Open letter to Robin Reid-Fraser re We’re Not Just Whining, Mostyn:
Kudos for your engagement.
I myself like the idea of electoral reform. Seeing that the NDP gets one seat in Parliament for every 0.29 per cent of the vote, whereas the Liberals get one seat per 0.53 per cent of the vote does not sit right with me.
Quebec gets one seat for every 960,000 people in the province (on average), Alberta needs 1.3 million per seat, Saskatchewan gets one for 710,000. Not very balanced, is it.
A great many different models have been tried and found lacking. Not to say that our present model is the very best. But “It’s simple, and normally produces parliamentary majorities,” says Louise Massicotte, a Universite Laval political scientist who has studied electoral reform initiatives around the world.
“The ambiguities of minority governments may fascinate intellectuals. But for the average folk in the street, a clear outcome is
always better than a murky one,” according to Maclean’s.
So maybe, just maybe, the 40 per cent of possible voters in the last Canadian election did not stay home “because this current system does not appeal to them enough to cast a ballot,” (your own quote).
Maybe they just believed things were going right for themselves and the country and did not think their input necessary to change things. Isn’t your statement just another example of the patronizing arrogance of the “lefties” or “pinkos” (your choice) who seem to “know” what is going on in the minds of the “people” and who like to imply that the noncast votes would inevitably go to them?
Turns out the article in Maclean’s deals with electoral overhaul. This time in the United Kingdom, six out of 10 Britons told pollsters “they’d gladly dump the familiar first-past-the-post electoral system (FPTP) in favour of a method that better reflected their democratic will.
“But when given their say in a referendum last week, voters dispatched the alternative with extreme prejudice: nearly 68 per cent opted to retain the old method of electing MPs, soundly rejecting the proposed system of preferential balloting known as the alternative vote (AV).”
On account of which I am emboldened to assume the stay-home voters in our election implicitly “voted” for the Conservatives, whom they wanted to continue. They were the millions content with Stephen Harper’s job, and gave him their support by not voting.
Under this assumption I would calculate that 36 per cent voted for someone other than the Conservatives, 64 per cent voted for them.
This sounds to me like you are fighting against the majority in the country.