Sunday, September 09, 2012

Quebec election and electoral reform

To follow up on my earlier post about the Quebec election, here's a link to an article in the Montreal Gazette, where I speak a bit about past elections in Quebec and how the first-past-the-post system leads to some particularly wide divergences between the popular vote and the seat count in the legislature.

There's quite a bit more that could be added to that article.  For instance, in my conversation with the reporter, I mentioned how many federal elections in Quebec had produced wildly distorted results, whether in favour of the NDP in the last election, or for the Bloc in several previous ones. Jean Charest, who lost his seat in this election, would have been all too aware of the 1993 federal election when he was one of a mere 2 Progressive Conservatives elected, despite his party having won over 16% of the popular vote.

Also, while most people have pointed out that the CAQ, which only won 19 seats with their 27% of the vote (as opposed to about 33 which a strict percentage of the seats might have produced), Quebec Solidaire also was hurt by the current system.  6% of the vote should probably produce more than a mere 2 seats in the legislature.  Indeed, under a proportional representation system, for example, they might easily have won 5-7 seats.

All of that being said, I am certainly not holding my breath that we're about to see the CAQ and the Quebec Liberals teaming up to push electoral reform in Quebec.  But it would be nice to see, both in Quebec and elsewhere in Canada, a continued rise in support among Canadians for a change to a new electoral system whereby we will cease to end up with majority governments elected by increasingly small minorities of the electorate, or minority governments where the relative strength of the parties in the legislature does not reflect their share of the popular vote.

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At 2:36 pm, Blogger Chayday said...

Man. When are you not in the paper?

What do you call a talking head when it's in print? Pundit?

Are you a pundit?

I dub thee Pundit.


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