Thursday, September 13, 2007

Jason Cherniak's fantasy conspiracy theory STILL better than FPTP!!!

So, Cherniak has a crazy and convoluted conspiracy theory about how the NDP and "Labour" could manipulate an MMP electoral system to get more seats in the Legislature than they would be entitled to based upon their combined votes.

It's such an inane notion that it is hardly worth commenting on, except for this. Under Jason's scary conspiracy theory, a mythical combination of the NDP and "Labour" mess with the system to get 27% of the seats in the legislature, with only 20% of the vote (HORROR!!!).

What Jason fails to mention is that in the real world, under the system we have in place today, the Liberals have 70% of the seats in the legislature with only 47% of the vote!!!

Gee, that couldn't be why Cherniak's against MMP, could it!?!?!

Anyway, buy into Jason's conspiracy if you wish, but keep in mind that in his fantasy world the NDP have to cooperate with a party that doesn't exist, and get the assistance of voters who are willing to go along with their conspiracy en masse, all to make the system give them 7% more seats than they get votes. Meanwhile, in the real world, the Liberals don't have to do anything special at all to get 23% more seats than they get votes under first past the post.

Recommend this Post


Mike said...

Down on the farm, we call that 'cognitive dissonance'. Generally that's a bad thing.

Someone ought to tell Jason.

Dr.Dawg said...

Well, careful.

In Italy (commencing with Berlusconi) and in a province of Venezuela, the "decoy list" ploy has been tried. What it did was rather quickly get neutralized because other parties started doing it too.

But in our relatively docile political culture, such shenanigans would not go over with the electorate very well. We haven't seen anything like this in any other country with MMP, and I suspect for that reason.

Speaking of shenanigans, I don't think it's paranoid to see the Liberal brass at work behind the scenes here. I shared a platform with Ed Broadbent last night, and a member of the crowd announced that the McGuinty government had ceased distribution of the Citizens' Assembly pamphlet explaining MMP. What wonderful timing, eh? I've noticed a bit of a Liberal anti-MMP "troop surge" in the blogosphere, too.

Lord Kitchener's Own said...

True, but Italy (before 2005) had basically PURE PR didn't they?

People always bring up Israel and Italy, but neither used a system like the MMP system proposed for Ontario. Israel uses pure unadulterated proportional representation, and Italy used to, and it was so messed up that they changed their electoral system in 2005 (imagine that, seeing that your electoral system is messed up, and then changing it!).

What I hate about so much of the opposition to MMP is that it often takes the most convoluted conspiracy of what could possibly happen if all the stars in the 13th dimension under an MMP system and then says "see, we'd be crazy to adopt MMP".

In Jason's case though, it was particularly funny. A massive conspiracy, involving a political party that doesn't even exist, and that the voters go along with en masse can't manage to produce an advantage even a third the size of the advantage the Liberals have today, in the real world, thanks to FPTP!!!

Dr.Dawg said...

Italy went to MMP in 1993.

But look, I agree with you about Ontario, and indeed, about Canada. The scenario is ludicrous here. The electors would never stand for another four parties springing into existence to siphon off votes. I just don't want our side, at some inopportune moment, to be stymied in front of a crowd as Jason flourishes his Ace: "Italy! Berlusconi, 2002! Venezuela! 2000!

Lord Kitchener's Own said...

Yes Dawg, it's good to be prepared!

Of the Italy comparison, should it come up, I think I would then mention that in 1992 (before they went to MMP) there were 16 parties that won seats in the Italian election ( Wiki Link.) 16!!!

Also, at no time since the 1948 Italian election have there been less than 6 parties to win a higher percentage of the vote than the Green Party has EVER won in Ontario. Italy has a 59 year tradition of electing more than 5 parties to their legislature. In Ontario, with the exception of a time in the 20s and 30s when there were a few small "parties" that were really just part of the Liberal Coalition, we haven't elected 4 actual parties to the legislature since 1926, and even then 3 of those parties were united in a single caucus under one leader, and only ONE of those parties would have had enough to hit the 3% threshold mandated by MMP.

In fact, you have to go back to 1923 to find an election where more than 3 parties in Ontario hit the 3% threshold mandated by MMP. We have a long tradition of only 3-4 parties getting over 3% of the vote and the last time 4 parties did it Mackenzie King was in his FIRST mandate as Prime Minister. Italy has a long tradition of no less than 7 parties reaching that same threshold.