07 May 2015

The Alberta NDP and proportional representation

I never thought I'd live long enough to see the day, but here it is. The NDP have been elected to the government of Alberta. I am ecstatic. Nonetheless, while my emotions soar, my logical self reminds me that they won a majority only because of our corrupt first past the post electoral system. It’s comforting to know the system rewards the good guys as well as the bad guys, but it’s still an undemocratic system, and the people of Alberta are not fairly represented in their legislature.

A fair result, based on share of the popular vote, would be a minority NDP government with 36 seats rather than the 53 they won. The Conservatives would form the official opposition rather than the Wild Rose with 24 seats, as opposed to the 10 they have, and the Wild Rose, the only party that got the number of seats they deserved, would be in third place with 21. The Liberal Party would have 4 and the Alberta Party 2 rather than the one each they received. Of course all this assumes Albertans would have voted the same under a proportional representation system as they did under first past the post—a big assumption. In any case, the election did not respect the will of the people, and that ain't right.

We cannot expect the NDP to bring in proportional representation—for obvious reasons—but we should at least expect them to legislate big money out of election funding, following the lead of their colleagues in Manitoba.

But, hey, enough already, today it is what it is. I will continue to do my bit for PR while at the same time savouring life under an NDP government here in—I can still hardly believe it—Alberta.

3 comments:

  1. Damned Pinko! They'll have you signing The Internationale before Labour Day.

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  2. Hey Mound of Sound: dude... clue in, he's saying that the conservatives and wild rose should have their fair proportional representation in Alberta's parliament - they would be capable of voting together against the NDP and winning those votes. That's hardly "pinko". PR is not a lefty righty issue, it is a pro-democracy (PR) vs. anti-democracy (first past the post).

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  3. Mound was being tongue-in-cheek, Leif.

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