Letter: Time to sound ‘taps’ on first past the post

Next election should be a truly fair and democratic one where every single vote can truly make a difference.

To the editor:

Re: Election promises and Minister Monsef’s 13 million post cards.

In the 2015 election, the Liberals, Greens and NDP all agreed that current method of electing MPs was seriously flawed. Justin Trudeau vowed, if he was elected 2015 would be the last election contested under the current first past the post (FPTP) method and to “make every vote count.”

Now that he is Prime Minister, Trudeau has a mandate to act on that promise, based on both the number of seats in the house and the popular vote for parties wanting electoral reform.

The all-party Electoral Reform Committee (ERRE) spent six months studying and listening to public comment on the issue of electoral reform and is set to make its recommendation on Dec. 1.

Now, Maryam Monsef, Minister of Democratic Institutions, is sending post cards to every household in Canada supposedly to acquire the same information. However, depending on the composition of the Minister’s survey questions, they may or may not be helpful in gauging public opinion.

That said, scientific opinion polls and citizens’ presentations at ERRE and MP town hall meetings show that a significant majority of Canadians prefer a change to some form of proportional representation (PR).

In addition, 88 per cent of the expert witnesses who appeared before the ERRE committee supported a change from FPTP to some form of PR. If you would like more information on electoral reform I suggest checking out the website www.fairvote.ca.

Why does any of this matter?

Because if you would like to see the next election be a truly fair and democratic one; one where every single vote can truly make a difference, Canada must follow the lead of New Zealand, Scotland and many other countries and institute a proportional representation electoral system. We need to insist that the Trudeau Liberals keep their promises to respect the ERRE committee’s report and make the 2015 election the last one decided by the archaic and unfair FPTP method.

Terry Robertson, Kelowna

 

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