A Plea For Proportional Representation Essay Research — страница 4

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party deserves. Members of the parties are then added from regional party lists until those proportions are achieved in the legislatures. Therefore, if for example the Chimpanzee Party were to win 25% of the party votes in a 200 seat legislature, they would be entitled to a total of 50 seats. If they already elected 30 of their candidates in district elections, then they would add 20 more from their party lists to come up to the percentage of seats they deserve. Adopting mixed PR would be a giant leap forward for Canadian democracy. It is apparently obvious to everyone that something must be done to resurrect our current political attrition. In a federally commissioned study, obtained by The Citizen under the Access to Information Act, it says Canada must “overhaul its system

of government, especially the Senate and electoral process, or face the risk of disintegration .at present Canada seems to be sleepwalking toward disaster.” The candidly worded paper by C.E.S. Franks, a political scientist at Queen’s University in Kingston also said that “the Canadian government seems to be paralyzed, a cobra hypnotized by the mongoose of disunity and unable to arouse itself to positive action.” Mr. Franks, a veteran analyst of politics and government, completed the study last May for the federal Privy Council Office. The vast majority of Western democracies see British-style elections as outmoded and unfair and have rejected them in favor of proportional representation. Most of Western Europe uses PR and, with the exception of Ukraine and Belarus, all

the emerging democracies of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union have chosen PR over our form of elections. The United States, Canada, and Great Britain are the only Western democracies that refuse to let go of their archaic winner-takes-all electoral systems. Support for the plurality system has deteriorated worldwide because it has a number of serious drawbacks. It routinely denies representation to large numbers of voters, produces legislatures that fail to accurately reflect the views of the public, discriminates against third parties, and discourages voter turnout. All of these problems can be traced to a fundamental flaw in our system: only those who vote for the winning candidate get any representation. Everyone else, who may make up 49% of the electorate in a

district, gets no representation. Whether you are a Conservative in a predominately Liberal district or an African-American in a white district, then you are shut out by our current election system. You might cast your vote, but it will be wasted on a candidate that can not win. Every year millions of Canadians waste their votes on losing candidates and therefore come away from the voting booth with no representation. Under single-member district rules we may have the right to vote, but we don’t have the equally important right to be represented. Proportional representation would shift power from the prime minister’s office to the Parliament and from the premier’s office to provincial legislatures, in doing so, there would be less emphasis on images, style, and promises and

more importance placed on parties, principles, platforms, and the people. Bibliography 1) Richie, Rob and Steven Hill. “Are Winner Take All Elections Fair?” Social Policy vol.24 (summer 1996): 25-37 2) Zimmerman, Joseph. “A Fair Voting System for Local Governments.”National Civic Review. October 1979: 481-487 3) Felsenthal, Dan S. Topics In Social Choice: sophisticated voting, efficacy and proportional representation.New York: Praegar, 1990. 4) CPB Web Publishing “Canadians for Proportional Representation” http://www.ualberta.ca/ dbailie/C4PR/ (October 27,1999) 5) Harper, Steven and Tom Flanagan.”Our Benign Dictatorship” http://www.nextcity.com/main/town/6dictat.htm#first (October 22,1999) 6) Bronskill, Jim. “Sleepwalking Toward Disaster” The Ottawa Citizen

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/national/980519/1720161.html 7) Amy, Douglas “What is Proportional Representation?”( January 12, 1996) http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/polit/damy/whatispr.html (October 24, 1999) 8) Wilma, Rule and Steven Hill.”Ain’t I A Voter?” (October 1996) http://www.igc.apc.org/enVISION/women.html 9) Cassidy, Michael. “How Proportinal Representation Would Improve Canada’s Electoral System”, Paul Fox and Graham White, Politics Canada, 8th ed.McGraw-Hill Ryerson pp. 398-412. 10) Irvine, William. “Does Canada Need a New Electoral System?”, Kingston: Institute of Intergovernmental Relations, 1979. 11) Barker, Paul and Mark Charlton. (eds.), Crosscurrents: Contemporary Political Issues, Vol.III, pp. 428-451. 12) Milner, Henry. (ed.) “Making Every