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General Politics Discussion
(09-10-2018, 08:10 PM)danbrotherston Wrote:
(09-10-2018, 07:17 PM)Rainrider22 Wrote: Which means there are millions of Ontarians with a differing opinion to yours.  Why is it that you label them if they dont agree with your opinion ?  I have never understood this position, if people appose your opinion on a topic they are some how inferior or any other stated description that seems to behold a particular situation.  Imagine if everyone thought the exact thing, or shared the same opinion on every subject.  We would never have growth and development..    Perhaps time for self-reflection is in order ...

This is not a matter of opinion.  This is a question of objective reality.

This is no different than climate change.  I disagree with many people on how best to combat, or even whether to combat climate change.

But disagreeing on whether it is happening or not isn't a matter of opinion.

I argue this is the same thing.  It's perfectly reasonable to disagree on what size Toronto city council should be, or even the degree to which the public or experts should be consulted on the decision.

But I do not feel it is reasonable to believe that his decision wasn't politically motivated and that doing it during an election with zero consultation of any kind was a good idea.  I don't think that's an opinion.  And that belief has now been backed up by a court decision.

This is an affliction in today's society I feel, the idea that your opinion is just as good as reality.

If we don't have any objective reality, then we have nothing.

I spend plenty of time reflecting on my own positions.  I wish others did as well.
Two points, you still didn't acknowledge the point that you reduced yourself to labeling people, which was my point..

Secondly, if you believe your wisdom and objective reality is more important than other people's thoughts, run for politics and champion your cause..
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(09-10-2018, 08:28 PM)tomh009 Wrote:
(09-10-2018, 08:21 PM)SammyOES2 Wrote: I dont like this line of reasoning in these cases.  I agree with a lot of the problems of a representative system like we have.  But it’s what we have and it works as intended.  People are going to tune out to this argument.  

Overruling the courts on charter matters because you can (and intending to use it regularly) is NOT how our system was intended to work.  And we really don’t want it to work this way.

I agree. I would like a (more?) proportional electoral system but this is what we have today, and we need to accept that this is how things work.

But the notwithstanding clause was certainly not intended or settling personal grudges with a lower level of government.

But we don't have to accept that this is how things work.  We can change how things work.  Pointing out that things like this would be prevented with a more proportional system shows exactly why we *should* change how things work.

One thing to note however, ignoring the problems of intentional bad timing and political motivations, the support for the idea of decreasing council size, and making these changes without the usual process of public consultation, does show why some people strongly support FPTP--they prefer a dictator, even if it's only one they get to elect ever 4 years.  This "process" by where we get "everyones" input (as flawed as it may be) slows things down and makes us make more reasonable central decisions, is just not something some people like the idea of.  Proportional representation is just a more effective, stronger version of this.
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(09-10-2018, 08:34 PM)Rainrider22 Wrote:
(09-10-2018, 08:10 PM)danbrotherston Wrote: This is not a matter of opinion.  This is a question of objective reality.

This is no different than climate change.  I disagree with many people on how best to combat, or even whether to combat climate change.

But disagreeing on whether it is happening or not isn't a matter of opinion.

I argue this is the same thing.  It's perfectly reasonable to disagree on what size Toronto city council should be, or even the degree to which the public or experts should be consulted on the decision.

But I do not feel it is reasonable to believe that his decision wasn't politically motivated and that doing it during an election with zero consultation of any kind was a good idea.  I don't think that's an opinion.  And that belief has now been backed up by a court decision.

This is an affliction in today's society I feel, the idea that your opinion is just as good as reality.

If we don't have any objective reality, then we have nothing.

I spend plenty of time reflecting on my own positions.  I wish others did as well.
Two points, you still didn't acknowledge the point that you reduced yourself to labeling people, which was my point..

Secondly, if you believe your wisdom and objective reality is more important than other people's thoughts, run for politics and champion your cause..

I am labeling people, and while I think we should avoid reducing people to their labels, at a certain point, I think labels are appropriate. You can certainly disagree...that's an opinion.

As for "my objective reality" you don't seem to get what the point is, it's not *my* reality, it's everyone's. No matter whether you believe it or not.  it's not more important than people's "thoughts", it simply *is*..., but disagreeing with reality is unlikely to lead to good outcomes.

And it's not even *me* saying it, in this case, it's the court. But it wasn't particularly hard to observe either, which is why I don't believe it's reasonable for people not to see it, people who aren't seeing it.
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(09-10-2018, 08:48 PM)danbrotherston Wrote:
(09-10-2018, 08:28 PM)tomh009 Wrote: I agree. I would like a (more?) proportional electoral system but this is what we have today, and we need to accept that this is how things work.

But the notwithstanding clause was certainly not intended or settling personal grudges with a lower level of government.

