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19 September 2016

Two Issues

Our main issue of fighting for the rights of English-speaking Canadians does not mean that we are only concerned about that issue. 

Today's message is about two other issues:

  1. The Liberal government wants to change the way we vote
  2. The Liberal government wants to welcome the Iranian Embassy back to Ottawa

For the first issue, I will describe briefly a Town-hall meeting held by a local Liberal MP, Anita Vanderbeld last night.  There will be other meetings held at different times - if you're interested, contact me & I'll get the schedule for you.  Last night's meeting was very well attended and surprisingly, had good representation from both sides of the argument.  MP Vanderbeld said that she was strictly there to listen to the citizens' views & there were at least 40 people lined up at the two mikes.  I would say that the LIB had strong support from the NDP to change the voting system (not surprisingly as the NDP would never get to govern nationally any other way).  What happened in AB was an aberration for which Albertans are paying a very steep price.

There were good points of view from both sides but the call for a Referendum was heard quite loudly.  Rather than for me to give you a blow-by-blow commentary on what was said, I thought I would do some research and let you read the views of the media on different points of view on this very important issue.

I'll pick out the most significant paragraph from each writer - you can read the articles yourself if you have the time:

John IvisonThe town hall format is not really the “national dialogue” being presented to Canadians — it is an exercise designed to give the illusion the government is listening.

Monsef has routinely rejected the idea of a referendum on a system to replace the first-past-the-post system, explaining that youth, indigenous people, those with disabilities and people with “exceptionalities” would be excluded because they don’t vote in large numbers.

http://www.nationalpost.com/m/wp/full-comment/blog.html?b=news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/john-ivison-liberals-electoral-reform-town-halls-are-meaningless-gatherings-of-democra-geeks


Kady O'Malley,  writes that the majority of Canadians are not even aware of the series of town-hall meetings on this most important topic - changing the way we vote.

Even more demoralizing for committee members – who have, after all, devoted a sizeable chunk of their summer to the project – might be Bricker’s revelation that, even among the minority aware of their work, just 16 per cent – or, as Bricker helpfully pointed out, roughly three per cent of the total population – are following the process “very closely,” while the same number have tuned it out entirely, with 68 per cent taking in “a bit here and there.”

http://www.nationalpost.com/m/wp/full-comment/blog.html?b=news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/canadian-politics/kady-omalley-stop-implying-that-canadians-simply-arent-smart-enough-to-understand-electoral-reform

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Chris Selley: Who’s afraid of a referendum on electoral reform?

Canseco’s poll, released June 28, found 61 per cent of respondents were satisfied with first-past-the-post (FPTP) and 68 per cent thought any change should be put to a popular vote. But their opinions on the alternatives were almost comically open-minded: 50 per cent agreed with the idea of party-list proportional representation (PR); 45 per cent agreed with ranked ballots in each existing riding; and 40 per cent agreed with mixed-member PR. Only 14, 15 and 16 per cent, respectively, “strongly disagreed.”

http://www.nationalpost.com/m/wp/full-comment/blog.html?b=news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/chris-selley-whos-afraid-of-a-referendum-on-electoral-reform

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John Pepall - Fraser Institute - Changing Canada’s voting system will dilute voter power

Generally under PR no party can form a government by itself. Coalitions rule. No party can do what it said it would do and be held accountable. Who governs is not decided by the election but in negotiations after the election beyond voters’ control. Some parties are permanently in power. Some are permanently excluded. Bums are never thrown out. In Germany what looks like a choice between the Christian Democrats and the Social Democrats ends with them both in a grand coalition.

Under PR, voters effectively provide a sample of their opinions and the parties decide who will govern on a basis that might only be explained by game theory. Even the parties don’t know how to play the game. The voters lose control.

If 2015 is the last election when we vote as we have since before Confederation, it may also be the last in which voters decide who governs them.

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Jason Clemens & Taylor Jackson - Fraser Institute

Coalition governments typically cost more

This means that coalitions—not majority governments, which is the norm in Canada—are much more likely to govern PR countries. Research bears this out. Between 2000 and 2015, only 17 per cent of elections in PR countries resulted in a single-party majority while single-party majorities occurred 85 per cent of the time in countries with election systems like Canada, which are referred to as majoritarian/plurality systems.

To form governing coalitions, the single large party must negotiate with smaller parties and often capitulate on key policy issues. Therefore, smaller parties can exert disproportionate power in government in countries with PR election systems.

This is a critical insight because it counters those who argue that PR provides everyone an equal vote. It doesn’t. It disproportionately empowers voters for small, even fringe parties at the expense of the majority of voters who tend to vote for one of a few main parties.

One result of these capitulations is that government spending in countries with PR elections is markedly higher than in other countries. In a recent study, we examined the average level of central government spending over a 15-year period, between the years 2000 and 2014, in advanced industrial countries. We found that countries with PR electoral systems had average central government spending of 29.2 per cent of the economy (GDP) compared to 23.5 per cent for countries with majoritarian/plurality election rules.

In other words, as a share of the economy, central governments in countries with PR systems were almost one-quarter larger than those with majoritarian/plurality electoral systems.

https://www.fraserinstitute.org/article/changing-election-rules-changes-more-than-just-who-we-elect

https://www.fraserinstitute.org/article/changing-canadas-voting-system-will-dilute-voter-power

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For the second issue, please sign and share this petition and tell Trudeau Liberals that you do not wish Iran's house of terror to re-open in Ottawa.

http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/canada-must-not-re-open-iranian-embassy-no-diplomatic-ties-with-iran.html

Read the following endorsement written by Salim Mansur about Homa Arjomand who drafted the petition for us.

Dear All:

Please take a couple of minutes and consider signing this petition now being circulated by a Persian friend of mine, Homa Arjomand, to ask the Canadian government of Justin T. not to re-open Iran's Embassy in Ottawa that was shut down a few years ago by the previous Harper government.

Homa is one of the bravest women one can get to know. She escaped from the prison of Khomeini's Iran in a manner that would make a stirring romance-adventure-espionage getaway story/film. She led the effort to stop Sharia law in Ontario that was pushed by Marion Boyd, who had served as Attorney-General in Premier Bob Rae's NDP government. I worked with Homa in that campaign, and I remain an immense admirer of Homa as a voice of independent modern Muslim women around the world. During winter and spring of 2015 both Homa and I were called upon to be expert witnesses for the Conservatives during Senate and Parliamentary hearings over bills that Harper government had introduced before the October election was called.

Let us add our voice to this petition in stopping our government from giving undue pass to a criminal state ruled by thugs as clerics in Tehran. I have signed it already. Here is the petition for you to click and then scroll down to the button to "Sign". This is the least we can do in giving support to our brave friends in Iran standing up against the brutal regime of the ayatollahs.

Salim Mansur

http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/canada-must-not-re-open-iranian-embassy-no-diplomatic-ties-with-iran.html

 



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