PR allows radical fringe parties to gain power

In Europe and other PR places this is a constant problem.

PR allows radical fringe parties to gain power

I appreciated your recent article by Gordon Gibson warning of the dangers of proportional representation. Thanks for running it. There are additional reasons, however, why he is right and why we should not vote for proportional representation. Here are a few:

Pro Rep allows for radical, fringe and one issue parties to be represented. They can hold power as “kingmakers” and or “coalition kingmakers” and can dictate to near majorities what they can and cannot do. Coalitions then become the norm, preventing clear majorities from taking power and expressing will of the people. Do we really want the balance of power to belong to a bizarre party with seven per cent of the vote?

In Europe and other PR places this is a constant problem. Endless ineffective coalitions rise and fall in continuous elections thereby hampering government and slowing down effective legislation. Only 17 per cent of elections in PR countries result in clear majority governments.

In the first past the post system, parties must move to the centre to gain power, thereby moderating their positions. In PR this is not necessary. The Revolutionary Marxist Action party doesn’t have to appeal to anyone, especially middle class centrist Canadians. They can preach revolutionary violence if they want to, and connect with other radical parties to form coalition groups.

In PR the single large party must constantly negotiate with smaller parties and capitulate on key policy issues. Therefore smaller parties exert undue power over the political process.

One result of this is that government spending is higher as everybody must be accommodated. FPTP and majority plurality countries have six per cent lower government spending ratios.

The oft repeated statement that PR provides everyone with an equal vote also isn’t true. You get a vote, but PR unfairly gives smaller fringe parties more power disproportionate to the will of the majority, thereby resulting in less accurate representation. And these are only a few of the problems arising from PR.

We need to think about this folks. Do we really need a system where government can only take place under complicated, elaborate groups of bickering coalitions? If the last election taught us anything it’s that the majority popular vote of the people was not represented and an unwieldy coalition was formed which, in the end, only benefitted the NDP. Where is the colossal voice of the Greens now?

This is an important issue for British Columbians. Let’s make sure we understand the issues and vote correctly. That isn’t for a system that will stall our political effectiveness, is dishonest and could lead to disastrous political manipulation in the future.

Perry Foster


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