Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Whither electoral reform?
The latest Harris-Decima poll is probably bad news for those of us who want electoral reform in this country. In this poll, 64% of respondents said they prefer a majority to a minority government. Unfortunately, this will make the job of selling electoral reform harder, since under proportional representation majority governments are almost unheard of. There are still ways to do it (for instance, pointing out that if no party has any realistic hope of a majority, the parties will have to change their strategies and perhaps be less acrimonius) but I have my doubts about PR coming in in the next couple of decades. Declan at Crawl Across the Ocean seems a bit more optimistic, but I'm not sure I like all of his solutions either. For instance, he advocates instant-runoff voting as a step in the direction of PR. Others, though, fear that IRV would make the situation worse; it would tend to favour the party that is the second choice of a lot of voters... thus likely cementing the Liberals' role as "Canada's natural governing party" for a long time to come.