Faqs / Won’t this cause instability, constant elections, and endless minority governments?
Since Italy reformed its voting system in the 1990s, Canada is actually now the most unstable of the major democracies, with twenty-one elections since World War II to Italy’s eighteen. We keep flip-flopping between false majority governments (a majority of seats without a majority of the vote) and unstable minorities at the expense of our country’s long-term priorities, and our voting system is largely to blame…In Ontario’s 2011 election, just 2% separated the two leading parties, but one got 49% of the seats while the other got just 35%. In Prince Edward Island, 40% of the vote gets you just 19% of the seats. But bump that up to 50%, and your party sweeps to a dominant 81% majority. When relatively small changes in poll numbers spell the difference between oblivion and absolute power, it’s no wonder our politicians seem to be in perpetual, confrontational campaign mode.In proportional representation, a 2% change in the polls would mean just a 2% change in seats. Politicians would have much more incentive to get down to work on our country’s long-term priorities, rather than playing “gotcha” to tweak the poll numbers and spark yet another election. Minority governments could mean cooperation and compromise, not confrontation and instability.Return to FAQs.