One of the more interesting observations that was shared with me was that the “+Leaders” enhancement discussed in EasyPR could be added to almost any system. You could have STV + leaders, or MMP + Leaders. You could have RU-PR + Leaders, too. Almost anything really. So let’s look at the + Leaders a bit closer.
It was the most interesting idea that we got out of the PEI referendum process, in my opinion. I’m not sure who in PEI process suggested it there, but I think it’s genius. That’s why I incorporated it into my EasyPR proposal (and a big thank you to whomever came up with it).
I’d strongly support the inclusion of +Leaders in any system. Speaking as someone whose MLA is also now a province’s Premier, the odds of me sitting down with my MLA is now essentially zero, whereas I had been able to sit down with him in the past when he was a backbench MLA. And that’s understandable, as a Premier he now has responsibilities in running the Province. Those run counter to the principle of him being an MLA in a representative democracy, in my opinion. He’s off dealing with the wildfires and whatever else the Province needs him to do, as he should be.
I don’t think Canadians would want our mayors to have both city-wide responsibilities, but also inexplicably have to represent a small neighbourhood of that city as well. Perhaps it would lead to over-representation of that neighbourhood by a brazenly self-interested mayor. Perhaps it would lead to that neighbourhood’s under representation, due to the mayor investing themselves deeply in their city-wide responsibilities (or being fearful of the political cost of being seen to play favourites to the neighbourhood they’re supposed to represent). There’s really no good way for it to be done, that I see.
I strongly believe that adding + Leaders would be a net positive for any/every system on the table. I’d support every PR system I’ve ever looked at over first-past-the-post, but I’d campaign most enthusiastically for one that included a +Leaders component.