Bioregional Approval Vote with Regionally-Weighted Open List

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Describes the approval vote version of BSTV+C+L. Like STV it uses multi-member districts and so can be called Bioregional Approval Multi-member Vote (BMAV). Because bioregional districts are fixed, the need for a regionally weighted open list to deal with fractional seats can be assumed. Any fixed-district system with fractional seats would need a makeup round like MMP (mixed member proportional) systems. BMAV inherently has typically 10-20% such seats, easily calculated as the constituency seats divided by average members per district divided by two. So for a 300-constituency-seat legislature average 3 members/district, that's 50 MMP seats or 1/7. Averaging 5 members/district would yield 30 MMP seats, thus 1/11 of the total seats. No arbitrary threshold applies to receive these seats, they are simply allocated until they run out, leaving all parties with at least one seat if they have above X% but none with X%-1 vote, X being a function of each election's unique dynamics, but the same for all parties in that election.

See this video on 'proportional approval voting' for how districts count up their whole members. The following explains only the fractional party seats. This proposal originally appeared in a thread discussing Trudeau's federal reform promise though it is far more likely that this system would be applied provincially, first. Hubley does not advocate it at present, as it has not received the attention and analysis required to compete with more established systems.

"Canada definitely will have districts that elect only one member, for instance Yukon and Nunuvat and NWT and Labrador. Those will not be folded into some big "Arctic" district for political reasons we cannot change. So a problem with any MMD (multi member district) system, be it Dion's 5-member or other STV systems with ranked ballots, or the more mathematically sane "approval" method described in the video, is:

They guarantee only *PER DISTRICT* that a party with a certain level of support gets a seat. That can vary radically *BETWEEN* districts. So some method of evening out this difference would be needed if anyone actually cares about party proportionality, which many seem to.

In a referendum, the MMP fanatics are critical: If they oppose an STV system, as they did in BC in 2005, they can cause it to fail by a little, and klil any future reform. So there may need to be a sop thrown to those who love the idea of a party-allocated seat with no floor crossing allowed. That's what I meant by "leftover votes".

In a 338 seat House representing 33.4M people (2011 census) we have roughly one MP per 100K people. So let's say that Yukon is 0.34 of a district (34K people), NWT is 0.41 (41K people), Nunuvat 0.32 (32K people). Between them they'd have only one MP in a system driven entirely by population such as Dion's. Labrador also is 0.29 (29K people), and each seat in PEI is (140K/4) is 0.35 or about 1 seat for it all.

Obviously we now have an intractable constitutional problem as neither natives nor PEI will agree to systems where the whole Arctic gets just ONE SEAT, and all of PEI likewise ONE SEAT. PEI has a formal guarantee of 4 seats in the constitution and a veto over any changes - while natives in the Arctic are not signatory to the constitution and retain powerful rights under treaties (esp Nunuvat treaty) and UN DRIP.

Here's just one solution to that problem, using the approval system in the video. Imagine we still have the same 8 seats as we do presently for those districts, and each elects one, by this approval method. That leaves lots of under-represented parties, and one over-represented one per district. More over-represented than usual because the amount of votes that elected them wouldn't have elected anyone in typical 100K-per-seat districts.

So, now, multiply the votes by the fractions I provided, so that Yukon is weighted properly as 0.34, etc. No problem as weighting is already part of the algorithm. Now we have a larger regional total with all the candidates including some from the far north regions of BC, AB, SK, MB, ON and QC, which have historically been part of huge 100K population districts and not had the preferential treatment of Arctic seats (very unfair). Their votes have also elected say one member per far north of each province directly, but now there are VERY MANY MORE votes that have elected no one, from those far north of each province. Those are fully weighted in the round that elects the regional seats, therefore the candidates elected will certainly be from those far norths of each province, and not from the already-overrepresented Arctic territories. However we now have a way to count the votes somewhat from the far North, and remove the disparity in representation at the Arctic Circle. This should do a lot for native politicians in the far north of each province who have historically been extremely handicapped.

