It is interesting that social democrats join the Green Party chorus by consistently demanding the implementation of "proportional representation", as if that would mean some kind of democratic revolution. But let's be clear. "Proportional" representation only means, according to their understanding, a "fair" distribution of seats between political parties as reflected in their popular vote. It does NOT mean a fair distribution of power in parliament as reflective of public opinion. That is, proportional representation as they promote it is all about the distribution of power between political parties, but NOT about the fair distribution of power between the poltical parties on the one hand, and the people on the other. Politicians of all stripes, but especially those on the left--- that is the enlightened ones who know so much better than the rest of us--- definitely don't want a political arrangement that would allow the people any direct control over their own affairs. Hence the bipartisan revulsion at the result of the Swiss plebiscite where the majority of people voted to ban minarets. The ignorant masses cannot be allowed to impose such things.
No issue better illustrates the fraud of proportional representation as a panacea for our ills than the issue of immigation. Think about it--- two-thirds of Canadians, and a similar percentage of Australians and Britons, have consistently, persistently and adamantly opposed mass immigration---certainly on the scale it has occured in recent decades. Yet just one MP in Australia and two MPs in the UK (to my knowledge) have been able to break from party ranks and echo public opinion in their call for major cutbacks in immigration intakes. There are 350 Labour MPs in the British House of Commons but only one of them has stood up against his governments criminal record of open immigration, an influx that has made Britain the most densely populated nation in Europe. This despite the fact that one poll done by Ipsos MORI established that some 81% of Labour supporters favour a strict limit on immigration numbers. Eighty-one percent ! So not only does Labour not represent the British people but they don't even represent Labour !! And what do Labour politcians and the New Statesmen do? Spend all their time bashing Nick Griffin and the BNP! Attacking immigration critics rather than owning up to their own disasterous and dictatorial policy! And notice that the Australian maverick crusader against mass immigration, Kelvin Thomson, is like Britain's Frank Field, a Labor MP at odds with a Labor administration!
In Canada it is certain that if two out of three voters are opposed to our stratospheric immigation levels, a great many of them are New Democratic Party (NDP) supporters. I would suspect that even a majority of NDP voters are opposed to the position that the NDP takes on this issue. Yet not a single one of the 39 members in the federal NDP caucus will take up their cause. There are no Frank Fields or Kelvin Thomsons in Canada's social democratic parliamentary herd.
How can NDP leader Jack Layton or any one of his trained seals make an ethical case for proportional representation between parties but not demand that his own party reflect the diversity of opinion among its own supporters, never mind the public at large? How can he claim that Stephen Harper's government is illegitimate because it was elected with a minority of votes while he himself was elected with a minority of votes in his own constituency? How could he stand up in the House and offer congratulations to the Nova Scotia NDP for winning the last provincial election when they were also elected with a minority of the popular vote, just as were the NDP in Manitoba and Saskatchewan--- whose legitimacy he never questioned. It is galling that the NDP, like social-democratic hypocrites the world over, present themselves as the paragons of principle when in fact they are the exponents of expediency.
If we are ever going to have proportional representation, then lets have the real deal. Let's have Swiss-style democracy. Then maybe we can turn the country "right" side up.