Sunday, November 20, 2016

Rural-Urban Proportional Representation with 10% more MPs can work well

Fair Vote Canada’s new Rural-Urban model called for 15% top-up MPs. Can it be made to work well with only 10% top-up MPs? This lets us keep all the present riding boundaries, by adding 33 additional MPs.

Yes, and we will have 66 local single-member ridings for rural and small-urban communities across the ten provinces. We will need 269 MPs elected from 64 multi-member ridings.

Adding the 33 additional MPs to top-up the results in each province (plus the three MPs from the Territories) brings the House to 371 MPs, under this “Rural-Urban + 10% model.” (Adding 10% means 33 more MPs.)

Rural and small-urban communities can have 66 single local MPs

My previous simulation assumed 15% top-up seats, room for which would be created by making all existing ridings 17% bigger. This model included 74 single-MP ridings corresponding to about 88 single-member seats before reconfiguration. Avoiding the need for reconfiguration brings us back to 88 seats, but to keep the level of proportionality the same with only 10% top-up MPs, I have grouped 22 of these into two-member ridings, bringing the number down to 66.

Better regional representation

As with any PR model applied to the votes cast in 2015, it gives better regional representation.

Liberal voters will be fairly represented from all parts of Alberta and Saskatchewan, Vancouver Island and the BC Interior, Manitoba outside Winnipeg, and southwestern Ontario. So will Conservative voters in Atlantic Canada, the west half of Quebec, the Greater Toronto Area, Northern Ontario, Winnipeg, and Metropolitan Vancouver. So will NDP and Green voters everywhere. And voters will be able to vote for who they want, not just against who they don’t want.

Perfectly proportional

The result of my “Rural-Urban + 10%” simulation on the 2015 votes is almost perfectly proportional. If we had used province-wide perfect proportionality for 371 MPs, the results would have been: Liberal 152, Conservative 118, NDP 73, Bloc 17, Green 11. My simulation gives the Bloc 16 and the Conservatives 119, otherwise perfectly proportional. (Yes, in six provinces one party gets a one-seat bonus, but they mostly cancel out nationally.)

Where did this Rural-Urban model come from?

Where did this new Rural-Urban model come from? More details here.

What does it look like?

With this “Rural-Urban + 10%” model, the larger number of 2-MP ridings brings the average District Magnitude of the multi-MP ridings down to 4.2 MPs. That would not be very proportional, except that the 33 additional top-up MPs make the result proportional.

So here is my revised distribution:

Newfoundland & Labrador (3+4+1):
St. John's—Avalon 3 
Singles 4
Nova Scotia (6+5+1):
Halifax 4
Central Nova—Cumberland—Colchester 2
Singles 5
PEI (2+2+1)   
Charlottetown—Malpeque 2
Singles 2
New Brunswick (8+2+1):
Saint John—Fredericton 4 
Moncton—Beauséjour 2
Northern New Brunswick 2
Singles 2
Eastern Quebec—Mauricie—Centre-du-Québec—Estrie—Montérégie 45 (28+13+4)
Quebec City 7  
SaguenayLac-Saint-Jean 3
Lévis—Lotbinière 2 
Mauricie 3
Sherbrooke 2 
Longueuil 4
Richelieu 3
Vallée-du-Haut-Saint-Laurent 4 
Singles 13
Montreal-Laval-Lanaudière-Laurentides and west) 41 (34+3+4)
Montreal-est 6                                                         
Montreal-nord 5                                                       
Montreal West 7 
Laval 4 
Lanaudière 4
Laurentides 4
Outaouais 4                            
Singles 3
Eastern Ontario (26: 15+9+2)
Ottawa-East—Prescott-Russell—Cornwall 5 (the bilingual district)
Ottawa West 5 
Singles 9 (from Renfrew and Leeds—Grenville to Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes)
Durham Region 5
Greater Toronto Area 56 (51+5)
Toronto and East York 7
Etobicoke—York 6
North York 6
Scarborough 6
Markham—Aurora—Newmarket—Georgina 5
Vaughan—Richmond Hill 5
Brampton—Caledon 6
Mississauga 6
Halton 4
Southwestern Ontario 40 (34+2+4)
Hamilton—Brant—Haldimand—Norfolk 7                                  
Niagara Region 4
Waterloo Region 5
Guelph—Wellington—Halton Hills 2
Oxford—Perth—Wellington 2
Barrie—Simcoe 4
London—Elgin—Middlesex 4
Sarnia—Lambton—Kent—Middlesex 2
Windsor-Essex—Chatham-Kent 4
Singles 2
Northern Ontario 11 (6+4+1)
Sudbury—Sault Ste. Marie region 4                
Thunder Bay region 2                     
Singles (including Parry Sound—Muskoka): 4
Manitoba 15 (10+4+1)
Winnipeg 8
Provencher—Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman 2
Singles 4
Saskatchewan 15 (7+5+1)
Saskatoon 4
Regina 3
South East 2 (Yorkton—Melville—Souris—Moose Mountain)
Singles 5
Alberta 37 (27+7+3) 
Calgary South 5 & North 5
Lethbridge—Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner 2
Rocky View—Banff—Bow River 2
Red Deer 2
Metropolitan Edmonton North 6 & South 5
Singles 7
British Columbia 46 (38+4+4)
Vancouver and Vancouver North and West 8
Surrey—Richmond—Delta 8
Maple Ridge 6
Fraser Valley—Langley East 4
Kelowna—Okanagan 4
Victoria—Nanaimo 6
Singles 6
Territories 3 (no change)

