Wednesday, January 25, 2006

One last round of number crunching....

... before I start to sound like a bitter broken record.

And keep in mind I'm not certain how best for us to fix this, but I think we definitely need to talk about it. Unfortunately, the inequities in our system that lead to a somewhat poor translation of popular vote to parliamentary power only ever disadvantage parites with less power, and advantage those in government, or close to forming a government, so it will always be difficult to effect any reform. But surely with our second minority government in a row, and the weakest minority ever, this is the closest we've ever come to "winning conditions" for some form of reform of how we choose our leaders, and I think it would be a shame if we didn't at least TRY to take advantage of that (and let me just say how VERY impressed I would be with the Tories if they DID move on this file, despite the current system giving them MORE power than their share of the popular vote. The Liberals never gave this more than lip service... because it wasn't in their partisan interests... maybe Prime Minister Harper will be different).

Anyway, the numbers. Here's another interesting way of looking at the relationship between the popular vote, and a party's representation in Parliament. How many seats in the House did each party win, per 1 million votes cast for the party nation-wide? The answer is interesting:

The Bloc won 32 seats for every 1 million Bloc votes cast.
The Tories won 23 seats for every 1 million Tory votes cast.
The Liberals won 23 seats for every 1 million Liberal votes cast.

The NDP won 11 seats for every 1 million NDP votes cast.

I would never say that the popular vote should be some absolute means of determining a party's power in th House, but the numbers above seem DECIDEDLY unfair to me, and it just seems to me that our electoral system could (and should) be reformed to do a MUCH better job of reflecting the popular will of Canadians. This would certainly lead to more minority parliaments. But if the folks in Ottawa can get their act together in this next parliament, we may just decide that that wouldn't be such a bad thing! The Bloc will hate this of course, but hey, if that's not a reason in itself to do it, then I don't know what is!


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