Friday, August 30, 2013

Ranked ballot ends need for party mergers

After the 2011 election results came in, many pundits were saying the Liberals and NDP would have to merge to stop the Conservatives from becoming Canada’s natural governing party.

Right-leaning parties faced a similar conundrum back in the 1990s. Then vote splitting between the Reform and PC parties allow the Liberals to come up the middle and win easy fake majorities.

Haphazard FPP

The silliness of our present voting system is evident in two ways:

  1. By awarding power to leading minority candidates and parties, the vast majority of voters can wind up with the opposite of what they voted for.

  2. Merging parties is really a bizarre solution for correcting distorted election results.

Clearly the sensible solution is to upgrade our voting system — as 91% of developed countries have done — to ensure the voice of the people is actually heard.

Why party mergers?

One might wonder why party mergers are a solution is the first place. This is because FPP only produces democratic results when there are two parties: that is, one party gets majority support from voters.

Of course, less parties means less representation. In the US, left-leaning voters are marginalized in the Democratic Party; moderate conservatives are squeezed out in the Republican Party.

Conclusion

Under PV or PR, voters will get better representation because these voting systems are designed to handle many parties. It’s time to stop fooling around with democracy.

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