Electoral reform: No referendum required

I would like to thank Kyle Carruthers for yet another very well written Sept. 7 article on electoral reform.

I would like to thank Kyle Carruthers for yet another very well written Sept. 7 article on electoral reform.

While I agree with much of what he has written, I disagree with his feeling that a referendum should be used to get us there.

For all of the reasons mentioned in his article, first-past-the-post (FPTP) is antiquated and undemocratic. Thus, one could reasonably conclude that the rights of Canadians to a fair and representative government are being violated. When governments recognize that the rights of its citizens are being violated, they change their policies to protect those rights. They do not call a referendum for these changes. If there had been a referendum on LGBTQ rights and people voted no, would we still be denying those rights to this day?

Referendums are incredibly expensive and are easily manipulated if the question is not perfectly clear. The Conservative Party of Canada and folks like Currie Dixon want a referendum because under FPTP, they currently benefit the most. Since the merger of the Canadian Alliance and the Progressive Conservatives in 2003, the Conservatives are the only party on the right of the political spectrum and therefore gain the most from vote splitting.

Governing parties are obliged and expected to implement the policies they ran on without referendums. The corollary is that a party should not introduce major legislation that was not in their platform without a referendum. Since electoral reform factored prominently in the Green, NDP and Liberal campaigns, with Trudeau, himself, unequivocally declaring 2015 would be the last election done under FPTP, no referendum is required. The referendum on electoral reform was the last campaign itself.

What Canadians don’t need are colossal amounts of money being thrown into “for” and “against” advertising campaigns. What they do need is representation in all levels of government that reflects the popular vote and the wonderful diversity of our great country.

Kristina Calhoun

Director, Yukon Federal Green Party

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