Print this Post

Electoral reform is dead, and not a moment too soon

February 2017

I’m not going to criticize Justin Trudeau for backing down on election reform, which I believe was the right thing to do.  He apparently listened to those telling him there was no general desire for changing a system which has served us well for 150 years, which is how democracy works.

What I am going to criticize Trudeau for is his reason for going down this unnecessary road in the first place.

It certainly doesn’t take a genius to figure out why Trudeau supported ranked balloting, much to the frustration of the NDP and the Green Party, who favoured proportional representation.

Ranked balloting would have primarily benefited the Liberals as voters who support left-wing parties would likely not vote for the Conservatives as their second choice.  NDP supporters would vote Liberal as a second choice and vice versa.

Conservative supporters certainly wouldn’t vote for the NDP as a second choice, but Red Tories (centrist conservatives) would likely feel comfortable voting for the Liberals as a second choice.

Since it’s unlikely the NDP will ever garner enough votes to form a government, the Liberals would govern in perpetuity.

If the 2015 election was done under the Proportional Representation system, the Liberals would have ended up with a minority government.  Their seat total would drop to 135 seats from 184, while the Conservatives would inch up from 99 to 108 and the NDP would have a much higher profile with 68 seats instead of its current 44.

Can you see why Trudeau wouldn’t want Proportional Representation?

Under the current first-past-the-post system, we will rarely see a government winning more than 50% of the popular vote, given our mulit-party configuration.  I’m fine with that as each party has the ability to form a majority government or be reduced to a minority if the electorate wants to keep the on a short leash.  There are enough checks and balances to keep one party from dominating the political scene.

It’s not perfect, but it’s the best system we have available.

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

Permanent link to this article: https://militarybruce.com/electoral-reform-is-dead-and-not-a-moment-too-soon/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>