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Wrong winner (plurality reversal) elections in Canada

Hilary Clinton got 2.09% more of the popular vote than Trump, but lost to him.

This has happened at least 22 times in Canada. (Readers, please feel free to tell me any I missed.)

This is one good reason why Canada needs a fair and proportional voting system which fairly translates votes into seats in the House of Commons.

1896: Charles Tupper’s Conservatives won 44.4% of the vote but got only 71 seats; Wilfrid Laurier’s Liberals won only 41.4% of the vote but got 117 seats.
1926: Arthur Meighen’s Conservatives won 45.3% of the vote but got only 91 seats; Mackenzie King’s Liberals won only 42.9% of the vote but got 116 seats.
1957: Louis St. Laurent’s Liberals won 42.3% of the vote but got only 105 seats; John Diefenbaker’s PCs won only 39.0% of the vote but got 112 seats.
1962: Lester Pearson’s Liberals won 37.4% of the vote but got only 99 seats; John Diefenbaker’s PCs won only 37.3% of the vote, but got 116 seats; 
1979: Pierre Trudeau’s Liberals won 40.1% of the vote but got only 114 seats, Joe Clark’s PCs won only 35.9% of the vote but got 136 seats.

1944: Adelard Godbout’s Liberals won 39.3% of the vote but got only 37 seats; Maurice Duplessis’ Union Nationale won only 38.0% of the vote but got 48 seats.
1966: Jean Lesage’s Liberals won 47.3% of the vote but got only 50 seats; Daniel Johnson’s Union Nationale won only 40.8% of the vote but got 56 seats.
1998: Jean Charest’s Liberals won 43.55% of the vote but got only 48 seats, Lucien Bouchard’s PQ won only 42.87% of the vote but got 76 seats.

1919: William Hearst’s Conservatives won 34.9% of the vote but got only 25 seats. The United Farmers won only 21.7% of the vote but got 44 seats.
1985: David Peterson’s Liberals won 37.9% of the vote but got only 48 seats; Frank Miller’s PCs won only 37.0% of the vote but got 52 seats

New Brunswick:

1952: John McNair’s Liberals won 49.2% of the vote but got only 16 seats; Hugh John Fleming’s PCs won only 48.9% of the vote but got 36 seats.
1970: Louis Robichaud’s Liberals won 48.6% of the vote but got only 26 seats; Richard Hatfield’s PCs won only 48.4% of the vote but got 32 seats. 
1974: Robert Higgins’ Liberals won 47.5% of the vote but got only 25 seats; Richard Hatfield’s PCs won only 46.9% of the vote but got 33 seats.
2006: Bernard Lord’s PCs won 47.5% of the vote but got only 26 seats; Shawn Graham’s Liberals won only 47.1% of the vote but got 29 seats.
 2018: the Liberals with 37.8% of the votes won only 21 seats; the PCs won only 31.9% of the votes but won 22 seats and formed the government.   

