Tuesday, September 28, 2010

New Definition Of Fair

A comment on a Globe piece on electoral reform:
The results under a proportional representation system would be no less biased. They would simply be differently biased. At the national level, for example, a proportional representation system would give places with large populations (i.e., southern Ontario) a lock on the federal government. Why should someone in Toronto have the whip hand in determining federal policies that will primarily affect northern Canada or the west or east coast (or northern Ontario for that matter)?

The fairest system would balance popular support (through a rep by pop House of Commons) with regional interests (as reflected in an elected senate)
So, in this case bias means the following will of the majority of the nation and fair means a veto for Prince Edward Island? Thanks for clearing that up. Now I know why Canadian politics is as fucked up as it is.
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  1. The premise is also dead wrong. PR would give us Conservative MPs from Toronto and Liberal MPs from Alberta. These would be able to bring divergent opinions that have historically been underrepresented in parliament, but which don't necessarily follow the party line of before. Think of how different the Liberal party would be if a larger proportion of its MPs came from Alberta and Saskatchewan. Think of how different the Conservative party would be if it actually had MPs from 416 Toronto.

  2. Absolutely right, James. Sometimes I think Canadians are masochists and enjoy the pain that our system imposes on them.

  3. I find the second half of the comment most amusing. If the Senate is to be used to represent regions equally (which is not totally crazy, to prevent a tyranny of the majority sort of situation), then why not have the Commons represent the vote proportionally?

  4. Trade you a PR Commons for a Triple E Senate.

  5. trade you a PR Commons for a Triple E Senate.

    Get rid of the Senate altogether and you have a deal.