Aaron Holmes

Tuesday, May 12 2015

An NDP majority in Alberta.

For those longtime PC supporters, this is what it felt like to everybody else for the last twelve elections: Unfair.

In this archaic first past the post system, small differences in the popular vote can mean large differences in seats.

This time around the NDP won 65% of the seats with 40% of the vote. Wildrose won 25% of the seats with 25% of the vote, but the PC party only won 12% of the seats with 28% of the vote. More votes, half the seats.

Put another way between 2012 and 2015 the PCs 16% slide in popular vote cost them 61% of the representation (from 73% to 12% of the seats).

Winning and losing are magnified under this sort of approach. They shouldn’t be. If the goal of an election is to represent the people, this system let us down again.

We have the same problem at the federal level. The Conservative party has total control with only 40% support in the last election, and they can force through legislation without discussion or oversight.

Consider the Omnibus Budget bill, and the C-51 “Anti-Terrorism Act” which passed third reading despite serious concerns about oversight and overreach.

For our provinces and our country to be governed according to the complex wishes of the entire electorate, getting the balance right is essential.

Phantom majorities don’t do that. No matter who you vote for, lets fix the system, get the balance right, and represent our electorate correctly.