Saturday, January 28, 2017

A proposal for mild electoral reform in Canada

The mydemocracy survey indicates Canadians want more proportional representation, but do not want (full) proportional representation. How can we best achieve this?

I'd say we do so by adding a mild reform; one that would be retro-active to the last election.

To achieve this we simply ensure that in each province, the most under-represented party (as calculated by Jefferson's Method, invented by Thomas Jefferson) shall be assigned additional seats.

Each province shall be given a minimum of 1 seat. Beyond that, each province shall be given a number of additional MPs according to population, so that the province has no more than 1 proportional MP per 2 million persons.

This means 1 seat for most provinces, 2 for Alberta and British Columbia, 4 for Quebec, and 6 for Ontario.

As you may know, Jefferson's Method provides the identical results as the D'Hondt method does; but "Thomas Jefferson" is a lot less 'scary' to political parties than "D'Hondt" is, especially to those parties that think voters are frightened by mathematical formulas.

The Conservatives are the most under-represented political party in PE, NB, NS, and MB, and so would receive an additional MP in each of those provinces in the first round. The Greens are the most under-represented in BC, Ontario, and Quebec, and so would gain an MP from each; while the NDP is the most under-represented in Alberta and Newfoundland, and so would elect an MP from each of those provinces. Lastly, The Liberals would gain an MP from Saskatchewan.

The second round would see 4 different parties gain seats; the Bloc in Quebec, the NDP in Ontario, the Liberals in Alberta, and the Greens in BC.

The next two rounds would see the NDP gain two Ontario seats, while the Greens and Bloc gain 1 seat each from Quebec. This will bring the Bloc Quebecois up to 12 seats and thus, party status.

The final two rounds would see the NDP and Greens gain a seat each from Ontario.

The sum total of these results would see the Greens and New Democrats gaining 6 seats each, the Conservatives gaining 4, and the Liberals and Bloc Quebecois each gaining 2.

This kind of minimalistic PR will help ease Canadians into the idea that proportional representation is not a scary thing.

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