Progressive politics, ideas & culture


Sport of kings

This Magazine Staff

To my great surprise, the Globe and Mail has been running an excellent series this week on electoral reform, using almost the full editoral space to offer balanced, cogent, and occasional wise advice on Canada’s electoral system, its virtues, and its deficiencies. In particular, they gave a solid and well-deserved body-slam yesterday to the ludicrous STV system that the BC citizens forum was bamboozled into endorsing by the egghead academics who were engaged to advise them.
Today, they made part of the case for a mixed-member system, with more to come. We’ll talk about that at the end of the week. But for now, it is worth pointing out that this fantasically stupid parliament by which we are currently served has put the lie to a number of reformist canards.
One of which is the notion that a minority government acts as a check on the excessive powers of majority government, and thus enhances responsible government. No sane person observing the operations of this parliament can reasonably hold that MPs have been given more power (whatever that is supposed to mean) or that the government is more responsible.
Related is the idea that proportional rep will give us more minorities, which will force MPs to work together, which will enhance the civility of our political life. The Globe trotted this one out in their editorial today. Apparently, the writer has been asleep for the life of this entire Parliament. Just yesterday, the Cons brought out their “Liberanos” poster, to which the Libs Joe Volpe responded by calling the Cons Klansmen.
Bring on MMP. Bring on responsible government. Bring on civility. You’re going to love it.

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