us to continue to move forward in the same way, to be true for the platform we’ve run on, to be true to the kind of values and policies that we’ve laid out before them. That’s what we will do,” he said.

    http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/984872–harper-honoured-by-majority-mandate

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