As the election results roll in and we are seeing a big change taking place in Ottawa, it nevertheless just reinforces for us the need our country has for electoral reform.
We use the flawed first-past-the-post system to determine our representatives in Parliament, and it’s never been the best system out there.
It’s just the well-worn one we’ve always used.
There are plenty of other voting systems we could explore that would far better represent the actual will of the people.
This is particularly true in Canada where we have multiple legitimate political parties.
We firmly believe more voices and more points of view are better for our country than less.
One of the biggest stumbling blocks to instituting such a system has always been that if first-past-the-post put a political party in power, they are loathe to do anything to mess with a system that gave them the win.
That’s hardly a shocking revelation, but it’s a big barrier to a better democracy.
We’ve got a new party in power after 10 years of Conservative rule in Ottawa, and the NDP, the Greens and the Liberals (our new governing party) all pledged to at least seriously consider electoral reform while they were on the campaign trail. On election night, local candidate Luke Krayenhoff said it’s on the agenda.
We would like to see them have the courage to follow through. It’s a clean slate; Justin Trudeau has the chance to build his own legacy, and it could include making more people in this country feel like their votes matter.
But it takes true willingness and dedication.
In B.C. we almost had a better system, with the single transferable vote.
The B.C. Liberals did a great thing in getting together the Citizen’s Assembly to decide on the new voting system. Then they burned us all by abandoning the information campaign, starving it of proper funds and manpower.
Nevertheless, those ordinary people who came up with the STV believed in it so much that they almost managed to overcome the B.C. Liberals’ antipathy.
We all deserve better, provincially and federally.