A National Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform

FairVote is putting together this “citizens’ assembly” for Canada. Last time they did this they use their position of running it to influence the information passed to the citizens. As you would expect the citizens decided Single Transferable Vote was best. It is a little like having a citizens’ assembly on economic reform run by a bunch of communists then acting like the citizens choosing communism as the best economic system was proof it was the best system.

Is there something the CES can do? Can they get experts who know about cardinal systems into this or better yet run their own.

FairVote ruined the BC referendum the next time too (last fall) by only allowing the discussion to include systems with high PR. So no Approval, Score or STAR. This led to the choice of STV, MMP and DMP which was rejected.

FairVote and Fair Vote Canada are two entirely separate organizations.

Is it just a coincidence that they have the same name and biases?

The name is a coincidence. As far as I can tell, the overlap in their “biases” comes down to them both supporting STV. This is probably a result of several factors, including what methods academia focuses on and which methods are already used by other countries.

Well if so then maybe there is a chance the CES could get some Cardinal Voting advocates into their process. @fsargent Would you be interested in reaching out?

We would be happy to, if you can give us an introduction.

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I don’t know them. Here is their contact page https://www.fairvote.ca/contact/

So I reached out. They may not be associated with FairVote in the US but they act pretty much the same. They keep talking about “making sure that all votes matter” as if that has any scientific definition.

I have said before that any election system that recognizes ‘official’ political parties cannot be democratic. And that this is because large organizations that persist over time tend very strongly to become totally corrupt. This leads to not only the need to protect governments from corruption, but the need to protect the official parties as well. And this problem can only be avoided by requiring electors to vote directly for individuals, and never for any parties that may promote them. Here is an example of what typically occurs:

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Dissident Voice – S*** Show in Toronto – by Myles Hoenig – June 24th, 2019
S*** Show in Toronto

Saron and her team personally registered nearly 400 new voters to the NDP for this election. She personally delivered it to the NDP brass before the deadline. But because her registration forms were on paper, not on-line, and paid with cash, not credit card, the executive committee of the NDP in Ottawa did not register them, as they said they would. Jagmeet Singh, leader of the NDP, was notified and was asked to intercede, but to no avail. So Saron’s voters come out to vote. So many for the first time in any national election, had to stand in line with screaming babies, old people not able to, people in wheelchairs, just to go through all 400 sheets of registration forms to match their names, while the near lily-white audience sat comfortably not having their registration challenged.


This party stood for something once. The greatest Canadian of all times, voted by a majority, was Tommy Douglas, former premier of Saskatchewan who gave us our single payer health care system and represented the NDP. So yes, now it supports their version of a Green New Deal. It opposes the neo-liberal Justin Trudeau. It hates Doug Ford, the Donald Trump of Ontario, but it also supports the disenfranchisement of people of color, new immigrants, and frankly, people who just don’t look like them. It is no wonder the NDP polls at 12%. And learning on social media that this is not an isolated incident within the NDP throughout the provinces, that 12% will be, and should be, a high mark.
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This always happens with large organizations, and this is essentially what democracy exists to prevent. The official recognition of political parties inevitably creates a higher degree of exposure to corruption. This is why election systems must always require voting for individual candidates, and never become involved in voting for political parties.

MMP (Mixed Member Proportional) and DMP (Dual Member Proportional) voting systems are both reliant upon the recognition of official parties. The STV (Single Transferable Vote) system (and also MMP and DMP) requires extremely high information trafficking, and so actual tabulation must effectively be performed behind closed doors, simply to control the information traffic. The only actual open method of tabulation would require that all information from every single ballot be made available to every member of the public. There are very trivial alternatives to this, but they are even more complicated to perform.

Really, the only system that I support is (a very simple form of) score voting. To that system you can easily ‘tack on’ ‘add-on proportional representation’. Some people may claim that this method fails to meet some definition of, or criteria for ‘proportional representation’. While it it initially gives a fairly random outcome, it has a ‘paladin preservation’ procedure, which soon cures this randomness. In fact, I believe it is actually the only realistic form of true proportional representation. Me descriptions surely are not perfect but you can read about it [Here - A], and [Here - B].

100% agree. It is also impossible to have exact Proportional Representation without partisan voting. It is even hard to define Proportional Representation unless there is either Partisan or plurality voting. Sequential Score type methods get enough PR and don’t have other major issue. They are the way forward

Then how do you plan to avoid gerrymandering? Most solutions these days involve having citizen commissions from a mix of the largest party, second-largest party, and from neither party (where at least 1 person from each has to agree). Without parties that formula sort of goes away.

Check out my next topic "Redistricting With ‘Quadripoints’?