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My Letter to my MP on Electoral Reform

September 15, 2016
Dear Mr. Saini,
I am one of your constituents and I must say very happy you won your seat and your party won the recent election even though I am not always a Liberal voter.
I was unable to attend your open house last night in Kitchener with Minister Monsef but I have a strong interest in electoral reform and I’m very happy that this process is being carried out now under your government.
In the past I have been fairly active in arguing for electoral reform of some kind and for more proportional systems in particular.
Unfortunately I have not had much time to write on this topic since I returned to Ontario.
You can find my previous writing on the subject at my blog: Pop The Stack
But just to keep it short and fun here are couple discussions of electoral reform in the language of Lord of the Rings and Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy🙂
But in all seriousness, this process is a profoundly important one and I hope after the public consultation is done, your government will follow through looking at all the opinions.  Even more importantly I hope you will have the bravery to make the right choice and implement it without a referendum even if a loud minority disagrees with it.
Option 1 – STV
The best option is clearly some form of Single Transferable Vote with ridings of various sizes, 1-3 members in rural areas, maybe 5-6 in urban areas. The BC-STV system was a good approach and was supported by many people. It would allow for voters to have influence over the candidate each party can put forward over time and make government truly representative. It was brought down in the referendum by cynical people using people’s fears. They are against all change because they benefit from the existing system.
Don’t listen to those who say STV is too complicated for Canadians. If they can handle our Prime Minister giving a lecture on quantum computing they handle a ballot where they rank candidates from all parties and the votes are weighted and counted by a computer.

Option 2 – MMP
My second choice would be something along the lines of Mixed Member proportional with party lists. If the list system is open to some primary voting process to party members this would be even better.
Option N – Something else….
Now anything is better than our current system, I do believe that. So some list based, alternative vote or instant runoff system would be an improvement, as hobbits argued.
However, it has severe drawbacks in that a party which has many third or second ranked votes could be dropped off before those votes are used. This would in particular hurt parties competing in the ideological space of the Liberal party such as the NDP and especially the Green party.
So choosing such a system would be bad for the country, waste a once-in-a-generation opportunity for change, and look like the triangulating, strategic manipulation that Liberal opponents love to attack the party for. It would, in my opinion have a much greater chance of emboldening conservatives who support FPTP (for some reason) to use in a later election and would be at risk of being reversed. Which is strange because I truly believe conservative voters have should be even more eager for change that liberal voters (use of case intentional) as they have considerable wasted votes in the urban centres that are the engine of our country.
So that’s it. Do the right thing and make us proud.
Thank you for your time,
Mark Crowley

Come on Colorado, Just Take One Whiff, What Harm Could It Do?

May 5, 2016

Colorado may be about to try out another experimental lifestyle habit, single payer universal healthcare:

This needs to happen. Just try it out America! If you are so into allowing states to experiment just try it.

What trouble could one little state cause?…

Of course, this is how we got single payer in Canada. Saskatchewan tried it out, slowly country came along. 40 years later our health care system is one of the most commonly cited things Canadians are proud of about our country.

Amazing advice! One thing you can do today. The results will astound you!

October 19, 2015

Vote.

Seven simple steps that will change everything. You won’t regret it.

October 18, 2015
  1. On Monday, get out of bed half an hour early to do a little bit of planning how to vote.
  2. Find your voter information card to find out where to vote or if you don’t have one type in your postal code here.
  3. Determine when you’re going to vote, before work, during or after. Here are the hours polls are open in each province. TL;DR If you’re in the west you can go before work, in the east you have lots of time after work. You can do this.
  4. Before you leave the house make sure you have:
    • your driver’s license,
    • or some other photo id plus
    • a letter from hydro or the phone company or that parking ticket from last month.
  5. Stop by Tim Horton’s. Go to Work, School, etc. Go to the voting place. The order depends on you.
  6. Vote.
  7. Pat yourself on the back.

Wow. This will change everything. Find out how to ensure you aren’t left out!

October 17, 2015

On Monday, vote.

Are you fighting with your partner or friend all the time? One simple fix you won’t believe, scientifically proven results!

October 16, 2015

Bring your friend or partner to vote.
Vote.

The one simple thing you can do next week to improve your life, you won’t believe how easy it is.

October 15, 2015

Vote.

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