Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Electoral system pop quiz

Here's two lists of selected countries. One group elects their government using a first-past-the-post winner-takes-all system and the other group uses some variation of proportional representation. Which group do you think Canada, the US, and the UK fall into?

Group 1
Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Botswana, Congo, Dominica, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Kenya, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Uganda, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Group 2
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Cambodia, Chile, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Venezuela.

Yup, our first-past-the-post system puts Canada, along with the UK and US, in Group 1.
We really need to get on this before 2008.

Update. To the person who emailed me to complain that I had cherry-picked the two groups to highlight a black countries vs white countries bias : No, the two groups highlight a generally right vs left bias.
I just got tired of hearing it said that if we have a similar electoral system to the US and UK, we're probably doing alright.

1 comment:

Jen said...

Hi Alison, I wandered over here from your comment at Idealistic Pragmatist's most rcent post, and I love your lists. I will have to save this for when I try to stand on a soapbox of my own upon my return to Canada and see if I can convince Calgarians of the benefits of PR... perhaps I'll be dodging bullets, as well. :-S

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