You would think that the scathing comments I get about first-past-the-post voting would discourage me. They do not. I also want to see change in the way Canadians vote. The only problem is that I see it as one of many changes needed in our constitution. And if you ask Justin Trudeau, he will likely tell you that he does not want to open that can of worms.
Canada’s constitution is a constantly aggravating mess. Having an appointed governor general is a bad joke. Having a non-elected senate is a disgrace. The growing disparity in population between provinces creates many of the problems our country faces. The ‘fathers of confederation’ could not see past their noses what this country was to become and they created the blockages in our constitution that exist to this day. We really need to decide whether we want to be a confederation of provinces or a country. And only the people can decide that question.
And just changing how we vote is no panacea. I watched most of the hearings of the government’s special committee on electoral reform in 2016. I was appalled at the number of so-called expert witnesses who came to share their ignorance with the committee.
Canada, as structured, has unique requirements. For example, we have services to people that need to be funded federally and yet are controlled by the individual provinces. And yet we have a province that ran a stupid referendum the other day that wants to end the equalization payments that attempt to balance out those problems.
What I find most annoying is the ignorance of our news media who let people write opinion pieces denouncing first-past-the-post voting as though it was some sort of criminal plot to muddle the minds of the populace. Even calling it first-past-the-post is denigrating. Our voting system enables us to choose who will represent us in parliament. That is an honour and privilege we should not take lightly. Lazy people just vote for the representative who stands for a certain political party. That is how we sometimes get the village idiot elected.
But luckily, even stupid people have the right to be elected, and often are.
Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry
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