Thursday, December 16, 2004

voting reform

The current Government here in Quebec is proposing to create a system of representation by population. Their system would retain a riding system, but provide for an additional list of candidates that would top up the number of MNAs to reflect the popular vote.

My approach is that we should keep the ridings, and assign the winners of each riding a seat in the house. Then additional members are chosen from the strongest runners up. In other words if Joe Smith wins his riding with 51% and Jane Doe comes in second with 48% of the vote, she would be likely to be chosen to fill out the seats for her party. If you vote for someone it helps the party, regardless of the outcome of the riding race. More over it means that voting helps increase the possibility of multiple representatives for a given riding. That certainly should encourage voter turn out.

On the other hand, ridings with low turnout would limit themselves to one representative, as low turn out means that the runners up would be unlikely to be selected. The exception here is that small parties( The Green party, the Christian Heritage party, for examples) might make efforts to get some votes in poorly served ridings. That would encourage the bigger parties to pay attention to all ridings.

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"If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country."
-E.M. Forster