Saturday, December 6, 2008

What would a proportional House of Commons look like?

What would the House of Commons look like, under the democratic proportional model described in the previous post? (That was the open-regional-list mixed member proportional model recommended by the Law Commission of Canada in 2004 and by Scotland's Arbuthnott Commission in 2006, and like the model described in more detail by Prof. Henry Milner at an electoral reform conference Feb. 21, 2009. A similar model is used in the German province of Bavaria.)

See MMP Made Easy. See also the simulation of the 2011 results.

Power to the voters: Competing MPs

An exciting prospect: voters have new power to elect who they like. New voices from new forces in parliament. No party rolls the dice and wins an artificial majority. Cooperation will have a higher value than vitriolic rhetoric. Instead of having only a local MP -- whom you quite likely didn’t vote for -- you can also go to one of your regional MPs, all of whom had to face the voters. A typical region would have 14 MPs, 9 local, 5 regional. Governments will have to listen to MPs, and MPs will have to really listen to the people. MPs can begin to act as the public servants they are.

Why middle-sized regions? As Lord Jenkins’ Commission in the United Kingdom wrote, additional MPs locally anchored to small areas are “more easily assimilable into the political culture and indeed the Parliamentary system than would be a flock of unattached birds clouding the sky and wheeling under central party directions.”

What would the House look like?

This simulation is only if people voted as they did on October 14, 2008. In fact, if voters knew every vote would count, more would have voted -- typically 6% or so more -- and some would have voted differently. We would have had different candidates - more women, and more diversity of all kinds. We could have different parties.

Still, this will show us the shape of a proportional House of Commons.

As noted below, the result Canada-wide would have been 117 Conservatives, 84 Liberals, 56 NDP, 31 Bloc, 18 Greens, and two Independents. The majority of Canadians voted Liberal, NDP or Green, and a Liberal-NDP-Green coalition government would have a clear majority. Or a Liberal-NDP government could rely on either the Greens or the Bloc for a majority.

The Liberal caucus would not be just the GTA plus the Montreal area and the Atlantic Provinces. Currently only 15 of the 77 Liberal MPs are outside those regions. Liberal voters would have elected 26 more MPs from regions where they are now unrepresented or under-represented: nine more from the West, ten more from Ontario outside the GTA, and seven more from Quebec outside Montreal. With the open-list system, those regional MPs would be the regional candidates who get the most votes on the regional ballot.

In the 2008 elections, 71 of the west's 92 MPs were Conservatives, 21 others. With a democratic voting system that would be 50 Conservatives, 42 others (double today's 21).

In 2008, 49 of Quebec’s MPs were Bloc members, and only 26 were federalists (14 Liberals, 10 Conservatives, 1 NDP, 1 independent). It took 86,203 federalist voters to elect one Quebec MP last year, but only 28,163 Bloc voters. With a fair voting system that would be 18 more federalists: 31 Bloc MPs and 44 federalists (17 Liberals, 16 Conservatives, 9 NDP, 1 Green, 1 independent.)

Today, 28% of the voters in South Central Ontario (Hamilton-Waterloo-Niagara) voted Liberal but elected none of those 15 MPs.

