Friday, July 12, 2013

Study affirms FPTP turns Canadians off politics

Recently Susan Delacourt of the Toronto Star reported Canadians are not engaged in the political process:

“Politicians, partisans and political junkies may have to confront a harsh truth — Canadians just aren’t that into you.”

According to Samara, “a non-profit organization devoted to improving civic culture in Canada,” Canadians are “lightweights” when it comes to getting involved. Just 17% of us have talked politics in the social media over the past year.

What makes Canada so different from other developed countries? It’s our corrupt voting system, First-Past-the-Post. It rewards ugly divide-and-conquer politics that make Canadians tune out. As Andrew Coyne explains:

“When a candidate needs only a small slice of the electorate to win he has little incentive to make himself less obnoxious to the rest; indeed, he has every incentive to amp up the us-and-them rhetoric, the better to lock down his support.”

If we modernize our voting system with either Proportional Representation, or Preferential Voting (ranked ballot) corrupt politicians will no longer be able to benefit from obnoxious politics. Then Canadians will tune back in.

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