John Cleese Explains PR

Canada's electoral system makes very little sense. The first past the post method of electing our parliamentary representatives has been tossed out by most democracies in the world and replaced by some form of Proportional Representation. 
Canadian politicians and pundits argue that it is all too complicated for Canadians to understand.  I for one, have more faith in Canadians' intelligence than most politicians.  
The two large parties in Canada have both taken advantage of the system to form government when most Canadians have actually voted for some other party as their favoured representative. Perhaps that is why they never seem to take the time to explain the options available to us.

A few examples:
  • In 1993 the Reform Party won 52 seats with 2.6 million votes. The Progressive Conservatives only won two seats with 2.2 million votes
  • The Liberals  got 51% of the seats and formed a majority government in 1997 with just 38% of the popular vote
  • In 2004 the New Democrats won 19 seats with 2.1 million votes and Bloc won 54 seats with 1.7 million votes.
  • and in the last election, 940,000 green Party voters elected no one while 822,000 Conservative voters in Alberta alone elected 27 MPs
Lucky for us, proportional representation isn't that tough to grasp. If you really want to understand how it all works I offer this short video. It is a bit dated but the principles are the same and who better than John Cleese to explain it, as only he can.

For more information on proportional representation try the Fair Vote Canada site.


  1. John Cleese is a nice addition to the blog, but what happened to the Tory blue???

  2. You have to understand that the evil empire has not yet claimed ownership of every shade of blue out there.
    My blue background was a shade of "Saskatchewan Sky" a colour Crayola is considering adding to it's large box next year.
    I changed it because obviously it led to some misunderstanding


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