On Monday, Tory MP Pierre Poilievre announced a re-elected Conservative government would pass a law to prevent any future government from changing the voting system without a referendum. The NDP wants to bring in proportional representation, electing some MPs from party lists to make the House of Commons more representative. The Liberals want ranked ballots — where second choices are counted in — but say they would have a parliamentary committee consider both ideas. Neither party has promised a referendum on the change, and the Conservatives think that’s bad. “Both Justin Trudeau and the NDP say they will revolutionize how Canadians elect their government and neither is willing to give the Canadians a say in the matter,” Poilievre said.
Two intellectuals, writing in Next City magazine, explained why Poilievre is saying that. “It is seldom in the short-term interest of the party in power to carry out electoral reform; by definition, the system worked admirably for those now in power and changing the system might benefit the opponents next time.”
Proportional representation would modernize our democracy, the authors say. “Only in politics do we still entrust power to a single faction expected to prevail every time over the opposition by sheer force of numbers . . . we persist in structuring the governing team like a military regiment under a single commander with almost total power to appoint, discipline and expel subordinates.”
The authors? Stephen Harper and Tom Flanagan, back in 1996, when the right was divided and it looked like the Liberals were going to govern forever.
Full Article: Voting system and Senate need referendum | Paris Star.