Thursday, August 9, 2007

Mixed Member Proportional Yes Side Better Get Their Facts Straight

There is a weakness in part of the yes side's strategy that is going to come back and bite them hard if they do not change it. The weakness comes in how common the plurality voting system is (the first-past-the-post system is a type of plurality voting system and is the most common type in use). How many times have you heard the yes side say that Canada is one of the few democracies left using this voting system? Did you know that 43 of the 191 members of the United Nations use a plurality voting system? Did you know that only eight countries use a form of the mixed member proportional system? Now I am not proposing that the most common system is the best, and yes the plurality system is in fact the most common voting system in democracies, but that is the argument that many yes side supporters are promoting and the facts do not support their argument - quite the contrary in fact.


Mark Greenan said...

The argument that MMP supporters should be making, I know it's the one I always do, is that Canada "is one of the only Western democracies using the first-past-the-post system".

That's 100% true. Of Western countries, only Canada, the US and Westminster use this system

Anonymous said...

I looked it up.
The proposed MMP that Ontario, Canada seem to want appears more like a AMS (additional member system).
without the voters actually casting the ballot for the Party vote. They deemed that one vote is enough and will calculate the Party Votes from the Members votes.
I do not vote Party line, I vote for my local representive.
If a second ballot was included to vote for the PARTY then it would seem more democratic.

Democracy is the worst form of goverment, except for all the rest.

Wilf Day said...

anonymous says "if a second ballot was included to vote for the PARTY then it would seem more democratic." He has not read the Citizens' recommendation: it's two-vote MMP, precisely with a vote for the party and a separate vote for the local representative.

jenny lynn said...

If you go to the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance site --- IDEA.INT --- you would find lots of info about types of electoral systems. The site lists 12 basic ones -- 13 if you count countries that don't allow voting at all. It also tracks election information for decades past and election laws etc.

Follow the link at the bottom of the page to find Electoral System Design.

Interestingly, of the 200 countries listed 69 or 32% use some form of list porportional representation. 9 countries or 4% use only a MMP system.

Some alternative of the majority system such a two-rounds system, similar to leadership convention, is used by 44 countries or 21%.

Another 21 countries or 10% use a parallel system that mixes the majority and porportional systems together.

The FPTP system is used by 47 or 22% of the countries.

So of 200 countries about 67% use something other than a first past the post system.

Within any majority and porportional system there are variations on the theme. One that interests me is the possibility to rank the list candidates according to the voter's individual preference.

The listed candidates would then be chosen not only by party affiliations but by voter choice.

The list candidate with the most number one rankings on a given party's list would have to be placed in one of the "appointed" seats first to "top up" the popular vote percentages. The 2nd most chosen high ranking candidate filling up the next chair for that party and so on.

This way would mean that a voter still gets two votes. One to elect a local candidate and a second one after chosing a Party and then voting for a preferred candidate from that Party's list.

There are variations on the idea but the point is that all candidates would be "elected" in some way.

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