May 032011

So they got only 40% of the vote, but Stephen Harper’s conservatives won that much coveted majority in Parliament. I might see it as a strong argument in favor of an improved voting system with runoff elections, if I didn’t know any better; if I didn’t know that representative democracy is always unfair, regardless of the voting system used.

(Case in question: if we had runoff elections in Canada, how many Liberal voters, in ridings where their candidates came in third, would have voted Conservative instead of choosing, say, a former Communist? OK, well, in that particular riding the Communist actually won but chances are that many Liberal votes would have gone to the Conservatives in a Conservative-NDP runoff.)

Then again, a system of runoff elections might make it easier for smaller parties to exist. Right now, there are calls for the Liberals to fold into the NDP. Is that really a good thing? Yet the same thing happened on the right not too many years ago, ending up with a more ideological, more right-wing, but ultimately stronger Conservative party.

Grumble, this gives me a headache. I’ll stick to physics instead. As to Harper, I’m glad he likes cats.


 Posted by at 10:59 am