At the other end of the problem, fast growing cities. Let's imagine the approval mechanism exactly as shown in the video for a Western city dominated by Conservatives but with some NDP and Liberal presence (like Edmonton). Under FPTP in 2015 downtown Edmonton elected just one NDP member, zero Liberals, despite rising Liberal vote in its suburbs, and say two (arbitrarily making Edmonton downtown fit the video) seats went Conservative. If we accept that downtown Edmonton should have about 3 seats and its suburbs out to its Metro area have about 8.6 more (about 1.159M people) , we are stuck with difficult boundary problems. If we can use the actual borders of Edmonton as defined legally, that's 812K people so a district of 8.12 members. The extra 0.12 is the weight of Edmonton ballots in the Alberta-wide total (not including the far northern seats integrated into the Arctic Circle district as above). The 8.6 seats around Edmonton might, by pre-existing borders no one can "rig" for federal purposes, work out by population as 2.7+2.9+3.0, so they elect 2 and 2 and 3 whole members. The votes in the 2.7 and 2.9 districts are weighted *MUCH MORE* in the Alberta total than downtown. So the odds of more of their candidates going to Ottawa are much greater than the downtown candidates who had a better shot at the 3 whole seats, and much more so than the suburban candidates who got 3 whole seats instead of 2 for marginally greater population (thus count for nothing in the regionals). This matches our expectations of fairness nicely.

Most importantly, in a 300-local-seat legislature divided on average into 3 seat districts, that is, typically 2.1 to 3.9, we have an average fraction of 0.5 across 100 districts yielding 50 party seats. That's 1/7 of the total. Exactly the same as the party allocated seat total of... ICELAND.

[Yes, Iceland. The country progressives love more than any other. The oldest democracy on Earth. Iceland, Iceland, Iceland, it's where I most want to be... oh sorry that's Finland (sorry Monty Python). The mere mention of Iceland is good for +20% in ANY referendum or poll.

It's simply not possible to argue against any "Iceland-like" system. Iceland jailed banksters and fixed its economy. It rewrote its constitution in a wiki. It runs on geothermal power. It hosts Wikileaks. It gave Bjork her own island. There is no limit to how much any progressive person likes Iceland. There is no way to argue against any system that appears to have features like those of Iceland. None.

No one can trump "Iceland" in the inevitably irrational debate. If you hate Iceland you hate transparency, wikis, Bjork, artists having their own islands, elves, and this: "In the year 1000, as a civil war between the religious groups seemed likely, the Alþing appointed one of the chieftains, Þorgeirr Ljósvetningagoði, to decide the issue of religion by arbitration. He decided that the country should convert to Christianity as a whole, but that pagans would be allowed to worship privately." - Porgeirr was a pagan. Think about it. This country has been able to elect and control democratic leaders effectively for *OVER 1000 YEARS* even in situations of difficult religiious fanaticism and conflict. Whatever it is they're doing, they're doing it right, and we should pay attention.]

Anyway those 50 seats simply make up for the fractional under-representation and therefore almost certainly elect candidates from ".9", ".8", ".7" and other badly under-represented districts. This has all the things people like about STV (locality) and MMP (party makeup seats) and none of the things people hate about MMP (party lists, seats controlled by parties), and it *FITS THE CANADIAN CONSTITUTION*. Because it uses pre-existing borders and fractional seats and *NOT* constantly changing rigged "riding" boundaries, small party organizations need not be re-built from scratch every 10 years and everyone knows "what riding they're in" all the time. Check.

Also, when the regional counts are over, there could be a final nation-wide seat allocation, but it's not necessary. The regional guarantee is that no party with less than X% in that region is not represented, and this should be good enough to satisfy the courts it's not an "arbitrary" threshold like the one they ruled out for per-vote funding. That is, the cutoff is not Dion's arbitrary 16.7% or Germany's 5% or the 2% that Canada tried to impose on party funding. It's whatever % fills up the seats in that region. The complainers will be the losers in the already over-represented seats like the Arctic and PEI, and who cares about them, because they already got 1 seat when they deserved only 0.3...

Sadly, rational proposals like this have no chance, because they will work, and the agenda of the Liberal majority is to sabotage all reform. And the agenda of the NDP is to get party-controlled "list" seats that they can put their insiders into. And the Conservatives also want to sabotage all reform and pretend that FPTP is sacred and "working" and above-board (despite their 22 of 30 seats in latest redistricting). So this is probably the only time I'll bother to explain this.

Should I even bother to put it before the all-party committee?

Nah. We're going to get the Australian system, if we're lucky. If we're not, we're going to get a referendum on whatever, that will fail..." - Craig Hubley