Sunday, August 18, 2013

Stability Wars: FPP vs PR

“Granted, some minority or coalition governments do manage to deliver solid, progressive government. But they are rarities. More commonly, governments in proportional systems are divisive, unstable, short-lived and paralyzed by conflict.” —Toronto Star

In one corner we have “strong, stable” Canadian FPP. In the other, “chaotic” Western European PR.

Drum roll…

And the winner is…

Average post-war election term (years)

Country From To Years Terms Avg
Luxembourg 1951 2009 58 12 4.83
Italy 1948 2008 60 15 4
Norway 1949 2009 60 15 4
Switzerland 1951 2011 60 15 4
Finland 1951 2011 60 16 3.75
Germany 1949 2009 60 16 3.75
Belgium 1950 2010 60 18 3.33
Netherlands 1952 2012 60 18 3.33
Austria 1949 2008 59 18 3.28
Sweden 1948 2010 62 19 3.26
Canada 1949 2011 62 20 3.1
Denmark 1950 2011 61 23 2.65

…Luxembourg??

Clearly the above quote from the Toronto Star is pure and utter bunk. Canada does not have “strong, stable government” under FPP. European PR is not “divisive, unstable, short-lived and paralyzed by conflict.”

Strong government vs good government

No doubt, we often dole out absolute corrupt power to minority parties — excluding the vast majority from government. This foolishness produces a “benign dictatorship” which certainly qualifies as “strong government.” But it doesn’t give us good government.

Good democratic government means a majority of voters is represented and parties work together to come up with compromises that best reflect the will of the people.

We will need PR or PV ranked ballot to achieve good government.

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