Canada Election 2019

We have a thread kind of sort about Trudeau specifically, so I thought lets start a thread dedicated to the 2019 election.

In my most recent post on that thread, I stated that I was unlikely to vote for Scheer because the CPoC was too socially regressive and won’t take needed action on climate change, which for me is my #1 issue. I would personally love to see the return of the Progressive Conservative party, i.e. a conservative party that is not very socially regressive.

I am resigned to voting Liberal. I had higher hopes for JT, but the alternatives suck. Scheer is a right-wing throwback to the bad days of Conservatism. The NDP and Singh have no hope, the Greens and May even less. I am in favour of Bernier being heard loudly as it exposes him as the xenophobic putz he is.

Just in case any non-Canadians are reading this, I’ll point out that the term ‘Progressive Conservative’ has been an oxymoronic joke since . . . forever.

In terms of the election, given the state of the world, and the state of the States, I will vote Liberal for the first time in my life (even though Justin hardly inspires confidence).

I can’t vote for the Green Party - ever since I had a totally bizarre email exchange with one of their candidates out in Edmonton (occupational hazard when you are the base public affairs officer). I can’t vote for Scheer based on his record on abortion and LGTBQ. I also expected more from JT, but it becomes the lesser of the devil I know…or something.

That pretty much summarizes my views as well. I had hopes that Trudeau would be a better prime minister, and while he hasn’t been awful he hasn’t been that grand either. I’m particularly annoyed at the half-hearted (at best) attempt at electoral reform. I voted for him largely based on that! But what other choice do I have? I could hypothetically vote for the Green party based on the issues, except I don’t think they could govern well (and they cannot win, and any vote not for Trudeau is a vote for Scheer). I’m not even certain they could govern effectively at addressing environmental issues.

I would still love to see electoral reform happen, but I don’t believe any party that wins will do it, because … you know … they just won. It is very frustrating.

That’s not really what’s happened with proposals to change the voting system. It’s been put to a vote at the provincial level in three provinces: BC, Ontario and PEI. It’s never passed. In some cases it’s been defeated outright by the voters. In other cases, the governments have said at the outset that a major change to the electoral system needs a clear approval, either a super-majority like 60%, or a majority backed by a strong voter turn-out. No popular vote has ever met the requirements. And those requirements for a clear voting outcome have been set by governments that want to change the system and have campaigned on it, but also believe that major changes to constitutional basics need more than 50%+1 to have political legitimacy. (As an aside, pity that PM Cameron didn’t take that as an operating principle in the U.K. But I digress.). My recollection is that it’s been voted on three times in BC, twice in PEI, and once in Ontario.

And the BC government that first proposed the change certainly wanted it and poured resources into Making It So. They called a citizens advisory group, gave them staffers and researchers, and asked them to come up with a proposal, to avoid the suggestion that it was just a change for partisan advantage. I think after about a year of study, the recommendation of the citizen advisory group was a single transferable vote, but I can’t remember for sure. But, definitely a change. And the voters didn’t approve it in the referendum.

It’s not clear exactly what happened in Trudeau’s negotiations with the other parties on changing the voting system, but it seems to have been that even though some of the parties, like the Greens and NDP, favour a new system, the parties in Parliament could not agree on a new system to replace first-past-the-post. On such a fundamental issue, should the Liberals have just pushed their preferred option through, on a straight party line vote? Wouldn’t that have led to accusations that they were changing the voting system to favour the Liberals? And what would that have done for the political legitimacy of our electoral system?

I think Canadians are operating on “the devil you know” principle. When you look over to the UK and see them working out the unintended consequences of a major constitutional change (the fixed term Parliaments Act), that certainly has some merit, in my opinion.

This one’s easy! Trudeau seems to be ticking along more or less to my liking and the Liberals aren’t the ones hobnobbing with the likes of Faith Goldy and Ezra Levant.

Only if you insist on using the American 21st century meaning of"Progressive" and applying it to the Canadian political term used a century ago.

The Progressives in Canada had their roots in western agrarian protests, especially around free trade. Many of them were former Liberals who were upset that the Liberals no longer advocated for free trade, according to 19th century English liberalism. The tariff with the US was one of the big issues in Canadian politics at the time, as the Conservatives were protectionist, favoring central Canada industry. The Liberals had traditionally been free traders, but moved away from that to win seats in Ontario. Mackenzie King always viewed the Progressives as dissident Liberals and worked hard to bring them back to the party.

But they were not a party of changes to social justice attitudes, which seems to be the modern US meaning. They weren’t leaders in the fight for women’s suffrage, for instance. Their main focus was economic, to benefit the economic needs of their agrarian constituents.

They became linked to the Conservative party when John Bracken, the Progressive Premier of Manitoba, was lured to the leadership of the Conservatives. He made it a condition of his leadership that the party incorporate “Progressive” into the party name.

That said, even though the Progressives weren’t social justice types,the Conservative Party of Canada had always had the Red Tories, which in modern terms were focused on social justice issues, within a free enterprise framework. Tories like Robert Stanfield epitomized that political philosophy, for example guiding the PCs to support for official bilingualism. Emmett Hall was one of the founders of Medicare, driven in part by his social justice viewpoint. John Robarts, PC premier of Ontario, implemented Medicare in Ontario, partly out of economic necessity, but partly because he accepted the policy.

