Thursday, September 19, 2013

If we had ranked ballot in 2011, Harper would be gone

Many Canadians are unaware of how ridiculous our voting system is. We award seats to minority candidates and unfettered power to minority parties. This often saddles voters with the opposite of what they voted for.

The 2011 federal election is a prime example. Sixty percent of voters were dead set against Harper getting absolute corrupt power — the vast majority. But he got it in any case.

Is it really a surprise 91% of developed countries have upgraded their voting systems?

Liberal solution

Justin Trudeau offers Canadians a simple but effective solution which will stop the absurd winner-take-all results: PV ranked ballot.

This fixes our existing system by making MPs earn their seats with a majority. Voters rank candidates, instead of selecting one. This gives voters alternative choices and allows for Anyone But Conservative voting.

2011 election

Compare the election results under FPP and PV ranked ballot (according to the Globe and Mail):

2011 Federal election

Party Vote FPP FPP PV PV
(Majority: 155 seats of 308)
CPC 40% 166 54% 142 46%
NDP 31% 103 33% 118 38%
LPC 19% 34 11% 46 15%
BQ 6% 4 1.3% 1 0.3%
GPC 4% 1 0.3% 1 0.3%

Under FPP, vote splitting allowed Harper to win dozens of center-left seats. With 40% of the vote, he won 54% of the seats and 100% of the power — all of which ended up in his hands.

Under PV, an NDP/Liberal government would've formed with 50% of the vote and 53% of the seats. Neither party or party leader would have absolute corrupt power. In fact, multi-party majority governments are the norm in the rest of the developed world.

Conclusion

It is imperative that we get PV legislated when Harper is replaced in 2015. Although PR may be ideal, it's too big of a change to accomplish in one fell swoop (as 4 failed provincial referendums can attest to.)

Let's put out the fire first. Then worry about interior decorating.

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