Democratic reform: Time for proportional representation?

The article referenced in the above tweet  is very interesting. Does Democratic reform require that we move away from the “first past the post” principle?

“I’m really happy Justin Trudeau’s leading the Liberals,” said my friend. “God, I can’t stand Harper! I can’t wait for Justin to get rid of him!”

“Justin Trudeau isn’t going to get rid of Harper,” I said. “He’s going to keep Harper in power. He’s Harper’s dream Liberal leader. Harper is probably rubbing his hands with glee.”

My friend looked horrified. I had simply done the math, but apparently people can’t add.

Harper has a false majority – a majority of seats, but not a majority of votes. His popularity – and his share of the popular vote – hovers around 35-40%, which means that roughly two-thirds of the electors voted against him. Thanks to the perversity of our political system, however, a false majority confers just as much power as a real one. Ours is a democratic system in which the minority rules.

In the last election, Harper had just under 40% of the vote; the Liberals and the NDP between them had about 50%, and the Greens and the Bloc Quebecois divided the remaining 10% between them. There is a substantial policy overlap among all four opposition parties, and the supporters of all four are almost equally appalled at the actions of the Harper government.


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