And then there was Brian Mulroney and John Diefenbaker, both strong opponents of apartheid, while conservatives in the US either looked the other way or demonized Nelson Mandela as a terrorist. For instance, at about the same time Mulriney was leading Commonwealth efforts to bring apartheid to a soft landing, Dick Cheney in the States was still leading campaigns to treat Mandela as a Comminist-sympathizing terrorist.

There can be reactionary Conservatives and progressive Conservatives, and the Red Tory wing of the PCs were the exemplar of that.

And then, it bears repeating that Mulroney did bring in free trade, which the Progressives had advocated. He was not a linear political descendent of the Progressives, but implementing free trade would have made Crerar smile.

Your points are well taken and I cannot argue them. On the other hand, the oxymoronic aspect of the ‘progressive conservative’ name is not an American product of the 21st century. We used to laugh about it in high school in the 70s (in Toronto).

Sure, but any political name has to be understood in context. Lacking that, mockery is unfounded.

For instance, John A’s wing of the party was the “Liberal-Conservatives”. Why? Because they were initially a coalition of politicians, both Liberals and Conservatives as those terms were used in Britain at that time. They were united in pushing for responsible government, against the reactionary conservatives of the Family Compact who wanted to keep the system where the British governor had the real political power and favored the “aristocrats” of the Compact.

“Liberal-Conservative” sounds equally oxymoronic to modern ears, but in context was quite descriptive of the party goals.

Sounds like a lot of people here are like me - former PC voters (Red Tory here, for sure), who are all going, “Well, sigh, Trudeau. Not great, not bad, but looks better than the alternatives…”

I suppose that’s a good thing. Fanaticism is what’s killing the US now, and there are those who would just love to see it come to Canada. A large majority of Canadians telling them to shut up and sit down would be a dream come true.

How about this as a campaign slogan:

Like Trump? Vote Scheer!

Northern Piper, I’m not convinced changes to the voting system really need to go through a referendum. To be legitimate, they need to have a fairly wide consensus in the assembly, otherwise we could have parties changing the rules to suit them, but even then, I did say consensus, not unanimity. What I’d probably do is commission an expert’s report discussing the different options for a voting system, with the advantages and drawbacks of each as well as how they’d be expected to change the political culture, and have parliamentarians vote on them, somewhat like how changes to the electoral map are being approved.

I’ll also say this: changes to the voting system are not irreversible. If we don’t like the one that’s been chosen, we can always change it again.

I think in the case of electoral reform at the federal level in Canada, it’s clear that Trudeau wasn’t really interested in changing the electoral system, especially for something that could have disadvantaged the Liberals, so when it seemed like a proportional system would have been suggested he instead decided to scrap the whole thing.

i’m not saying unanimity is required, consensus would work. The difficulty is that a straight party line vote in the Commons would not be consensus. If the Liberals wanted ranked voting, the small parties wanted PR, and the Tories are content with FPTP, where’s the consensus? Each party will favour a voting system that helps them. That’s why provincial governments who want electoral reform have held referendums,to break party deadlocks.

My general feeling is that there is little chance of the current version of the NDP winning power, and, while the Liberals have been less effective at implementing their platform than I would have liked, at least I can be confident that they generally won’t be trying to do things I don’t want to be done.

Like the winner of the CBC contest came up with, “As Canadian as…possible, under the circumstances!” :smiley:

I think we do need to have a referendum on this, not only because it’s clear that the parties will vote for what they think will benefit them, first, rather than what’s best for the country overall, but because the citizens overall might not like the particular version of electoral reform that they’ve decided to use.

I voted against the proposed changes to the Ontario election system, not only because I didn’t support that particular proposed change, but also because I thought the people really pushing for a yes vote were going out of their way to misrepresent certain features of the system we were voting on. They were constantly touting that the system would “give us more choice”, when in reality it took a lot of power away from us, and gave it to the parties. That dishonesty really pissed me off.

I’d much prefer a series of run-off referenda that lets us choose between the various proposed systems, rather than a straight up yes-or-no vote on one system. Just because I didn’t like that particular form doesn’t mean I don’t support the general notion of trying to make voting more effective at providing the government the population actually wants.

It would suit me just fine if we had a Liberal minority government.

And I think people also need to be reminded that Bernier managed to take home and lose secret documents. And yes, a cite:

If it had been anybody of lower profile, they would have been reduced to junior dishwasher’s assistant.

I would be alright with a referendum although it kind of raises the question of under what scheme do you run the referendum? First past the post? Ranked choice?

A series of FPTP referendums probably is the simplest to explain to the populace who are used to FPTP systems and would approximate ranked choice, which I think is the best system for making such a significant decision.

Out of curiosity, and rather than making a brand new thread, what system would you like to see?

I’m personally very torn between some kind of PR and ranked choice. I think if push came to shove, then I would support ranked choice.

I wouldn’t mind some kind of proportional representation but I would prefer higher thresholds than most countries, i.e. above 5%. I was reading an article from last May, when the Tories were polling a little better, doing a seat projection. Basically the only two parties that could form a majority would have been Conservative-Liberal or Conservative-NDP, not exactly workable. We would probably have to go through a number of elections before upstart parties get any kind of traction and can bolster up a government. I know some like the idea of a vulnerable minority government but I am personally not keen on making that the norm rather than the exception.