Essay on Would Proportional Representation …

A final problem with proportional representationis that if it, in fact, did lead to a more representative government, whichis far from sure, how small in size and in interest would some of the smallerparties become? There might be separate parties for environmentalists,for women, for the West, and so on (Barker 300), each of them more limitedin scope and concern than the ones before. The cumulative lack ofnational interest could lead to severe political dysfunction in Canada,which would not bode well for the constitutional ideal of "Peace, Order,and good Government".

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Those who favour proportional representation arguethat while the first-past-the-post system may be simple, the electoralboundaries readjustment process can lead to malapportionment and gerrymandering. But eliminating constituencies altogether would be a heavy price to payto eliminate this corruption and an altogether worse sort of corrupt practicemight well develop in which "MPs would find themselves beholden to partyleaders with the power to put them on the party list. MPs would spendmore time courting party bosses than talking to voters," (Barker 296) asif this doesn't happen quite enough already because of perhaps excessivelyrigid party discipline in the House of Commons.

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In the aftermath of many Canadian election campaigns,both federal and provincial, demands for the adoption of some kind of proportionalrepresentation (PR) system to replace our first-past-the-post (FPTP) electoralsystem are frequently heard from those who claim that the current systemis seriously flawed. Although our system is far from perfect, I donot agree with those who hold that PR is the solution to our federal electoralwoes. Proponents of PR usually list "the perceived inequities andfailings of FPTP" (Barker 300) and imply that PR would provide a virtualpanacea for all that ails us in Canadian politics today. However,most of these arguments can be quite convincingly debunked, and this isthe intention of the present essay.

28/05/2015 · What are the pros and cons of proportional representation (multiple parties instead of 2 parties as in the US) in a political system?
02/10/2017 · Richard Johnston has this insightful Maclean’s article about the best form of proportional representation for British Columbia

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The major arguments against proportional representationare that the system tends to produce minority government situations moreoften than does first-past-the-post and that in supplanting the currentpractice of electing a single Member of Parliament for each constituencyit "eliminates the one direct tie each of us with government" (Barker 300). In addition, the particular system of proportional representation suggestedby Hiemstra (281 and 285), list-system PR, would have the great disadvantageof placing far too much power in the hands of the party leaders who woulddecide whose names would appear on the party list at the next election. Furthermore, in reducing the power of "small, regionally concentrated parties"(Hiemstra 283), proportional representation might actually aggravate theregional divisions in Canada, since it would effectively deny these partiesthe forum they now have in the House of Commons and thereby force the simmeringregional discontent out of the mainstream political process and into thestreets. Canada is a country with real regional divisions and concoctingan electoral system to move us away from regional representation mighteasily backfire, especially with the bulk of the country's population locatedin Ontario and Québec. Without the regional constituency basisfor election of MPs, parties might choose to concentrate their campaignefforts in central Canada and forget about the regions entirely. Party leaders might fill the party lists with political hacks and croniesfrom "back east", and then who would speak out for the interests of a smallerprovince, for instance, British Columbia? Would anyone in federalpolitics be able or willing to speak for a B.C.

In the aftermath of many Canadian election campaigns, both federal and provincial, demands for the adoption of some kind of proportional representation (PR) …

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For the reasons developed above, I believe that adoptinga system of proportional representation in Canada would do more harm thangood to our political system, and that, instead, attention to other areasof concern such as party discipline, electoral boundaries readjustment,and Senate reform should be pursued to address the perceived electoralproblems.

View Essay - Single Member District and Proportional Representation Essay from POL S 102 at Washington State University

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Another point that supporters of proportional representationoften seem to forget is that while PR might produce a legislature withparties' standings proportional to the percentage of popular vote received,there is no guarantee that the composition of the cabinet would be proportionalto popular vote, and the cabinet is where the majority of the power isin an executive-dominated system like Canada's.