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Dutch Wrote: Thanks, I guess they must have different history books in Canada! Ha Ha. However, how come that in the Netherlands they have at least 11 parties governing, while we are having only two here; also they have an prime minister who can't invoke tariffs or other nutty things like revoking security clearances of people who were real patriots, as well bully' the whole world. Neither in the Netherlands he can "pardon" people who committed real crimes, as well the prime minister can't do anything without approval of the parliament. Furthermore there is no case law, acts, amendments etc. to run the show; just plain "laws" for which you don't need a zillion lawyers. Thus quite a difference than a antique "British" island system. Not that the Dutch system has no flaws, it also has its setbacks due to personalities as well politics. However at least there is more "middle ground" due to having more parties, which prevents it from one party "dictatorship" as is the case in the US now.
Dutch: You touching on the old age debate between the Westminster system, often known as first-past-the-post (or FPTP) and Proportional Representation (PR). Westminster was invented first. When the Europeans moved from aristocracy to democracy, they had a good look at FPTP and tried to fix some of its flaws. Thus was born PR.
FPTP indeed does create fewer political parties than PR. But that is not indicative that FPTP is worse system. Canada has been FPTP for 150 years and is regarded as a well balanced country. In FPTP, the coalitions are built before the election as similar interests need to band together to be a viable contender for government. Less formal and less dramatic than PR, but political coalitions are built nonetheless in FPTP.
FPTP can produce more decisive governments than PR, which often stalls in creating needed legislation.
FPTP parties tend to be fairly moderate--if they want to win elections. The exception here, of course, is the recent Trump version of the R party, but I think there is a good chance of a self correcting result in November. In PR, however, any extreme party that makes a low voter threshold gains representation in parliament, thus legitimizing their extreme views.
PR better reflects the voters' intention, as FPTP can skew the results depending on the constituencies are drawn. In Canada, it is somewhat common for a party with 40% of the vote to win 70% of the seats.
FPTP almost guarantees that each region of the country will have an elected representative. In PR, it all depends on how parties build their lists. Regions can be left out.
But this is all a debate that has been hashed and rehashed so many times. PR is not a solution for what is wrong with western democracy----as many citizens under PR are just as disenchanted with their government as citizens under the British system.
In Chapter 2, I outlined 12 Limitations of Western Democracy. PR resolves not one of those limitations.