Wednesday, September 19, 2007

MMP : Under FPTP, There Could Be No Opposition

If you thought 40% of the population voting for 70% of a legislature was bad, how about 40% of the population voting for 0% of the legislature? Take a look at the results of the 1987 New Brunswick general election.

Liberal - 60.39%
Progressive Conservative - 28.59%
NDP - 10.55%
Independents - 0.47%

In this election, the Liberal Party of New Brunswick won all 58 seats in the provincial legislature. A full 40% of the population was not even represented by one single member of an opposition party.

So, under the first past the post system, not only is it possible for a minority to elect a majority and for the second most popular party to form a majority government (see False Majorities) - it's even possible for an opposition to be completely shut out despite taking 40% of the vote.

This is democratic?

[H/T, Political Staples]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

60.39% of the population is pretty decisive.

I would even argue that the Liberal party was the "second" choice of many of those that voted PC or NDP.

And that legislature worked out quite well for New Brunswick. The government of the day didn't abuse their power, because they needed to answer to their constituents.

And conversely, under a MMP, it is possible that an MLA would be elected into the legislature even if 99.99% of the people would have voted against him/her if given the chance.