Proportional representation would affect election outcome

The recent elections in Alberta and the UK are classic examples of just how dysfunctional the colonial electoral system really is.

Dear Editor:

It would be tempting to speculate that the Alberta Conservatives would be inclined to consider the merits of Proportional Representation after their latest disaster at the polls.

A proportional ballot would have left them with 24 seats and Jim Prentice could have stayed on as the leader of the official opposition.

The end result would have been a provincial legislature with all parties fairly represented according to the popular vote, and a lot of experienced MLAs would still be there.

The recent elections in Alberta and the UK are classic examples of just how dysfunctional the colonial electoral system really is, and how desperately we need to replace it with something that will produce stable and productive governments.

The “first-past-the-post” voting system was designed for two-party politics.

When several parties participate in an election, the governing party will usually represent only about one third of the popular vote.

More importantly, the political centre field that normally ensures stability and productivity from one government to the next, is lost when you have a political house cleaning like the recent election in Alberta.

Another classic example is the 1993 federal election where the Conservatives ended up with only two members in the legislature.

The loss of experience was devastating, and it takes years to recover from that.

The colonial system leaves a lot of political power with the politicians.

Canadian politicians have abused that power, and used it to undermine our treasured democratic institutions:

Our political leaders have arbitrarily adopted party discipline to control how democratically elected members of our federal and provincial legislatures act and vote.

Party policies are being written by party leaders, not the people.

Our justices are appointed by government leaders, not elected, and are accountable to nobody, and our senate is like a ship without a rudder.

The Canadian senate does not provide any balance of power like the US Senate that can write and amend, as well as stop any proposed legislation from becoming law.

To add insult to injury, it would also appear some of our senators have become part of Harpers re-election team, touring our country on the taxpayer’s dime, promoting the Conservative Party and its policies.

Proportional representation protects the democratic process, and because all parties are fairly represented, the political centre field is always well represented in any government.

Andy Thomsen

Peachland