Proportional Representation Through Weighted
I recently read a very eloquent expression of a commonly held
profound misconception. It was contained in Maxwell Anderson's
submission (1635). Mr. Anderson is in very good company. His
opinion is apparently shared by Vaughn Palmer and Tom Berger, as
reported by Palmer in The Sun, Sat. Aug. 14/04 (CA News and Events
Section). On p.33 of Anderson's submission:
"The conflict between the needs for proportionality and local
representation presents a challenge which cannot be perfectly
resolved. It is not physically possible to maximize both these
criteria simultaneously. No system, no matter how brilliant or
carefully designed, could provide the smallest local constituency
and at the same time give the highest level of proportionality."
Fortunately (or perhaps unfortunately) Anderson, Palmer, and Berger
are categorically wrong. [Cowabunga!] A Weighted Parliamentary Vote
System gives near-perfect proportional representation without
affecting size or number of constituencies whatsoever. How's that
for "brilliant", Max? Ever heard of that, Vaughn? Tom? The Jenkins
Report made a brief, general mention of such a system, but gave no
details. As sure as there is an internet, I know there is a
selection of Weighted Parliamentary Vote Systems "out there".
Such a system can be thought of as paralleling the practices of
corporate governance. The Legislature in session equates to a
shareholders' meeting of a corporation. The MLA's equate to the
shareholders. And the votes won at the polls equate to the shares.
Unlike business, in the political arena the shares are not owned,
but held in trust. The Party with the most shares has the most
voting power on the floor of the Legislature. Each MLA in that
Party has an equal number of shares to vote. "Perfect PR". See
submission 0767 for my take on "what's wrong" now, and why we need
Please do not narrow your range of choice too soon. Beware of the
box of conventional wisdom. Consider the Weighted Parliamentary
Vote system in Kennedy
, "The Seven Cent Solution".
Keep in mind that larger ridings will be very expensive to campaign
in because they require mass media advertising. Those who provide
that money will have significant control over who runs and how they
will vote if elected. Only the very rich will be able to avoid
being in bondage to their Party and their financial backers. In the
long run, we probably need smaller ridings, especially in the
If any of my ramblings make sense to you, you can check out
while you are at it. I can be reached at
I have all kinds of faith in the collective wisdom of the CA. When
Solon was asked if he gave the Athenians the best laws, he said,
no, only the best they would accept. [Power & Greed by Philippe
Gigantes, p19; a fun read] I am sure the CA will arrive at the
"right" answer, and maybe even the "wisest" answer.
Thank you so much for your efforts. And your patience with me.