14 March 2010

UK Doing It ... While Canada Fossilizes

The UK plans not only to replace its House of Lords with an elected Senate, it plans to have the members elected using a proportional representation system.

Meanwhile, Canada remains mired in an unrepresentative, sham democracy. We've an unelected Senate, leaders who get crowned by their party's backroom boys, Members of Parliament who look to their parties' interests and not to the interests of their constituents and we remain wed to a 12th century electoral system.

Why do we still elect our political 'representatives' using a system from the Dark Ages? Because under that system, the party that can achieve, at most, a false majority, wins 100% of the power. And as we've seen with our ineffectual Official Opposition, a minority government might just as well be a majority for all the good said opposition does.

In fact, under proportional representation, there would be no minority governments. Either the party that won a true majority of the popular vote (50 percent, plus one) forms the government or two or more parties representing that number form a coalition government. Contrary to the dinosaur defenders of the status quo, proportional representation would deliver greater stability, not less. And it would deliver fewer elections.

In the meantime, certain parties while in opposition (including the Conservatives and the NDP under Broadbent) will clamour for changing our electoral system to proportional representation. (While others will deny the evidence of recent history.) But once these parties get into power, either as government or as negotiators in a deal with the party that forms government, what's good for the electorate, rather than the party, becomes suddenly irrelevant.

More fools the voters who allow this to continue.

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