1986: Allan Blakeney’s NDP won 45.2% of the vote but got only 25 seats; Grant Devine’s PCs won only 44.6% of the vote but got 38 seats. 
1999: Elwin Hermanson’s Saskatchewan Party won 39.6% of the vote but got only 25 seats; Roy Romanow’s NDP won only 38.7% of the vote but got 29 seats.

1996: Gordon Campbell’s Liberals won 41.8% of the vote but got only 33 seats; Glen Clark’s NDP won only 39.5% of the vote but got 39 seats.

1922: Tobias Norris’ Liberals won 33.2% of the vote but got only 8 seats; the United Farmers (Progressives) won only 32.8% of the vote but got 28 seats
1945: Seymour Farmer’s CCF won 33.8% of the vote but got only 9 seats, the Liberal-Progressives won only 32.2% of the vote but got 25 seats.

Newfoundland and Labrador:
1989: Tom Rideout’s PCs won 47.6% of the vote but got only 21 seats; Clyde Wells’ Liberals won only 47.2% of the vote but got 31 seats. 

Nova Scotia:
1970: G. I. Smith’s PCs won 46.9% of the vote but got only 21 seats; Gerald Regan’s Liberals won only 46.1% of the vote but got 23 seats. 

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Non-metropolitan Canada needs proportional representation.

Non-metropolitan Canada needs proportional representation.

Maryam Monsef keeps saying a top concern is for marginalized voters in rural and remote communities who do not feel represented. Many would certainly not feel represented by their Conservative MPs.

Canada has 33 metropolitan areas, and 225 of Canada’s ridings are entirely or primarily in them. The other 113 are in non-metropolitan areas.

Unrepresented voters in non-metropolitan areas is a big problem in the West.

Western 39 non-metropolitan ridings

In the four western provinces, Liberal voters in the 39 non-metropolitan ridings cast over 23% of the votes, but elected only one MP, and she barely counts as non-metropolitan. West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country is only 55% outside the Vancouver metropolitan area, and Pam Goldsmith-Jones was mayor of West Vancouver.

Conservative voters in those 39 ridings cast 50.8% of the votes, yet elected 74% of those MPs, 29 of the 39. As for NDP voters, with only 20% of the vote concentrated in their strongholds, they elected nine of those 39.

Any decent regional proportional system would have let those Liberal voters elect nine or ten MPs like Prince George’s Tracy Calogheros, former Penticton school board chair Connie Denesiuk, Parksville councillor Carrie Powell-Davidson, Fort McMurray Métis leader Kyle Harrietha, Red Deer’s Chandra Kastern, Mike Pyne from Lethbridge, indigenous leader Lawrence Joseph from Prince Albert, former Saskatchewan Wheat Pool President Marvin Wiens, Brandon lawyer Jodi Wyman, and Springfield agriculture expert Terry Hayward.

Ontario’s 25 non-metropolitan ridings

We see the same problem in Ontario’s 25 non-metropolitan ridings, where Liberal voters cast 38.6% of the votes, but elected only 7 of those MPs, 28%. A good regional proportional system would have let them elect at least three more MPs, such as Katie Omstead from Chatham—Kent, Owen Sound communications consultant Kimberley Love, and Orillia’s former hospital CEO Liz Riley, or journalism professor Allan Thompson from Kincardine, Sarnia’s Dave McPhail, or aboriginal lawyer Trisha Cowie in Muskoka Lakes.  


Footnote on stats: As of the 2011 census those 33 metropolitan areas contained 69.1% of Canadians. Those 225 ridings are 67.4% of the 334 ridings other than the Territories and Labrador, or 66.6% of the full 338 ridings.