I’m going to make a prediction with regards to PEI’s plebiscite on electoral reform we are voting on right now (read up on it at this link www.yourchoicepei.ca).
The MacLauchlan government isn’t necessarily going to honour the results of the plebiscite. MacLauchlan wants FPTP + leaders. With it, he gets his seat automatically and is still able to spin the message that there is some form of representation from all main parties. We saw MacLauchlan clear the way to become Premier without a single vote cast in his name in his party, or in a general election. He’s going for the sure thing and FPTP + leaders is best for party leaders – under FPTP + leaders MacLauchlan is guaranteed to get a seat in the legislature.
So, if any version of FPTP comes up on top, MacLauchlan is going to go with FPTP + leaders.
If any version of PR comes up on top, he will find an excuse as to why he can’t stick with it and choose FPTP + leaders. I think he is hoping for low voter turnout so he can use it as his excuse (and based on my conversations with people this is a distinct possibility). He will choose FPTP + leaders and spin the message that it is a form of PR because all main parties will have a seat. Remember, under this system he is guaranteed a seat, because barring some sort of revolution the Liberal party will always get more than 10% of the vote.
MacLauchlan will choose FPTP + leaders no matter what happens.
People have been asking me how I’m going to vote. I only like options that have a single type of MLA – any option with a two-tier MLA system is no good in my opinion (e.g. one MLA that reports to constituents, and another that is “at large” for the Island as a whole – which really means they report only to their party). So this eliminates FPTP + leaders, and MMP for me.
In my opinion “preferential ranking” is a non-option from the beginning, and should never have been included. As has been pointed out many times, it almost always ends up with the same results as straight FPTP. So I won’t be voting for it either.
This leaves FPTP (First Past The Post – our current system) and DMP (Dual Member Proportional – an innovative proportional representative system that The Guardian articulates very well in this article).
So here is how I’m voting:
- First Past The Post (our current system) – FPTP
- Dual Member Proportional – DMP
- Preferential Ranking
- First Past The Post Plus Leaders – FPTP + Leaders
- Mixed Member Proportional – MMP
Why? This is consistent with what I’ve said all along – here is my blog post from August 25th of this year:
Also here are some scenarios to help you understand why I chose this order. [Remember, the plebiscite vote itself will be using Preferential Voting (ranking) to tally the results.]
Scenario A: The well-run Promotional Representation campaign gets MMP and DMP into the top two spots.
If I vote 1) FPTP and 2) DMP and FPTP drops off so that those voter’s second choice is counted – then my vote for DMP will count towards ensuring that it beats MMP. This is a good thing, as DMP is my preference of the Proportional Representation options.
If I vote 1) DMP and 2) FPTP, then this also supports DMP, and my second choice will be irrelevant.
Scenario B: FPTP is battling DMP for the top spot.
My top vote is all that counts.
Scenario C: FPTP + leaders or Preferential ranking, or MMP is battling DMP for the top spot.
Vote DMP to make it win, or vote it second choice – either way it will promote DMP which I favour over all options but FPTP.
Scenario D: FPTP is battling it out with FPTP + leaders.
I should vote FPTP first to help it win, because I don’t like FPTP + leaders.
The Promotional Representation campaign is doing an excellent job, but at this point there are still a lot of people who don’t understand the Electoral Reform plebiscite options. I talk to them every day and try to help educate them. Given this I think a) we are going to see a low turn-out (even given the awesome online voting), and b) we are going to see some version of FPTP as one of the top few options.