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Posted: October 24, 2020

Undemocratic or far more democratic?

Letter to the Editor

Re: Oct. 18 letter ‘A couple questions for candidate Wayne Stetski.’

Submitted by letter author

Jason Greig’s paranoiac letter misconstrued NDP candidate Wayne Stetski’s support for OneTimeAlliance as anti-democratic and untransparent.

I don’t speak for Wayne Stetski, but I can speak for OneTimeAlliance; to see our objectives go to our webpage (onetimealliance.ca). OneTimeAlliance has been corresponding with leaders and members of both the Green Party of Canada and the New Democratic Party of Canada, informing them about our objectives and inviting their support for our Win/Win strategy.

We are pleased with Stetski’s support, but we also have supporters from other parties and some who are unaffiliated with any party. Far from being a backroom cabal with a thumb on the electoral scales, we are all working for a more representative democratic electoral system, one which would produce fairly close correlations between who is elected and how many votes they got.

Most Canadians agree with us. In September 2019 Angus Reid Global and Fair Vote Canada conducted a poll of Canadians showing that 82% agreed that “in order for a political party for form a majority government, it should have the support of over 50% of Canadians.” Yet governments (think Trudeau’s Liberals, Horgan’s NDP) who have been successful under the FPTP system refuse to reform the system.

In 2019, Kootenay-Columbia sent Conservative Rob Morrison to the House of Commons with 44.8% of the popular vote. It is an impressive number, but not a majority. NDP Wayne Stetski was 10% behind, at 34.4%. Liberal Robin Goldsbury and Green Abra Brynne each got 9.1% of the vote – not insignificant.

Add them up, plus the other minor parties’ votes, and you will see that an awful lot of people in Kootenay-Columbia – a majority, in fact – got absolutely no political representation for their votes, which counted for nothing. Under a proportional representation system, all votes would have counted toward their parties’ seats in Parliament and no one would have “wasted” their vote.

Consider the ludicrous and undemocratic results of the 2019 federal election: the Liberals won a decisive plurality of 157 seats with 33.1% of the popular vote; the Conservatives won fewer seats, at 121, with 34.4% of the vote; the Bloc Québécois won 32 seats with 7.7% of the vote, the NDP won 24 seats with 15.9% of the vote, and the Green party won three seats with 6.5% of the vote. The Conservatives won more votes than the Liberals but got 36 fewer seats! The BQ bagged eight more seats than the NDP with half the number of votes; and 10 times more seats than the Greens who had nearly the same number of votes.

Ludicrous and undemocratic indeed.

Mr. Greig opines that “democracy requires input from a single source: the voter.” The voter is stuck with the FPTP electoral system, which is not capable of producing faithful democratic representation in the conditions of a 21st century multi-party system. Perhaps Mr. Greig would spend his time better by investigating our current electoral system’s democratic deficit.

Joyce Green,

Cranbrook


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