Monday, June 21, 2010

The Electoral System Isn't the Issue

A combination of things including an internet outage has scuttled the blog for the past few days. The rest of my world cup preview would now be horribly out of date. On to more political things. For those of you who didn't notice, Belgium had an election a little while back. The result wasn't all that surprising for Belgium but that doesn't mean it was any less complicated. Canadian talking heads *cough* Andrew Coyne *cough* often cite our "antiquated electoral system" as the primary reason that the Bloc Qu├ębecois has been able to maintain a presence in our parliament. Well, over in Belgium the results of the latest election in that PR based country have given the Flemish nationalists a plurality of seats in the Belgian parliament. Granted it is a small plurality, about 27 out of 150 seats, or about an identical ratio to the current Bloc presence in the Canadian parliament. So next time Andrew Coyne or some other pundit complains about the Bloc, just thank your lucky stars we don't live in a PR based country like Belgium.

4 comments:

Skinny Dipper said...

PR is not about the Bloc or other parties; PR is about the voters.

The reality in most ridings, we have only two effective parties running. As a voter, I only get two choices (one in most Alberta ridings). Of those two candidates, one will likely have been appointed by the party leader or acclaimed through convoluted rules for running for nominations--see Rob Anders.

While I may complain about a Harper dictatorship, an election of an artificial Liberal majority would only bring in a Liberal leader dictatorship.

What is the point of me voting under Canada's crappy First-Past-the-Post voting system?

While Harper is clearly an autocrat, none of the other party leaders have so far demonstrated their democratic credentials. Until they do, I won't be voting in the next election.

ADHR said...

If the Flemish nationalists have that much support, then what, exactly, is wrong with them having that many seats? The issue with the Bloc is that they have 10% of the vote but 16% of the seats. If they could must 16% of the vote, why shouldn't they have 16% of the seats?

Attempting to delegitimize political parties whose positions who don't agree with makes this whole "democracy" thing a complete sham.

Anonymous said...

Skinny - you get as many choices in your riding as are on the ballot, and even in Alberta that's usually at least 4 or 5.

That the candidate you choose doesn't win isn't the system's fault, it's the fact that the particular candidate couldn't muster enough support in the community.

Democracy isn't about granting losers votes in Parliament.

CanadianSense said...

The MSM and some bloggers are very unhappy with the existing government.

Canadians not so much. When we are interested we will dump the current government and replace them.

We are not buying the message from scandal a week MSM about this minority dictatorship.

The ballots vs manufactured outrage would quickly correct the Liberal friendly polls.

In 2006 26.3% was unimaginable, some believe this the new floor for the Liberals.

The fact they are unwilling to the floor speaks volumes.

I am comfortable in Canadians voting for CPC majority in spite of Ekos Research.

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