05 March 2010

Liberals Face Dilemma of Own Making

If Canadians voted for their Members of Parliament by means of an electoral system of proportional representation, then the Leader of the Official Opposition wouldn't be faced with a dilemma forced upon him by our existing single member plurality voting system.

To whit, in a minority government situation - which is more, not less, likely as time goes by - the Official Opposition wouldn't be pushed into a position of simultaneously deriding the government's budget whilst declaring its MPs won't vote against it, the latter to avoid an election.

In governments formed by proportional representation, when the existing coalition government fails to satisfy the House, then a new coalition government is typically formed without forcing an election.

And yes, almost always with proportional representation, the government is formed of a coalition of two or more parties. Because any halfway decent pro-rep system ensures that the government must be represented by 50 percent or more of the MPs. Rare is it that a single party in Canada has been able to garner such a true majority.

Had the Liberals, whilst in government, advanced our voting system into the modern era, they'd not be in the pickle they are in now. And should Conservatives and their supporters be snickering at the Liberals' plight, your turn will come; at which point you'll be demanding, as you've done in the past (that includes Stephen Harper when he was in opposition), the government reform our electoral system to one of proportional representation.

Canadians are in for a long run of minority governments, with the rare (false) majority government added into the mix.

Get used to it. If politicians want to effect change in the House, then they must change the damn system that elects them. Or perhaps all they care about are their lucrative pensions - 'earned' after only six years of 'service'.

[Cross-posted at NADER]

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