A Brief History of Democracy

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Quebec's Major Political Parties Collude to Maintain the Worst Electoral System in North America

Quebec's two major political parties refuse to uphold one of the most fundamental principles of democracy: one person, one vote.

Stuck with an outdated electoral system and having refused to change the voting system both parties voted to suspend the powers of the Director General of Elections who had the audacity of proposing an electoral map that respected that constitutional requirements of the relative parity of the vote.

Presently, 27 of the 125 ridings do not conform to the Quebec Electoral Law's stipulation that the number of electors per riding can be no more or no less than a 25% deviation from the average number of electors per riding province wide. The proposed map would have rectified this anomaly.

This week the PQ recommended that there be two different provincial quotients, one for rural ridings and one for urban ridings, which means that the inequality of the vote would become institutionalized. Furthermore, this move would be in the national interest. Remember this is the party that claims to be socially democratic. I guess some social democrats are more equal than others depending where you live.

Not to be outdone, the Quebec Liberals then proposed that they would add three additional electoral districts to the map. Too bad it would take at least 26 additional seats to lower the provincial average for the number of electors per riding so that all of the ridings would conform to Quebec's own electoral law.

I hope the judges who are now rendering their decision in our motion to have Quebec's voting system declared unconstitutional take notice that at the moment Quebec does not have the institutional capacity to bring its electoral system within the democratic norms of a developed country.

Declaring First-Past-The-Post to be unconstitutional would help break the impasse.

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