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Results: 1 - 15 of 1145
View Nathan Cullen Profile
NDP (BC)
Some of us have too, but not maybe quite as long.
I want to talk a bit about process because I think it's as important as the substance of the bill. Just on principle we had a tradition in Canada of one party not changing the rules of the game, if you will, unilaterally, or invoking closure until the unfair elections act came. Is my history correct?
View Nathan Cullen Profile
NDP (BC)
As you're a political scientist, when changing the rules that affect all the parties and Canadian democracy, is it a good principle to have multi or at least bipartisan support for legislation? Let me establish that first principle.
View Nathan Cullen Profile
NDP (BC)
On vouching on third party rules on those types of things.
View Nathan Cullen Profile
NDP (BC)
To circle back, if knowledge, education, and engagement were a high priority for the government, one of the most effective tools of doing that was total reform.
View Nathan Cullen Profile
NDP (BC)
You mentioned starting on the right foot. Your first job as minister was to kill the central promise that your government made on electoral reform. It's like you were hired to run a company that then declared bankruptcy. It seems to me that if you want to beat down cynicism, keeping a promise would be really important.
View Nathan Cullen Profile
NDP (BC)
Minister, you said earlier that your government was elected on a false majority. Do you still believe that?
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
I'm very grateful.
Thank you, Jamie.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I really have only one question. I think there's a conflict in your mandate letter. As one of my colleagues said earlier, this may be above your pay grade to answer. I don't think it's about pay grade. I know your mandate letter comes from the Prime Minister.
It's very fundamental to your role as Minister of Democratic Institutions, as you said in your opening, to restore Canadians' trust and to encourage participation. Yet your mandate letter puts you in a position of immediately breaking trust with Canadians by withdrawing the commitment to electoral reform.
My question is not to ask you to sort out that conflict but to ask whether you are willing to pursue with members of Parliament who want to find potentially a middle ground so you can, through electoral reform, restore the trust of Canadians in the promise the Liberals made.
View Ron McKinnon Profile
Lib. (BC)
Thank you, Chair.
I have a really great five-minute presentation. I'll cut it down. I'm here today to talk really quickly about a system called ranked pairs, which I emphasize is not ranked ballots. I submitted a not very brief brief entitled “The Ranked-Pairs Project”, and I urge you all to delve deeply into that document for the particulars.
Ranked pairs is a member of the class of electoral systems called Condorcet methods. You've already heard at least one witness, Dr. Maskin of Harvard, on August 30, speak of majority rule elections, which is just another name for bare-bones Condorcet. As you may recall from Dr. Maskin's presentation, however, it's possible, though arguably rare, that bare-bones Condorcet in a real election doesn't work. In order to deal with such cases, we need to complete the basic Condorcet model, and that's what ranked pairs does.
In summary, ranked pairs is easy for voters to understand and do, although somewhat more work for election officials. It can use the same ballots we use now, changing only how we mark them and how we evaluate them, though I do propose a different form of a ballot to facilitate using optical reader technology, which has been tried and true for generations.
In a single voting round, each voter casts a single, simple preferential ballot from which, in a single counting round, a round robin one-to-one matchup of each candidate against the other candidate ensues, holistically considering all preferences from all ballots. There's no harm whatsoever to any candidate due to the presence of similar candidates. There's no concern about vote splitting, no strategic voting, and the result will be readily accepted by most people as the true majority decision.
Ranked pairs are scrupulously unbiased and confer no systemic advantage to any party. As an added bonus, we can use the exact same ridings, so we don't need to wade into extensive redistributions and the time and effort that would entail, meaning that it is eminently feasible to implement well in time for the next election.
While my immediate purpose is that this be a straightforward plug-in replacement to our existing first-past-the-post elections, it's important to also note that it can be easily used to augment a mixed member PR system in whatever flavour that might end up, or even replace a multi-representation system such as STV. It slices, it dices, it chops.
I would refer you again to the details in my submission, “The Ranked-Pairs Project” and my website, ranked-pairs.ron-mckinnon.ca, and I will be happy to make myself available to the committee should you have any questions or concerns.
Thank you.
View Nathan Cullen Profile
NDP (BC)
Thank you very much.
I'll also stay with our professor for a moment.
You enlightened me on a couple of things. One is that it sounds like politicians are traffic lights to voters on these things. I hesitate to explore what signal Donald Trump is sending to you and other folks right now, because it confuses me. But you also suggested something regarding a fear of change.
Can you remind me again about the California example and whether this is empirical or anecdotal, the notion that people are reluctant to sign up to campaigns unless they express a 70% or greater favourability of change a year out? I think that's what you told us.
View Nathan Cullen Profile
NDP (BC)
Thank you. That's...sobering, I suppose is the term I'm looking for.
I'll turn to you, Brigadier-General Corbould. Sorry I had to step out, but I was on the phone with Bella Bella, which I think is a place you perhaps have some familiarity with.
I want to ask a specific question. The military, in our history, has been a place that in a sense by necessity we've innovated. We had women voting, mothers of those serving in the First World War. I believe we had testimony that way. We had the age of voting lowered for servicemen and servicewomen the very first time.
One of the innovations we're contemplating is online voting. I may have missed it in your testimony because I was in and out a bit, but what contemplations would you give to enable a higher participation rate of our men and women serving overseas in particular? Their vote would seem to be as important, if not in some ways a lot more important, to be counted in a general election.
View Nathan Cullen Profile
NDP (BC)
The big downside with online voting, of course, is security, the ability to keep our networks secure. We had testimony at an open-mike session in which somebody who had spent time working for the federal government, including the defence department, said that keeping an Internet-based system secure is near to impossible right now. Would the military offer us any advantages perhaps in testing on a small scale the ability to keep something like that secure and the vote sacred?
View Nathan Cullen Profile
NDP (BC)
Okay.
Mr. Dias—I won't call you Jerome, ever—I think one of the things you suggested in your initial testimony was the idea of perhaps the stars lining up, or that the occasion for reform is rare. It is, in fact, rare when you have a government come into office with the commitment to change the system that got them into office.
View Nathan Cullen Profile
NDP (BC)
Despite the Prime Minister's musings last week that maybe the heat has gone off this issue, that it's not important anymore because people are happy—and I don't know why one would lead to the other—but with the membership that you represent, is there now an appearance that they're saying, well, as Madam Ambrose said, the bad man is gone so everything's fine, and our interest in changing the way we vote, and the way our votes are counted, is also gone?
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