The second of my two-part critique of Canadian democracy is up at Provocative Penguin. The first can be found here. This one deals with the misguided reforms proposed in the Fair Elections Act earlier this year, and the need to implement proportional representation to ensure that every vote counts.
Something strange always happens on an election night. In the weeks building up to it a barrage of stump speeches, photo-ops, and debates are accompanied by a series of polls which are meant to indicate who is winning, who is losing, and what the electorate is thinking.
But when voters come home from the polling stations and turn to their television sets to watch the live election coverage, the polls have become irrelevant. The rules have changed. The relative success of each party’s campaign performance is no longer measured by the overall amount of voters who support them, but by which ridings their supporters are concentrated in.
Occasionally, the popular vote will be displayed onscreen, but only when there is no new data to report, and the anchors get bored.