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Saturday, August 20, 2016

Some of Canada's political left have finally grasped the idea that Proportional Representation can backfire on them

From the left-wing publication The Tyee.  The author, Bill Tieleman is a former NDP strategist whose clients include unions and businesses in the resource and public sector. In his recent column, he points out some of the flaws in Proportional Representation that endanger democracy, which I'd written about over 3 years ago.

How would you like an anti-immigrant, racist, anti-abortion or fundamentalist religious political party holding the balance of power in Canada?

And that party would then get to decide who governs and what policies they adopt despite getting less than five [percent] of the total vote?

Welcome to the proportional representation electoral system, where extreme, minority and just plain bizarre views get to rule the roost.

Amazingly, Canada’s Liberal party is seriously considering implementing it here, with unfortunate support from the New Democrats and Green party.

What’s more, we can take a glimpse into that grim possible future thanks to the Green party imploding over its controversial and ill-advised decision to endorse boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel at its convention this month.

Green leader Elizabeth May – who unsuccessfully opposed the motion – could end up the first boycott victim if she divests herself of the leadership.

Or how about a worse situation where a far-right party sets a ban on Muslim immigrants as the price to put a larger party in power?

After seeing anti-immigrant parties gain huge support in Europe, it’s clear that a similar party in Canada might get five to 10 per cent of the national vote...

Proportional Representation is less democratic than first-past-the post. It gives political parties more power to appoint representatives than it gives the electorate the ability to chose them. It's the system that brought Hitler to power in Germany.

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