The case for proportional representation – by the numbers

Monday’s election results (preliminary) broke out as follows:

Liberals 135 seats

Conservatives 99 seats

Bloc Quebecois 54 seats

New Democrats 19 seats

Independent 1 seat

By popular vote, however, this is how the parties fared:

Liberals 37%

Conservatives 30%

New Democrats 16%

Bloc Quebecois 12%

Others (incl. Independents and Green Party) 5%

If seats were allocated by popular vote, Parliament would look like this:

Liberals 114 seats (a loss of 21)

Conservatives 92 seats (a loss of 7)

New Democrats 46 seats (a gain of 27)

Bloc Quebecois 40 seats (a loss of 14)

Others (incl. Independents, but mostly Greens) 16 (a gain of 15)

Obviously Liberals, Conservatives and the Bloc would not be helped by proportional representation. A case could be made for p.r. to apply province-by-province, giving the Bloc Quebecois a majority of the seats in Quebec, for example, where they ran exclusively and re-apportioning p.r. in every other province to eliminate the predictable cries of “Foul!” were Quebec to be given an exclusive re-apportioning.

I’ll need to check, now, to see how province-by-province results might change things – and whether that would create more problems than it’s worth.


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