header image
The world according to David Graham

Topics

acva bili chpc columns committee conferences elections environment essays ethi faae foreign foss guelph hansard highways history indu internet leadership legal military money musings newsletter oggo pacp parlchmbr parlcmte politics presentations proc qp radio reform regs rnnr satire secu smem statements tran transit tributes tv unity

Recent entries

  1. Trump will win in 2020 (and keep an eye on 2024)
  2. A podcast with Michael Geist on technology and politics
  3. Next steps
  4. On what electoral reform reforms
  5. 2019 Fall campaign newsletter / infolettre campagne d'automne 2019
  6. 2019 Summer newsletter / infolettre été 2019
  7. 2019-07-15 SECU 171
  8. 2019-06-20 RNNR 140
  9. 2019-06-17 14:14 House intervention / intervention en chambre
  10. 2019-06-17 SECU 169
  11. 2019-06-13 PROC 162
  12. 2019-06-10 SECU 167
  13. 2019-06-06 PROC 160
  14. 2019-06-06 INDU 167
  15. 2019-06-05 23:27 House intervention / intervention en chambre
  16. 2019-06-05 15:11 House intervention / intervention en chambre
  17. 2019-06-04 INDU 166
  18. 2019-06-03 SECU 166
  19. 2019 June newsletter / infolettre juin 2019
  20. 2019-05-30 RNNR 137
  21. 2019-05-30 PROC 158
  22. 2019-05-30 INDU 165
  23. 2019-05-29 SECU 165
  24. 2019-05-29 ETHI 155
  25. 2019-05-28 ETHI 154
  26. 2019-05-28 ETHI 153
  27. 2019-05-27 ETHI 151
  28. 2019-05-27 SECU 164
  29. 2019-05-17 10:59 House intervention / intervention en chambre
  30. 2019-05-16 ETHI 150
  31. older entries...

On what electoral reform reforms

For the past several days, I have watched as many people miss the point on electoral reform.

Way too much effort is being spent on the question of "proportional" and not nearly enough on the question of "representation."

Changing voting systems changes voting behaviour, so one cannot simply apply the results of one system to a different system.

Poll aggregators are self-fulfilling prophecies. Voters check for local momentum where none is measured, and share that information with their networks, while the data they are using is national numbers aggregated historically to local campaigns without any measurement of the current impact of the local campaign.

The fundamental breakage of our democracy is that we have 338 local elections, but we vote in a presidential manner - as if the party name or the leader's name are what is on the ballot.

I did not win in 2015 nor lose in 2019 because we did not have a proportional or preferential system; the results I had in both cases had a great deal more to do with the national campaign and the horse race numbers than my own efforts on the ground or those of my opponents. Yet the intent of our electoral system is to send local representatives to Ottawa to work together to find common ground with others across the country (not only the province) to solve our issues together, and do so by adopting a party banner that represents the issues those representatives intend to address.

The problem, at its core, is that local representation matters less and less and national campaigns matter more and more. The two solutions are either

- to say, ok, sure, national campaigns are easier than local campaigns to run and to cover, and we group-think anyway, so let's institutionalize this system by going to a proportional model of some sort, which puts more emphasis on the party and reduces the pretence that local representatives are relevant;

or

- to eliminate the horse-race and national narrative in favour of encouraging each community to make its own decision, and figure out how to make local representatives become once again relevant as local representatives, bringing that power and influence back to the communities that are choosing those representatives.

It comes down to a values question: proportionality and representation are essentially mutually exclusive; which one is more important to you?

Originally posted on facebook.

Posted at 14:31 on October 26, 2019

2019 Fall campaign newsletter / infolettre campagne d'automne 2019 | essays politics reform | Next steps

(RSS) Website generating code and content © 2006-2020 David Graham <david@davidgraham.ca>, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved. Comments are © their respective authors.