Saturday, January 21, 2006

Does Canada need proportional representation?

I think most people would agree that a proportional system would provide a more democratic result at election time. There would be far fewer barriers for smaller parties to gain representation, and people wouldn't have to worry as much about 'strategic voting'. The most obvious downside of a proportional system is that it usually leads to a more fractious and atomized electoral body, i.e. the government it produces just isn't as stable. The other issue is the lack of local representation at the federal level in a pure proportional system. That's why I believe a mixed proportional/constituent-majoritarian type of system would be the best.

The only two parties that have come out strongly in favour of proportional reform are the NDP and the Greens- obviously they have an interest in implementing it ;-) For a summary of the different party platforms on electoral reform check out Wayne Smith's
blog.

If you interested in getting involved in lobbying the government in moving towards proportional representation take a look at this website:
www.fairvote.ca

I'd be interested to hear what people have to say about the issue. I welcome your posts.

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