1. Has Local PR been used elsewhere?

    No. But let’s put that in context. There is no proportional representation system that can just be pulled off the shelf and made to work for Canada. Every system would require some changes to accomodate Canada’s huge size, variations in population density, and constitutional requirements.

    Local PR is most obviously based on Single Transferable Vote (STV) which is currently used in many elections in Northern Ireland, most elections in the Republic of Ireland, all elections in Malta, Local Authorities in New Zealand, and Australia’s Senate. In addition, STV was used for many years to elect provincial MLAs in the cities in Winnipeg, Edmonton and Calgary. Why did the politicians get rid of STV in those Canadian jurisdictions? To quote researcher Harold Jansen: “Naked political self-interest.”

    Local PR+ adds compensatory (“top-up”) seats in broader regions, an idea borrowed from Mixed Member Proportional (MMP). MMP is used in eight countries, including Germany, New Zealand, Hungary, and Mexico.

    Most countries with proportional representation use some form of List PR. But Canadians don’t seem comfortable with those systems, so no one is proposing one for Canada.

    There are many ways to obtain proportionality in a legislature. The overall result of making MPs proportional to votes is well tested, with many benefits. Local PR is one way to do it that takes into account Canada’s geography, variations in population density, and constitutional requirements.