I and some other Yukon members of the federal Green Party read with interest John Thompson’s editorial on Friday, May 9, “Bagnell’s in. Will Streicker take him out?”
Mr. Thompson was right when he said “Streicker and his supporters will dispute this interpretation.” Like Mr. Thompson, Green Party members noticed in the 2011 federal election that Ryan Leef snuck in with 33 per cent of votes cast.
It’s probably true that some people who voted for John Streicker would have preferred Larry Bagnell to get in over Ryan Leef. We also know, however, that some people who voted for Larry Bagnell would have preferred John Streicker as their representative in Parliament. It’s unfortunate that we have an electoral system that promotes voting based on who we don’t want in, rather than who we do.
In 2011 similar situations across Canada produced similar anomalous results. Most people already know that Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s supposed “strong, stable majority” got there with less than 40 per cent of the popular vote. So what happened here in the Yukon was happening in many, many ridings.
The Yukon Federal Green Party doesn’t think that the solution is for their candidate (whoever party members nominate as their candidate for 2015) to bow out in order for Larry Bagnell to (possibly) win again. We need to move forward, not backward.
We don’t think strategic voting is the answer. We know that the only permanent solution is voting reform, in particular abandonment of the first-past-the-post system that produces these unjust results. That’s the reason why proportional representation is one of the federal Green Party’s platforms. Short-term though – think 2015 – it is Green Party policy to be open to co-operation with any party on the condition that they make electoral reform a priority.
Most Canadians already know we have a problem with our voting system. The Green Party, though, not only knows there is a problem but knows there is a solution. That’s why Canada needs more of the Green Party, not less. And by the way, we have solutions for a bunch more of Canada’s problems, too.