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LETTER: Can we have some referendum objectivity please?

Contact The Guardian to submit a letter to the Editor.
Contact The Guardian to submit a letter to the Editor. - SaltWire Network


The public is being bombarded with opposing opinions regarding the upcoming mixed member proportional (MMP) versus first-past-the-post (FPTP) voting referendum. It seems that no matter which way we vote, we are doomed. I have a suggestion. Instead of forecasting the future, can we look backwards? What would have happened in past elections if we had the MMP system? I am sure someone (Referendum P.E.I. or the lobby groups) can take the historical data and look backwards to recalculate past history if one issue can be overcome. That issue is the fact that we have had 27 seats in the past, which will become 18 in the future. May I suggest that we “pretend” that we had MMP in past elections, and that the existing 27 seats represented two thirds of the total seats available? That would mean that a further 13.5 seats, make it 14, would be allocated proportionately. There will be no change to the parties holding the 27 seats, but the additional 14 will determine the proportions for the final standings. The results of 27/14 would be determined similar to the new 18/9 setup. Based on that calculation, tell us how many politicians from each party would have been elected in the past, perhaps over the past four (or more) elections (so we get some variety). Will these be minority or majority governments? My solution is not perfect. The number of seats do not correspond to the new system, and we have more political parties in play today. However, perhaps it will add some objectivity to all the scare tactics being used. In the proposed MMP system, it would be nice if the public had a say in which candidates of each party would be chosen first to fill the additional nine seats. However, when voting (or speaking), it is a rare day that politicians do not follow their party leader’s orders instead of their own principles, so it likely will not matter.

Blair Corkum,


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