Monday, October 10, 2011

Provincial Elections - Crap Results Again

With the recent spate of provincial elections (PEI, Ontario, Manitoba), we can once again see the results of our shitty "first-past-the-post" electoral system. Here, in detail:

PEI:
Popular vote: 52% Liberal, 40% PC, 3% NDP, 4% Green.
The seats: 22 Liberal (that's 81% of the seats!), 5 PC (19%).

In a more fair, representative electoral system, we would've seen:
14 seats Liberal
11 seats PC
1 seat Green **
1 seat NDP **

Exercise for the reader: explain to your kids how these results are obtained, and how they are fair, without using the phrase: "well...that's the system, honey".

Manitoba:
Popular vote: 46% NDP, 44% PC, 7.5% Liberal, 2.5% Green.
The seats: 37 NDP (that's 65%), 19 PC (33%), 1 Liberal (1.75%)

In a more fair, representative electoral system, they would've elected:
26 seats NDP
25 seats PC
4 seats Liberal
1 seat Green **

Amazing, eh, how a split popular vote (I mean, how much closer can you get???) results in a majority government? Getting 44% of the popular vote in Manitoba is apparently a disgrace and cause for resignation. Contrast that with our Federal results, where a mere 40% of the popular vote gets Mr. Harper a majority government. Oh man, I love this system.

Ontario:
Popular vote: 38% Liberal, 35% PC, 23% NDP, 3% Green.
The seats: 53 Liberal (50%), 37 PC (35%), 17 NDP (15%)

In a more fair, representative electoral system, they would've elected:

44 seats Liberal
41 seats PC
28 seats Liberal
4 seats Green **

The voter turnout in Ontario has now dropped below 50% to an all-time-low, despite all kinds of new "convienient" ways to vote (lots of advance polls, mail-in balloting, etc). I say, there is no deep mystery in why people don't vote. Your vote only matters if you live in a swing riding. For the rest of ya, you might as well stay home. That, and the fact that your MLA isn't really representing YOU at all, they are mere tools of the party and only serve as bums-in-seats for the small group that makes the decisions.

How any of these results are in any way reflective of the "will of the people" is completely beyond me. It slays me when the leaders get up and proclaim that "the people have given them a mandate"!

No. The system has given them a mandate.

But apparently nobody gives a rat's patootie about any of this, because we all keep voting down any reasonable proposed changes.

** Note: in all proportional representation ("PR") systems there is a threshold, below which a party doesn't get any seats. That's usually around the 4-5% mark, so in the above examples it'd probably mean that in PEI, the NDP and Greens wouldn't have gotten any seats, and in Manitoba the Greens would've been shut out also (with the other parties then getting those seats instead).

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