Electoral Reform and DPR Voting, Part 2

(Note: Back in April of this year, I wrote about Direct Party and Representative Voting, an electoral voting system invented by Stephen Johnson. That post continues to get regular hits on this blog, and recently, Mr. Johnson contacted me asking if I would be interested in revisiting the topic. He provided me with a few more points addressing some of the questions I had raised in my original post. I invited Mr. Johnson to contribute a post to this blog, and he accepted. This is the second of two posts. Click here to read Part 1.) Electoral Reform and DPR Voting, Part 2 by guest blogger Stephen Johnson Can DPR Voting claim that no votes are wasted? In DPR Voting […]

Electoral Reform and DPR Voting, Part 1

(Note: Back in April of this year, I wrote about Direct Party and Representative Voting, an electoral voting system invented by Stephen Johnson. That post continues to get regular hits on this blog, and recently, Mr. Johnson contacted me asking if I would be interested in revisiting the topic. He provided me with a few more points addressing some of the questions I had raised in my original post. I invited Mr. Johnson to contribute a post to this blog, and he accepted. This is the first of two posts, you can read Part 2 here. The views expressed below are Mr. Johnson’s.) Electoral Reform and DPR Voting, Part 1 by guest blogger Stephen Johnson The functioning of our democracy […]

Report on 2010 elections for positions in the House

The UK House of Commons Procedure Committee released a report on 31 October 2011, which reviewed the elections held, for the first time, in most cases, to fill various positions in the House. It is an interesting report as it provides more detailed information into how exactly these elections proceeded. In the dying months of the previous parliament, the House of Commons adopted many of the recommendations of the Committee on Reform of the House of Commons (the Wright Committee). These recommendations were implemented for the first time in the new Parliament elected in May 2010. Among the changes introduced were first time elections for the Deputy Speakers of the House, the chairs of the main select committees and the […]

On pairing

Pairing is a parliamentary practice whereby two members of parliament from opposing political parties may agree to abstain where one member is unable to vote, due to other commitments, illness, travel problems, etc. The rationale behind the practice is to maintain the relative distribution of seats in the House so that a party’s strength is based on who was elected, not which MPs are ill that day, or had their flight delayed. There are slight variations in how pairing is organized in different jurisdictions. UK House of Commons As explained on the UK Parliament website, Pairing is an arrangement where an MP of one party agrees with an MP of an opposing party not to vote in a particular division. […]

Speaker Bercow and accusations of bias

British House of Commons Speaker John Bercow annoys many MPs. There have been a rash of articles over the course of the past year hinting at behind-the-scenes plots to get rid of him. Having regularly livestreamed proceedings from the UK House of Commons, I find it difficult to assess why there is such animosity towards Speaker Bercow. Reasons oft-advanced is that he is arrogant and overbearing, and that he hates the Conservative Party. It is this last point that raises some eyebrows. Bercow was a member of the Conservatives, until he became Speaker of course. Like all MPs elected Speaker in the UK, once elected to the post, Bercow resigned his party membership in order to maintain the highest degree […]

More on open primaries

In a previous post proposing ways to increase the role and power of backbench MPs in Ottawa, I suggested that parties use open primaries to select their candidates in each constituency. By this I meant letting all registered voters in the riding vote for which candidate they prefer, rather than limit the vote to members of the party only, which is current practice. I wrote: When candidate selection is top-down, parliamentarians tend to reflect the values of whoever happened to be the party leader when they began their careers. It means parties are slow to sense, let alone respond to, changes in the national mood. I think we forget that once elected, an MP is to represent all of their […]