And what if you were out in
the field on a nice warm day in your flip flops and you suddenly stepped
into something warm and squishy and you detected an odd and unpleasant
smell? Welcome to the Canadian election system!
PAST THE POST ELECTION SYSTEM?
most Canadians our election system is full of B.S.)
In Canada our election system is
called "the first past the post" and the winner in each of the
338 ridings in Canada represents that riding in Parliament and the party
with the most MPs' forms the government.
When a Canadian first hears that
term they think of a horse race where the first horse across the line
wins the race and that seems entirely fair. After all it is a race
right? Wrong. It is not a race it is a 338 races and that suddenly
changes things. And it even gets worse and more complicated. If
there were just two parties in a race then this system would be
reasonably fair. Even with 338 races the party with the majority of MPs
forms the government right? But think again.
Lets say that there were only two
parties and one party won every single race by one vote. So what
happens? In the First Past the Post system that party wins ALL of the
seats in Parliament. Is that fair? If you think that it is a fair
consider for a moment that 49% of Canadian voters who voted for the
other party will have nobody in parliament. Think about it. That means
that Parliament is NOT representing all Canadians only the 51% of them
that won all the seats.
Now lets step back and remember
that there are more than two parties in Canada. We have at least four.
And this is where you suddenly become knee deep in Bullshit. In the case
of a three party vote all the winning party needs to do is win more
votes than either of the other two parties. If you are a Canadian
politician you will realize that all you need to do to win is make sure
that the other two parties are just about equal in support and you are
one or two percentage points ahead. So what you do is strongly attack
the opposition party with the most support but leave the other party
alone and guess what happens? The support for the two opposition parties
starts to balance and you win! If you do this instead of 51% of the
popular vote all you need to win is about 33% or so and in other words
more people will vote against you than for you. If you stand back a bit
further and look at the percentage of the eligible vote you got all you
need to do is get about 24% of that vote and that is what Mr. Harper did
in the 2011 election. So 76% of eligible voters either didn't vote or
didn't vote for him and he still won the election thanks to First Past
Mr. Trudeau promised he would fix
the First Past the Post system and go to a representative system. But he
quickly determined that his chances of winning the next election would
be better with the first past the post system so he changed his
Our media never explained the
problems with the existing electoral system and the average Canadian
didn't understand the problems they were facing. I would love to
give you more information on this topic but I have a space problem. I
will provide some links to books on the topic. My suggestion to you is
to simply sit down in an area without distractions and think it out. Get
a calculator and some pens and paper and do the math.
And I do understand there is a
level of complexity here. I am pretty good with math and numbers but not
everyone is. That is not their fault. Think for a moment that in a
previous election the Green Party got about 3.91%% of the popular vote
but they only got one seat in parliament. If Parliament truly
represented Canadians they should have had 13 seats but they only got 1
seat. And that is how the first past the post system works. Pure
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