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Old 10-22-2019, 08:42 AM
Wrenching Spanners is offline
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Should the winner of the popular vote be Canada’s Prime Minister?


Many posters on the SDMB believe that Hilary Clinton should be the President of the United States because she won the popular vote in the 2016 election. This question is addressed to those believers. Should Andrew Scheer, whose Conservative Party won the popular vote in the 2018 election, be Canada’s Prime Minister?
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Old 10-22-2019, 08:46 AM
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No. We have a radically different governmental system. It wouldn't logically work. How do you govern with 121 out of 270 seats?

The president on the other hand is the only member of the executive branch. So he can logically be elected by a popular vote and govern.
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Old 10-22-2019, 08:47 AM
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What a gotcha!
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Old 10-22-2019, 09:30 AM
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So people claiming the EC is an illegitimate method of determining a change in their federal executive should also claim the same for a completely different system that determines both executive & legislative representatives? Seems like a pointless question.
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Old 10-22-2019, 09:34 AM
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Andrew Scheer received some 24,233 votes out of 17 million or so cast. One would have expected someone giving their location as London to recognize how the Westminster system works.
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Old 10-22-2019, 09:52 AM
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Andrew Scheer received some 24,233 votes out of 17 million or so cast. One would have expected someone giving their location as London to recognize how the Westminster system works.
Oh, so it's like the Westminster Dog Show!

Well, now that I realize that I can understand British politics, I'll start watching.
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Old 10-22-2019, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Wrenching Spanners View Post
Many posters on the SDMB believe that Hilary Clinton should be the President of the United States because she won the popular vote in the 2016 election.
What do you mean by "should"? Given the mechanism for electing the president spelled out in the United States constitution and in electoral convention, and tacitly agreed by all candidates by their participating in the election, Donald Trump has been unambiguously elected President of the United States. Therefore, it would not have been acceptable if Hillary Clinton had been inaugurated as president instead of him on January 20, 2017.

Whether this mechanism accurately reflects the will of the people, while ensuring that regional concerns are taken into account, and whether it respects all the other attributes we want a representative democracy to have, is another question.

Last edited by Hypnagogic Jerk; 10-22-2019 at 09:59 AM.
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Old 10-22-2019, 09:59 AM
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Andrew Scheer received some 24,233 votes out of 17 million or so cast.
Trudeau received 24,797 so it's ok.
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Last edited by Grey; 10-22-2019 at 10:00 AM.
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Old 10-22-2019, 10:16 AM
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The likely result of this election is a minority Liberal government with some level of support from the NDP party. Combined, the two parties got about 49% of the popular vote (compared to 34% for the Conservatives). Honestly, this is a much fairer outcome than many of the recent Canadian elections from a popular vote perspective.
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Old 10-22-2019, 10:25 AM
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Scheer clearly should not be Prime Minister. Left-of-center parties got more votes than right-of-center parties (if we count Liberal, BQ, NDP, and Green as left-of-center and Conservative + People's as right-of-center, which I think is reasonable). 11.3 million against 6.4 million, according to CBC's current numbers, which isn't even close. I think the strongest inequity is not in Scheer not being PM, but in the first past the post system diluting national third parties (especially the NDP) compared both to the two major national parties, and the BQ (which, as a party with strong regional support, doesn't have the same kinds of problems, and in fact won 8 more seats than the NDP despite having less than half the popular vote). Canada should use a more proportional electoral method, like Trudeau used to support.
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Old 10-22-2019, 10:28 AM
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Trudeau received 24,797 so it's ok.
From a cursory search, the MP elected with the highest number of votes appears to be Conservative Mike Lake, elected in Edmonton-Wetaskiwin with 61,709 votes. So I guess that should make him the next Prime Minister of Canada.

Lake also has the highest lead among winning candidates, but not the highest vote percentage by a candidate.

