In a Globe and Mail column, Lawrence Martin blames the Green Party for the Liberals losing a recent by-election in Brandon–Souris (Manitoba) by 400 votes. He goes so far as to say the party should pack it in. Not only is this suggestion pointless, it’s absurd and offensive.
In a democracy, people have the right to form parties and vote for whatever party they want. The Green Party is not the problem. The problem is our primitive, 19th-century voting system most developed countries got rid of a century ago.
The media is the message
Martin’s ridiculous column is indicative of what the real problem is: the corporate media. They favor FPP single-party dictatorships over multi-party democratic governments because they are much easier to lobby and influence.
Only in Canada (and perhaps the UK,) do people offer bizarre solutions to fix distorted election results instead of fixing the distorted voting system that produces them.
PR not in the cards
Although proportional representation voting reform would be the ideal solution, there’s just too much opposition to it. The corporate media despises the system and would ensure a federal PR referendum went down in flames, just like they did with PR referendums among the provinces.
Ranked ballot safe first step
The best bet is to first fix our existing system with ranked ballot voting — which is what Justin Trudeau proposes. Since it’s only a minor change (from single-choice ballot to ranked) it’s much easier to bring about. Not only does it stop vote splitting, it ensures reliable strategic voting and automatic electoral cooperation.
If we had the ranked ballot in place last week, the Liberals would’ve won Brandon-Souris with a majority of votes. If we had it in place in 2011, Harper would’ve been ousted by a NDP–Liberal government commanding 50% of the vote and 53% of the seats.
In 2015, we have a narrow window of unprecedented opportunity to bring real democracy to Canada. If we don’t take advantage of it, be prepared to watch the Cons destroy the country despite the vast majority of Canadians being opposed to them.