‘Make Rob Care’
Rob Lewis – a 34 year old junior high science teacher in Calgary, hasn’t voted for many years. The CBC Eyeopener is asking people to persuade Rob to vote — here is my effort, on behalf of Fair Vote Calgary.
Rob – your vote is important, even if it doesn’t serve to elect someone. What?
By NOT even going to vote, you are signalling that you accept the present state of affairs, which you clearly don’t. Your comments about not finding someone suitable to vote FOR are fine, but you can more effectively register a protest by going to the poll, registering to vote, and declining to accept a ballot.
Some people choose to spoil their ballot. This doesn’t tell anyone anything – you might have made a mistake in marking the paper, or you might have written ‘None of the Above’, or marked the ballot in a preferential order. None of that will be recorded – just that the ballot was spoiled and discarded.
Under the present First-Past-The-Post system only the votes for the candidate who gets the most are counted toward electing someone. In a four-candidate electoral district, that could be as low as 30% of the vote. That means 70% of the votes cast did not elect anyone – they are ‘wasted’. No wonder even those of us who DO vote are dissatisfied with the present system; there IS a better way!
Proportional representation works to make every vote count toward electing someone; the way the ballots are designed and the way the votes are counted makes all the difference. The goal is to ensure that the representation in the legislature or Parliament reflects the provincial or national popular vote. Get 39% of the vote – get 39% of the seats; not 60% of the seats (and 100% of the power!) This is not unique to the present federal government – in 2012, in Alberta, the Progressive Conservatives got 44% of the vote, 61 of 87 seats in the legislature (70%), so 100% of the power.
So, Rob, carefully evaluate the parties’ policies and support — that is, get out and vote for — a candidate who will support the introduction of proportional representation, regardless of political colour or stripe. You can find out a lot more on Fair Vote Calgary’s web site . In Alberta, we need a simple majority, 44 of 87 MLAs (50.6%), to support proportional representation, and then you will have helped make 2015 the last unfair election.