We are often berated by people who favour proportional representation as opposed to the first-past-the-post voting we use today. They think proportional representation would be better. Well, they are wrong.
The reason that much of the world still uses proportional representation is because many of their voters are illiterate. They cannot vote for an individual but they can learn to recognize party symbols. And that is what they use to vote. Once the vote is counted, party members from a list are appointed to their governing body according to the party’s percentage of the overall vote.
In our democratically elected parliament and legislatures, we have our own member represent us. And that is something that we should appreciate more than we do. Four years ago, Doug Ford appointed a carpetbagger from a different part of the province to run as my riding’s conservative candidate. People are working hard to make sure that person is not re-elected this time. He spent little to no time in the riding. He ignored our needs. He did not represent us.
He is hoping there are enough people in the riding who always vote conservative. Maybe their parents voted conservative before them. Yet, to ignore the opportunity to ensure that the best qualified person represents us is a stupid thing. Why would anyone not want a good representative?
Good representatives are needed on both the government and the opposition side of the house. Good representatives, on the government side, take our opinions into account when planning legislation. Good representatives, on the opposition side, propose amendments important to us. They are not just there to carp or complain. They also have a constructive role.
The Toronto Star had an editorial the other day complaining about a couple of conservative candidates who refused to debate with their opponents. They were told not to by party headquarters. Maybe you agree with the final paragraph of the editorial:
“Candidates so deferential to their bosses, so willing to short-change the people of their ridings, are a discredit to democracy and an embarrassment to themselves.”
Copyright 2022 © Peter Lowry
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