Sunday, October 21, 2007

Great Idea

Someone was kind enough to email the link to the ShunLunn website, which represents a fascinating attempt to end vote-splitting. The goal:
The Shun Lunn campaign is a call to action in an effort to prompt a pre-election "run off " style election, by the people for the people. It is a non-partisan, grassroots campaign currently encouraging the federal riding of Saanich-Gulf Islands (S-GI) to undertake a democratic process that delivers appropriate representation for the Riding's majority. The result should establish one candidate to run against and defeat Gary Lunn, the Conservative incumbent and Natural Resources Minister, in the upcoming Federal Election.

I had read a few weeks ago that the Liberal and NDP candidate were already on board with this "run-off" concept, but the Green Party candidate was against. Hopefully this website is the beginning of a grassroots movement to bring people together, in a common goal.

There seems to be a lot of resistance in some quarters to progressive candidates "working together", based mostly on partisan considerations. The concept could work, if the democratic approach is respected, as outlined above, because people choose the best candidate, not the by-product of party directives. Each party still has opportunity through a run-off and the Conservatives don't benefit, in a riding they shouldn't hold, if you take majority opinion into consideration.

I'm not sure if this approach works every where, but if it were adopted widely, Conservatives would be rightly concerned, their sacred "wedge" eliminated. Good luck to all involved.


Idealistic Pragmatist said...

Of course you Liberals like runoff voting. In a Canadian context, it would be terribly biased toward you guys. Unfortunately for you, it would be even worse for those of us who think smaller parties are important than the current system. This is why I would never support runoff voting, instant or otherwise.

If you like the idea of a ranked ballot, the actually fair version is STV, which is proportional.

Steve V said...

"In a Canadian context, it would be terribly biased toward you guys."

In this case, there are three Green or former Greens, sounds like a level playing field, where the best candidate wins. Sure better than Lunn winning again, isn't it?

I wholeheartedly support this idea, as does the NDP candidate. Seems like a no brainer, institutional changes aside.

Anonymous said...

Steve and IP,

I have made a comment at Mile 0's blog suggesting the STV format in a primary between the three candidates.

At least we have three people on board.

Anonymous said...

They are truly having a "Tommy Douglas" moment - Layton should pay attention. Layton uses Tommy Douglas, but he sure ain't no Tommy Douglas - Douglas sided with Trudeau rather than taking the risk of having a Conservative government and losing social services.

Layton is a self-serving egomaniac.

Idealistic Pragmatist said...

In this case, there are three Green or former Greens, sounds like a level playing field, where the best candidate wins. Sure better than Lunn winning again, isn't it?

Are you saying that you only support runoff voting IN THIS CASE, or that you support it in general? If it's the former, I'm not sure how they plan to institutionalize it for one election and then suddenly do away with it again. If it's the latter, my arguments stand.

I support reforming our voting system for the simple common-sense reason that a voting system should accurately represent Canadians' preferences. In a five-party system, first-past-the-post simply cannot do that. But the only time you'll hear me defending first-past-the-post is when people bring up runoff voting. The reason for this is simple: runoff voting can accurately represent people's preferences in a jurisdiction where there is a very small party or candidate that lets less than five percent of the vote but acts as a "spoiler" (like the U.S.). But because we already have three longstanding institutionalized federal parties in Canada on top of another strong emerging voice, runoff voting would result in even more inaccurate representation of our preferences than first-past-the-post does.

Steve V said...


I think this circumstance is unique, in that all the candidates have similiar backgrounds, which might make it easier. How that extrapolates to other ridings is unclear, but I do support the idea of like-minded people working together to eliminate the Con advantage with vote-splitting.

BTW, while I'm a Liberal at the moment, I voted NDP last election, Green prior to that, so I don't come at this issue as a hardcore partisan, trying to figure out the best way to benefit "us" :)