Electoral reform would end ‘false majorities’

Electoral reform would end 'false majorities' And now we settle in to the long, needless and money-wasting grind of a court battle for the Peel. Such a shame the Yukon Party cannot accept the fair and balanced final recommended plan of the commission, an

And now we settle in to the long, needless and money-wasting grind of a court battle for the Peel. Such a shame the Yukon Party cannot accept the fair and balanced final recommended plan of the commission, and has no qualms about fighting the will of Yukoners in court.

I think it important to clarify just how it is that the Yukon Party can get away with governing with such disregard for the concerns of a majority of Yukoners. And yes, I’m talking about our flawed electoral system.

With our first past the post (FPTP) system, the Yukon Party, with less than 40 per cent of the vote, is somehow granted more than 50 per cent of the seats in the legislature, which means they govern with 100 per cent of the power. This “false majority” is a natural product of our outdated electoral system.

It sounds bad enough in principle, but just look how the actual events of our last territorial election unfolded.

Darrell Pasloski was undeniably deceptive about his true intent for the Peel while campaigning because he knew it went against the wishes of a majority of us and would be detrimental to his party getting elected.

And then, freshly elected and flush with the confidence of a false majority, Brad Cathers unveils their true intent to mine the Peel. And they remain unaccountable. There is nothing within the workings of our legislature that can be done about it.

I don’t know of even the weakest definition of democracy that can include such deceitful governance.

I am convinced the solution to this problem is as simple as changing our electoral system to one of proportional representation (PR). A false majority is impossible within PR systems.

Instead, the coalition governments they create produce policy representative of a wider cross-section of the electorate that put them there. They are more inclusive governments.

PR systems are being used by over 100 democratic nations around the planet right now. In fact, Canada is one of only three countries left still using this antiquated system. Even the countries liberated from behind the iron curtain deliberately side-stepped our false majority electoral machine, and chose a system of PR.

Scotland, Wales and New Zealand, the last countries to adopt a system of PR in the 1990s, conducted polls on voter satisfaction after a couple years with their new systems. There was an overwhelming majority of support in all three countries to continue with their more fair and inclusive systems.

If we had been using a system of PR with our last territorial election, we would not be out in the cold in protest of ourgovernment. We would be out in the cold in joyous celebration of the adoption into policy of our collective handiwork – the final recommended plan of the commission.

I think it’s time the leaders of all our political parties state their position on electoral reform, and, if elected, whether they will begin the process of reform leading to a more fair and inclusive system of democracy.

Jim Borisenko

Tagish Lake

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