Dear Justin – About Electoral Reform:
October 25, 2015 by
Mark Hambridge in
MARK'S REMARKS, Politics
Dear Justin Trudeau:
You recently received and replied to a Facebook post by Casandra Effe. Thank you for having the courage and courtesy to do so, unlike our newly-de-elected Prime Minister and my former so-called Member of Parliament, the Member for Calgary West.
I identify with and strongly support Casandra’s position and emphasize her initial points, reproduced and abbreviated below:
“My country’s electoral system throws away all votes that don’t “win”. This last election’s votes meant two thirds of us weren’t represented at all. That’s crazy! I hope you can do a few things in your newfound position.
“1. Get real about your win. Accept it with humility and modesty, and treat your fellow left politicians with respect and gratitude, for it is THEIR supporters who got you here with your sweeping majority, and not your own.
“2. Change our electoral system. Be brave enough to see the big picture and not just for whom our voting system will immediately benefit. Be strong enough to face those that disagree or may lose their roles because a better system is needed for the health of our country. Be the one to recreate what democracy is in Canada. You have the chance to make history for your Trudeau name (round two), and what a magical gift that is… to have the ability to create a legacy.”
You have chosen to adopt Fair Vote Canada’s slogans to ‘Make Every Vote Count’
in 2019, and to make the 42nd General Election ‘The Last Unfair Election”
. I and the majority of Canadian voters call on you to immediately initiate a review of our electoral system with the object of introducing proportional representation (PR) by 2019. This was (in part) one of your electoral promises; it should be foremost before considering other potential electoral reforms.
I call on you to clarify what you mean by a ‘Preferential’ or ‘Ranked’ Ballot. The term has been used in several contexts, leading to confusion in many minds. In single-member electoral districts, it tends to be equated with the Alternative Vote, which is far from PR and really just aggravates the unsatisfactory results of our present system. Progressive democratic countries do not use such electoral systems. If this is what you consider desirable – please stop doing so, NOW.
A preferential ballot used to rank several candidates in order of preference, used in multi-member electoral districts, produces a membership of the House of Commons which reflects the popular vote in the electoral district, province and Canada. This is what Canada wants and needs. There are several potential systems that could be adapted to Canada’s needs. A commission with lay membership and some political representation should NOW be formed to initiate the process of change.