First, I'd like to say I strongly support the adoption of a system of proportional representation for Canada. It is for this reason that I urge the committee to reject any recommendation to adopt a mixed member proportional system, because it's proportional only in name. Although it's called a proportional system, it's a system that is deeply flawed in that it's easily gamed. Let me explain.
If a political party simply divides itself into two parties—one that runs candidates who are likely to win at the constituency level and not candidates on the party list, and another that says it is a regional alliance party and runs all its candidates on the list system—then what ends up happening is that the result is not party proportional.
It's easy to see this. This is not a hypothetical concern. This actually occurs in every place that has adopted the mixed member proportional system. For example, in Venezuela, a party took 57.4% of the parliamentary seats with 48% of the vote. It happened in the Italian election in 2001. It happened in Albania in 2005. In Lesotho, a party took almost 70% of the seats with 51% of the vote. It's a very simple strategy that any party can adopt, because polling is easy.
Additional-member systems work only if every party that wins seats would be entitled to additional votes from the party list, but that is not guaranteed. It's easily possible, say in an assembly of 100 representatives, for a party that gets 20% of the vote overall to get 30% of the seats. In that situation there are no additional members to—