Would proportional representation lead to even more splintering of parties?

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Wilf Day


Originally posted by Brian White:
[b]there was no nameless coalition between the libs and the cons.[/b]

Actually I said alliance, not coalition.

The idea that, because the balance of power is held by a party that will not be part of a coalition and that no one wants to have to rely on, some other party will have to "tolerate" the minority government by abstaining, is not uncommon in Europe. Currently the Catalan Left abstains on Spanish government bills, thereby giving Zapatero a tacit majority which he is a whisker short of. I still don't know how the Liberals are going to organize this when the new House meets, but someone is going to have to give this nameless arrangement a name. So long as the Bloc is the main beneficiary of our skewed winner-take-all system, it's possibly a basic characteristic of our politics. This would have been obvious during the 1990s except that the split between the PCs and Reform gave Chretien a manufactured majority. Otherwise, we would have faced this Bloc problem much earlier.


Originally posted by Brian White:
[b]And you bring up the weimar republic. Let us not forget that germany was a slave nation at the time with all their money going to britain and france. And a very young nation too. Their country had just been destroyed. Of course it was unstable. Communications was disrupted and it was a federation of states that were at war with each other not that much earlier so of course there was instability.
Perhaps at the same stage of nationhood as southern african countrys in the 1970's.
The weimer republic is not relevant to normal politics. A coalition of 4 partys is big but not unworkable.
But like I said, all germanys production went to pay reparations so no party or coalition was going to be remembered as successful. [/b]

That's an excellent point, one which should be remembered when people point to Weimar Germany as an example of the horrors of PR. I pointed to it only as the historial explanation for the German 5% threshold.