Electoral reform will save money, increase accountability

Canadians should spare no effort to support electoral reform

Canadians should spare no effort to support electoral reform, given the low voter turnout and lack of trust in our elected representatives demonstrated in the past spate of provincial and federal elections.

Constituents are sick of wasteful adversarial attitudes, and want our Members of Parliament to work collaboratively to find the best solutions to Canada’s challenges.

This cannot be achieved by continuing with our present first-past-the-post electoral system. It results in many false majorities, where the winner, with 40 per cent of the votes, can capture 60 per cent of the seats and 100 per cent of the power for four years. This has so many negative consequences, the biggest of which is the failure to ensure that all laws are approved by MPs representing a majority of voters.

Our present system is also very wasteful of both time and money as political power swings back and forth between parties with very different agendas.

This results in policy lurch where each new governing party spends considerable resources rescinding the legislation of the previous party.

Two recent examples involve the long-form census and the removal of environmental protection for over 90 per cent of Canada’s lakes and rivers.

No wonder that voters say their votes don’t count, vote for a party other than the one they want (strategic voting), and believe that politicians are not accountable to voters.

At the moment, Canada is one of the most unstable of the major democracies, with 22 expensive elections since the Second World War (compared to 18 in Italy, long considered the most unstable)!

There is a better way. All proportional representation systems are based on the idea that the number of seats a party earns should reflect the percentage of votes obtained by that party.

Eighty-one long-term democracies, most European countries, and most of the major American nations use a version of proportional representation, where every vote is equal and every vote counts. A recent version of PR (rural-urban proportional) has been specifically tailored to Canadian needs.

Much peer reviewed research and many surveys show that PR systems rate more highly in voters’ opinions about the quality of their country’s democracy, health, education, environment and standards of living.

As well, they are more fiscally responsible, and are more stable, effective and accountable to voters.

I urge you to support the upcoming electoral reform as being one of the best investments in our future that Canadians can make.

 

Suzanne Wilkinson

Duncan

Just Posted

VIDEO: It’s Hometown Hockey time in Cowichan!

See our videos and pictures by our reporters from the big event at The Stick.

Column: Trump dangerous to Cowichan Valley’s economy

The tentacles of the controversial American president reach even into the Cowichan Valley.

Column David Suzuki: Large dams fail on climate change and Indigenous rights

Brazil has flooded large swaths of the Amazon for hydro dams

Heavy snowfall closes Mount Washington for the day

Road to ski resort deemed unsafe, “high avalanche danger”

Capture the Rain: Underground cistern helps rural couple expand gardens

Sandy McPherson and Alan Philip are continually working towards low-impact living.

VIDEO: It’s Hometown Hockey time in Cowichan!

See our videos and pictures by our reporters from the big event at The Stick.

Plan your Hometown Hockey weekend

Find your favourites on the Hometown Hockey schedule

Hometown Hockey: Cowichan Capitals events

On Jan. 20 there will be special features during the game for Hometown Hockey

Coming up in Cowichan: Rain workshop, Joseph Mairs Memorial, timely film

Participants are encouraged to bring their roof dimensions

Philadelphia Eagles headed to Super Bowl

After routing the Minnesota Vikings 38-7, they will face Tom Brady and the New England Patriots

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows return of rescued B.C. snowboarders

Two snowboarders were rescued near Rossland, B.C. on Sunday after being lost overnight.

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

Vessel washed ashore in Campbell River during last night’s storm

A vessel appears to have gotten loose and washed to shore on… Continue reading

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Most Read