IN MMP, DO THE PARTIES 'APPOINT' MLAs?

No.

This is an unfortunately-common myth that opponents of Proportional Representation have been spreading around, to generate fear of change. The reality of MMP is that party control is lowered - the system becomes more democratic, and listens to every voter.

Read more below...

Answer

In MMP, there are 2 ballots:

For the first, DISTRICT ballot: a party puts forward one candidate in every district (and if the party is well-governed, this will be voted on by the members of the party who live in that district), just like they do now under First Past the Post. Voters place their 1st vote next to an individual candidate's name in their district. 

The most popular candidates will be chosen for each of the 18 local districts, same as now.

For the second, ISLAND-WIDE ballot: a party puts forward a set of up to 9 'province wide' candidates (and if the party is well-governed, this will be voted on by the members of the party island-wide). Voters place their 2nd vote next to the name of the individual candidate they most prefer, from the party that they most support to govern the province.

Each party's most popular candidates - as decided by the voters, not the party - will fill any proportional seats that party has earned. The most popular candidates will have thousands of votes in their name, gathered from all across the island.

 

If you'd like this explained visually, check out our video from 4:45 onwards.

 


So, where does this myth of 'party appointments' come from?

In PEI's 2005 plebiscite, a "closed list" proportional model was used, which meant that Voters could only vote for a party on the 2nd ballot, not for an individuals from that party. In that model, if a party earned 2 of the 9 proportional seats, the people elected as MLAs would be the 2 people that the party (their membership) chose to put at the top of the list.

The "closed list" model has not been considered for PEI, nor any other province of Canada, in more recent years.

In 2016, and again now in 2019, we are looking at an "open list" MMP model, as described above, which is a significant improvement on what was proposed in 2005.

Yet, despite the model being changed between 2005 and 2016-19, opponents of proportionality still spread this falsehood, in order to preserve the current First Past the Post system, which certain parties (and their party backrooms!) benefit from.

 

Still have questions?

Read all our FAQs!

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.