Why Proportional Representation leads to Gridlock

[Imported from Whale Oil Beef Hooked on Blogger]

From an article by Michael Greve at the Wall Street Journal.

Berlin is far from Baghdad, and the Germans at least want to keep it that way. But for all the obvious differences, Germany’s inconclusive election results and the impending constitutional referendum in Iraq point to some identical obstacles to effective and constitutional government.

These obstacles are proportional representation and “cooperative federalism.” As it happens, well-meaning U.N. officials, NGOs and U.S. advisers have been urging these constitutional arrangements upon numerous fledgling democracies, including Iraq. That may not be good advice.

Proportional representation–PR–is said to be more democratic, inclusive and respectful of minorities than British-American winner-take-all, first-past-the-post elections. Unfortunately, it does nothing to foster clear majorities capable of effective government.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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