Open letter to Richard Mostyn, re Suck it up, Sunshine:
I’m part of the majority of Canadians that did not elect the new Conservative government.
In Friday’s Suck it up, Sunshine, you characterized those of us who are dissatisfied with the outcome of the May 2nd vote as “disgruntled leftists” and “sore losers.”
I would argue one’s political affiliation is irrelevant to the real issue at hand: our electoral system has handed an enormous amount of power to a party that was supported by less than four out of 10 Canadians.
The new makeup of the House of Commons is not a true expression of the will of Canadians, of democracy, but rather, a by-product of the “first-past-the-post” system.
It is the system that gave unfettered power to the Conservatives. It has also over-represented the Opposition NDP. Just look at the percentages.
Many of those you accuse of bawling are only pointing out that the current system does not translate votes into a House that accurately represents the will of Canadians. Many of us believe the system must be changed to something better, something more representative.
There are other ways to elect a legislature. Other countries, New Zealand, Brazil, Israel, Germany, France, Sweden, (pretty much all of Europe) use some form of proportional representation in their elections. So why not Canada too?
Your article also discussed how the NDP’s fortunes in Quebec are potentially bad for the country, a boost to Quebec nationalism. I would agree, and point out if seats were allocated proportionally, the Bloc would have 19 of them, giving Quebec nationalists a seat at the table as a potentially useful ally to any of the other parties.
We need electoral reform. The makeup of the House of Commons does not reflect the will of the majority of Canadians. Those of us concerned with the issue will not casually accept “the bully’s going to take our lunch money.” We’d rather stand up to the bully instead.
The first step is working to change our system to one that better serves democracy.
You asked who’s going to deliver?
Look for a growing grassroots movement of Canadians from across the political spectrum.