Replacing one imperfect system with another

Proportional representation has its flaws.

Readers have been subjected to numerous writers extolling the advantages of proportional representation. The reality is that they are pushing to change an imperfect system for another imperfect system. A recent writer harkened to a past minority government that he believed had to listen and/or work with another party that supposedly hastened the introduction of medicare and other social innovations. Ironically, the writer reverses course and says this is why we should change the electoral system. Yet, obviously this small example showed how our present first past the post system works.

Similar writers lament citizen participation in the present electoral process, yet there is no proof that other systems have substantially higher voter engagement, especially for those who belong to no particular special interest party that is the essence of many proportional representation systems.

Activists being activists, they will always find fault with the system that denies them power. Interestingly, they push a more “democratic” agenda, I wonder if it is the same more democratic agenda that Maduro and his cronies have sprung on the Venezuelan people, who have shed lots of blood to oppose that hijacking in word and action of what we previously deemed a fairly understandable term.

Recently another pro letter to the editor, had the temerity to say the present system distorts politics. Yet if one were to canvass those countries that have adapted pro/rep, political distortion is the underlying modus operandi of all those civil societies. Couched amongst his lofty words we see clearly the underlying theme that if it isn’t his definition of democracy, then it doesn’t have much currency. Almost everything he lambasted about our present system is also true of the pro rep system.

Yet, now we have an unelected premier and unelected ruling coalition that is going to force us to change the way we elect our government. They are stacking the deck to ensure their “democratic” vision is the way forward. But success for them does not mean success for the rest of us.

Jeff Shecter


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