Earlier this year, Monsef criticized the work of the all-party parliamentary committee exploring options for democratic reforms for recommending the Gallagher Index. “Would Canadians like to take the square root of the sum of the squares of the difference between the percentage of the seats for each party and the percentage of the votes cast?” she is quoted as asking. After apologizing Monsef is now ready to explain the Gallagher Index to Canadians.
“Let’s start with the 1/2,” Monsef starts off with a tone of a bored adult reading a Dr. Seuss book (whose first name starts with mel and ends with ania). “Why the half? Canadians don’t like fractions. Fractions are hard. We like decimals. So let’s change that to a 0.5.”
“Next topic: the big E. Why is there a big E in a math formula. Wait a minute…I saw that once at a frat house. What did they call it? Sigma Chi. Anyways the big E is a very complicated math symbol. It involves adding things and other fancy math work. I think. That’s just what my aide told me.”
“Onto the n and i=1. Those typically always appear there, but no real mathematician every bothers writing them in, so we’ll just skip over those. Now we have a subtraction operation between v and s. That’s not too bad. Subtraction is always fun. Here’s an example: 4-2 is 2. So much fun. But then there’s that awful square. I mean who even squares things nowadays? Squares are like really hard. Does anyone want to see a picture of a square? Well here’s one,” *holds up a toddler’s building block*. “See that’s a fun square.”
“But what even are v and s anyways? Like why not use J and T, for our prime minister Justin Trudeau. He’s great. Isn’t he great? Finally the square root. What even is a square root. Like sweet potatoes grown in a square shape? Those could be tasty. Imagine them with marshmallow fluff on top.”
“I think that about covers it. But let’s ask Android Siri just to be sure. Android Siri, what’s a Gallagher index?” asks Maryam Monsef, after fishing her phone out from her purse.
“Did you mean what is Gallagher the comedian?”
“No I meant…,” says Monsef but Siri cuts in. “It’s just a way to measure proportionality of seats a party gets in parliament, to the percentage of the popular vote received.”
“Well there you have it, the Gallagher index explained by the person who invented the Gallagher index, Siri. What shouldn’t Siri be called Gallagher then? Anyways, I’m opening the floor to questions now.”