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Friday wonks and freaks

First, if you’re a wonk about electoral reform, you can’t do any better right now on the blogosphere then Danielle’s blogposts the past couple of days of why Liberals should be supporting such changes. You might not agree with her POV, but it’s still a series of well written pieces. Her latest blogpost today is trying to convince her fellow members why they should support a Preferential balloting type of electoral system (I don’t need convincing; I’ve written enough the past couple of years on my dislike of First Past The Post). I’m with her on this line:

..if you wonder why I don’t take a clear stand for IRV (Instant Run-Off Voting) over STV (Single Transferable Vote) it’s because I think either are a major improvement over FPTP and I believe the ultimate system on the ballot should be decided by broad consultations so I’m not going to wed myself to one approach over another at this point in time.

I’m the opposite of her: I’d actually prefer STV over IRV, and I’m supportive of that getting the support it needs to pass in BC in a few months. However, I think either electoral model would be better then what we have now, which is why I’d support both voting systems if I was given a choice of either one over the current FPTP setup.

Now for the freak part of my post. I think everyone acknowledges the political culture of Canada and the US are different, and our view of what a “liberal” or a progressive political viewpoint is can be quite different from a US view. However, some of those views can be quite extreme, and nothing more shows off the stark display of loonyness some American conservatives have in their views of President Obama then some of the stuff showing up at their annual Conservative Political Action Conference, like this bumper sticker for instance:

Obama may be many things that we might like and might not like, but I defy anyone to argue that he is a socialist in the USSR mould.

For photos of some more of the popular bumper stickers being sold at the freak show CPAC, which one commenter at a liberal site quipped should stand for “Conservatives Perpetually Acting Crazy”, check out the Mother Jones article.

UPDATE: Bad enough when regular loonies call Obama a socialist, but it’s even worse when a sitting US Senator, who you’d think should know better, claims the same thing.


7 comments to Friday wonks and freaks

  • kwittet

    Originally Posted By Scott Tribe@Chrystal Ocean – Actually, Chrystal, I can be in favour of anything I want to be 🙂

    continuation from above
    because as long as the liberals are not in power i will twist and turn and chage my view as much as i need to to see that they get back in power even if it means screwing everyone else.

  • @Chrystal Ocean – Actually, Chrystal, I can be in favour of anything I want to be 🙂

    And.. I can be in favour of IRV because I still view it as an improvement on the current system. So if we have to go to that, unlike my more doctrinaire allies on electoral reform, I can accept IRV as an alternative.

  • Oh, and I’m delighted to hear of yet another Liberal who favours STV. 🙂

  • If you are in favour of proportional representation, then you cannot be in favour of IRV. I wrote the following in a comment on Danielle’s blog:

    Instant Runoff Vote (or Alternative Vote) and Single Transferable Vote should not be used in the same sentence. They share only one thing in common, their use of the preferential ballot. Beyond that, they couldn’t be more different.

    STV is a proportional electoral system which applies the preferential ballot to multi-member ridings.

    IRV, like FPTP, is a non-proportional system which applies the preferential ballot to single-member ridings. It is a majoritarian, winner-take-all system.

    Changing from FPTP to IRV would be like changing one’s diet to include Gala apples rather than Macs. They’re still apples.

  • Roll Tide

    I found a live feed of the CPAC convention.

    Ron Paul is speaking as I write.

    I heard about it, but was unaware it was going on now, thanks Scott for the bringing it up.

  • Roll Tide

    What is wrong with admiting your a socialist?

    The leftist newsweek does.
    The USSR sticker is a bit of red meat. So what, be proud you are Socialist. Why not declare victory?

    Nixon admitted he was a Keyensian.
    I admit being a free enterprise capitalist conservative.
    We Conservatives lost the US election to a candidate, that Jack Layton loves. A candidate that is spending like a, dare I say, a Socialist. Maybe he is one.
    Be proud of your ideology.

  • Clueless wingnuts. Unfortunately, there are a lot of them, and some are even in elected positions.

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