Electorate’s wishes rarely come true

Letters to the Editor (The Guardian)
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David Bulger presents a skewed argument against proportional representation (PR) in his opinion piece 'PR' a political nightmare’ (Guardian, May 14th, 2015).  The piece is accompanied by an illustration, from a war gaming-promotion e-magazine, of the German Parliament building (Reichstag) in flames from a 1933 arson attack; fanning the flames, so to speak, that PR caused the rise of Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany.  It was probably more complicated than that.

Mr. Bulger goes on to cite PR experiences in Italy and Israel as "political insanity."  What he doesn't mention is that these countries have adjusted their electoral systems; many varieties of proportional electoral systems are in place throughout the world that result in stable, collaborative governments. In past thoughtful opinion pieces, Mr. Bulger has focused on electoral reform:  MLA term limits, recall and referendum legislation, and in this piece he mentions other electoral systems that allow for accurate representation by voters (preferential or ranking systems). He also states his concerns with the domineering power of political parties. These all need to be part of our Island discussion on electoral reform. Our current system of first-past-the-post often produces legislatures that bear little resemblance to the wishes of the electorate; our most recent provincial election surely delivered this. Islanders deserve an electoral system that truly represents their voting intentions. Let's set the framework and be ready for the 2019 provincial election.

Chris Ortenburger,

Citizen's Alliance of P.E.I.

Organizations: German Parliament

Geographic location: Nazi Germany, Italy, Israel

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