Ep 98: Too dumb for democracy ft David Moscrop

We talk about David Moscrop’s (@David_Moscrop) upcoming book: Are we too dumb for democracy?, Jagmeet Singh’s decision to run in Burnaby South and the war of words between Saudi Arabia and Canada. Plus our usual quick takes.

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Links/Notes

Feedback from Mac Lockhart on electoral reform:

Your guest called AV majoritarian and STV proportional, but AV is actually just a special case of STV in which the quote is 50%+1 and the districts are of size 1. I tweeted about this, but this is why STV really shouldn’t be considered PR and should be seen as a member of the broad threshold category that includes plurality and majoritarian systems. Majoritarian and proportional refer to goals – AV and STV try to generate results that account for deeper preferences using ranked ballots and some for of threshold while PR systems aim for PR.

Ireland isn’t a good case study for how many independents are elected because the constituencies are so small and politics are so local there. If we want to know whether STV will induce independents, we’d want to do some complex analysis that no one would care about, but we could do!

It’d be good to point out that every system will likely affect the party system so more people will throw votes at non-major parties. Lot’s of research shows the major parties will likely fracture or at least shrink. Hard to imagine the BC Lib coalition would exist under more proportional systems. So the idea that the BC conservatives wouldn’t pick up some seats or a further left party or Christian Heritage seems unlikely.

Denmark and Iceland just use list PR with districts smaller than the national level. It’s not at all like Rural/Urban where a different system is used across the two.

Canada has never used FPTP at every level of government since Vancouver uses the poorly named multi-member plurality (MMP but not that one). We just don’t used ranked ballots or PR.

Segment 1: Too dumb for democracy?

Segment 2: JagMeet Burnaby’s likely new MP
at 33m16s

  • Jagmeet Singh to run in Burnaby

Segment 3: War of Saud
at 43m37s

Quick takes
at 54m19s

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About the Author
Background in physics, works in non-profit, an excess of opinions.

One comment on “Ep 98: Too dumb for democracy ft David Moscrop

  1. Dávid Danos says:

    I have an idea!

    First off, people hate change, so let’s take this from a “what can we add” rather than “what needs to be futzed with.”

    So what are the problems? People are not connecting to politics. Indigenous countries are being occupied. Deaf nations are under linguicide+ campaigns. We have racialisation/racism problems. We have a very underrepresented very diverse population in BC. We have conservatives who exist.

    Okay, so people… how do they come together, interact? Along what (demography) lines do people most agree? Let’s keep that in mind

    Indigenous nations have countries (things like “Okanagan Country” and “Chilcotin Country” and “Shuswap Country” are not unknown to Cascadians). The thing First Nations want the most is their land. Why not… just recognise… their countries… as countries? A third order of government à la countries-in-a-country (or State) for the UK. Making them a defined order and recognised on country lines is fairly neat because, like provinces, will have the ability to govern themselves p much however they wish

    But that is a change, however why not take a lesson from First Nations about peoplehood. I, myself, am Jewish and understand the concept of “goyim” (not to be confused with a “goyish concept”) so that factors in as well. What if.. we broaden the notion of politics to centring around “Nations”?

    Rather than race-based divisions, these would be ethnicity or nationality-derived. And it depends on who is participating in how things look.

    So: Jewish, Sikh, Sino-, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Indo-, Afro-, Franco-, Deaf, British (Anglo-/Scottish/..), Dakelh, Tāłtān, Filipino,…
    And multiplicity is the norm rather than the more or less exclusive modern day “nationality” with States
    I am Hungarian, I am Jewish, I am Franco-, I am Belgian, I am Cascadian, I could be Californian (depending on how I feel/future). None of those supercede or supracede any other (it is in my control); they are all equal

    What does this look like? Province-backed would be making space (including temporary holidays to sort things) to Nations to decide how in-group/out-group dynamics work (aka both you have to claim the Nation and the Nation has to claim you). The structures (political or however) would be determined by the Nations themselves. So that no one falls through the cracks, the province of BC (British Cascadia) would maintain the Nation of “British Cascadians”

    Kind of like Belgium’s Communities versus Regions (but, like, functional) in a Canadian way:
    British Cascadia • Second Order
    Canada • First Order
    Countries • Third Order
    Nations • Fourth Order

    All equal. All kinda exist in some way or another

    Nations already kinda govern themselves with Chinese, Jewish, French, Deaf and other schools. There are regional organisations of varying levels of organisation and power.

    Countries already exist, they just are in the form of reserves. So this would end the apartheid and restore the occupied countries. Just calling them what they are instead of this “they can’t be countries, countries are States, First Nations never had countries, borders never existed” BS. Territories existed, there was just no restricted movement like we know today, but each Nation knew in which and in whose countries they were and lived. No matter movements, people recognise country (just ask any Indigenous person from here whose lands. It is the first thing you say where you go.

    Cascadia, Columbia is an easy win an easy change and a /needed/ change

    If the province does not subscribe to this mosaic of nations way of thinking, then why not turn to that way of thinking ourselves? Each nation has community in its own right and news that is as valid as everyone else with regard to how politics affects them. What if we push it to a ‘nationality’ perspective, sweeping the “nationalism” rug out from under the white nationalists where the focus is on families and our relations and our communities. And not to the exclusion of anyone, this is not creating Bantustans nor exclusive Jewish-only, French-only, god forbid White-only communities and spaces. This is about bringing all the suppressed nations to the table. Think about the national identities of all the MLAs and MPs and see how well they match up to real demographics. Is it equitable? What if instead of trying to change the province’s structure, we just allow the Nations to get a voice, get a perspective and get some leaders and spokespeople.

    Also this means it does not need to be “democratic” because many nations’ traditional and contemporary ways to govern themselves is inherently undemocratic but fully representative of how they wish to be governed. Think of Haudenosaunee (see their website: https://www.haudenosauneeconfederacy.com/) and many other First Nations who elect via clans.

    And hell, what if this were the flag? https://imgur.com/uriUWK7
    It could be the new BC flag, less colonial, throw out to Cascadia flag but without taking it for ourselves

    Final thought: If you are Anglo- or British-Cascadian or majority, it is not going to feel like a good suggestion because oftentimes folks feel like they have no culture or no nation. However, that was the point of “Nation-building” and cough assimilationist policies of BC. But we are a multicultural State/province by nature, so this is holding up a mirror to BC’s population and seeing how people could and should govern ourselves

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