Thursday, August 09, 2007

Addendum - The Truth About FPTP : How Political Parties Choose Candidates

This is an addendum to Part 3 of my Series, The Truth About FPTP : How Political Parties Choose Candidates.

How many political parties in Ontario use FPTP to select leaders?

Neither the Ontario Progressive Conservatives, the Ontario Liberals, nor the Ontario NDP uses FPTP to select leaders. That is, of course, unless the candidate is acclaimed.

How many political parties use FPTP to select candidates?

Neither the Ontario Progressive Conservatives, the Ontario Liberals, nor the Ontario NDP uses FPTP to select candidates. That is, of course, unless the leader selects the candidate or the candidate is acclaimed.

Why would partisan activists of political parties then support FPTP if political parties themselves do not use FPTP?

That's for another debate, but it certainly does indicate that even the political parties themselves understand that FPTP is not the best method for electing officials.

7 comments:

aginsberg said...

How many political parties use the proposed system of MMP to select their leader? None. I guess that means political parties understand that MMP is not a good way of selecting officials.

This argument is absurd. A leadership race is a completely different animal than a provincial election. A leader requires a certain level of consensus within his party in order to lead. Thus, parties use systems which demand a majority to choose a leader. A provincial election is not comparable.

Jim said...

Aginsberg,

Who said anything about MMP? I pointed out a fact. Not one single political party uses FPTP to select a leader or candidate. Is that not true?

Advocates for FPTP, such as the No Campaign, should be advocating for FPTP everywhere.

That said, why is a majority required for a leader to lead a party, but not for a party to lead a province? Why do you respect democracy for the governing but not for the governed?

I almost think you're helping me to segue into False Majorities.

aginsberg said...

"Advocates for FPTP, such as the No Campaign, should be advocating for FPTP everywhere."

By that tortured logic, shouldn't advocates for MMP be advocating for its use everywhere?

The No MMP campaign is called that because many of the people involved (like myself) do not think FPTP is perfect. We just prefer FPTP to MMP because of MMP's many flaws. We are engaging in the debate set out by the Citizens'Assembly (a yes/no debate) instead of the one imposed by Elections Ontario (an either/or debate).

The end result of a leadership race should be unity. "Tous ensemble" as Michael Ignatieff would say. Advocates for MMP like yourself say repeatedly that the results of a provincial election should reflect diversity of opinion. Why would we use the same system designed to promote unity? Two different goals, two different electoral systems. I stand by my first comment, this argument is absurd.

Jim said...

The referendum is on choosing between FPTP and MMP.

I'm presenting the facts on FPTP.

If you choose to disagree with the facts, that's fine. The argument however, is not absurd.

Anonymous said...

I have met voters who do like the concept of proportional representation but do not like MMP. I understand that they may have objections about this voting system. I also do understand that the people who will be actively camapaigning against MMP would probably campaign against any other proportional voting system be it STV, pure list, regional list, open or closed list. Opponents would probably use the same arguments about these voting systems that they are using about MMP: loss of stable governments, loss of local representation, large regional or province-wide ridings, not good enough for women and minorities, not good enough for the Green Party, and only good for the Green Party.

Thank God we at least have First-Past-the-Post democracy. If we did not have democracy in the first place, the current opponents of MMP would probably be in favour of stable unelected regimes.

Michael Bednarski

JimBobby said...

Whooee! I think one of the most compelling arguments for MMP is that it will not allow a party with less than 50% of the popular vote to form a majority gummint. Most everybuddy understands that it is unfair when a party with 40% for and 60% against is able to rule as if it had 100% support.

FPTP allows for a tyranny of the minority. MMP prevents that possibility.

JB

Linuxluver said...

Well said. Jim. It's also important to note that the 3% threshold will mean that members of existing parties who aren't happy with a lack of transparency in the important party processes will have the realistic option of waking out and forming a new party. The scenario might a prominent leader within the party telling the party Emperors they have no clothes...and leading his/her flock to a new and more democratic party to advance the same policies. Voters will know what's what.

For this very reason party leaders will be unlikely to show disrespect to activists and members.