Thursday, January 09, 2014

Why I've Come to Back Proportional Representation.

No, it isn't because "first past the post" allowed a quarter of the eligible voting public to saddle Canada with a lying, secretive despot.   Well, it is that but just a bit.

I now support proportional representation because of the havoc "first past the post" has wrought on the Liberals and New Democrats since Harper came to power.

Harper has very shrewdly managed to redefine the target that our political parties must aim for if they want power - and they do, do they ever.  He moved the target well to the right and knocked the opposition parties straight off their perches.   The Liberals shamelessly transformed into Conservative-Lites.  The New Democrats jumped at the chance to become Latter Day Liberals.  The Canadian Left was abandoned as first Layton, then Mulcair, pursued the slimmest chance to finally gain power even at the expense of ditching principle.

Surely proportional representation increases the importance for standing for something, for presenting ideas and ideals to the public, giving the voters a clear yet broad choice.  It is the antidote to the grey-suited technocrats that have come to dominate our Parliament.  These people have no answers.  How can they when they're afraid to acknowledge the issues that trouble, even threaten us.

I won't vote for a party that cannot present a coherent policy to tackle inequality in all its forms - income, wealth and opportunity.  I won't vote for a party that will not address our grave and deepening democratic deficit including the loss of a free press in Canada.  I won't vote for a party that has no plans for restoring Canada to leadership on the world stage as an honest broker on peace and the environment.

The yoke that is "first past the post" is plainly too heavy for the Liberals and New Democrats to bear.


Anonymous said...

An aside ....At last, the BBC talks about immigration

The BBC's refusal to air the divided views on immigration has ended up encouraging the very racism it was intended to crush

Nick Robinson The Truth about Immigration

Refreshingly forthright: Nick Robinson in the BBC's

scotty on denman said...

Join a political party---most conduct their own elections with some form of preferred ballot.

Hey! Why not start a party?---the Pro-rep Party of Canada, or PPC, for short.

Irony may strike again: voter apathy, not Single-Member-Plurality, gave us a parliamentary majority representing about a fifth of Canadians---maybe SMP will elect a PPC government. Weirder things have happened.

Anonymous said...

The most salient feature of PP is a difficulty of manipulation by establishment.
That is the key reason why the said establishment is fighting PP tooth and nail.

Purple library guy said...

One feature of proportional representation that I like is that without the threat of vote-splitting, if a party of the (whichever bit of spectrum) tries to get away with not in fact standing for the bit of spectrum they seek to represent, there's no real penalty for going and voting for someone else who will stand for that.
It's not a panacea, though. The media, for instance, will remain the media.

thwap said...

We won't get it anytime soon. The NDP wants to assume the Liberal's crown. The Liberals have always known that P.R. means sharing power with the NDP.

Plus, I've gone to a few "Fair Vote Canada" town halls. Nobody agrees on everything and there's always at least one old white guy standing at the microphone telling us his life's story.

The Mound of Sound said...

All of your criticisms and doubts are valid but some workable consensus must be found. How else can we hope to rehabilitate the New Dems and Libs?