Monday, February 27, 2012

Proportional representation defined

The Oxford Dictionary online offers the following definition of proportional representation:

"an electoral system in which parties gain seats in proportion to the number of votes cast for them"

This is, of course, wrong.

Proportional representation is not "an electoral system" at all. It is the desired outcome of an election, and a principle underlying several families of voting systems designed to achieve this outcome.

The definition could be greatly improved by adding one letter: "any electoral system in which parties gain seats in proportion to the number of votes cast for them".

But this is still inadequate. Although the accurate translation of votes into representation is the immediate goal, the ultimate aim of fair voting reform is nothing less than the transformation of our political culture.

There are basically two types of voting systems—proportional systems and winner-take-all systems.

Winner-take-all, or "majoritarian" systems are designed to divide us into winners and losers.

A few winners, and lots and lots of losers.

Proportional voting systems are win-win systems. The goal is to provide representation for all, so that all voices are heard, and all the stakeholders are at the table when the decisions are being made.

Proportional voting respects and promotes diversity.

Proportional voting systems require the sharing of power. They are designed to create a more consensual type of government and a more civilized style of politics.

Above all, they are designed to give voters the power to hold politicians and political parties accountable.

And an end to phony majorities will make Government accountable to Parliament, as it should be.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Neon News 120211 Will you be my Valentine?

Hey Fanz!

With The Holy Gasp and Jumple.


Doors open 8 pm.

Also coming up in February:

La Palette
492 Queen Street West,
Saturday, February 18, 2012
On the bar at midnight!

And the next night . . .

Gordon's Acoustic Living Room
The Free Times Café
320 College Street (west of Spadina)
Sunday, February 19
8 - 11 pm
no cover, no minimum

and yet more Rambunctious!

Mardi Gras
El Mocambo
454 Spadina Avenue (at College)
Saturday, February 25, 2012