Liberal voters would have elected 26 more MPs, starting with nine more from the West:
In the BC Lower Mainland five MPs, not four. Maybe Wendy Yuan or Don Bell or Brenda Locke or Raymond Chan or Dana Miller? Maybe even Michelle Hassen?
In the BC Interior and Vancouver Island two MPs, not just one. Maybe Diana Cabott from Kelowna, or Briony Penn?
In Edmonton and Northern Alberta two MPs, not none. Maybe Donna Lynn Smith and Jim Wachowich or Rick Szostak?
In Calgary, Southern and Central Alberta two MPs, not none. Maybe Jennifer Pollock and Sanam Kang or Heesung Kim or Anoush Newman from Calgary or Michael Cormican from Lethbridge?
In Saskatchewan two MPs, not just one. Maybe Deb Ehmann or David Orchard, or even young star Karen Parhar?
In Manitoba three MPs, not just one. Maybe Raymond Simard and Wendy Menzies or John Loewen or Bob Friesen or Tina Keeper?
In South Central Ontario (Hamilton-Waterloo-Niagara) four MPs, not none. Maybe Karen Redman, Lloyd St. Amand, John Maloney and Paddy Torsney or Andrew Telegdi or Larry Di Ianni or Walt Lastewka or Joyce Morocco or Eric Hoskins?
In Southwestern Ontario (London - Windsor - Owen Sound) four MPs, not just one. Maybe Susan Whelan, Sue Barnes and Greg McClinchey or Sandra Gardiner or Matt Daudlin or Tim Fugard?
In Eastern Ontario (Ottawa to Belleville) four MPs, not just three. Maybe Marc Godbout or Penny Collenette or Dan Boudria from Ottawa, or David Remington from Napanee, or Carole Devine from Pembroke?
In Central East Ontario (Durham-Peterborough-Barrie) three MPs, not just two. Maybe Betsy McGregor from Peterborough, Paul Macklin from Northumberland—Quinte West, Steve Clarke from Simcoe North or Andrea Matrosovs from Collingwood?
In Northern Ontario two MPs, not just one. Maybe Ken Boshcoff or Roger Valley or Louise Portelance or Diane Marleau or Paul Bichler?
In Quebec City and Eastern Quebec three MPs, not none. Maybe Jean Beaupré and Pauline Côté or Yves Picard from the Quebec City region, and Nancy Charest from Matane?
In Estrie--Centre-du-Québec--Mauricie one MP, not none. Maybe Nathalie Goguen from Sherbrooke or Jean-Luc Matteau from Maskinongé?
In Montérégie two MPs, not just one. Maybe Denis Paradis from Brome--Missisquoi or Roxane Stanners from Saint-Lambert, or Pierre Diamond, or their young star Brigitte Legault?
In Laval--Laurentides--Lanaudière two MPs, not just one. Maybe Robert Frégeau or Eva Nassif or Suzie St-Onge or Pierre Gfeller or Alia Haddad?
In Outaouais--Abitibi--Nord-du-Quebec two MPs, not just one. Maybe Gilbert Barrette from Abitibi, Michel Simard or Cindy Duncan McMillan?

On the other hand, Liberal voters would have elected 20 fewer MPs from regions where they are now over-represented: 11 from the GTA, four from Montreal, two from Nova Scotia, two from Newfoundland and Labrador, and one from PEI. So they would have a net gain of only six MPs, but their caucus would be far more representative. And it would not face an inflated Bloc caucus and an inflated Conservative caucus. Why don't more Liberals speak up about our undemocratic voting system?

Conservative voters would have elected 16 more MPs from regions where they were unrepresented or under-represented, starting with eight from Quebec:
On Montreal Island three MPs, not none. Maybe Hubert Pichet, Andrea Paine and Rafael Tzoubari?
In Montérégie two MPs, not none. Maybe Michael Fortier and Maurice Brossard or Marie-Josée Mercier?
From Laval--Laurentides--Lanaudière two MPs, not none. Maybe Claude Carignan from Saint-Eustache and Jean-Pierre Bélisle from Laval or Sylvie Lavallée from Joliette?
From Estrie--Centre-du-Québec--Mauricie two MPs, not just one. Maybe Éric Lefebvre, André Bachand, Marie-Claude Godue or Claude Durand?
From Toronto five MPs, not none. Maybe Joe Oliver, Rochelle Wilner, John Carmichael, Axel Kuhn and Patrick Boyer or Dr. Benson Lau or Roxanne James or Heather Jewell, or even their young star Christina Perreault?
From Northern Ontario two MPs, not just one. Maybe Gerry Labelle from Sudbury, Cameron Ross from Sault Ste. Marie, or Dianne Musgrove from Manitoulin?
From Newfoundland and Labrador one MP, not none. Maybe Fabian Manning?
From PEI two MPs, not just one. Maybe Mary Crane?

