It is encouraging that the Hon. Alan McIsaac would welcome some changes in the electoral system. Since the proposal of the Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) system proved unacceptable to P.E.I. residents in the referendum, the topic has lain dormant for seven years. I would propose a Partially Proportional Representation (PPR) option for consideration: 27 MLAs, 17 district seats, 10 party list seats (as previously proposed).
1. Party leaders cannot run as district candidates and they must be the first name on the party list. (This frees the party leaders to campaign in all districts. It ensures that if a party has any members elected by proportional representation, the first will be the leader.)
2. No person can run for a district seat and be on the party list, which must be made public by each party at least 10 days before the election.
Following the election:
3. If no party gets a majority of the district seats, all party list seats will be allocated by a proportional method such as suggested by MMP.
4. If a party wins a majority of the district seats, that party's leader will be selected from the party list as elected, before any proportional calculations are made. (This ensures that the party leader gets to be premier even if his party would not be allocated any party list seats by proportional selection.)
5. If a party wins a majority of the district seats, and after the party's leader is selected from the party lists, all party list seats will be allocated by the proportional method until such point that the remaining party list seats have to be allocated to the party winning in the district seats to have it retain a majority in the legislature. (This reduces the likelihood of having a lot of minority governments, which was a concern with the proposed MMP system.)
This system would provide a better opportunity for the leaders of the smaller parties to represent the population that supports them, and to have their opinions expressed in the legislature.