Tuesday, November 10, 2015

semen in the ear : CP/CBC talk FPTP

Whenever Canada's CBC and CP media outlets use a meaningless phrase like "well established democracies"  you know they are about to frack you in your ear.

On June 17th of this year, a CP story re-posted on the CBC said that FPTP was 'the most common voting system in the world' .

A claim at more variance with the truth is hard to imagine.

In fact, most of the world's democracies has been largely voting by some form of proportional representation (PR) since the 1930s and the trend is steadily to see former FPTP democracies move to PR at some or all levels of elections --- not the other way around.

Who does use FPTP then ?

WASP dominated and formerly WASP dominated countries mostly : best known being the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, together with dozens of tiny island-nations that were formerly British colonies.

All the powerful countries that still use exclusion voting also lead the way in denying climate change - a coincidence not.

Just as former Canadian PM Harper used the phrase "old stock" as a dog whistle term to mean WASPs, his ardent foes at the CBC use the phrase "well established democracies" to also mean WASPs.

Who and how does anyone define 'well established democracies' accurately enough to win approval from anyone other than their mother and their dog ?

After all many PR countries have been using PR in elections for over 100 years - just at what bloody point to they become good enough in the eyes of anglophiles to qualify as well behaved "well established" democrats ?

This lack of Poli Sci 101 basic knowledge about the world's electoral systems does not bode well for informed media coverage of Canada's process of electoral reform.

Perhaps Canadians need to first dump the CBC -- before they dump FPTP...

PS : here is a link to the huge list of nations that use PR, taken from Wikipedia, a site that the CBC & CP never consults. Mores the pity.

And another link to a Wikipedia list of nations using FPTP : a rare few of you will be struck - as the CBC/CP was - by exactly how 'established' and 'democratic' most of these nations are.

I felt exactly the reverse about many of them - democracies only in name not in electoral practises.

Here is a third link that seems to be fairly accurate ( mostly because countries are constantly modifying the devil-in-the-details of their voting systems.)

It shows that a handful of huge electorates and a large number of very tiny electorates still use FPTP , making up about 1/3 of all countries that claim to be democratic.

It is hopeful mark of democracy's progress that today, as opposed to the 1930s, even de facto dictatorships wish to 'claim' to hold fair and democratic elections.

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