Electoral reform benefits fringe parties the most

特鲁多总理已经再度重申将会切实恪守其承诺进行选举制度改革。Bob Mok撰写的系列文章介绍了各种改革的选举制度,指出边缘政党将从中各种改革制度中收益。读者如欲参照前文,请点击:http://chinesenewsgroup.com/news/655035
PM Trudeau has reaffirmed a deep commitment to honoring his electoral reform promise. Bob Mok article series examine the various proposed election methods, pointing out that the fringe parties will benefit the most from the reformed system. For the previous article, go to the link: http://chinesenewsgroup.com/news/655035

Unlike the presidential selection system in the united States, the Canadian Prime Minister is not elected specifically for the post but is typically the leader of the political party that holds the largest number of seats in the House of Commons. The election promise to replace the “First-past-the-post” system will have no impact on that position. The Senate members in Canada are appointed and not elected so they are not affected as well.

Currently, the Special Committee on Electoral Reform has 12 voting members with the following composition – : Liberals (5), Conservatives (3), NDP (2), Party Quebecois (1) and Green Party (1). This latest constituency of the Special Committee on Electoral Reform will no longer provide the ruling Liberals with a clear majority to impose any voting system that will be most advantageous to their goal to retain a majority of seats in Parliament (House of Commons) in the next election.

The committee held a number of meetings and hearings since June, 2016 and conducted its last meeting for public input on October 7, 2016. I have personally answered a survey on the government's web site. Let us look at the various proposed systems: 
(1) 名单比例代表(PR)制:
(1) List Proportional Representation (PR) systems:

This is a system that seek to closely match a political party's seat allocation in the House of Commons with its vote share. Within this system, there are two variations (closed-list and open-list). Members of Parliament (MP's) are elected from lists of candidates drawn up by each party before the election date.

(a) In the “Closed-list” system, voters just vote for the political party of their choice. Each party is then allocated seats in proportional to their national popular votes. MP's are then selected from the “ranked” listing previously prepared up to the total number allocated.

(b) In the “Open List” system, the prepared lists are not ranked. Voters will vote for preferred candidate(s) from a party list.
(2) Proportional Representation (PR) systems – Single Transferable Vote (STV):

In this system, the country is not divided into “Ridings” any more. It is divided into larger electoral districts each electing a number of MP's that together represent the overall vote. The process in determining the winners is very complicated and results will take much longer to tabulate on election night.

Each party shall submit a candidate within the district and voters will rank one or more candidates on the ballot. They may rank as few or as many candidates as they wish. Candidates get elected based on their overall ranking results. 

Once the results are in, candidates win their seats when they meet or exceed a vote quota that is based on the vote cast and available seats. This is called the “First round”. When this does not fill all of the seats within the district, a “Second Round Step 1 counting” will take place. Second-preference votes on the excess ballots of the winning candidate(s) are reallocated to the respective candidates. When seats are still not filled, “Second Round Step 2 counting” will take place. The candidate with the least number of votes is eliminated and his/her votes are reallocated to the remaining perspective candidates. This cycle will repeat until all the seats are filled. If this sounds very complicated and difficult to understand and participate, it is! 

 Under these proposed systems, the parties that will benefit most will be the fringe parties (NDP, Parti Quebecois, and Green). They are expecting to see increases in their number of MP's immediately. If previous voting trends are repeated, then the chances for electing Minority governing party in Parliament will almost be a regular certainty based on the histories of their proportional share of popularity votes. As an end result, elections will be held more often when coalition governments cannot work effectively or whenever supporting parties decide to pull the plug on a minority federal government. 

I will continue our discussions on the rest of the proposed election systems next time.

我们鼓励所有读者在我们的文章和博客上分享意见。We are committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion, so we ask you to avoid personal attacks, and please keep your comments relevant and respectful. Visit the FAQ page for more information.