Sunday, November 06, 2005

PR in PEI

Greg at Sinister Thoughts has posted a couple things about the upcoming PEI vote on Proportional Representation over the past few days. The powers that be are doing whatever they can, it seems, to stop proportional representation. The goverment is limiting the publicity and number of polling places, and now a group of Grits & Tories are mounting an official "No" campaign.

This is a shame, but unlike the tactics of the government I don't think it is scandalous. The fact is that any system that allows appointed members into an elected parliament is problematic. Not that anybody's asked me, but I posted a far more elegant solution a few months ago. It was about the federal parliament, but you can apply the same idea provincially, although it might be slightly trickier with a tiny jurisdiction like PEI. Oh, what the heck, I'll spare you a click and just repost it right here:

The first change I would make is eliminate the local ridings for the party leaders. Instead, any party that gets 1% of the vote should have their leader automatically sent to Parliament, but without representing any particular riding. The rest of the MP's should be elected as they are now but each party caucus should get a weighted vote in the house for all votes along party lines. Thus if the Liberals got 60% of the seats but only 30% of the votes, each members vote would only count as half a vote. Conversely if the NDP got only 8% of the seats but 20% of the votes, each NDP's vote in the House would be worth 2.5 votes. If smaller parties such as the Greens got say, 5% of the vote but no MPs, at least the leader would be in the House with 5% of the votes in the Commons. For free votes, each MP would get 1 vote.

(As I said the first time I posted this, I freely admit that I am a nerd.)

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