Wednesday, May 04, 2011

The New Math is Awful

Here's a quick math question: When did 24.3 become equal to 54.2 ?

The answer, sadly, is on Monday May 2nd.

The results of Canada's latest federal election are in and the sweater vest crowd would have you believe that they have received a resounding mandate from the populace to make all the political decisions for the next 4-5 years. That is, of course, because the Conservatives won 167 of 308 seats in Parliament (54.2%) and a s a result the NDP/Liberals/BQ/Elizabeth Mays' can grouse all they want but the bottom line is the Steven Harper Government (remember when it used to be called "the Government of Canada" ?) have a majority in both houses and can ram rod through whatever legislation they want.

Of course this is because the majority of the Canadian people voted for the Conservatives, right ?

Well no actually it only took 39.6% of the vote to capture the 54.2% majority, but still 39.6% of all Canadians support the Conservatives, right ?

Well no actually since only 61.4% of Canadians even bothered to exercise their right to vote it means that only 24.3% of all eligible voters in the country support the Majority Government.

The bottom line is the system is badly broken, the outdated "First past the Post" system we have was never intended for a world with more than two parties and was certainly never intended for a world where only 61.4% of people can get up off their ass and bother to vote.

Electoral reform is needed, either an MMP system as New Zealand uses or an Alternative Vote system like Instant Run Off need to be explored because it is absolute insanity that 24.3% of the public can create a government that has carte blanche for 5 years.

Of course mandatory voting might be an idea as well but heaven forbid we tread on our citizens' inalienable right to be too lazy to help determine the political course of their country.

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