Elections should not be a race to the centre

When you pander to the masses you often lose sight of where you got your true support to begin with

Elections should not be a race to the centre

There are, undoubtedly, good things about our two- (although technically we’re more of a quasi-three) party system.

For one, even if one of the “big three” parties doesn’t represent your views perfectly, there is a realistic chance of any of them forming government.

Similarly, two or three-party systems tend to produce more majorities than multi-party systems like that of Germany’s Bundestag or France’s National Assembly.

That means a higher chance of the ruling party being able to govern for longer and, by extension, push their policies through.

And while that might sound like a good thing, it also means the ruling party is going to be representing a plurality of voters slightly as opposed to a smaller number of voters accurately.

One thing I hear a lot from politicians around here is that we need to be bold with our goals and visions for the Bulkley Valley and, by extension, across this country.

But that’s the thing, in a two/multi-party system like ours that consolidates an extremely large amount of power among three political parties, there is little-to-no incentive for those bold ideas.

That’s because when you focus on pandering to the masses you often lose sight of where you gained your true support from to begin with.

This is true for all leaders.

In terms of immigration, Scheer has steered far off course of the standard set by Harper. The same can be said in his centrist approach to the topic of Islamicism in Canada, something his predecessor called “the biggest security threat to Canada.”

Trudeau completely flopped on electoral reform after promising some form of electoral reform in the leadup to his 2015 victory.

Jagmeet Singh came out in support of LNG Canada almost immediately after his byelection win but then just a few weeks later came out in opposition to fracking, which is a large source of where liquid natural gas comes from.

Then you have the Green Party.

And while I will admit Elizabeth May has remained consistent in her views as leader and as an elected member of Parliament, the B.C. Greens — more specifically Andrew Weaver — and their cowardice regarding holding the NDP to account in their support for the Site C Dam is in glaring contradiction to a development Weaver himself has previously spoken out in opposition of.

Would it have stopped Site C? Nothing is guaranteed, but perhaps the threat of a vote of non-confidence on a separate matter (since such a vote was never brought up on the matter of Site C) would have been enough to sway Horgan.

Even if it weren’t, triggering an election to affirm a commitment to his ideals would have given me more respect for Weaver than just about any sort of legislative action he or the party’s other two MLAs could have taken during their mandate.

I shouldn’t be surprised though, because people only preach ideals until they’re in a place of power.

But don’t you wish you could vote for a leader, not just because they’re better than the other guy but because what they say actually resonates with your own intrinsically-held beliefs?

Yeah, me too.

So what’s the answer? Well if you read my columns, you already know I’m a big supporter of some form of electoral reform, whether based on proportional representation, run-off voting or some other system, but I think this question goes deeper than that.

I think the real question is can we trust the two parties that have perpetuated a system for well over 100 years that has featured everything from (self-admitted by our current Liberal government) widespread genocidal policies to concentration camps to continue to govern.

There my answer is a resounding no.

Don’t get me wrong, there will always be liberals and always be conservatives, but the parties have gotten too big and pander to too many different factions within their own parties.

So big, in fact, that I think they should split up.

Look at Liberals: you have the marxist/socialists, then you also have the classical liberals and neo-liberals. But then you also have swarms of voters who simply dislike the Liberals less than the conservatives.

Conversely, within conservatism you have everyone from libertarians, to civic nationalists to neo-conservatives — you also have the die-hard, anti-SJW crowd who will vote conservative to “punish” liberal voters.

It’s sad, really — voters perpetuating a two-party system that punishes all of them to punish each other.

Imagine, instead, if all of these factions had their own parties.

Instead of these amorphous political blobs representing a third of the country, we’d have an actual idea of what political ideologies have the most support in our country.

Would it be perfect? Probably not, but when the standing prime minister has just been found to have violated federal ethics law not once, but twice, perhaps “not perfect” is better than what we currently have.