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Letters to the Editor5 reasons we need to break up with FPTP

5 reasons we need to break up with FPTP

The Council of Canadians

VoteIt’s been a good run First-Past-The-Post, but it’s time. We’re breaking up. The governments you produce are self-centered and it’s time for us to part ways. The world is a different place and we expect more from our government.

  1. Most of the governments you produce, represent less than 40% of Canadians, yet they made 100% of the decisions for all of us. Why do we cling to an election system that excludes 60% of Canadian opinion? Why do we keep going back to an outdated voting system that produces governments that, once elected, have no incentive to listen to the majority of Canadian voices? We can do better.
  1. We need our government to work harder. We need a government that is required to work with other political parties, gather expertise and find support. The final piece of legislation sent to parliament to be passed should be a collaboration among the parties. You just don’t do that for us. Governments should work hard to work with people with whom they don’t necessarily agree. It isn’t easy, but those other points of view do belong to the majority of the citizens of Canada.
  1. It is a new world. The work of government is complex and government is going to have to be more creative. They are tasked with meeting the needs of Canadians and sometimes the choices they have to make are difficult- a healthy economy vs. healthy environment. Nobody even asked that question 50 years ago. Are they mutually exclusive? Can we have both? Two heads and by extension, three, four and five, are better than one. Perhaps, in a government where a broader range of ideas is thrown into the crucible, solutions will be more creative.
  1. We’ve been to counseling and the experts agree, it’s not working. We have had 10 commissions and studies on electoral reform. Every one recommended Proportional Representation.
  1. We deserve better. Twenty-one of twenty-eight European countries have proportional representation. Australia and New Zealand have proportional representation. There are many forms of proportional representation voting systems and each country has found the form that works for them. It has just been determined that Germany is the best country in the world in which to live. It has proportional representation. Perhaps as the second best country in the world, we can aspire to creating a government that better represents the diversity of Canadian opinion.

“Ours is a representative democracy. Each citizen is entitled to be represented in government. Representation comprehends the idea of having a voice in the deliberations of government,” … “the Canadian tradition [is] one of evolutionary democracy moving in uneven steps toward the goal of universal suffrage and more effective representation.”

Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin

Council of Canadians- The Mississippi Mills Chapter

If you would like to join a group of local people who are asking that Prime Minister Trudeau keep his promise that the 2015 election would be the last federal election under the First-Past-the-Post electoral system, our next full meeting is February 23, at the Mills Community Support (67 Industrial Drive, Almonte) at 7:00 pm.  If you would like to get involved in our Proportional Representation group sooner, our next meeting is at Palms Coffee Shop (78 Mills Street, Almonte) on February 19th at 2 pm.

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