Sunday, September 16, 2007

Ridiculous Doomsday scenario

In today's Sun,Sheila Copps wrote:

In theory, the system was established to give voice to every citizen, the same rational used in Ontario. In practice, it has lead to fractious political coalitions where extreme religious-based parties often hold the balance of power.

The proportional system institutionalizes extremist influence. Picture a minority parliament where a party with 3% of the vote is in control. That is exactly what is being proposed.

As Dora the Explorer would say: let's stop and think.

Sheila Copps is trying to suggest that a party with a few seats and a few is in control of a government.

That means: they dictate yo the party with the most number of seats: who is in cabinet, what the agenda is, what bills should be proposed, what the messaging should be, etc. as the cost of their participation in a coalition.

As if there would be no other choices.

As if the party with the greatest amount of support would be bullied into political suicide.

Coalitions can only be created based on political realism.

If the political price to pay for a coalition is too high, they will ask another party-- probably with more seats, and thus more votes to offer-- for their support. And, I suspect, the second or third choice party will probably lower their "price".

But there are better reform models around the world. In France, for example, two votes are held to achieve a consensus. The first round eliminates all but the two major candidates. The second, a week later, is a runoff between the contenders, guaranteeing an outcome with majority public support.

A two-party system on steroids. I don't want to just vote for one of two candidates.

Does a political party with 3% public support deserve a seat? Is a party better placed to elect legislators than the people?

Do voters deserve to have their wishes respected? Can they be trusted to choose a party that has their interests in mind?

If parties (especially the large ones) are so untrustworthy, why are we voting for them?

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