What are the options?
On the surface, there would seem to be only three options; 'First Past The Post', 'Ranked (Preferential) Ballots' or 'Proportional Representation'. But by looking closely at those three it is easily discovered that there are numerous permutations for two out of the three. Only 'First Past The Post', has only one permutation. That is what makes it simple and that is what makes it the most obviously unfair of the options.
After reviewing many, many electoral systems in use around the world today, as well as some no longer in use, we concluded that the two systems being proposed in the Prince Edward Island referendum scheduled for the 2019 election, represent a reasonable cross section of those many systems. Although functional details differ in the implementation of these systems around the world, all but one are being used in one form or another today. This website examines the two choices to be offered, 'Mixed Member Representation' and 'First Past The Post'.
It should be pointed out that this is an objective examination of the properties of these two systems. As a result of our evaluation of these and other electoral systems, we at fairelectionspei.ca are convinced that 'First Past The Post'does not produce a fair and accurate representation of the wishes of the voters. 'First Past The Post' produces undeserved majorities resulting from a wide variety of factors as well as being susceptible to regional divisions, voter manipulation, strategic voting,the 'spoiler*' effect and on and on and on. Furthermore, we are convinced that only a form of proportional representation would produce a fair representation of the wishes of the Canadian voter in a provincial or general election.
The only real question in our minds is, which version of proportional representation would be the most appropriate for Canada and would produce the most accurate representation of voter wishes, determined by the percentage of popular vote given to each of the participating parties, including independents. The choice of the form of PR for this referendum is 'Mixed Member . Selecting one over the other would depend primarily on whether party lists or constituency selection is preferred for assigning 'correction factor*' seats.
* The spoiler effect is the effect of vote splitting between candidates with similar ideologies. One spoiler candidate's presence in the election draws votes from a major candidate with similar politics thereby causing a strong opponent of both or several to win. The minor candidate causing this effect is referred to as a spoiler.
* Correction factor seats are those assigned to achieve seat percentages as close as possible to the percent of the popular vote gained by a party or independent candidate.