Saturday, September 22, 2007

Vote for MMP!!! The Conservative Case Edition

In another excellent post on electoral reform, Andrew Coyne sums up a "conservative case" for proportional representation.

However, in many ways, it's not just a "conservative" case, but a "logical" case. As Mr. Coyne argues, electoral reform isn't about whether the "left", or the "right" is advantaged by a system such as MMP, it's about whether the VOTER is advantaged. And they clearly are. Under "First Past the Post" (and as Mr. Coyne points out, it would be more accurate to call FPTP "Winner take all") the votes of hundreds of thousands of voters are wasted every election, and those voters aren't just on the left, but on the right as well. Electoral reform shakes EVERYTHING up, and gives us a whole new way of choosing those who represent us in government.

About damned time, if you ask me.

Recommend this Post


Anonymous said...

Their is a book out by a Kiwi....
"Why MMP must G...The Case For ditching the Electoral Disaster of the Century", by Grahame Hunt..a poll said 68% of New Zealanders are not to happy with MMP.

Lord Kitchener's Own said...

Well, first of all it's Graeme Hunt, not Grahame.

Second, have you read the book anonymous? Because while I haven't, I hear it's HILARIOUS!

Third and most importantly, even Graeme's own poll (that's right, it was GRAEME HUNT'S OWN POLL!!!) most certainly did NOT say that 68% of New Zealanders are not happy with MMP. It said that 68% of New Zealanders would support another referendum sometime in the future on Electoral Reform (something many thought they were going to get). That's it.

To the extent that Graeme's own poll asked about New Zealand's MMP system, 42% supported MMP, 39% supported FPTP, and 15% were undecided. NOT IN ANY WAY 68% "not happy with MMP" a question he never asked. Under FPTP, that 42% plurality in favour of MMP counts as a majority in favour of MMP doesn't it?

Finally, here's an interesting quote from Mr. Hunt himself:

"At the end of the day, the most important issue is to give the electors a choice. People thought there would be a referendum on the voting system down the track but electoral law doesn't provide for that.

If New Zealand ended up with a supplementary member system - - say 80 MPs elected by first past the post with 20 elected proportionally - - or preferential voting as exists in Australia, then many first past the post supporters would be perfectly happy."
(emphasis added).

Gee, 80 members elected by FPTP, and 20 members elected proportionally would make many of the New Zealand dissenters perfectly happy! Why does that formula seem so familiar?!?!?

Even the big opponent of MMP in New Zealand seems to be saying he'd be perfectly happy with a system like the one proposed for Ontario (90 members elected through FPTP, 39 members elected proportionally). It's hardly an indictment of the MMP system proposed for Ontario. In fact, it's closer to being an endorsement.

Scott Tribe said...

I love how a lot of these people who are trying to discredit MMP are the anonymous posters. It's as if they know they're telling distortions of the story and dont wish to have that identified to them.

Idealistic Pragmatist said...


This post is great, but that comment ROCKS. You need to repost it as a post! Pretty please?

Canadian Infidel said...

MMP will dilute the Ontario Political representation as it is. It will mean that every nutjob, extremist party will get a seat at the table. take a look at Dutch politics where there are 36 political parties represented in Parliament. Nothing ever really gets accomplished.

Besides, do you really want political hacks "appointed" to parliament by their own party. I for one don't want a political party putting in un-elected hacks into the legislature. While I'm sure that it appeals to left-wing extremists, I for one like to have elected representatives who are accountable to us, not the party.

Lord Kitchener's Own said...

Canadian Infidel,

There were 10 political parties elected to the legislature in the 2006 Dutch election, not 36. However, even then only 7 of them had the votes that would have enabled them to get into the legislature under the MMP proposal for Ontario, the rest falling below the 3% threshold, which doesn't matter in the Netherlands which doesn't use MMP, but basically pure PR.

I mean, seriously dude, that's the second time today you've just made something up in one of your comments here to fit your argument. If you're going to make something up about another country's legislature in order to bolster an argument against MMP, at least choose a country that uses MMP!