Open letter to Justin Trudeau on electoral reform

I am shocked that your government campaigned in favour of electoral change, but did so much to prevent any meaningful discussion about it.

I am shocked that your government campaigned in favour of electoral change, but did so much to prevent any meaningful discussion about it.

You say there is not consensus among Canadians. I say that you didn’t allow for any discussion about options.

If you had been serious about it, you would have held town hall meetings where real options were discussed.

You wouldn’t have focused on sidebars that the public was not asking for such as online voting or enforced voting.

You would have held serious discussions about the ranked ballot option, and about how some countries work successfully with, or have problems with, proportional representation.

You would have given weight to the number of Canadians who came to the electoral reform committee meetings and the Liberal town halls, who were overwhelmingly in favour of change, rather than asking vague questions in an online survey.

Of course if you ask people if they prefer a complicated ballot to a simple ballot, they will say they want a simple one. Do you think people can’t become educated about how to fill in a ballot before the next election?

I feel you have acted very cynically. Leading up to the last election, you tapped into the concern that many Canadians have that the system allowed Stephen Harper’s Conservatives to have full authority with less than 40 per cent of the popular vote.

Your party was elected with the same percentage of the vote. Now that you have 100 per cent of the power, you are acting the same way Harper did, and blaming Canadians for not agreeing.

One thing Canadians do agree on is that if a political party promises to reform the electoral system, after Canadians endured 11 years of draconian government, that party is morally bound to follow through with it.

I have voted strategically in all elections over the past 30 years. I cast a ballot for a party I didn’t truly support in order to prevent a party I really opposed from winning. The party that benefited from my strategic vote, every single time, was the Liberal Party.

Now that you have alienated hundreds of thousands of Canadians, who, like me, will never vote Liberal when faced with our next strategic voting decision, perhaps you’ll regret squandering the opportunity you had to reform our unfair elections process.

Tanya Van Valkenburg,

Whitehorse

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