We need electoral reform in Canada

If a form of proportional representation had been in effect the numbers of seats won by each party would have been something like this:

Re: Our voting system

Many have stated that the Harper Conservatives wrongly held a majority with less than 40 per cent of the popular vote and pointed to that as an example of a basic problem with the current first past the post (FPTP) electoral system.

We note now that the present Liberal majority victory similarly is based upon less than 40 per cent of the national vote.

If a form of proportional representation had been in effect for this 2015 election, the numbers of seats won by each party would have been something like this:

Liberal — 134 (instead of the 184 that they won)

Conservative — 108 (instead of 99)

NDP — 67 (instead of 44)

Bloc Quebecois — 16 (instead of 10)

Green — 12 (Instead of one)

That would have produced a Liberal minority government, with the Conservatives, along with NDP, BQ, and Green parties having some power to represent their constituencies and influence legislation accordingly. As it is now, with the results of a first past the post election, those parties must largely sit on the sidelines and watch the Liberals govern as they will, with little effective opposition.

Perhaps now that the tables have turned, Conservatives who defended FPTP, having been satisfied that it had worked in their favour, will think differently about that and begin to think, along with others, about a more fair and representative electoral system.

For the 60 per cent of voters who voted not for Liberals, there must be some sense of injustice inherent in a procedure that has resulted in majority power for a party supported by less than 40 per cent.

And such a sense of injustice is best shared by everyone, so that, regardless of political leanings, people of various interests might work together for a more fair and representative system, in the ways of respectful cooperation, rather than winner-take-all dominance.

With proportional representation, the voting members of parliament, those who pass the laws of the land and manage the affairs of the nation, could more faithfully represent the diverse interests of people across this great land.

The non-partisan organization: Fair Vote Canada (online) provides resources for information and action.

…For the health and the benefits of democratic, civil, inclusive, and just society in Canada.

 

John Mowat Steven

Cowichan Valley