A very substantial reason why proportional representation is the better electoral system than the first-past-the-post system is because it has been proven in other countries to increase voter turnout in local, provincial and national levels. The reason for this is that with plurality, one can only count on the larger parties to win; therefore, instead of "throwing away" a vote for a smaller, less popular party, the voter would either vote for the larger party or not vote at all. "Because seats can be gained [in PR] with only a fraction of the total vote, voters have fewer incentives to abandon their most preferred candidates. Accordingly, the number of viable candidates increases with PR" (Boix 610). Plurality can occasionally result in outrageous outcomes. For example, "the right-wing British Columbia Liberals won a provincial election, taking 97 per cent of the seats (all but 2) with just 58 per cent of the vote" (Carty 930). People often wonder why in Canada, no more than 50 per cent of the population votes during any governmental election. Reasons for this could be a result of a handful of factors. Citizens could be apathetic to which party wins; they could be ignorant in regards to politics or, the majority of the population that does not vote is probably no longer concerned with politics because of the discrimination of the plurality system. "...inequalities in the representation of the different political parties… are regarded by some commentators as factors leading to a loss of interest in politics, and even to disaffection" (Caron 21). Some will wonder, after being educated on the topic, that for the most part, if proportional representation seems to be a better way of electing MP's to the House of Commons, why has it not been implemented into our electoral system? The answer to this question lies in the fact that once in power under the first-past-the-post system; the political party that may have once wanted to put into effect the system of proportional representation would most likely have a change in thought. "Unfortunately, those good intentions often melt away like snow on a sunny day once the party comes to power" (Caron 22). Sadly, this is in fact a legitimate way to govern as a dictatorship (Caron 21).
Be Sure to Continue to Page 2 of "Proportional Representation vs. First-Past-The-Post".