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Minority Government

Who’s afraid of proportional representation? — iPolitics

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Who’s afraid of proportional representation? — iPolitics

by Devon Rowcliffe

Canada’s current voting system rewards divisive and regional political parties, while punishing smaller parties that have a truly national outlook. Our current first-past-the-post electoral system enabled parties such as Reform and Bloc Quebecois to become the Official Opposition. A political party that ran in only one province, with the mandate of leaving Canada, became the second-largest presence in our Parliament! I can’t think of a greater danger to our country, and it’s the current voting system that enabled it.

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Proportional Representation Leads to More Diverse, Cooperative Politics — The Tyee

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Proportional Representation Leads to More Diverse, Cooperative Politics — The Tyee

by Devon Rowcliffe

Coalition and minority governments can be extremely productive. Lester Pearson’s minority Liberal government was one of the most fruitful governments that Canada has ever had. Pushed to cooperate with the NDP, we saw the creation of public healthcare, the Canada Pension Plan, student loans, a new national flag, the 40-hour work week, two weeks of vacation time, and a new minimum wage. So when detractors of proportional representation warn of parliamentary gridlock, be skeptical. The exact opposite can happen when parties work together.

Legislation that is informed by several parties that cooperate and negotiate is more pragmatic and less ideological. After all, isn’t that why all parliamentary bills are sent to multi-party committees for debate? But when one party has all the power, which often happens under our current voting system, that party can ignore all other voices, resulting in parliament becoming useless pantomime theatre.

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