Proportional representation would encourage more people to vote, properly reflect the wishes of all the electorate, encourage more women and minorities to run for office and, most importantly, restore power to MPs and electors. Then the backbenchers would no longer be restive, but empowered.
From a letter in the Calgary Herald by Mark Hambridge, president, Fair Vote Calgary.
Now, I am all for PR, in general, and agree with most of that, until the last point. But this kind of over-claiming really is not helpful. Is there any evidence that backbenchers in PR systems (with parliamentary executives) are more “empowered”–which I assume means more able to dissent from the government when their party is a member thereof? I do not think so.
It is likely that leaders use the threat of “my backbenchers won’t go for it” in intra-coalition negotiations with leaders of partner parties. But that is not the same thing as “empowered” backbenchers. Or at least I don’t think this is what the letter-writer has in mind.