Proportional Representation means that if a party has the support of 20% of the population, they will get 20% of the seats in the legislature. 40% of the votes = 40% of the seats, and so on.
It's fair, and it encourages a culture of cooperation and collaboration in government.
Proportional Representation is already used to elect governments in over 90 countries, including Scotland, Wales, New Zealand and Germany. If it's good enough for them, why can't we use it on P.E.I., and in Canada, too?
FairVoteCanada has a great page reviewing the evidence in favour of Proportional Representation: www.fairvote.ca/evidence/
Researcher Arend Lijphart, a worldrenowned political scientist, spent his career studying various features of democratic life in majoritarian and Proportional Representation democracies. In his landmark study 'Patters of Democracy, he compared 36 democracies over 55 years. Looking at a number of specific indicators, Lijphart found that in countries using proportional systems,
- Voter turnout was higher by 7.5 percentage points, when contextual factors are taken into account.
- Government policies were closer to the view of the median voter.
- Citizens were more satisfied with the performance of their countries’ democratic institutions, even when the party they voted for was not in power.
- There was a small increase in the number of parties in Parliament.
- The share of women elected to legislators was 8 percentage points higher.
- Scores were higher on measures of political participation and civil liberties
Regardless of which party you personally support, Proportional Representation is good for you, the voter. Your vote counts equally, every single time. Oppositions are always relevant and are part of negotiation, rather than simply "complaining" in the media, but totally shut out of government decision-making until it is 'their turn' at the wheel.
Proportional Representation helps to make government friendlier and more collaborative. With Proportional Representation, the government will truly reflect, at every election, the democratic will of island voters.
Check out Brenda Oslawsky's excellent presentation on the Benefits of PR: