Re: “Proportional representation is no panacea,” comment, Sept. 30.
People keep writing letters and op-eds asserting that democracy is not served if the election system, be it proportional representation or first past the post, produces results the writers don’t like.
In this one, the writer says that the PR systems in Sweden and Germany have “failed to prevent” the election of far-right members, so we shouldn’t adopt a similar system in B.C. in case that might happen here. Or we should rig the system so that fringe parties, such as neo-Nazis (and the Greens?) don’t achieve representation, notwithstanding the fact that some people voted for them.
The first-past-the-post elections of U.S. President Donald Trump and Ontario Premier Doug Ford are referred to as “anti-democratic results.” Although those elected appear to have little regard for traditional democracy, I don’t think any rigging of either PR or FPTP can be devised to solve that.
The arguments on both sides seem to go something like: “Let’s have a system that will produce a result I like” rather than: “Regardless of whether or not I like it, let’s have a system where the result reflects the will of the voters.”
It’s a warped form of democracy to fashion a system that ensures that we don’t elect representatives whose politics aren’t acceptable to a majority of the electorate.
Education, not disenfranchisement, is how we have to deal with fringe views.
John G. Smith