Dean Midyettes editorial last April preposing an electoral system where the number of votes allotted are based on income and assets vs a proportional vote was of course just a silly comparison but it did prompt me to investigate the debate regarding electoral models.
(Editors note: Mr. Midyettes editorial was an April Fools joke.)
In 2009, after it was revealed by the Speaker in the House that the B.C. Citizens Assembly failed to include information showing that a STV (single transferable vote) electoral system would shape less populated ridings into massive districts in order to support the multiple representatives in a STV model; a second referendum was held.
This critical information showed that the Citizens Assembly STV proportional vote option would have merged ridings outside the lower mainland into unmanageable and characterless units with scant representation for constituents. Consequently a less biased question than the one posed by the Citizens Assembly was put to BC voters in 2009 with the Proportional Vote STV electoral model being soundly defeated by 61% voting against what was inappropriately named a reform.
Sixty countries use the First Past the Post electoral system because it is straight forward to understand and is least vulnerable to corruption and influence peddling. Populist-sounding proponents of proportional vote models portray it as a more democratic system, it is not: it diminishes regional representation, empowers influence peddling and encourages meddling by noisy fringe groups and elitists associations that have no general support.
This is exactly what is happening in Australia today where in order to govern the STV electoral system is forcing government to cut deals with unsavoury fringe groups that have no general support. Austrias High Court declared their recent proportional vote election invalid because of meddling in the complicated counting process.
In Canada, initiatives to countering nepotism and corruption are far more pressing than electoral reform, for instance ensuring that there is a two-term maximum for any party leader that forms a government, not to mention tightening Senate expense rules.
First Past the Post from time to time produces a majority government that governs more or less according to its platform, however more often than not minority governments are elected, providing needed checks and balances to the balance of power.
While it is true that a government can be elected with less than 50 per cent of the popular vote, it is also true that if they are doing a poor job, they can be got rid of with less than 50 per cent of the popular vote!
Radium Hot Springs