Measuring the Effectiveness of a Minority Parliament

Canada¿s plurality electoral system often allows parties earning less than half of the popular vote to receive a majority of Parliamentary seats. Several analysts have suggested that this problem should be corrected by changing the electoral system to increase the proportionality between a party¿s s... Deskribapen osoa

Egile nagusia: Thomas, Paul E.J.
Formatua: Artikulua
Hizkuntza: Ingelesa
Argitaratua: Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Canadian Region 2007
Sarrera elektronikoa: http://dialnet.unirioja.es/servlet/oaiart?codigo=2289280
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Laburpena: Canada¿s plurality electoral system often allows parties earning less than half of the popular vote to receive a majority of Parliamentary seats. Several analysts have suggested that this problem should be corrected by changing the electoral system to increase the proportionality between a party¿s share of the vote and its share of legislative seats. However, while this type of reform would increase proportionality, it would also greatly increase the frequency of minority governments. This paper uses the minority government that took place in the 38th Parliament as a test case to see how Canada¿s political system might be affected if the country adopts a new electoral system that produces minority governments more frequently. The paper sets out the procedural context of the 38th Parliament and develops six criteria for evaluating its behaviour. It then explores each criteria using a qualitative and quantitative comparison of the actions of the 36th, 37th, and 38th Parliaments. This evaluation shows that the 38th Parliament was no less efficient than its predecessors, featured greater legislative deliberation, and was better able to hold the executive accountable for its actions. As a result the paper concludes that while minority governments are by no means perfect, the example of 38th Parliament suggests that an electoral system which produced more minority governments could increase the quality of democracy in Canada.