The Toronto Star is overdoing this opinion business. There was an opinion piece by a new democrat the other day that confused how we vote with gerrymandering. I can assure you that they are very different subjects. And it is too bad that the new owners of the Star are saving money on editors. The opinion piece should have been spiked. (That is newspaper lingo for killing the article.)
Like most NDP adherents, this writer has a blind belief that proportional representation will be the salvation of our democracy. He tells us that the persistent inequities he sees in first-past-the-post (FPTP) voting are fueling enormous frustration. This is despite the fact that the voters in Ontario opted to reject a form of proportional voting in a 2007 referendum by about two to one.
Typical of most people who support proportional representation, the writer seems to have failed to think it through. He compares the reintroduction of wolves into the ecosystem in America’s Yellowstone Park in 1995 to changing to proportional voting.
And that is about as bad as it gets.
We really need more sensible discussion about voting systems by people who know what they are talking about.
And don’t get me going about preferential voting. This is where people are expected to know enough about all the candidates to list their preference by numbering them. If you want to know how silly that idea can become, look at what has happened to the winners of the last two federal conservative leaders in Canada. That is preferential voting at its worst.
I always like to remind people that I am not opposed to reform. I would particularly like to see Canada switching to run-off elections where we can go back to the polls to and vote for one of the top two candidates, if nobody has won a majority of the votes.
But what we should never give up is having our own local member of parliament.
That is the form of responsible government that we can all believe in.
By the way, ‘gerrymandering’ is an American way to carve up voting areas to cheat on people’s voting rights that we need to watch for in Canada.
Copyright 2022 © Peter Lowry
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