Accountability is the thing

Dan Davies uses Melanie Mark’s difficulty explaining the 3 options as an excuse for tarring the whole process. Mark was clearly not prepared to get into the nitty gritty of the options, but that is no excuse for dismissing them as confusing. 

To put the shoe on Davies’ foot, I’d ask him to explain have a supposedly fair and democratic electoral system like FPTP permits a party with 40% of the popular vote to get 100% of the power. I’d like him to explain how a party with 40% of the popular vote can get 50 % of the seats while a party with 17% of the vote gets 3% of the seats.

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Davies really starts going off the rails talking about details to be decided by a legislative committee dominated by NDP and Green MLAs after the referendum is held.”

This legislative committee will be composed of all three parties, in proportion to the number of seats that they have, so yes, it could potentially be dominated by the NDP and Greens, but isn’t that how things work in Davies universe? He got the most votes in his riding, so he gets a trip to Victoria. His party, for several elections, got only 40% of the vote yet 100% of the power. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

Davies pulls out the old argument his party as used since the beginning about PR taking away your choice of candidates. The dreaded party list. A fiction of his imagination. Party lists are possible under PR, but they have not been proposed by anyone, except perhaps, Davies. In reality though, for both FPTP and PR, the voter does not get to choose who his/her candidate is. The party does in a riding meeting. And sometimes, as was the case with Suzanne Anton and Christy Clark, the candidate gets chosen by the top brass not the riding. Another spectre bites the dust.

What are we left with? The voter has a choice between FPTP which treats voters unequally, giving some more voting power than others, and PR which gives all voters votes with equal voting power. Under FPTP, 50% of votes are ineffective, they don’t help elect a candidate. Under PR, over 90% of votes cast are effective in going towards electing a candidate. Which would you choose? Accountability back to you, the voter. 

 

Daryl Sturdy

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