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Alternative facts now Alternative promises.

Alternative facts now Alternative promises.

Old Feb 3rd 2017, 5:15 pm
  #16  
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Default Re: Alternative facts now Alternative promises.

Establishing a workable PR system to replace a system of locally-accountable constituency MPs is fraught with difficulty. Any system that provides for a "party list" with little local accountability is a non-starter as it tends to focus MPs too much on the party platform and too little on the concerns of their riding. Any system that does not provide a genuinely proportional seat-count in the Commons is fundamentally pointless.

The two options that seem to have been considered, before being dismissed, were Mixed-Member Proportional (MMP) and Single Transferable Vote (STV).

MMP keeps some local accountability, in that (slightly larger) ridings would elect a local MP through either a first-past-the-post or ranked-ballot system. A number of "top-up" supra-regional MPs would then be allocated on a party-list basis to ensure the balance of members in the Commons is properly reflective of the total number of votes for each party.

STV relies on having much larger, regional, constituencies, with each constituency sending a minimum of about 5 MPs to the Commons. The proportion of MPs in each electoral region is reflective of the total numbers of votes each party has received.

Either route would work. My preference would be for a MMP system as it still retains a direct accountability and relationship between an MP and his or her riding. It would not be hugely disruptive to implement such a system, elections would not be significantly more or less expensive to hold, and we would end up with a government (whether a single-party majority, minority, or coalition) that more closely reflects the will of the electorate.

I'm disappointed that Trudeau has abandoned the idea. It seems, with this announcement coming only a couple of weeks after the reshuffle, that there was more stuff happening behind the scenes than we currently know about.
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