Memo to NDP: Canada Needs Proportional Representation

Canadian FlagOne of the most compelling reasons Canada needs an electoral system that will produce an outcome of Proportional Representation is our diversity.  One size does not fit all.

Some Canadians support the political party they’ve chosen with the fervour of a hockey fan supporting their favorite team ~ no matter what. Others try to support the party that seems to best reflect the voter’s own ideology. Others, like me, don’t support any one party, but vote for the individual candidate that we hope will best represent our interests on an election by election basis.

As a small Ontario school child I was taught Canada is a democracy. It seemed the only fair way to govern a free country, so I was pretty pleased to be a Canadian. As I grew up and learned more about how our political system actually works, I discovered that what we here in Canada call democracy isn’t what I thought it was. Representation in government is a privilege only enjoyed by a few, denying most citizens an equal say in the decisions that affect our lives.

The disproportionate outcome of our Winner-Take-All electoral system infects our entire political system with inequity.  Here in Canada 30% of the vote can deliver a majority, because all our votes are not created equal.  Some votes count more than others, but most votes don’t count at all. Besides polarizing Canadians into “winners” and “losers”, this deprives us of democracy, a sad situation that can only be corrected through Proportional Representation.

Canada’s New Democratic Party (NDP) platform has supported Proportional Representation for a long time. But how strong is the NDP’s commitment to PR?

Julien Lamarche, President of the NCR chapter of Fair Vote Canada writes:

NDP flag

“Bonjour supporters,

As parties approach power, they have a natural tendency to drop the commitment to Proportional Represemtation.

It is important that we show to NDP leadership that the membership still cares about this issue.

If you are an NDP member, please:

0. Call Craig Scott at 613-992-9381 or 416-405-8914, tell them you’re an NDP member and you support resolution 5-40-13, 5-42-13, and 5-37-13 for proportional representation.

AND / OR

1. phone someone on your EDA (local riding) executive,

EDA info can be found here:
http://www.elections.ca/wpr_search.aspx?textonly=false&pagename=association_search&lang=e

2. find out who is going to the convention from your electoral district (riding),

3. call the delegates, see if one of them is willing to go to Panel 5 (Governing in an Inclusive and Fair Canada) on Friday morning,

4. ask that delegate to support the three resolutions making PR a fundamental plank of the next NDP election platform.

Fair Vote Canada display


error correction:
When I originally posted this I misquoted Julien as saying:
“tell your NDP member you support resolution”
when it should have said:
… “tell them you’re an NDP member and you support resolution” …
My error has now been corrected in the above text. ~ Laurel L. Russwurm

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