It’s time for electoral reform

Open letter to MP Ryan Leef: During the Canada Day parade I helped carry the banner for Fair Vote Yukon. It's a chapter of Fair Vote Canada, which advocates electoral reform. We were right behind Yukoners For Democracy.

Open letter to MP Ryan Leef:

During the Canada Day parade I helped carry the banner for Fair Vote Yukon. It’s a chapter of Fair Vote Canada, which advocates electoral reform.

We were right behind Yukoners For Democracy. They were that stand-out group with the samba music, bicycles and whistles, drums, tambourines and horns, signs and colourful regalia who were carrying the banner “I love a Canada that…” and singing “This Land is Our Land, This Land is Your Land.”

And we were right in front of the wonderful Yukon Roller Girls, many of whom enthusiastically signed our petition.

Briefly, this first-past-the-post (FPTP) electoral system that Canada, the U.S. and Great Britain hang on to so strongly does not allow for most votes to “count” in proportion to the popular vote.

How is it that a political party can win a majority with less than 50 per cent of the popular vote? With our FPTP system.

And it has been happening for hundreds of years, first in what became Great Britain and then it was passed on to her colonies. This system was formed by the “lords of the land” way back in the peasant days of Merry Old England.

The above named three countries are the only democratized ones in the world that use the FPTP elector system. All other democracies use some form of proportional representation in their electoral systems.

Corruption within some of those countries is another issue.

I love a Canada that believes in true democracy where 50 per cent +1 of the popular vote is a majority win and the number of seats won by political parties are in the same proportion as the popular vote.

I also love a Canada that ensures the health and well-being of all its citizens, here and abroad, and to those who come to our shores seeking asylum and refuge.

I love a Canada that recognizes that addictions are a health issue, that withdraws its troops from the unwinnable War on Drugs and puts the funding they save on fighting that destructive war into a harm-reduction model based on evidence-based research.

I love a Canada that provides adequate health care, treatment and compassion to those struggling with addictions. The very conservative country of Portugal chose that route a few years ago, and guess what? Crime rates have dropped as has the number of people with addictions.

I love a Canada that recognizes our sovereignty, and doesn’t pass the “rough rider legislation” embedded deep in the contentious Bill C-38. This piece of legislation will allow US enforcement agencies onto Canadian soil to arrest citizens and take them to the US to be prosecuted.

I love a Canada that ensures toxic substances like asbestos are not sold to Third World and developing nations because it is as toxic to people there as it is to Canadians.

There are many more things that I could mention but I wonder, what do you love about Canada?

Evann Lacoss

Whitehorse