Among the leaders, if that's what matters, Yves-François Blanchet got 34,902 votes in Beloeil-Chambly and Elizabeth May received 32,326 in Saanich-Gulf Islands. Therefore, they both have a greater claim to becoming the next Prime Minister than Trudeau or Scheer.
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Old 10-22-2019, 10:31 AM
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The Canadian system is fairer than the USA system, can you imagine a winner take all system by province? That’s why people hate the Electoral College.
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Old 10-22-2019, 11:03 AM
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Andrew Scheer received some 24,233 votes out of 17 million or so cast. One would have expected someone giving their location as London to recognize how the Westminster system works.
There aren’t a huge number of Canadians on this board, but there’s a fair few – probably enough for an effective survey sample. Did any of the Canadians who voted in this election consider the merits and platforms of the people running to be their MP, and then considered the merits and platforms of the party leaders, and then chose an MP from a different party than your preferred party leader?
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Old 10-22-2019, 11:13 AM
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Yep. Here, knock yourself out Canada Election 2019
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Old 10-22-2019, 11:19 AM
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There aren’t a huge number of Canadians on this board, but there’s a fair few – probably enough for an effective survey sample. Did any of the Canadians who voted in this election consider the merits and platforms of the people running to be their MP, and then considered the merits and platforms of the party leaders, and then chose an MP from a different party than your preferred party leader?
I can safely say that most people vote party but a considerable number focus on the local MP, especially when there's no clear preference. But so what? You can't be Prime Minister unless you have the votes in parliament. So your question in the OP is nonsensical and I have a hard time believing someone living in the UK doesn't already know that.
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Old 10-22-2019, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Wrenching Spanners View Post
There aren’t a huge number of Canadians on this board, but there’s a fair few – probably enough for an effective survey sample. Did any of the Canadians who voted in this election consider the merits and platforms of the people running to be their MP, and then considered the merits and platforms of the party leaders, and then chose an MP from a different party than your preferred party leader?
I did. I voted for a different party that my preferred winner. Although not so much due to platform, but due to the First Past the Post system all but requiring strategic voting. I voted for the party in second place locally in hopes of denying the party in first place locally a seat since my preferred party was in distant third place locally.

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Old 10-22-2019, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Wrenching Spanners View Post
There aren’t a huge number of Canadians on this board, but there’s a fair few – probably enough for an effective survey sample. Did any of the Canadians who voted in this election consider the merits and platforms of the people running to be their MP, and then considered the merits and platforms of the party leaders, and then chose an MP from a different party than your preferred party leader?
Just checking -- have you moved on from the terrible idea you proposed in the OP?
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Old 10-22-2019, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Wrenching Spanners View Post
There aren’t a huge number of Canadians on this board, but there’s a fair few – probably enough for an effective survey sample. Did any of the Canadians who voted in this election consider the merits and platforms of the people running to be their MP, and then considered the merits and platforms of the party leaders, and then chose an MP from a different party than your preferred party leader?
Yes. Me, for instance.
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Old 10-22-2019, 12:19 PM
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Just checking -- have you moved on from the terrible idea you proposed in the OP?
I haven't proposed anything. I believe Trudeau won the 2018 Canada election under the established Canadian electoral system. I believe Trump won the 2016 US election under the established US electoral system. Many posters here, probably dozens, were outraged after the 2016 US election at their view of the unfairness of a country's leader not being the candidate who won the popular vote. I'm just curious if anyone will view the similar Canadian result as being similarly unfair.

Regarding the different government systems, Canada’s going to have a minority government whether it’s led by Trudeau or Scheer. Generally, a minority government means the leader has to govern by consensus, and has a reined-in political agenda. Trudeau might be less limited because the NDP will probably be willing to support his agenda. But that doesn’t mean that Scheer couldn’t pursue a centrist pragmatic agenda. Scheer’s party won the popular vote. If you believe that the winner of the popular vote deserves to be the executive, regardless of the established electoral system, then shouldn’t you believe Scheer should be Canada’s Prime Minister?
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Old 10-22-2019, 12:37 PM
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There is no possible universe in which winning 6.1 million votes out of 17.9 million cast means winning the popular vote. That's 34%, just a hair over a third of the votes. Get real.
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Old 10-22-2019, 12:40 PM
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If you believe that the winner of the popular vote deserves to be the executive, regardless of the established electoral system, then shouldn’t you believe Scheer should be Canada’s Prime Minister?
Do you have a link to these people who say such things? I find it hard to believe someone said regardless of the established electoral system, every country should make the popular vote winner be the executive.
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Old 10-22-2019, 12:43 PM
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There is no possible universe in which winning 6.1 million votes out of 17.9 million cast means winning the popular vote. That's 34%, just a hair over a third of the votes. Get real.
Which party received more votes?

By the way, the BBC agrees with me:
Quote:
The Conservatives are projected to take 34.4% of the popular vote, compared to the Liberals' 33%.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-50134640
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Old 10-22-2019, 12:48 PM
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Which party received more votes?

