From the equality of rights springs identity of our highest interests; you cannot subvert your neighbor's rights without striking a dangerous blow at your own. Carl Schurz

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Psst Don't tell anyone, but I kinda sorta agree with Coyne on this one

 ... So while I don’t see the case for merging the other parties, I do think there’s some merit in a proposal floated by the Liberal leadership candidate Joyce Murray: namely, a one-time-only electoral pact, for the sole purpose of changing the voting system.
The Green Party has proposed something similar. And Nathan Cullen famously ran for NDP leader on an electoral cooperation platform. The details no doubt vary, but here’s how I can see it working. The opposition parties would agree on a single candidate to put up against the Conservatives in each riding. Were they to win a majority, they would pledge to govern just long enough to implement electoral reform: a year, two at most. Then fresh elections would be called under the new system, with each party once again running under its own flag, with a full slate of candidates.

 I've long held the view that without electoral reform nothing will change, oh we may elect different governments but more often then not the majority of voters will end up disenfranchised. To me this isn't about defeating Harper, instead I see this as an opportunity to repair our voting system to ensure that government speaks for as many Canadians as possible.

In his column Coyne advocates for proportional representation, while PR is my preferred option a preferential ballot or instant run-off holds promise as well.What ever shape electoral reform takes it can't be any worse than our current first past the post system we have now.

I know many of my fellow progressives have advocated for just such a pact in order to rid us of this most vile Conservative government, however I find myself uneasy with such a maneuver as it will serve only to further disenfranchise some voters and while in the short term may rid us of Harper (YAY), in the long term it solves nothing.

We will still be stuck with a system that so clearly fails us on every level. however if as Coyne envisions the goal is to reform our electoral system then immediately call a fresh election then that I can support.


  1. Cynic that I am, Kev, I have to say the likelihood of electoral reform seems remote, given that politicians and parties for the most part, in my view, crave power. Any consideration of doing something for the collective good seems remote and secondary, at best.

    1. Sadly I have to agree Lorne Looking at the three sham referendums on PR held thus far gives proof to that. Each was overly complicated and grossly under explained, they were set up to fail.

      But a fella can dream can't he?

      If we are ever to see true electoral reform it will have to be driven from the street not the pols

  2. Using the next election as an election reform referendum is a very interesting idea and what's more I don't see any alternative other than waiting for the HarperCons to implode on their own.
    I want to believe, Kev, but then I look at how the vote went down on renewing the Anti-terrorism Act a month ago - just look at those colours! - and freak out.

    1. Hi Alison, I often get into trouble on twitter from my Liberal friends when I say the LPC is a solidly right wing party. It's interesting that most liberal supporters see themselves as progressive
      ( as they mostly are) yet continue to support a party that hasn't been so in decades. BTW Great to see you blogging once more, you're absence is always felt