Friday, August 26, 2016

Liberal caucus site Saguenay the textbook case for electoral reform

The Liberal caucus retreat continues today in Saguenay, Que. One of the topics bound to be discussed is electoral reform.

Those discussions could not happen in a more appropriate place.

The government has pledged that the 2015 federal election will be the last election decided by the first-past-the-post electoral system. A parliamentary committee has been tasked with coming up with some recommendations on what could replace FPTP.

Maryam Monsef, minister of democratic institutions, told that committee in July that FPTP "is an antiquated system, designed to meet the realities of 19th century Canada, and not designed to operate within our multi-party democracy."

That is particularly apparent in Saguenay, a perfect example of how Canada's modern multi-party democracy, combined with FPTP, can yield some unusual results.

You can read the rest of this article here.

The Pollcast: Conservatives open to electoral reform, but only with referendum

On the electoral reform debate, the Conservatives have spoken with one voice: they want a referendum on whatever changes are proposed. But if the government agrees to hold a referendum, would the Conservatives campaign for the status quo?

Not necessarily, say two Conservative MPs who sit on the special committee for electoral reform.

"If we need a change, then we are not closed to that," says Gérard Deltell, MP for Louis-Saint-Laurent and one of the Conservatives sitting on the electoral reform committee. "We are open to having a discussion on that issue. But what we deeply stand for is to call a referendum."

Deltell joined fellow committee member and Conservative MP for Lanark–Frontenac–Kingston Scott Reid on this week's episode of the Pollcast podcast. 

You can listen to the podcast here and subscribe to the podcast here.

Hillary Clinton's edge over Donald Trump gets less comfortable

While Hillary Clinton remains the heavy favourite in the U.S. presidential election, recent polls suggest her victory isn't looking as assured as it once did.

Recently, the CBC's Presidential Poll Tracker was projecting that enough states were considered "safe" for the Democratic nominee to secure victory even if she lost all of the remaining swing states to Donald Trump. If an election had been held last week, a Clinton win would have been projected with more than 95 per cent confidence. 

That's no longer the case because Clinton's electoral college vote tally among safe Democratic states has dropped from 273 — just above the 270 needed to take the White House — to 253. Her lead over Trump in the national polls has slipped from a high of 6.4 points among decided voters in early August to 5.1 points today.

This movement in the electoral college has largely been driven by Clinton's narrowing lead in the national polls, though some surveys at the state level also point to a few tightening races. Still, one poll shows that a linchpin state in Donald Trump's electoral map may be moving out of his reach.

You can read the rest of this article here.