Proportional Representation and the Rise of Extremism. By Suzanne Anton
Proportional representation enables single-issue and extremist parties to get their foot in the door. After all, under PR in BC, if you can get 5% of the vote, you’ll get your 4 or 5 people into the legislature. Contrast that with our current system, where no riding in BC is willing to elect a single-issue or extremist candidate.
We have to look at Europe to see how PR and extremism play out – and it’s not good. Here’s a recent comment from the UK re PR:
“And while the reformers practice their well-rehearsed indignation and self-righteous anger about the iniquities of a system that doesn’t let the Greens get a look-in outside Brighton, they fail even to recognise, let alone applaud, the fact that, unlike many European parliaments, ours contains not a single elected fascist.” The Telegraph, 11 Sept 2018
And for a historical take on extremism in Europe, have a look at this article in the Star: Between the wars, 15 European democracies fell to dictatorship, Hungary, Italy, Bulgaria, Spain, Albania, Poland, Portugal, Yugoslavia, Lithuania, Romania, Germany, Austria, Estonia, Latvia and Greece. “They each rose to power in a country that used PR to elect its legislature. No democracy that used first past the post fell to dictatorship during the period... Extremists have less incentive to work within moderate, main-stream political parties, as they can influence politics directly by establishing new parties, with the real possibility of pressuring larger parties into accepting their more extreme policies”
At No BC Proportional Representation Society, we believe that extremist parties have no place in our legislature. Keep our system stable, simple and successful.
Why the 3 PR choices on the referendum ballot are so risky
Wednesday, September 12, 2018
What do the three Proportional Representation systems look like?
I get asked this most days. The answer is, it’s impossible to know.