Open letter to Opposition Leader Michael Ignatieff:
At this time, the future of Canada’s present government is in question, and there is a possibility of a coalition government.
If Canada either continues with a minority government or has a coalition government, you and the Liberal party can play a key role in helping Canada establish a more truly representative parliament, as well as a more transparent and accountable government.
As you may know, Canada’s present electoral system is less than 50 per cent effective. If MPs are not concerned about this, how much concern do they show for over half of Canada’s voters as well as true representative democracy?
Canada’s 40th Parliament is presently facing some heavy challenges that involve the entire world. However, it also has an opportunity at this time to make a great historical contribution to democracy on behalf of Canadian society. Without any help from the rest of the world, Canada’s 40th Parliament can help lead Canadians to a far more user-friendly and effective electoral system.
Canadian voters, including candidates, should not have to go through another frustrating election with Canada’s present ineffective system. Voters should be able to vote for whom and what they believe in, with confidence that their vote will affect the formation of Parliament. Losing candidates, and their supporters, should gain some satisfaction for their efforts in an election.
A combination electoral system has been developed for Canada that would raise the effectiveness of voters from less than 50 per cent to more than 90 per cent. Because it would be a modified version of Canada’s present electoral system, it would be relatively simple to implement. It would have a high degree of both proportional and local representation.
This system would offer opportunity to build community in Canada. Canada would be split into many areas consisting of between four and 10 present ridings. Each area would have a very high probability of electing MPs to both the government and opposition benches.
Adopting this proposal would re-invigorate the Canadian voter to recognize that indeed his/her vote might finally have some meaningful outcome. The existing system tends to pander to apathy.
Can Canada have a far more effective electoral system ready for the next election? If not, why not?
I recognize that your time is very limited. Could you have someone in your office take a serious look at this proposal? This system has been built on feedback — likes, concerns and suggested changes. It now seems to be right or almost right for Canada.
It is hoped that you will reach other interested parliamentarians. This letter is being copied to those who are thought to be interested and willing to give feedback.
For more information, see the website: http://www.electoralchange.ca/ or contact Dave Brekke at email@example.com.
David Brekke, former federal returning officer and member of Elections Canada Returning Officers Advisory Committee Whitehorse
Shark-eyed Harper and tree-hugger Fentie
If I had a New Year’s wish it would be that I possessed the ability to compose a scathing letter over the general state of political affairs here and in Ottawa.
First, there would be a mention of the hypocrisy of the Reform Party (aka Conservatives, Alliance, Progressives, right wingers, et al) concerning an elected Senate.
Running scared, the leader with smokey-grey shark eyes is salting away whatever political favour he can before being ousted from the job he was never qualified for.
Similarly the Senate appointments prove that in this wonderful country you don’t have to put in an honest day’s work, yet sponge up a comfortable living at the taxpayer’s expense. Ione Christensen excluded, of course.
Locally, the Fentie regime and the Gang of 11 continue to be a tree-hugger’s best friend, as nothing has changed in six years, with more negotiated inertia to follow.
Yes, pals of the government continue to share in the hacking up of federal transfer payments — with the intention of free enterprise, excluding some principals.
Anyone remember the rodeo grounds fiasco or the Fish Lake lot assignment? How about the abattoir or other Grimms’ fairy tales?
Now for some good news
Receiving a generous cash donation from Yukon Employees Union Local 4010 has become an annual reminder to the Weekend Soup Kitchen volunteers to take time to recognize the many people who make this endeavour possible.
Working out of the basement of Sacred Heart Cathedral, the Weekend Soup Kitchen has been operated for 15 years by volunteers from several Whitehorse churches as well as local volunteer groups and several individuals.
The service was instituted in response to the increasing pressure on the Salvation Army soup kitchen, which was finding it difficult to keep up with the demand.
There are many other individuals, groups and local businesses that support the efforts of the soup kitchen behind the scenes. Bakeries, grocery stores, wholesalers and retailers regularly donate products.
Individuals, businesses and their employees send cheques to cover the cost of running the facilities. School groups send money and spend weekends working at the kitchen.
This brings us to the many people, known and unknown, who keep the freezer full of soup year after year.
In the face of increasingly despairing news items that brought in the new year, we trust this will be a small reminder that there is still good news in our world.
Helena Shewen, on behalf of the Weekend Soup Kitchen volunteers