'First Past the Post' not worth defending

'First Past the Post' not worth defending
Posted on January 1, 2016 | Mark Johnson | Written on January 1, 2016
Letter type:


Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Author's Note:

Author's Note:

This letter is in response to the following column in the Star Phoenix: http://thestarphoenix.com/opinion/columnists/liberals-electoral-plan-rev...

To the editor,

Re: Liberals' election plan shows early-onset arrogance, December 29, pg A3 Saskatoon StarPhoenix

I must take issue with Les MacPherson’s admittedly dramatic column and his spirited defence of the status quo. He argues that the current “first past the post” electoral system has “served the country well.” Is that so?

In 1993, the Bloc Québécois became the Official Opposition in Ottawa despite receiving fewer votes than the Progressive Conservatives. The Bloc took 54 seats, while the PCs won two. To confirm, the PCs won more votes. Is this serving the country well?

In the 1998 Québec election, the Parti Québécois won a huge majority government while receiving fewer votes than the Liberals. Is this serving the country well?

In the 1987 New Brunswick election, the Liberals took 60% of the vote and every single seat in the legislature. That’s right, no Opposition to speak of. Is this serving the country well?

I agree with Mr. MacPherson that the current system may be simple from a voting perspective, but it is far from the most democratic option before us. I look forward to the electoral reform discussion to come.

Mark Johnson

About The Author

poli_sci_guy's picture

Mark has lived in Ottawa since 2005 and hangs his hat in Barrhaven. He grew up near Waterloo, Ontario and holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Waterloo as well as master’s degrees in communication... More