PR or SMD? It’s not all the same to me…

In Andrew Reynolds and John M. Carey’s “Getting Elections Wrong”, they argue against Meisburger’s defense of a single-member district system (SMD). Reynolds and Carey believe that proportional representation (PR) can be highly effective, and they debunk his idea that PR is only possible in established countries that have parties and strong ideologies. They also explain the PR has been successful in Tunisia post-Arab Spring, and that the PR system best represents minority groups.

Is proportional representation successful in reflecting the will of the people on crucial and divisive issues such as healthcare?

In The Star Vancouver’s November 1 article “Proportional representation could create a better health-care system, advocates say”, Cherise Seucharan says that British Columbia residents are choosing between a PR and SMD system of representation. The article says that PR provides the best system of election for healthcare, and does not affect the country’s economic growth. An expert she interviewed even stated that PR leads to “seamlessly integrated” healthcare in a society. It can be hard to tell which system will best reflect the will of the people but in terms of health care in Canada, it is the best option. However, it remains to seen how it would fair for other issues and in other countries with distinct cultures and characteristics. For example, in the United States, a change to a PR system could seriously dismantle the laws and ideas America has considered fundamental. To illustrate, the majority of Americans support further gun control legislation, and this change to the Second Amendment would actually be a reality in a PR system.


Reynolds, Andrew, and John M. Carey. “Getting Elections Wrong.” Journal of Democracy. April 17, 2012.

Seucharan, Cherise. “Proportional Representation Could Create a Better Health-care System, Advocates Say.” November 01, 2018.

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