By the way, the BBC agrees with me:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-50134640
Why is a Brit so determined to set a hypocrisy trap for Americans using a Canadian election result? That's the real question here.
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Old 10-22-2019, 12:51 PM
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I haven't proposed anything. I believe Trudeau won the 2018 Canada election under the established Canadian electoral system. I believe Trump won the 2016 US election under the established US electoral system. Many posters here, probably dozens, were outraged after the 2016 US election at their view of the unfairness of a country's leader not being the candidate who won the popular vote. I'm just curious if anyone will view the similar Canadian result as being similarly unfair.
If something is "the established system," does that prove that it is fair? Like, if California gerrymandered all Republican congressional representation out of existence, would you consider that "unfair" in light of the state's constitutional power to engage in redistricting?

I'm of the view that legal does not always equate to fair, as sometimes laws are written for unfair benefit, and sometimes old laws outlive their reasonableness.
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Old 10-22-2019, 01:01 PM
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Which party received more votes?
Why is this relevant beyond a small piece of trivia, if neither party received anything close to a majority? In these cases, the way to figure out who gets to be PM is by forming a minority government through a coalition with the smaller parties. If the Conservatives could form a minority government with the smaller parties, they would. They cannot. The Liberals can.

Question for you: If, hypothetically speaking, there were about 100 equally-sized political parties in Canada, do you think the correct way to form a government would be to pick whichever one had the highest vote total (maybe only by a few votes) and make the leader of that party PM? Why or why not?
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Old 10-22-2019, 01:19 PM
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Do you have a link to these people who say such things? I find it hard to believe someone said regardless of the established electoral system, every country should make the popular vote winner be the executive.
You want an example of people on the Straight Dope complaining that Hillary won the popular vote but lost the electoral college? Seriously?

OK, here you go:
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Originally Posted by ThelmaLou View Post
Trump didn't beat her. He won on a technicality.

Carry on.
https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...d.php?t=824009

And here's a whole thread with people complaining that the US electoral college is unfair:
https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...d.php?t=813409
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Old 10-22-2019, 01:24 PM
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Unfair and illegitimate are two different things.
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Last edited by Grey; 10-22-2019 at 01:24 PM.
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Old 10-22-2019, 01:30 PM
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You want an example of people on the Straight Dope complaining that Hillary won the popular vote but lost the electoral college? Seriously?

OK, here you go:

https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...d.php?t=824009

And here's a whole thread with people complaining that the US electoral college is unfair:
https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...d.php?t=813409
What's that got to do with a parliamentary system?
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Old 10-22-2019, 01:35 PM
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Why is this relevant beyond a small piece of trivia, if neither party received anything close to a majority? In these cases, the way to figure out who gets to be PM is by forming a minority government through a coalition with the smaller parties. If the Conservatives could form a minority government with the smaller parties, they would. They cannot. The Liberals can.

Question for you: If, hypothetically speaking, there were about 100 equally-sized political parties in Canada, do you think the correct way to form a government would be to pick whichever one had the highest vote total (maybe only by a few votes) and make the leader of that party PM? Why or why not?
I'm curious to see if anyone who has an adamant belief that the US electoral college is unfair, and believes that the winner of the popular vote should be the leader of the executive has an opinion on the Canadian election results.

Regarding your hypothetical, I'd expect each riding would be able to elect an MP under the first past the post system, and then for those MP's to see if there was a basis for someone forming a government. I'd recognise that's the way representational democracy works. If a government was formed, even if it didn't have the highest number of votes behind it, I'd personally recognise the government and acknowledge that the system worked, even if it wasn't my personal preference. And if it was a Conservative government, I'd expect the left to start whining about what an unfair election it was, and crying about it for the next four years.
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Old 10-22-2019, 01:41 PM
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I'm curious to see if anyone who has an adamant belief that the US electoral college is unfair, and believes that the winner of the popular vote should be the leader of the executive has an opinion on the Canadian election results.
Relative to your user name, has anyone ever told you that a wrench is an excellent tool to use on bolts, and did you respond by asking if they think a wrench is an excellent tool to use on screws?
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Old 10-22-2019, 02:06 PM
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But that doesn’t mean that Scheer couldn’t pursue a centrist pragmatic agenda.
Bwahahahaha! Stop, you're killing me over here.

