The Day Proportional Representation Died Again

Or failed to come alive. Again.

The elections Ontario “live results” site went dead half an hour after the polls closed and it first went live, but when I last checked, from the first few hundred votes cast, the results stood at:

current election system: 68%
proportional representation: 32%

That’s based on the first tiny fraction of polls, but it could easily be representative. Getting people to buy into a whole new election system is a big task, and from what I could tell from this side of the border, nobody was really taking that task on. But hey, I thought, looking at the results, maybe there’s a silver lining: the particular form of PR they chose was a bit weird, and while it had some advantages, it had some real disadvantages too. The first province that brings in PR is going to be the make-or-break showroom floor model for the whole country. If people don’t love it, there would be a good chance no province would have another crack at it for decades, let alone federally. Maybe we don’t want some particularly iffy variant to carry the perpetual hopes of the Canadian electoral system.

Then I noticed that elections ontario results had an extra column, presumably intended for the actual election results but included by default in the PR referendum results: number of ridings reporting 50% + 1 results.

current election system: 28
proportional representation: 1

(Or something, the site is still down.) 32% support, 3% influence under the first-past-the-post system. Kind of says it all, doesn’t it? Screw it, we need PR and we need it now.

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