But we don't have to accept that this is how things work.  We can change how things work.  Pointing out that things like this would be prevented with a more proportional system shows exactly why we *should* change how things work.

One thing to note however, ignoring the problems of intentional bad timing and political motivations, the support for the idea of decreasing council size, and making these changes without the usual process of public consultation, does show why some people strongly support FPTP--they prefer a dictator, even if it's only one they get to elect ever 4 years.  This "process" by where we get "everyones" input (as flawed as it may be) slows things down and makes us make more reasonable central decisions, is just not something some people like the idea of.  Proportional representation is just a more effective, stronger version of this.
Further to your point.  

An example:

There are 124 seats in the Ontario Legislature.

The Conservatives win 123 seats by just one vote.

The Liberals win one seat by 125 votes.

The Liberals win the popular vote and get one seat.

I know this is an extreme example but variations on this theme happens all the time.  I would like to see those who say this is the system we have defend this or less extreme examples.  I can’t.
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(09-10-2018, 08:48 PM)danbrotherston Wrote:
(09-10-2018, 08:28 PM)tomh009 Wrote: I agree. I would like a (more?) proportional electoral system but this is what we have today, and we need to accept that this is how things work.

But the notwithstanding clause was certainly not intended or settling personal grudges with a lower level of government.

But we don't have to accept that this is how things work.  We can change how things work.  Pointing out that things like this would be prevented with a more proportional system shows exactly why we *should* change how things work.

Oh, I agree that we should change how the elections work, I just don't know how to get it to happen without the governing (majority) party supporting it. (I had some hope that the Liberals would do that on the federal level, but unfortunately that seems to be completely dead.) 

But in the meantime, I do think that we should accept that this is how things work now, and that this is our legal electoral system, until such time that we are able to change the system (for something better).
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(09-10-2018, 09:19 PM)tomh009 Wrote:
(09-10-2018, 08:48 PM)danbrotherston Wrote: But we don't have to accept that this is how things work.  We can change how things work.  Pointing out that things like this would be prevented with a more proportional system shows exactly why we *should* change how things work.

Oh, I agree that we should change how the elections work, I just don't know how to get it to happen without the governing (majority) party supporting it. (I had some hope that the Liberals would do that on the federal level, but unfortunately that seems to be completely dead.) 

But in the meantime, I do think that we should accept that this is how things work now, and that this is our legal electoral system, until such time that we are able to change the system (for something better).

Yeah, I have no idea how to get it changed either, but many countries have managed to figure it out.  The liberals federally are one of the few times I've been truly disappointed by a politician.

As for how things work, sure, I'm not arguing for a coup or anything, but we should use all means within our system, including angry protests, to try to stop this.

Frankly, our system does give the ability for officials other than Ford to make this stop.  All it would take is 15 or 16 PC MPPs deciding that they'd rather support our province than their party leader, to make it not happen.  Any who would, would earn my respect.  Those who support Ford in this are complicit in his acts.
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The thing about the representation is that there is never a perfect system. Even if we elect representatives in direct proportion to the popular vote - individual issues have different levels of support. Just because somebody gets elected doesn't mean they have a mandate on each individual issue. Should we fix that issue too? Direct democracy?

So, I accept we have a not-so-perfect system. And really, I feel like every system is only as good as the citizens care to make it. Checks and balances (as we're seeing in the US as well) only work if citizens actually care that they work and punish people for violating them.

Using the notwithstanding clause here IS a big deal. It's directly against the norms we've lived with and it significantly weakens our democracy. I think that should be the focus at this point.
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(09-10-2018, 09:30 PM)danbrotherston Wrote: Frankly, our system does give the ability for officials other than Ford to make this stop.  All it would take is 15 or 16 PC MPPs deciding that they'd rather support our province than their party leader, to make it not happen.  Any who would, would earn my respect.  Those who support Ford in this are complicit in his acts.

I've already contacted my representative. I hope others do as well. I don't have a lot of faith here, but its the only real option. I think it would be especially good if Conservative supporters made it clear that these strategies won't fly.

Edit: I really don't get too worked up about many policies. I literally couldn't care less about the size of Toronto Council and I don't even really agree with the court ruling today since the Province does have pretty clear jurisdiction over municipalities. But I think the fundamentals of our Government are important to protect.
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(09-10-2018, 06:22 PM)danbrotherston Wrote: To put it another way, anyone who agrees with what Ford did and how he did it, is inherently unreasonable.

I wouldn’t go that far. It’s possible for a reasonable person to be in favour of fewer councillors, although they need to have an answer to the point that fewer councillors will just need more staff and actual savings are unlikely. So what Ford did is at least debatable. How he did it, however, is unquestionably wrong on multiple levels, and it is not possible for a reasonable person to disagree. It’s simply bad and incompetent to make a large change to an electoral process while it is running, or without consultation, or quickly without warning, etc.

