This is a letter to the editor from the Ottawa Citizen.
The problem is that so far change to the electoral system has not been able to pass muster with the very voters that are supposed to benefit from it. Almost half eligible voters do not even bother to vote now. How are reformers going to get them to vote for a change in the electoral system? Last Ontario election there was a vote on a type of proportional representation and it was soundly voted down. Perhaps a separate vote federally on the issue might pass but it would be an uphill battle. Nevertheless it is worth trying.
Time for reform
The Ottawa CitizenPublished: Friday, October 17, 2008
The election is over and again Canada ends up with a government that does not reflect the wishes of the people, as democracy is supposed to. The top party gets some 38 per cent of the votes but 46 per cent of the representatives. The smallest party, the Greens, get nearly seven per cent of the votes but no representation at all. If this happened in any other country, there would be international protests about the fairness of the election.
Will the new government be willing to go to some form of proportional representation? We would then be nearly guaranteed coalition governments which could not make drastic changes in operations, just adjustments that the coalition members would agree upon. Stability!
"Coalition" does not mean "minority" with its negative connotations. It is multi-party majority with co-operation between parties. How Canadian is that? With proportional representation, voters would feel they count and we might not set new records in low voter turnout as we did again this time.