How is it that a supposedly developed country, a member of the G-8, endures a medieval electoral system?
The Conservatives's quest for what Canadians erroneously refer to as a majority government was fulfilled, largely due to an outrageous distortion of the popular vote in Ontario. As well, the newly formed NDP opposition had its number of seats bolstered by an even more outrageous distribution of seats in Quebec.
In short, the election was decided in Canada's two most populous provinces. Effectively, the massive vote splitting in Ontario was more than enough to offset the massive vote splitting in Quebec. The principle victims of this democratic charade were the Liberals and the Bloc Quebecois. What goes around comes around.
Taking a closer look at the results, one can easily see how the voting system and not the electors determined the formation of the government and the opposition.
In Ontario, the Conservatives received 44.4% of the popular vote, yet received 68.9% of the available seat, a classic example of coming up the middle when two other parties split the outstanding 50% of the vote. With regard to the allocation of extra seats as a result of the plurality method, the Conservatives received an extra 27 seats. To put this in perspective, the total number of extra seats allocated to the Conservatives nation wide in the 2008 election was only 30.
In Quebec, the distortion of the popular vote is even more spectacular. The NDP won 42.9 % of the vote, yet garnered 77.3% of the seats. In this instance, the allocation of extra seats totals 26. In other words, instead of receiving 32 seats in Quebec, which would be the number in proportion to the number of votes, the NDP was awarded 58 seats. The transfer can be attributed to the huge under representation of the Bloc Quebecois: the Bloc captured 23.4% of the vote but received only 5.2% of the seats.
Instead of having an election where the electoral results reflected the manner in which people actually voted, Canadians witnessed once again the application of a voting method that generates wild deviations from democratic norms.
I think the question that needs to be asked is how much longer are Canadians going to sit back and let their political class make mockery of the very notion of democracy. In my case, I have taken the issue to Court and am waiting on a decision from the Quebec Appeal Court with regard to the constitutionality of the first-past-the-post system.
While in deliberation, I hope the three judges take note of the antidemocratic nature of the latest federal election.