This I write while waiting to celebrate the dawn of Democracy in BC. Ok, this is the view of the Proportional Representation, the PR side of the ongoing referendum on the electoral system. I am “for” PR and I expect to find myself in a big crowd drinking draft, bottled and canned suds to celebrate. It is more pleasurable than being with those who would drink to drown their sorrows. But the Referendum may surprise us, so I am ready for either eventuality.
If I find myself in the Minority, I will echo Admiral Barton’s line and I’ll lay me down and bleed a while, then I’ll rise to fight again. But if the morning after I am among those who celebrate, I will take time to join those lamenting the referendum outcome, because they would need some spirit uplifting. I will reason out that the loss is not theirs to lament, it is for the Establishment to suffer, for it is they who make us resent change in a world crying out for change.
The denial of the FPTP, if it happens, would share the cause that makes the Italians predominately “Roman Catholics” and the Greeks “ Greek Orthodox” – neither of them have options, really. Bertrand Russell lamented the harm done to the minds of the young by the education system of the society. In broad terms, this comprises family, school and church; in countries with compulsory military service, the “military” is therein, too. Do not take me wrong, I much appreciate the benefits from the education system and respect the human instinct to help our chicks learn to fly, however we must never loose sight of the road to Hell being paved with good intentions.
In another tenor, I would like to argue against the fear, cleverly spread to scare voters from voting for change. This too, I do to comfort the FPTP voters if they prove to be the minority. I seek to alleviate the fears of people misled into believing the bogus threat of “fringe parties” acquiring the facility to exert undeserved influence over the government. Arguably, the reality is the antithesis of this scarecrow.
Under the FPTP system a “fringe faction”, such as the Machine Gun Owners Association, if such exists, may conceivably decide the government of the realm. It may even do it without electing a single member. Politicians know that such factions are “militant” and deliver the vote. Therefore, when a candidate may be elected with small number of votes as long as they are more than those of their rivals, the Parties cater to that fringe faction. Knowing that even one seat majority may sustain “elected despotism” by a voter-minority magically converted to a seat “majority” by the FPTP, fringe factions flex their muscle. Additionally, a likelihood, that a riding “belongs” to a fringe faction, dissuade “ordinary” citizens from running and from voting, thereby enhancing the dynamics of the system favouring the election of the fringe faction candidate.
Under the proliferation of Parties affected by the PR system, a fringe faction, even if it elects the 5% threshold of members, would not easily “blackmail” the government . The other parties, small and large as they may be, would not associate themselves with the fringe faction party. Let’s look at current occurrences:
Trudeau, the Son, unequivocally promised to scrap the FPTP. This because his Party PRopaganda brigade had determined the electorate was favouring Proportional Representation. After winning the election Trudeau promptly catered to the Establishment and negated on his solemn pre-election dedication to Proportional Reprsentation.
In contrast, in British Columbia the PR was on the platform because of the “fringe” Greens. But after the election, the NDP could not govern without the support of the Greens, hence the NDP willy nilly, “granted” us the Referendum now underway.
In general, we would be better protected against the fringes by PR than we are by the FPTP. If the Fascist Party of BC was in the Legislature along with the Greens, at the expense of the Liberals, the situation would be as it now is. If the “Fascists” were in the Legislature instead of the Greens, Christy Clark would be “governing” us, because the NDP could not bed down with Fascists.
In other words, fringe factions have a lesser facility to influence a government, to twist the arm of the government of the Realm, if you will, under PR than it has under FPTP.
At the next Marketplace we will cap the referendum and play Cheshire, the calico cat in Alice’s Wonderland in an attempt to discern which way to go. See ya then.