I’m not sure you are catching my drift. I do regard PR as more democratic than FPTP. PR is better at expressing the will of the people. I’m just not sure the “will of the people” is always right.
In my first year of party politics, I had ambitions of becoming an elected politician. I went to a big social function (outside of politics) and our Member of Parliament showed up and made the rounds of our table. When he got to our table, he had to field questions of more funding for schools and hospitals and police AND lower taxes. The people want some strange things. I didn’t think that I would be able to handle those contradictory demands — and stay elected!
It is my understanding that political parties in Europe are significantly funded by the government, based on the vote count of the last election. In Canada, we had a bit of that, but it’s been a while since I’ve been around the game. There are also laws to limit to campaign spending, but parties — if they have the cash — seem to find ways around them. One party can still outspend the other, and not really suffer any big consequences after the election.
For the most part, we have been discussing PR vs. FPTP. If I were to take your bicycle and mass transit as an example, I would wager that a future TDG would be better at bringing these concerns to the table and making a better decision.
I have served on volunteer boards. There are two kinds of board members. The first are willing to listen to new ideas and often change their mind when new facts and perspectives come their way. The second have kind of an ideological bend to their psyche and are quite inflexible in their thinking. They play the democratic game civilly and respectfully, but they don’t contribute to new and better ideas. Their psyche comes from the political parties who have to espouse a predetermined position so voters know what the party stands for. I don’t see PR really creating more free thinkers. Coming back to the TDG, elected representatives will not be constrained to vote the party line.
FPTP used to create moderate political parties. Canada still does, and that is one advantage to FPTP and I and many political scientists have noted. We just don’t get “whacko” news clips from the extreme parties. But it’s not hard to see that in both the USA and UK, this moderating feature of FPTP is breaking down.