The tenacity of troglodytes.

It is probably disrespectful to our prehistoric ancestors to think of some people arguing about how we vote as cave-dwelling troglodytes. They seem to insist on going backwards instead of forward. They look for solutions in repressive countries instead of the progressive ones. They brutalize statistics and numbers to make their point but prove nothing of substance. To give them their due, they are tenacious.

What makes no sense is the ill-named “Fair Vote” or “Democratic Voting” supporters and others that are suggesting that we vote for people we do not know to represent us. They want us to vote for lists of people proposed by political parties. They believe that is fair?

One of the most important aspects of our political system is that we can meet, question and discuss with the person seeking to represent us. That is not to say that there are not some in our electoral district who will vote for a party leader, irrespective of the village idiot being that party’s candidate. That happens but there is no reason for Canadians to encourage it.

American President Franklin D. Roosevelt had a wonderful observation equating strong leaders to ferry boats. He noted that the larger the ferry coming into dock, the more garbage that was washed into the dock with the ferry.

Over the last couple decades in Canada, we have had the situation wherein federal candidates have had to be approved by the party leader to be identified as a member of the party on the party’s slate of candidates. That system has corrupted Canadian politics to the point that some party leaders are routinely appointing candidates. Progressive leaders such as Justin Trudeau have made it clear that they will only sign for candidates selected democratically in their riding.

But the real answers in correcting some of the problems with our First-Past-the-Post voting system are in developments in technology. Internet voting is now a reality and it opens the door to almost immediate low-cost re-opening of the vote to satisfy ourselves that the selection in each riding meets with the approval of the majority of riding voters. This is far more democratic than preferential voting as citizens will be allowed to re-evaluate their decision based on the actual vote. By dropping off the person with the lowest vote until one candidate has a majority creates true consensus choice.

Canadians in British Columbia and Ontario have voted ‘No’ to electing party lists and preferential voting. Those promoting those ideas need to find a new plan.

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Copyright 2013 © Peter Lowry

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