No really, this is a ridiculous statement. The only actual agenda Scheer has besides not being Justin Trudeau is axing the carbon tax and building oil pipelines. There is zero support for these policies amongst the NDP, Bloc, and Green. There is no centrist pragmatic approach that will accomplish that agenda. And there is no path for the CPC to abandon that agenda - pro-Alberta oil industry is a core CPC value. Sinn Fein will abandon republicanism before the CPC abandons the oil industry.
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Old 10-22-2019, 02:18 PM
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I'm curious to see if anyone who has an adamant belief that the US electoral college is unfair, and believes that the winner of the popular vote should be the leader of the executive has an opinion on the Canadian election results.
I'm sure it is possible to find somebody who believes this (after all there are people who believe climate change isn't real and that vaccines cause autism), but really the question is nonsensical. The two aren't really relatable. You can believe the electoral college is unfair and believe that a Westminster style government isn't.
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Old 10-22-2019, 02:23 PM
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I'm curious to see if anyone who has an adamant belief that the US electoral college is unfair, and believes that the winner of the popular vote should be the leader of the executive has an opinion on the Canadian election results.
Your OP is erroneous because the Conservatives didn't win the popular vote because there was no 'popular' vote. We voted for our ridings - many of us had to vote strategically based on that fact.

There are many people, including myself, who would have voted completely differently if there was a popular vote for leadership. Do you think many would have voted Bloc for a popular vote / national leadership - when it would be impossible for them to win that vote given they only ran in Quebec?

The US is different, because they vote for the Senate, the House and the President all SEPARATELY. Each of these votes from an individual can be for a different party. So when you vote for the President - it is a 'Popular' Vote. However it becomes skewed due to the electoral college. Primarily Parties that are popular in small rural states like Wyoming have an advantage because there are minimum numbers of electoral votes per state. Each electoral college vote in Wyoming represents 188,000 people - each electoral college vote in California represents 677,000. That is the simple reason why people begrudge Hillary losing the election when winning the popular vote.
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Old 10-22-2019, 02:39 PM
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Many posters on the SDMB believe that Hilary Clinton should be the President of the United States because she won the popular vote in the 2016 election. This question is addressed to those believers. Should Andrew Scheer, whose Conservative Party won the popular vote in the 2018 election, be Canada’s Prime Minister?
99.5% of the country did not vote for or against Justin Trudeau.
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Old 10-22-2019, 04:01 PM
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I'm sure it is possible to find somebody who believes this (after all there are people who believe climate change isn't real and that vaccines cause autism), but really the question is nonsensical. The two aren't really relatable. You can believe the electoral college is unfair and believe that a Westminster style government isn't.


Indeed, the electoral college being "unfair" was literally part of its design. They feared allowing the votes of populous states to overwhelm the votes of less populous ones, and so engineered a system intended to balance that out. It's entirely possible to decide that this plan was flawed, and oppose the system.
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Old 10-22-2019, 06:05 PM
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Should the winner of the popular vote be Canada’s Prime Minister?

So let's see. In the current situation:

Seats:
157 Liberal
121 Conservative
32 Bloc
24 NDP
3 Green
1 Ind

And the Conservative Party of Canada garnered the most votes (popular vote?)

So in this hypothetical, Scheer would be the Prime Minister. What happens next?

1. Scheer puts together a Throne Speech using elements from his election platform and advice from Conservative Party advisers. It is soundly defeated, because he only holds 121 seats and it needs 170 votes to pass. And the other 216 members hate what the Throne Speech contains. The government folds.

2. Scheer puts together a Throne Speech using elements from the Liberal and NDP platforms. The speech passes because the Liberals and NDP like it, and hold a majority in the house. Scheer is then thrown out as leader by his own Conservative caucus, because he has gone against everything that the party stands for.

I would say that the idea put forth in the OP is an exceedingly poor one.
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Old 10-22-2019, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Wrenching Spanners View Post
There aren’t a huge number of Canadians on this board, but there’s a fair few – probably enough for an effective survey sample. Did any of the Canadians who voted in this election consider the merits and platforms of the people running to be their MP, and then considered the merits and platforms of the party leaders, and then chose an MP from a different party than your preferred party leader?
I put more faith in party policy than the local candidate, but I’m quite happy with our local candidate who just won her 8th straight election. The candidate would have to be particularity offensive to me in order to not vote for the party.
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Old 10-22-2019, 08:57 PM
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Parliamentary systems with proportional representation work better than ones without, but any type of parliamentary system, or a split system with a simple popular vote are all worlds better than the US system. We have arbitrarily sized areas with intentionally disproportionate EC votes, and the EC votes don't even allow for local control, which is the only real benefit of a Westminster system, because the electors don't continue to have any power after a President is inaugurated.
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Old 10-23-2019, 08:18 AM
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Parliamentary systems with proportional representation work better than ones without...
Do they? I mean, is there some objective way you can prove that?

