Wednesday, June 10, 2009

No offence to the Green Party, but...

…maybe this ‘government crisis’ will stop people from casting “protest votes”.

One big problem with minority governments and proportional representation is that it gives undue power to people hardly anyone wants to have any power. If the “Every Man Grows a Moustache Party” always wins 5% of the vote/seats (never any more, never any less), and we regularly see major parties just inches away from a governing majority, you can bet that there will soon be a whole bunch of Magnum P.I.’s on the streets of Canada. The Moustache Party, caring nothing about anything but forcing all men to have moustaches, will prop up any other minority government as long as the Moustache legislation is never repealed. 95% of Canadians may think it’s bunk, but that doesn’t matter.

In the last few elections, people spoke of their fondness for minority governments, often saying it kept a good check on the ruling party. Now that a minority situation keeps a good check on the will of the people, the populace might be less enamoured with them. I wonder if this could really hurt the Green Party, and possibly the NDP. It’s pretty obvious that we are a long way from having any party other than the Tories or the Grits “winning” an election, no matter the gains of the GP or NDP. As odd as it may seem, lots of people will swing from Conservative to NDP (atleast in the past), just to keep from voting for the Liberals. I have heard a number of NDP supporters say they would never actually want the NDP to govern. People could be horrified that by supporting a “third party”, they might actually wind up sending that party into power. It might focus people a little better – getting them to vote for the best (or least bad) viable option, rather than voting against the viable options. Naturally, true supporters of the “third parties” would likely stick with them, as they are generally voting on principle rather than revulsion.

At the same time, this probably really helps the Bloc. The federal gov’t will never support separation, but if you are a federalist in Quebec who wants the province to stay on the federal dole, the Bloc certainly looks more and more like the best party to achieve that end.

Of course, like most things in life, I have given this very little thought.

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