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POLI 222 (24)

Issue 9: MMP or SMP?

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Political Science
POLI 222
Christa Scholtz

Issue 9: MMP or SMP? QUESTION: It a Mixed-Member Proportional Electoral System in Canada's Interest? YES (John L. Hiemstra and Harold J. Jansen) • plurality fails to reflect Canadians' political opinions in the House • plurality weakens MP accountability • plurality deepens division in Canada • plurality undermines representative democracy • a modest reform ◦ simple act of parl. ◦ no constitutional amendment needed ◦ MMP: half MPs for district + half MPs chosen from party lists ◦ vote twice: one for candidate, one for preferred party list • making every vote count ◦ Liberals had less than 40% of vote, yet got majority gov't ◦ inequity, that one vote counts for less than others ◦ over rewarding of the winning party • MMP and government effectiveness ◦ countries using PR maintain public order and manage the economy as well as plurality systems ◦ plurality system produced 7 minority gov't ◦ no evidence that minority is less effective than majority ◦ minorities fall faster because plurality gives incentive to collapse gov't in pursuit of majority ◦ plurality has encouraged destabilizing regional parties • MMP can increase national unity ◦ undermines unity by rewarding small, regionally concentrated parties like Bloq ◦ NDP gets less seats than it deserves ◦ incentive to cater to 1 region, so divisions in Canada are perpetuated/worsened • plurality system produces false majority governments ◦ since WWII, only 2 of fed. gov't have been formed by a party that won a majority of popular vote ◦ tyranny of the minority ◦ allows small shift in vote to determine who will form next g
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