We should give proportional representation a try

Over time, Canadians have worked to strengthen democracy.

Over time, Canadians have worked to strengthen democracy. There was strong opposition to extending voting rights to women and to some racial groups, but by 1918, women had the right to vote federally; it wasn’t until 1960 that First Nations people could vote without giving up their status.

Over the years, accessibility measures were brought in so that work, disability and travel would not be barriers to voting.

During the 2015 election, the Liberal, NDP and Green parties pledged to work to ensure that Canadians would no longer use the flawed first-past-the-post (or FPTP) electoral system in future elections.

It is always difficult for parties in power to work to change the system that brought them into power.

But a fairer, more proportional voting system is needed. It would tend to encourage politicians and citizens to cooperate for better policies, across party lines. It would ensure that each vote would count.

We expect the federal government to bring in a more proportional electoral system, and to ensure that there are effective limits on the influence of money in politics. Canadians should at least have the opportunity to give proportional representation a try.

 

Jan Slakov

Saltspring Island

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