Quote:And yet, there are literally millions of Ontarians who feel this way--even in Toronto.  I find that utterly terrifying.

The number of people who believe that Ford, or Trump, or Ford is a good choice for their respective offices is truly shocking. I could even understand being fed up with the alternatives and unaware of just how bad these choices really are. But there are people who after seeing them in action for an extended period of time think they’re just A-OK. This is not a reasonable position.

On a related but not the same note, I remember thinking, during the Bush presidency, that I might be able to understand somebody who agreed with Bush’s policies, even if I strenuously disagreed, but somebody who thought Bush was a good orator is objectively wrong and basically stupid. I think a similar observation applies here. It’s perfectly possible to believe in good faith that Toronto should have fewer councillors, but anybody who has a passing familiarity with how big operations like elections work here in the real world knows it’s insane to change the rules massively near the end of the nomination period.

To anybody who thinks the timing of what Ford did was reasonable, I would want them to answer this: how late could he have reasonably made the change? After the nominations had closed? After the formal candidate lists had been released? After the ballots had been printed? The night before election day? On election day? While the ballots were being counted? At what point do you just have to go ahead with the process as planned?

Actually now I’m thinking about the Scarborough subway debacle. The LRT plan was far enough along in 2012 that it should have been considered a done deal, especially given the provincial financing. But now we have the subway people whining whenever people point out how stupid an idea the Scarborough subway extension is that we have to stop changing plans part way through, even though the subway plan is nowhere near as far along as the LRT one was when it was interrupted. Similar issue here: are we now going to see Ford supporters whining about the disruption caused by switching from a 25-ward election to a 47-ward election?
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(09-10-2018, 08:56 PM)danbrotherston Wrote: As for "my objective reality" you don't seem to get what the point is, it's not *my* reality, it's everyone's. No matter whether you believe it or not.  it's not more important than people's "thoughts", it simply *is*..., but disagreeing with reality is unlikely to lead to good outcomes.

Some people say the sun rises in the east, some say in the west. The truth probably lies somewhere in between.
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(09-10-2018, 11:38 PM)ijmorlan Wrote:
(09-10-2018, 08:56 PM)danbrotherston Wrote: As for "my objective reality" you don't seem to get what the point is, it's not *my* reality, it's everyone's. No matter whether you believe it or not.  it's not more important than people's "thoughts", it simply *is*..., but disagreeing with reality is unlikely to lead to good outcomes.

Some people say the sun rises in the east, some say in the west. The truth probably lies somewhere in between.

The sun rises in 'the center of the universe'.
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(09-10-2018, 09:30 PM)danbrotherston Wrote:
(09-10-2018, 09:19 PM)tomh009 Wrote: Oh, I agree that we should change how the elections work, I just don't know how to get it to happen without the governing (majority) party supporting it. (I had some hope that the Liberals would do that on the federal level, but unfortunately that seems to be completely dead.) 

Yeah, I have no idea how to get it changed either, but many countries have managed to figure it out.  The liberals federally are one of the few times I've been truly disappointed by a politician.

Many countries have proportional representation, but most of them have had it for a long time (about 150 years in France and Germany, for example). Not many have changed their systems -- and even when they have, it has usually been in the elected party's self-interest.
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(09-10-2018, 07:47 PM)tomh009 Wrote:
(09-10-2018, 06:26 PM)SammyOES2 Wrote: The notwithstanding clause is ridiculous because it actually does give the elected Government dictatorial powers.  The only real check is the belief that using it has a very steep cost across party lines. It’s up to us to make that clear to Ford

And it expires every five years.

(09-11-2018, 09:47 AM)tomh009 Wrote:
(09-10-2018, 09:30 PM)danbrotherston Wrote: Yeah, I have no idea how to get it changed either, but many countries have managed to figure it out.  The liberals federally are one of the few times I've been truly disappointed by a politician.

Many countries have proportional representation, but most of them have had it for a long time (about 150 years in France and Germany, for example). Not many have changed their systems -- and even when they have, it has usually been in the elected party's self-interest.

I believe New Zealand also has some sort of proportional representation, which suggests that it can work with the Westminster Model.  I am leery of it, however, and would by far prefer a ranked-ballot system for Canada.  But I guess we stray off-topic ....
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New Zealand has MMP, and it's one of the few countries that has made the switch, thanks to public pressure on politicians.

And I think this thread allows all kinds of political discussion. Smile
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WOW, has anyone watched this?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ue8BE_J9J3s

I know quite a few people from Cambridge and it is an awesome city but the candidates in Cambridge really all come off looking very bad in this debate.
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