PR Comes in Many Forms, Mr. Morton | Unpublished

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poli_sci_guy's picture
Nepean, Ontario
About the author

Mark has lived in Ottawa since 2005 and hangs his hat in Barrhaven. He grew up near Waterloo, Ontario and holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Waterloo as well as master’s degrees in communication (uOttawa) and political management (Carleton). His graduate research focused on political communication and public transit policy. Mark enjoys travelling and reading, and he volunteers with the Canadian Celiac Association and Ottawa123. He also served previously on the City of Ottawa Transit Commission. Mark also has celiac disease and is passionate about health and environmental issues. 

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PR Comes in Many Forms, Mr. Morton

January 3, 2016

Read a disappointingly inaccurate op-ed piece from a former political science professor. Felt obligated to correct the record.

To the editor,

Re: Electoral reform's problematic consequences, Ottawa Sun, December 15, pg. A15:

It is quite disappointing to see a distinguished individual like Ted Morton embarrass himself with seemingly desperate, straw man arguments in defense of the oft-criticized first-past-the-post (FPTP) electoral system. Contrary to Mr. Morton’s claims, the prime minister did not promise to bring in proportional representation – rather he pledged that 2015 would be the last election conducted under FPTP.

There are many alternative voting systems out there, and I would be happy to teach Mr. Morton about them. For example, the so-called “PR List” system Morton attempts to scare everybody with in his column is only one, very specific, rarely-used type of PR – and not one that I’ve heard anyone suggesting to bring in for Canada. The two most common reform possibilities I’ve heard discussed are either alternative vote (a.k.a. ranked ballot) or Mixed Member Proportional – and both of these systems preserve our local ridings being represented by an MP.

Based on his false argument, Morton then goes on to make a series of declarations and assumptions that are not necessarily based in fact. I would have expected better from someone with his credentials.

Mark Johnson

Student, Political Management Program, Carleton University