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Proportional Representation vs. First-Past-The-Post

Proportional Representation vs. First-Past-The-Post


Seeing as the stability in Canada is quite significant although we are using the plurality system, there are nevertheless many ways that it could be improved. The system can be improved by adding the principles of justice and impartiality to permanence by implementing a PR electoral system. “PR makes every vote count and produces results that are proportionate to what voters desire” (Hiemstra and Jansen). Also, by developing regional representation in larger parties, it would have an overall positive increase in the steadiness of the country. Therefore, since we have come to realize that the plurality system must be changed and that proportional representation is a system which could heal the damages made by first-past-the-post, the obvious step that must be taken in order to create a close-to-perfect electoral system would be to combine proportional representation and plurality to form a mixed-member proportional system.

    There are a number of advantages to this kind of change. One is that a mixed system would preserve the connection between members and their constituencies, which is something that proportional representation in its pure form fails to do (Caron 21).
Possibly the largest debate surrounding why PR is not the best electoral system is the one regarding the relationship between voter and MP. This sole fact destroys any validity in an argument supporting plurality because of these claims. Mixed-member proportional is obviously a better system of election. Despite the facts, many people fear seeing a mixed system because of the fact that proportional representation carries along with it problems related to stability. Although this may be factual, “…no democratic system, whether first-past-the-post or mixed, can guarantee government stability” (Caron 21). Once again, although it offers many advantages, “…the first-past-the-post method produces serious distortions that a mixed voting method might remedy” (Caron 19). In regards to the mixed-member system, reports demonstrate the fact that governments resulting from PR are quite successful, less ignorant to the wants of the citizen and citizens become less apathetic and more content with the way the system works (Gordon).

It has become completely obvious that the most dependable and realistic way of electing Members of Parliament to the House of Commons is palpably proportional representation. Proportional representation is obviously a superior electoral system to the first-past-the-post system because of its local, provincial and federal voter turnout increase. PR encourages women to have a greater representation in the national government. “There is a distinct gap in women’s representation in national legislatures between countries with single-member district electoral systems and those with proportional representation electoral systems” (Matland and Studlar 707). The differences that have been shown between Norway and Canada prove that this is apparent.

    Canada’s first-past-the-post voting system is notoriously unfair. The system is based on the winner-take-all principle, which means votes and voters are not treated equally. The only voters who win political representation are those who share the most popular partisan viewpoint in their riding, as expressed at the ballot box. The other voters lose their right to political representation (Gordon).
There are numerous admirable grounds on why the plurality system works within a government. There would exist no plurality system if this was not true. Why would one use a faulty system if it would only cause damage? Cases have shown that the plurality system is not completely unpleasant, it just does not accomplish as much as PR does. If the plurality system is failing us, and proportional representation can remedy what has been broken as a result of plurality, the resulting system which would best be implemented into Canada’s electoral system is that of the mixed-member proportional system. The mixed-member system would indisputably fix all of the mistakes caused by the plurality system all the while increasing voter turnout and female legislative representation. Unfortunately, although this may be the best system of election, the leaders of this country will never let it come into place simply because it seems to increase the validity of opposing parties’ votes. Canada needs a party in power who will understand that “…this isn’t about left vs. right, or east vs. west, or anglophone vs. francophone. It’s about one citizen, one vote, one value. It’s about building a level playing field in our political arena” (Gordon).

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