Wednesday, April 18, 2007

It's Always Israel and Italy

Have you ever noticed how every screed against proportional representation always invokes Israel and Italy as examples of how PR breeds unstable political systems? Take this editorial in the National Post. It uses all of the most predictable arguments against PR, which I've already addressed elsewhere. Among these arguments is the usual "Israel and Italy" stuff. But why always Israel and Italy?

Because those are the only two countries using PR which have particularly unstable political systems. So in fact, these two countries actually put the lie to the anti-PR argument that PR breeds instability; Israel and Italy are exceptions, not the norm. There is every possibility (and high probability) that Canada would remain as stable as ever... perhaps even more so, since most systems of PR would discourage regional parties and encourage national ones; so of all the major parties, the Bloc Quebecois would suffer the most; the same system in Quebec would mean that the Parti Quebecois could never have formed a majority government. How exactly does that lead to instability? Quite the opposite, I'd say.



At 4/18/2007 10:31 p.m., Anonymous Lizt. said...

New Zealand has it and friends we know, do not like it, nothing gets done, MPs do not care like they used to, of course that is TOTAL PR and not mixed.

At 4/18/2007 11:05 p.m., Blogger Kyle G. Olsen said...

I would say Israel has a very effective democratic system. The system accurately represents the very diverse viewpoints of the members of Israeli society. It works well as Israel is a small geographic area. I would suspect an Israel with FPTP would not function nearly aswell, with minority groups receiving little representation.

At 5/11/2007 9:58 a.m., Blogger soopermouse said...

The problems Israel has have little to do with lack of democracy. Let's face it, Israel is the place in the Midle East where Arabs have the best civil rights, to the point where the interimary president of Israel was, at some point, Arabic.

israel is not the paradise, but at least people are doign somethign to make things better instead of keeping them under wraps.


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