By Ryan McGreal
Published May 23, 2007
Want to know why the mainstream political parties (chiefly, the Liberals and Conservatives) oppose a move from Canada's first-past-the-post electoral system (where the party that wins a plurality in a given constiituency wins the constituency) to a proportionate representation (PR) electoral system (where each party wins a number of seats proportionate to their share of the popular vote)?
Look no further than the following table, which compares the number of seats each party won under the current system with the number of seats each party would win under PR:
|Party||% Votes||Seats||PR Seats|
This also helps to explain why the smaller parties (at least, the national rather than regional ones) support PR - it would give them a voice in Parliament. It would also encourage voters to cast their vote for the party they actually support, rather than "strategically" voting for the least-bad party that has a chance of winning.
In short, Parliament would reflect what Canadians actually believe and support, rather than the distorted system that currently gives major parties political influence out of all proportion to their popular support.
Also, with minority governments becoming the norm, politicians would be forced to listen to each other, form coalitions based on shared goals, and govern pragmatically instead of dogmatically or opportunistically.