[OT] Voting systems [was Wrong ad on www.linux.org]

cbbrowne-HInyCGIudOg at public.gmane.org cbbrowne-HInyCGIudOg at public.gmane.org
Fri Jul 2 15:13:24 UTC 2004

> On Thu, 1 Jul 2004, Lennart Sorensen wrote:
> > better.  The green party even sounded fairly reasonable, but almost no
> > one seems to vote for them.
> The "first past the post voting system" currently in use in Canadian
> federal elections is a problem IMHO.  The fact that it discourages voting
> for minority parties "that won't get in anyway" is well known.  A system
> of preferential voting can help here since people can vote for a minority
> party as first preference without fear that their vote will be "wasted."
> Proportional representation allows more representation for minority views
> but it can be taken too far as well (see the Knesset for an example of
> this).

Proportional representation also has the effect of
diminishing/eliminating geographic representation, as well as putting
into Party hands the choice of who actually gets elected.

Two cases in the recent election are interesting that way:

1.  Sheila Copps got pushed out because of redistricting; another
    Liberal candidate won nomination to represent the party in that

    Under PR, it is unclear what would happen to either candidate.

2.  Dennis Mills lost to Jack Layton; in a PR system, if both were
    important to their respective party, they would probably both
    be made to win, but without geographical representation.

In effect, one of the prime problems with PR is that it eliminates the
notion of representing a "geographical riding."

What is usually proposed as an answer to that is to say that there will
be some percentage of seats assigned geographically, and some assigned
via PR.  The result is something that still won't be PR...

In the most recent election, we wouldn't see anything massively
different from the mix we actually _do_ see, namely a Parliament that is
_heavily_ divided on regional lines.

PR would mean that the Liberals would have slightly fewer seats, those
seats largely going to NDP and Green parties.

I'm not sure but that this might lead to the troubled Knesset-like
building of weird coalitions controlled by the itty bitty parties that
were the ones that had to be drawn in to fabricate the majority.
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