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Proportional Representation - why it's better than what we have

Started by Jason, September 19, 2021, 07:59:00 PM

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I know most of you have likely already voted and but I hope you'll read this anyway and think about it for the next election. I spent almost two hours researching and writing it so I hope you can spare 5-10 minutes to read it. And it's about our democracy. It's important.

Here in Peterborough-Kawartha, Maryam Monsef was elected with 39% of the vote. The 61% of people who voted for other parties don't have their wishes represented locally at the federal Liberal. If you're a Liberal, you might consider this a great result because they're better than the Conservatives. But you shouldn't because it's not just about them. Remember that 61% of the voters in this riding have had no representation of their party, their platform, their ideas, etc, here. That should mean something if you believe, as I'm sure you do, in democracy.

In the nearby riding of Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock, the Conservative candidate was elected with 45% of the vote. 65% of voters, including 32% of Liberals, have no local representation of their values at the federal level. I know Bill is in that riding and so is another friend of mine. This riding almost always elects a Conservative. Bill and my friend don't have their party represented locally despite them and 1/3 of voters (if they both vote Liberal).

In other ridings, we can see similar patterns. And at the provincial level, the results are even more distorted. Losing parties that won seats either were woefully underrepresented or they almost didn't win any. That includes Liberals that lack any representation in two provinces at all. That should matter for Liberals as well. In places like Alberta, this happens on a regular basis. You'd think almost all voters are supporters of the conservative UCP party but they're not. It's the distortion of our voting system. I'm going to show some provincial examples with the main 3 parties by popular vote and seat total by number and percentage and you can see what I mean. Sorry about the formatting.

             Total Vote     Seats Won     Total Seats     Difference (Over/Under representation)
UCP(Con)        69%         33              97%                 +28%
NDP             24%         1                3%                  -21%   
Liberal         14%        0                0%                  -14%   NO LIBERALS but 14% of vote!

Saskatchewan:              % of Vote     Seats Won     % of Seats     Difference (Over/Under representation)
SP(Con)         64%           14              100                  +26%
NDP             20%             0             0                  -20%    NO NDP but 20% of vote!
Liberal         12%             0              0                   -12%    NO LIBERALS bute 12% of vote

Nova Scotia:
Liberals          41%           10                91%            +50%
Cons              26%            1                   9%            -17%
NDP               19%            0                  0%             -19%    NO NDP!

Is that fair? Is that democratic ultimately? Note that in most provinces, look them up here, the party that wins the most of the seats did NOT win the majority of votes (50% + 1).
A proportional system would have had Liberals in the prairie provinces (other than Manitoba). A proportional system would have the NDP represented in Nova Scotia and other Maritime provinces. And in Quebec, the Bloc wouldn't be over-represented. It's really bad for Canada where a separatist party running in only one province can form the Official Opposition as in 1993 and close to it 1997. It's really bad for Canada to have a party form the official opposition with only 1 seat east of the Prairies as in 1997 (only 1 from Canada's two most populous provinces). And I'm sure that Liberals will agree it's bad for Canada and democracy to have the Conservatives control the strings from 2006-2015 with a majority in 2011 despite winning much less than the majority of voters, about 41%.

Think about it. Our system is one that most Western democracies have rejected. There are other systems. But my main goal is to have a citizen's assembly on electoral reform that would let a group of Canadians recommend a system of proportional representation that would meet our needs. PR is an end goal, not a method of reaching it. There are a variety of systems that can do it. You can read more here[/url]. Lots of graphics, too. It's not as hard as people think. Vote for a local rep. Vote for a party. That's it.

If you read this far, thanks for reading.
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