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Kozo's Thoughts
Random, Weird, and 100% 石黒光司
Tuesday June 29th, 2004 23:30
Ohta Kouzou
Well... It seems I spoke too soon, when I woke up this morning the NDP had 19 seats (as opposed to 22 last night). This means the NDP doesn't necessarily hold the balance of power since their 19 seats combined with the Liberal's 135 seats, equals exactly half the seats in the new Parliament. Obviously not all MPs are present all the time, and the BQ still plays a role in social issues, so I'm not too worried. Which brings me to the meat of this discussion, how would the NDP do in a PARTIAL proportional representation scheme. I'm not totally behind a complete proportional representation which does away with ridings. I think regional candidates who are elected as individuals should still play a role in Canadian government. I think regional independents (like Chuck Cadman) would get lost in a full PR system. I decided to put this election's results through my VERY CRUDE partial representation system to see what happens.

My system would retain the 308 seats in Parliament. 154 seats would be regional and the other half would be filled by PR. Parties must garner at least 4% of the popular vote to get PR seats. So taking last nights results we'll just half the seats taken by each party, and let Chuck Cadman keep his seat. After some creative rounding (the Grits get an extra seat) the 154 seats are distributed this way:

  • Liberal: 68
  • Conservatives: 49
  • BQ: 27
  • NDP: 9
  • Independent: 1
  • Greens: 0

Now lets take the results of the popular vote and distribute them among the 154 seats. If this system was real I would probably readjust the popular vote totals to omit the parties that received less than 4%. However, seeing as the "rest" garnered a combined 1.4% of the vote I'm going to assume the effect is negligible. Results were rounded up.

  • Liberal: 57
  • Conservatives: 46
  • BQ: 19
  • NDP: 10
  • Greens: 7

Which brings the totals to: (% of seats in parenthesis)

  • Liberal: 125 (40.6)
  • Conservatives: 95 (30.8)
  • BQ: 46 (15.0)
  • NDP: 19 (6.2)
  • Greens: 7 (2.3)
  • Independent: 1 (.3)

Not surprisingly the 50/50 split doesn't actually change the make-up of Parliament all that much, only the Greens get seats. I think the ideal way (mathematically) would be to decrease the number of ridings to 66-75% of the current totals, but to expand the total number of seats in Parliament. This way you can have more PR seats without having enormous ridings that alienate voters. Obviously the method of calculation is flawed, for a number of reasons, but it's still interesting.

I also went out and saw Fahrenheit 9/11 today. Although the facts presented are nothing new to well informed lefties, the film highlights emotional aspects that are often absent when you read alternative (non-CNN) news sources. Fahrenheit isn't the light hearted view that Bowling for Columbine presented, and even Michael Moore haters (people who think he's abrasive) should go see this film.
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