Letter to the Editor

Proportional representation

Friday, February 4, 2011

On Tuesday evening, President Obama addressed the American people in regards to the political upheaval in Egypt. He said the process to replace Egypt's President Mubarak should include opposition parties. I say that our government in the United States should include opposition parties also.

It's fair that people who don't feel represented by the Republican or Democratic parties should still have representation. We pride ourselves on being a democratic republic. The slogan "no taxation without representation" was a slogan of the Revolutionary War.

I recommend the website fairvote.org. It explains proportional representation, choice voting and instant runoff voting. Very few countries elect a president without a majority of the vote -- we're an exception.

I can't design a perfect system for democratic representation. I do, however, think we would be better served by a system that elects representatives based on what percentage of the vote the party gets. For example, in Missouri's state House of Representative, if Republicans get 37 percent of the vote, Democrats 32 percent, Libertarians 15 percent and Constitution Party 6 percent, each party should get that percentage of the representatives. If we would expand the number of representatives in the U.S. Congress, more people could easily have representation in that body as well.

I appreciate your consideration of this idea. When people feel like they're represented, they're more likely to participate in the system. And thanks to President Obama for giving me the opening to write this letter.

GREG TLAPEK, executive director,

Missouri Libertarian Party, Cape Girardeau