Maybe it is time to rethink how we elect?
Is it time for a different approach to how we elect our politicians? Is “first past the post” working for Canadians?
So far, the system doesn’t seem to be working. We still have stagnant employment, governments wasting money, whistleblowers punished, increase taxes, small businesses closing, gas prices rising, bleak outlook for youths in the workforce, and no one being held accountable.
We need a party to bridge the gap between conservation and economics that is pragmatic.
We need all ideas on the table, and none tossed away because the other party proposed it.
We need accountability!
The Liberal government did play with the idea, as a campaign platform in 2015, of a historical electoral change buy proposing to adopt the “Proportional Representation”. This did not happen.
If we do away with the “first past the post” electoral system we encourage more ideas and hear more of the voices in our communities, by pooling a number of parties together and their ideas. It is the practice adopted in many countries including Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Israel, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland.
In 1958, Tommy Douglas, Premier of Saskatchewan, had implemented the Medicare system in his province. This did not go unnoticed by the federal government and by newly elected Prime Minister, John Diefenbaker. In a nonpartisan move, the Prime Minister encouraged the adoption of this medical reform for all provinces. This passing and excepting of ideas is not seen very often. With a “Proportional Representation” electoral system, we could.
The “First past the post” system is said to cause greater stability as one leader is to emerge with a majority government. Yet, many people will vote for a “lesser evil” candidate to prevent another party from gaining the majority seat. This candidate may not be their first choice. This was arguably the case when Conservative Doug Ford was elected Premier of Ontario, to oust the very unpopular Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne. This also may be the case this October for the federal election. If people want Trudeau out they must vote the conservatives in! They may not even like Andrew Scheer or even agree with the conservative party!
So, what to do? Lifelong liberal David Merner, who came in second to the NDP for a riding in Vancouver Island, will run again in October, but this time for the Green. He left his beloved party because “I couldn’t stay in a party that serially broke its promises”.(Macleans’ article by Anne Kingston May 3, 2019)
He goes on to say that “The Liberals adopted Harper’s targets and aren’t meeting them.” Spending $4.5 billion on an old pipeline that requires an additional $10 billion to $15 billion to twin it isn’t ‘Real Change,” he says. “It’s investing in the past. It’s going backward when we should be investing in the future—helping GM build electric vehicles.”
It is speculated that the Green Party numbers are tiny. Therefore, any votes that come their way may be some of the believed 44% leaving the liberals. That certainly helps the conservatives, as they may take much more of that percentage as the “lesser of two evils” votes.
Some polls are saying the Greens are gaining some ground. They may be one more election away from gaining even greater strength. If the conservatives win a majority, it is likely that we see the same old bag of tricks and they are the party least worried about Climate Change. The Green party will grow as the party looking for clean ideas and productive economics.
“The Greens exist as an ideological hybrid—rightward-leaning in endorsing marketplace solutions and tax-shifting from income to fossil fuels, more to the left on social issues that include national pharmacare, guaranteed livable income, basic dental plans, free tuition and skills training, restoring tax incentives to build energy-efficient affordable housing, and electoral reform.”(Anne Kingston, Maclean’s)
You may feel voting green is just betting on a losing horse. That their platform sounds great but will it work in practice? It may not be their time, they may need more experience and entice more solid candidates. If we see more of the same after the next election, where there is no accountability, top wealthy getting richer, stagnant job growth, banks and large corporations getting more powerful and our environment and wildlife diminishing, then maybe it is time for a historical change? A new electoral system and maybe more concerned people voting Green may just be what the doctor ordered!