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Propped up

Eye Weekly logo
re. No Props for PR

I never cease to be amazed by the endless repetition of the same discredited fallacies whenever proportional representation is brought up. NAME WITHHELD BY REQUEST (NWBR) cites the need for "stable governments that can ... fulfill their mandates", as if our current system delivered those qualities.

For example, Israel has had the same number of elections as Canada in the last half century. Italy has had far fewer. Moreover, our current system delivers unstable minorities rather than the stable coalitions that govern most of world's democracies.

The real point of NWBR's message is that he believes that his vote, as a resident of Northern Ontario, should count more than the vote of a resident of one of our major cities. Leaving aside whether or not this is a good thing, the MMP form he voted against addressed that issue. And any other proportional system can also be set up to handle regional seat allocations.

However our first-past-the-post (FPTP) system cannot reasonably compensate for the fact that Quebec's separatists get far more seats per vote than any other party in Canada. Nor can it do anything about the million Green Party supporters who were disenfranchised. Our FPTP system also ignores the hundreds of thousands of Toronto citizens who vote Conservative.

Moreover, our FPTP system leads to high-profile competitions such as John Tory's battle against Kathleen Wynne or Gerard Kennedy's fight against Peggy Nash. A better system would allow them all to gain seats. Instead of the brightest and best from each party forming the legislative assembly, we usually end up with a good collection of party hacks rewarded with safe seats.

I can understand NWBR not wanting his name mentioned however. If I wanted to sound off on a subject I knew little about, I'd also prefer to be anonymous.

Gary Dale

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