Declaration of Voter's Rights

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Proportional Representation Wisdom Gained

I accepted an invitation to present proportional representation (PR) at the Saskatchewan Peoples’ Social Forum (PSF) in Regina on September 20.  The PSF is designed to build solidarity by building connections between groups and social movement.  

The more presentations I do, the more I become aware that in my audience there will be experts.  When I did a pre-assessment of audience knowledge of PR it became evident that this case was no expectation.  In my resources from Fair Vote Canada, I had a vote simulation for Single Transferable Vote (STV).  I was keen to test it out because as an instructional designer my motto is "show don't tell" and as a learner my request is to "show me don't tell me."  I was unsettled when one of my experts asked why I was doing STV.  I explained it was because it was readily available and am thankful that we continued the conversation to explore the reason for his question.

He questioned my choice of STV because there is evidence in countries using it that it does not remain proportional.  Over time, it begins to look like first-past-the-post.  While I was surprised, on reflection I realized that every commission or report I had heard of was recommending mixed-member proportional (MMP).

Thanks to my PR experts, I will wisely choose the MMP simulation for my next presentation which I hope will be in your location.  If you want to learn about PR or if you can help me learn more, I have a data projector and stand ready, willing, and able to travel.

Nancy Carswell, Co-spokesperson Fair Vote Canada Saskatchewan Chapter
Shellbrook, Saskatchewan