However, Conservative voters would have elected 40 fewer MPs from regions where they are now over-represented: five from Saskatchewan, four from Edmonton and Northern Alberta, four from Calgary, Southern and Central Alberta, three from the BC Lower Mainland, three from the BC Interior and Vancouver Island, two from Manitoba, four from Central East Ontario (Durham-Barrie-Peterborough), four from Southwest Ontario, four from South Central Ontario, three from Eastern Ontario, two from Quebec City and Eastern Quebec, and two from New Brunswick. So they would have a net loss of 24 MPs, yet their caucus would be more representative of the whole country.

New Democrat voters would have elected 23 more MPs from regions where those voters are unrepresented or under-represented.
In Saskatchewan three MPs, not none. Maybe Nettie Wiebe, Don Mitchell and Valerie Mushinski or Janice Bernier?
In Edmonton and Northern Alberta two MPs, not just one. Maybe Ray Martin or Mark Voyageur?
In Calgary and South-Central Alberta one MP, not none. Maybe John Chan, Mark Sandilands or Holly Heffernan?
On Montreal Island two MPs, not just one. Maybe Alexandre Boulerice or Anne Lagacé Dowson or Daniel Breton?
In Laval--Laurentides--Lanaudière one MP, not none. Maybe Réjean Bellemare?
In Outaouais--Abitibi--Nord-du-Quebec one MP, not none. Françoise Boivin?
In Montérégie two MPs, not none. Maybe Richard Marois and Sonia Jurado or Lise Saint-Denis?
In Estrie--Centre-du-Québec--Mauricie one MP, not none. Maybe Annick Corriveau from Drummond, or their young star Geneviève Boivin from Trois-Rivières, or TV host Yves Mondoux from Sherbrooke?
In Quebec City and East Quebec two MPs, not none. Maybe Anne-Marie Day from Quebec City and Guy Caron from Rimouski or Raymond Côté from Quebec City?
In Central East Ontario two MPs, not none. Maybe Mike Shields from Oshawa and Myrna Clark from Barrie or Jo-Anne Boulding from Muskoka?
From Toronto four MPs, not just two. Maybe Peggy Nash and Marilyn Churley?
From Peel-Halton-York-Guelph two MPs, not none. Maybe Tom King from Guelph and Jagtar Shergill from Brampton or Nadine Hawkins from Markham or Karan Pandher from Mississauga?
In Eastern Ontario two MPs, not just one. Rick Downes from Kingston, or Darlene Jalbert from the Cornwall area?
From Nova Scotia three MPs, not just two. Gordon Earle or Tamara Lorincz?
In New Brunswick two MPs, not just one. Rob Moir or Alice Finnamore?
In Newfoundland and Labrador two MPs, not just one. Ryan Cleary?

However, New Democrat voters would have elected four fewer MPs from regions where they are now over-represented: two from Northern Ontario, one from Central South Ontario and one from Manitoba. So they would have a net gain of 19 MPs.

Green voters would have elected 17 MPs from regions where those voters are unrepresented:
One from Nova Scotia: no doubt Elizabeth May.
Two from the BC Lower Mainland: maybe Adriane Carr and Blair Wilson or Jim Stephenson?
Two from the BC Interior and Vancouver Island: maybe Huguette Allen or Angela Reid from the Okanagan, and John Fryer or Adam Saab or Christina Knighton from Vancouver Island?
One from Edmonton and Northern Alberta: maybe Les Parsons from Wetaskiwin or Monika Schaefer from Yellowhead or Will Munsey from Vegreville-Wainwright or David James Parker from Edmonton?
One from Calgary, Southern and Central Alberta: maybe Lisa Fox or Natalie Odd?
One from Saskatchewan: maybe young star Amber Jones, or Tobi-Dawne Smith?
One from Manitoba: maybe Kate Storey from Dauphin or Dave Barnes from Brandon?
One from Montreal: maybe Claude Genest or Jessica Gal?
One from Toronto: maybe Georgina Wilcock, Stephen LaFrenie, Ellen Michelson or Sharon Howarth?
One from Peel-Halton-York-Guelph: maybe Mike Nagy from Guelph, Ard Van Leeuwen from Caledon, Blake Poland from Oakville or Glenn Hubbers from Aurora?
One from Eastern Ontario: maybe Jen Hunter or Lori Gadzala or Sylvie Lemieux from Ottawa, or Eric Walton from Kingston?
One from Central East Ontario: maybe Valerie Powell or Erich Jacoby-Hawkins or Peter Ellis from Simcoe County, or Glen Hodgson from Parry Sound?
One from Central South Ontario: maybe Cathy MacLellan from Kitchener or Peter Ormond from Hamilton?
One from Southwestern Ontario: maybe Dick Hibma from Owen Sound or Mary Ann Hodge or Monica Jarabek from London?
One from New Brunswick: maybe Mary Lou Babineau from Fredericton or Alison Ménard from Moncton?

