Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Andrew Coyne: The case against first-past-the-post

National Post columnist Andrew Coyne published this superb article today on the shortcomings of our current first-past-the-post voting system.

Here's an excerpt:

"Democracy, as everyone knows, is a system of majority rule. It is a system marked by free and fair elections between rival political parties, their success or failure depending on the number of votes they can attract. It is a system in which every adult citizen has an equal say in choosing who should represent them.

"By every one of these definitions, Canada, under the electoral system in use today, is not a democracy. We are not governed by majorities, competition between parties is not free and fair, nor do their relative fortunes depend on their popularity with the voters. Most striking of all, we do not give every citizen equal say at election time. Everyone may get one vote, that is true. But some votes count more than others. Some --most, in fact --do not count at all.

"That is the record of plurality voting, the system Ontario voters are to be asked to replace in next month's referendum. Its supporters appeal to a sentiment of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." But it is broke, and this is the opportunity to fix it."

1 comment:

Jason Bo Green said...

I'm as discontented with FPTP as anyone else, but wow - that really hit it home. What a terrific piece.