I was watching Jay Hill on Question Period yesterday, and I was struck by the Tory's take on the chaos in Parliament. He tried to justify Tory tactics as a way to "push back" at a defacto coalition government created by the opposition. It struck me because, the underlying logic to that argument is pretty warped. It seems the Tories believe that although they have a minority of the seats in the House, they are entitled to have total control of the agenda, as some sort of divine right. There is no need to cooperate with other parties, because they are "the government". That is the "logic" of a "majority" government.
It is easy to understand why the Tories feel this way. In a FPTP system they know they are roughly 4 percentage points away from having absolute power. They know that with that amount of minority support from the country they can pretend they have a majority mandate, so why not pretend they have a majority with 36 percent? It is magical thinking, but it is promoted by the Alice In Wonderland electoral system we now have. However, if the Tories knew they were 14 percent away from having a majority, rather than 4, they would behave in a different way. They would be seeking partners rather than living in a dream world of their own creation.
We need to remove this enabler of fantasy from the playing field. We need to change the voting system so that the parties will need majority voter support in order to be a majority in the House. Otherwise, this kind of magical thinking will carry on and on into our future. Our politicians need a cure from "majority mania" and we need better politics.
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