How does it compare?

There are many systems of democracy in use in the world. Most of the countries still using the FPTP system inherited it from the United Kingdom (including the United States, India, and of course Canada).

 

Most democratic countries have moved to a form of proportional representation (PR). This system provides a closer relationship between political power and the popular vote of the citizens.

Unfortunately, PR systems can be very complex, expensive, and have their own fairness issues. Heart and Head is unique in providing PR with great simplicity, low cost, good fairness, and minimal change to the Canadian political system.

 

Here is a table of political systems from around the world compared with the requirements that Heart and Head was designed for.

Definitions
Feature Comparison

Of course, Heart and Head fairs well in this table because it was designed to have these features. Depending on what you value, different systems will have varying advantages.

A detailed comparison to MMP.

A Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) system is currently the preferred system of the NDP and Green parties. (The Liberals wish to use preferential voting alone, while the Conservatives and Bloc have not stated a preference.) MMP is "mixed" because citizens get to vote for both a regional MP (like our current system) and also vote for a separate class of proportional MPs.

There are many flavours of MMP: closed versus open list, regional and proportional MPs elected by FPTP or preferences, and amount of proportionality. There are also promises of electing more MPs who are women, minorities, and indigenous people.

 

It is important to note, however, that none of the parties has provided a detailed description of their preferred system. 

 

MMP ballots can be very complex. Depending upon the details, they may still suffer from:

  • strategic voting,

  • MPs chosen by parties rather than directly elected,

  • cronyism for positions on the party lists,

  • gender and racial discrimination for positions on the party lists,

  • two classes of MP with different job descriptions,

  • larger electoral district sizes (a particular problem in Canada),

  • and a lack of simplicity in voting and counting.

A typical open list ballot (with preferential voting for regional MP and FPTP for proportional MP) looks like:

This complexity and the above issues make it unlikely that an MMP voting system will be able to pass a referendum, an important milestone for democratic legitimacy.

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