Tuesday, April 29, 2014

In 2015, let’s make Canada Harper-proof!

Most Canadians appalled by the Harper Government don’t realize that this is just the beginning. Since 1935, the only times the conservative vote was united was during the reigns of Mulroney and Harper.

Before Mulroney, the conservative vote was split between the PC and Social Credit parties; after Mulroney and before Harper, between PC and Reform.

Natural governing party

So unless the Wildrose party goes federal, the Conservative party is Canada’s natural governing party.

And while Harper had a hard time getting moderate conservatives to vote for him, if Jim Prentice becomes leader, he could easily put together back-to-back majorities like Mulroney. The fact is the total conservative vote is 40%, and a fake majority is only 39%.

Small window of opportunity

In 2015, we will have a small window of opportunity to fix our broken voting system. Odds are the opposition will form a minority government. If we fail to take action, the Cons will likely be back in power for another decade as early as 2017.

Two kinds of voting reform

There are two ways to reform our voting system.

  1. Proportional Representation: ensures parties get the same percent of seats they got in votes.

  2. Ranked ballot voting: makes MPs earn their seats with a majority. This stops vote splitting and guarantees “Anyone But Con” voting.

If we had either system, odds are Harper never would’ve came to power.

Let Canadians choose

The only way to succeed in voting reform is to let Canadians decide: that is, with a three-way referendum.

We need to put all three options on the ballot — PR, RBV and our existing system First-Past-the-Post. Then hold a runoff vote (with the top two options) to ensure one option is chosen by a majority of Canadians.

(We can also put all three PR systems on the ballot to be chosen the same way: party list, Mixed-Member Proportional and Single Transferable Vote.)

Failed two-option referendums

If we let a citizens’ assembly choose for us, the choice is certain to be rejected by voters like it was in 4 provincial PR referendums.

It takes democracy, to get democracy. It is self-defeating attempting to foist one’s preferred voting system on Canadians.

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