2016-07-09 Sat

Educational Reform Needed Urgently in Canada

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In the Toronto Star of Friday, July 08, 2016 Marc Mayrand, Canada’s Chief Electoral Officer is quoted as saying, amongst other things, that (Canadian) voters will need more than a year (Two years? Three? Ten?) to learn details of a new voting system.

More on that later, but to set the picture: Canadian Voting at the federal, Provincial and (Toronto) City level is based on “First Past The Post”, recognized as the system used by the horse-racing fraternity who are obsessed with taking as much money as possible off the gullible public.

Voting in Canada is voluntary.

By contrast, voting in Australia is compulsory (fines can be applied) and the system is Preferential voting. When you reach voting age in Australia you vote. You may not know much about politics at that age, but by and large you are drawn into showing an interest. Most young voters will at least read tomorrow’s papers to “see if my guy got in” even if they don’t know anything at all about the guy. Interest can wax.

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So, back to Marc Mayrand, Canada’s, Chief Electoral Officer:

(1) He is quoted as saying that (Canadian) voters will need more than a year to learn a new system of voting. The new system is likely to be either Preferential or Proportional. Neither of these alternatives is complicated. We use Preferential Voting whenever we enter a restaurant and head for the washroom, telling our friends “Order me a burger with fries, or else a chicken sandwich”.

Suggesting that most Canadians couldn’t understand a one-page précis of either system suggests that Canadians are so poorly educated that they can neither read nor discuss matters with fellow citizens.

Are Canadians really that stupid? Are they really that poorly educated?

(2) Once Canadians have mastered this business of reading and conversing in English or in French, Maynard suggests that we then start thinking about a referendum.

Utter bilge!

Canadians have held referenda(!) in the past. A referendum is a referendum is a referendum. The questions change, the mechanics of the referendum do not change. Modify the text of the questions, crank the handle, count the results.

(3) Once Canadians have referended (is that a verb), Maynard suggests that we then start thinking about redistributed ridings.

Utter bilge!

(Didn’t I just say that a moment ago?)

Canadians have redistributed ridings at the Federal, Provincial and Municipal level since time began.

Really. How difficult is it? You have two alternative schemes. Mock up the redistribution based on both schemes well in advance of the referendum. Start Today!. Vote on the referendum and the next day light up the redistribution that applies to the result of the vote (“Preferential” or “Proportional”).

Why wait until after the vote to start work on redistribution?

Unless you are an idiot.

Educational Reform is Needed Urgently in Canada; either the general population needs better education, or else Canada’s, Chief Electoral Officer needs a bit more training in Simple Project Management.