Welcome to FPTP-Central.

It was never of our choosing. First-Past-The-Post (FPTP) voting was just something we were used to. We never thought we would be an advocate for it. It was more of a coincidence that travelling in Europe over the years, we were interested in how people voted and why they used different systems of voting. And who would have expected that fist-fights in the Japanese Diet would prove fascinating. What we have found is that it is very difficult to find a good discussion of the relative merits of various voting systems.

But Prime Minister-Elect Justin Trudeau has ordained that he no longer wants to use FPTP to choose Canada’s Members of Parliament. Since he would obviously object to using Ouija Board selection, he is expected to want something like proportional or preferential voting. And there are many different versions of those voting systems to choose from around the world. There are also some voting systems from ancient societies that could be quite helpful to modern thinking.

No doubt some aspiring PhD candidates have written lengthy theses on the subject but none seem to survive exposure to direct sunlight. When asked to head up the “No” organization for central Ontario in the 2007 referendum on voting systems in Ontario, we found our only strong supporter was a rather hide-bound conservative. We can hardly complain though when we handily won the referendum by two to one.

What really annoys us are the silly lies spread by the advocates of preferential or proportional voting. It would seem from their web sites that a revised voting system can also solve the problem of halitosis. The only thing that proportional voting can usually solve is to preclude the possibility of a majority government. While we are not adverse to horse trading among the political parties, a true democracy requires that this trading be done in public.

But what these other systems mostly do is take the choice of who will be members of the national legislature away from the public and put them entirely in the hands of the political parties. While Stephen Harper tried very hard to be a party of one, he also showed us what was wrong with it. Sending drones to parliament to support one person’s ideology is not only a waste of money but it is demagoguery.

We do not particularly mind helping protect our democracy but we sure do hope we can get some help. It is your democracy that is being threatened.

-30-

Copyright 2015 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to peter@lowry.me

Tags: ,

Comments are closed.