Posted on February 05, 2009Much has been written about the importance of proportional representation to an effective democracy. Proponents argue that minorities gain greater access to seats, voter turnout increases, and other mechanical effects which are theoretically plausible. While these black-and-white improvements are surely noteworthy, the effects of these systematic improvements are worth discussion as well.
Proportional representation correlates with more welfare, reduced corruption, less crime, and a host of other social benefits. The need for consensus among a number of groups with drastically different agendas forces government to be more representative of the entire electorate. Creative and progressive solutions to problems tend to be the order of the day, with smaller political parties gaining seats in government and diverse viewpoints collaborating to find solutions.
A recent article in BBC News examines the difference in how the UK and Finland approach teen crime. Finland only incarcerates three youth offenders presently, as opposed to 3,000 in the UK. The Finnish believe in a more compassionate system of raising children, and their low crime rates speak for themselves. The author believes that proportional representation leads to better thought-out ways to address societal problems. Imagine the creative solutions that proportional representation could develop to deal with the myriad problems facing America today.