Electoral reform now

Electoral reform now

Every election cycle we hear lots of talking the talk about doing politics differently.

The results of the federal election are in and the Liberals are back.

They got the most seats and will form a minority government, but they are not doing it with the blessing of a majority of Canadians.

Less than 35 per cent of us voted for them.

In the last two elections that gave one party a majority government, the Liberals and Conservatives got 39.5 and 39.6 per cent of the popular vote respectively. In fact, you have to go all the way back to 1958—when John Diefenbaker’s Progressive Conservatives took 206 of the then-265 seats in the House—to find an election in which the winning party got more than 50 per cent of the vote.

That is the nature of our multi-party, first-past-the-post (FPTP) system.

We are not necessarily advocating for proportional representation.

However, it is instructional to look at how the election might have turned out if Justin Trudeau had kept his promise to make 2015 the last time Canadians elected an FPTP government.

As of last week’s polls, the Conservatives and Liberals would have each won around 110 seats with the NDP grabbing approximately 60 and both the Greens and Bloc Quebecois taking in the neighbourhood of 30. That is very different than the makeup of the House of Commons we are looking at this morning, but also much more in line with the representation Canadians wanted.

Trudeau, of course is crowing about his “mandate from the people” even though nothing could be further from the truth.

We have real, pressing issues that need to be addressed in healthcare, poverty, crime, housing and environment, just to name a few.

To solve these problems we need real, visionary and courageous leadership.

The majority of Canadians has once again rejected the idea that any one party has the correct vision to move the country forward.

The leadership we need is not going to come from the one party who happened to get the most seats out of a flawed electoral process. You don’t get to just ignore the 65 per cent of voters who did not vote for you.

If we are to have the leadership we need, it will have to come from every MP from every party putting aside their partisanship, rolling up their sleeves and working together for the benefit of the country as a whole.

Every election cycle we hear lots of talking the talk about doing politics differently.

It is time for our elected officials to start walking the walk.

We don’t think it is too much to ask.

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