The unrepresented

It's not just Green Party voters who are unrepresented.

In Southern Alberta 32% of voters voted for candidates other than Conservatives, but elected no one.

As mentioned above, 28% of the voters in South Central Ontario (Hamilton-Waterloo-Niagara) voted Liberal but elected no one.

In the City of Toronto 26% of voters voted Conservative and elected no one.

In Saskatchewan 25.5% of voters voted NDP but elected no one.

In Estrie-Centre-du-Québec-Mauricie 18% of voters voted Liberal, and in Eastern Quebec 16%, but both groups elected no one.

5 comments:

jrootham said...

Hi Wilf

I was turning over thoughts about PR the other day and was wondering how regional open list jurisdictions avoid the bedsheet ballot problem.

If all the tiny parties make it to the ballot you will have 50 plus names on the ballot. So, lot's of signatures to run on the party side?

Wilf Day said...

In Bavaria voters get two ballots. The ballot for the local MP is as short as ours. The ballot for the regional MPs is quite large, yes, with a column for each party, and a list of the party's candidates in that column. But you still have only one X to mark. Find your party's column, go down the list and mark the name you are voting for. No problem.

And with the option preferred by the Law Commission of Canada, the voter has an additional option: to just put the X against the party name at the top of the list. That means you vote for the whole list as ranked by the party.

Jim Rootham said...

They don't rank the party list? Just one vote?

the regina mom said...

New Democrat voters would have elected 23 more MPs from regions where those voters are unrepresented or under-represented.
In Saskatchewan three MPs, not none. Maybe Nettie Wiebe, Don Mitchell and Valerie Mushinski?


Oh, man! You're making me weep! That would be the sweetest thing, to have Nettie in Ottawa. And Don and Valerie would be great, too! So would Stephen Moore, btw, but he was the sacrifical lamb to Goodale.

(I have to tell you that the word verification word is palin so I've quit weeping and started laughing!)

Wilf Day said...

Jim: yes, they have just one vote. You might wonder if many voters cast a "donkey vote" for the top name, so I looked at their last election results.

Take the typical region of Middle Franconia (which includes Nuremberg). It elected 24 MPPs: 12 CSU local members, 6 SPD list members, 2 "Free Voter" list members, 2 Green list members, and 2 FDP list members. (In some other regions the CSU got less than half the votes, so overall they lost their majority and had to form a coalition with the FDP.)

The six SPD members were numbers 1, 2, 4, 5, 6 and 7 on the list. Number 3 was a two-term incumbent, caucus critic for higher education, but he was a left-winger critical of the SPD‘s turn to the right, and some SPD voters disagreed. Number 1 got twice as many votes as number 2; 29% of SPD voters voted for him. The list was zippered; the SPD elected 3 men and 3 women.

The new “Free Voter” association, generally libertarian, entered the provincial parliament for the first time. The two “Free Voter” members were numbers 8 and 1 on the list. A controversial woman named Gabriele Pauli jumped from eighth to first spot, getting 45% of the FW list votes.

The two Green Party members were numbers 1 and 2 on the list, both women, both incumbents. The top woman got 43% of the Green list votes.

The two FDP members were numbers 1 and 2 on the list. Number one got 36% of the FDP list votes. Their number two was a woman who is now in the coalition cabinet.

I'd say voters are managing the large ballot nicely.