I'm extracting from a brilliant article by Janet Albrechtsen on the grave dangers of the proportional system of representation.
Stick with FIRST PAST THE POST, India!
The proportional pathway to policy paralysis
by JANET ALBRECHTSEN The Australian July 04, 2012
IT is difficult to think of a more disgraceful week in politics than the past one. Unfortunately, too few have delved into the real reason for last week's policy paralysis and the concomitant disgraceful antics. This is what minority government delivers – hopeless policy compromise. Not just in the past week but every week. Endless back room deals shrouded in secrecy; a handful of people holding policy making to ransom.We ought to etch the events of the week in our memory. There are plenty of opportunistic people who like the idea of minority governments because it empowers their fringe politics. Hence, one day soon enough we will once again hear the dangerous call for proportional representation, which effectively entrenches minority government.When talk of PR comes, just remember this past week. This is a tiny morsel of what that misguided voting system delivers by the bucket load.Yet, even as the appalling reality of minority government was sinking in, an academic, Klaas Woldring, wrote last year in The Sydney Morning Herald (of course) that "in most other representative democracies a number of parties seek co-operation to form a majority government". This was "a better way" he promised. While Europe was lurching from one crisis to the next, with genuine economic reform stymied by politics, the deluded associate professor was espousing "the European model of proportional representation".This kind of talk emerges with depressing regularity. Proportional representation sits in the Greens manifesto (of course) where they promise "participatory democracy". It sounds so friendly and inclusive.Here's Woldring, executive member of something called the Progressive Labor Party, again: "Apart from being co-operative, (proportional representation) also ensures diverse and democratic representation. There are no by-elections, pork-barrelling or horse-trading on preferences behind closed doors."This is beyond laughable. Proportional representation will only entrench these chaotic coalitions.The truth is that PR is a complete con. After the 2010 election in The Netherlands, which follows a proportional voting system, there were 10 parties in parliament and it took months of horse-trading and backroom deals to form a new government.Even worse, under PR, voters can't know, when they vote, what the future governing coalition will look like.PR produces even lower-quality policy and politics as odd coalitions end up agreeing on lowest common denominator policies.The critical flaw of PR is that mainstream views in the electorate are held to ransom by these balance of power parties on the extremes of Left and Right.While no system is perfect, by ensuring parties on the extremities get representation, PR actually widens the gap between the voters and those who govern them – a backward step for democracy.It is bad enough that in the Australian Senate [Sanjeev: which follows proportional representation], past and present fringe parties and independents have been and are more powerful than their voting base warrants.In "co-operative" Europe, extremist parties prosper.A few years ago, Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, best summed up the mess of PR pointing out that in the "50 years since the war there were 103 elections in Germany, Italy, Japan, Switzerland, Belgium, The Netherlands and Sweden – all countries that favour PR and its endless stream of buggins-turn coalitions. And how often, in those 103 elections, did voters actually succeed in producing a change of government? Six times!" Not one to mince words, Johnson revealed PR as a fraud upon voters "because it will always tend to erode the sovereign right of the people to kick the rascals out."