Electoral reform — what’s not to like?

Martin Barker seems more than a little confused about “voter reform”.

Martin Barker seems more than a little confused about “voter reform”.

First of all, no one is proposing that we reform the voters.

The voters are fine; it is the electoral system that is in need of repair.

Secondly, far from excluding Canadians from the process, the All Party Special Committee on Electoral Reform, composed of a majority of opposition party members, has spent the past month seeking the opinions of Canadians while individual MPs of every party have hosted hundreds of town hall meetings.

MPs will soon be able to study and debate the pros and cons of the options placed before parliament, and then consult with their constituents once again before a final vote in parliament.

Lastly, a referendum on electoral reform is unnecessary because we just had one.

Last October, 68 per cent of voters chose parties promising a fairer, more representative voting system, something perhaps like that practised in stable democracies such as the Scandinavian countries and New Zealand.

Most Canadians have had enough of strategic voting, wasted votes and false majority governments wherein governments elected with one-third of the vote wield complete power.

Electoral reform will ensure that the composition of parliament reflects exactly what the voters have determined, that parties are rewarded for cooperation and compromise, and that radical shifts from right to left, with successive governments spending their first months in office undoing the worst excesses of their predecessors, will become a thing of the past.

Of course, extreme right or left wing ideologues will find it impossible to seize power and impose their agenda on an unwilling electorate, but to most of us, that’s a good thing.

Ultimately, Canadians will have a final say on electoral reform in the 2019 federal election.

What’s not to like?


Mike Ward