May 04, 2011

[Trickery] Turning a Minority of Votes into a Majority of Seats

Ma-jor-i-ty [muh-jawr-i-tee, -jor-]
–noun, plural -ties.
1. the greater part or number; the number larger than half the total (opposed to minority): the majority of the population.
2. a number of voters or votes, jurors, or others in agreement, constituting more than half of the total number.
Like any magic trick, it's based on deceiving and tricking the faculties of the audience's mind. The notion that the recent federal election in Canada resulted in a "Majority" for the Conservative Party is a sign of the extreme perversity and absurdity of this country's electoral system - a system that operates just like a magic trick to deceive the electorate into believing that one party has a majority of support. The fact is that a majority of Canadians voted against Stephen Harper and his right wing, scandal-ridden party. Here are some numbers which elucidate the trickery behind this most recent first-past-the-post fiasco:
  1. 5.83 million people voted for the Conservatives. That's only 17.3% of the Canadian population.
  2. The Conservatives received 39.62% of the vote. A majority of 60.38% of the votes went to other parties.
  3. Despite having a minority of the vote share, the first-past-the-post system grants the Conservatives 54.22% of the seats in parliament, which gives them the ability to make political and economic changes that will affect the entire population without concern for oppositional voices.
  4. The Conservatives received 8.9% more of the popular vote than the NDP (which received 30.63% of the vote). And yet, thanks to our corrupt system, the Conservatives will receive 21.1% more seats in the house.
  5. 576, 221 people voted for the Green Party (that's 3.91% of the vote). Nevertheless, somehow the party only received 1 seat in parliament. That's 0.32% of the seats! 
  6. The Conservative Party's vote share increased by 1.96% since the last election of 2008. However, their seat share increased by 16.8%!
What kind of shenanigans is this? And why do we accept this perverse excuse for 'democracy'? As far as I'm concerned, the Harper Conservatives did not receive a majority, and we Canadians should make this fact clear whenever they pass through legislation that affects all of us. There is a serious need for a political system that better reflects people's political beliefs in this country, and yet the irony of the recent election is that a Harper 'majority' (of seats) will likely solidify this undemocratic system.

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