In any case, I too don't understand Wrenching Spanners' angle here. Canadians don't elect their head of state. Americans do. The USA's electoral equivalent to Justin Trudeau is not Donald Trump; it's a hybrid of about 70% Nancy Pelosi, 20% Mitch McConnell, and 10% Donald Trump.
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Old 10-23-2019, 08:37 AM
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Why is a Brit so determined to set a hypocrisy trap for Americans using a Canadian election result?
He has nothing better to do. It's Operation Overbored.
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Old 10-23-2019, 09:04 AM
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He has nothing better to do. It's Operation Overbored.
Yeah, pity the poor observer of UK politics these days. Nothing whatsoever of interest going on.
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Old 10-23-2019, 10:27 AM
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Why would Hillary Clinton even WANT to be the Prime Minister of Canada?

Okay, off to read the thread...
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Old 10-23-2019, 06:37 PM
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She would have to get naturalised to get into the Commons or the Senate.

Unless she just became party leader and PM, but didn't hold a seat in the Commons or Senate.
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Old 10-23-2019, 07:37 PM
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every country should make the popular vote winner be the executive.
Psephologist, heal thyself.

Coming from a jurisdiction where the head of executive government doesn't need to receive a majority of votes in their own electorate, or lead a party that wins the majority of votes cast or winning a majority seats in parliament or all three for that matter, the US fixation on the sanctity of the popular vote is quite frankly unbecoming.

It's not as if the US has a track record of popularly electing competent executives.
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Old 10-23-2019, 07:49 PM
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Plus this discussion leaves out that Trump campaigned brilliantly and Clinton campaigned horribly given the rules of the election. Trump is on record that he would have emphasized other states if his goal were to win the popular votes and not EC votes. Meanwhile Clinton campaigned for easy votes in states that were already in her camp.

The analogy is like saying that a poker player behind in a hand playing pot odds wins unfairly if he sucks out on the river. No he played the game correctly and won.
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Old 10-23-2019, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by penultima thule View Post
Psephologist, heal thyself.

Coming from a jurisdiction where the head of executive government doesn't need to receive a majority of votes in their own electorate, or lead a party that wins the majority of votes cast or winning a majority seats in parliament or all three for that matter, the US fixation on the sanctity of the popular vote is quite frankly unbecoming.

It's not as if the US has a track record of popularly electing competent executives.
You sliced out a part of my quote to make it appear I was declaring something which is quite uncool, even in whatever awesome country you live in.

Last edited by CarnalK; 10-23-2019 at 07:57 PM.
  #47  
Old 10-23-2019, 09:07 PM
penultima thule is offline
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On re-reading your post #21 I realise that I missed the nuance.
Apologies.
  #48  
Old 10-25-2019, 05:55 PM
Hari Seldon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrenching Spanners View Post
There aren’t a huge number of Canadians on this board, but there’s a fair few – probably enough for an effective survey sample. Did any of the Canadians who voted in this election consider the merits and platforms of the people running to be their MP, and then considered the merits and platforms of the party leaders, and then chose an MP from a different party than your preferred party leader?
A fair question and here is my answer. I voted for a candidate whom I have met and liked. But I would have voted for him anyway since I wanted Trudeau to continue as PM. I would have happy enough to vote NDP, but I know they had no chance of winning. Although I am sympathetic with most of the aims of the Greens, I could not possibly vote for a party whose leaders believes that Israel should not occupy any land in Palestine, i.e. that Israel should not exist. As for the Conservatives they seem to be climate change deniers and that is simply unacceptable. They just want to burn as much oil as possible, as quickly as possible.

What I would like to see is not proportional representation but instant runoff or preference voting. It is totally predictable that under such a system, the number of ballots with the Libs and NDP 1 and 2, in either order, would approach 50% and I completely content with a coalition of the two parties.
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