Canada is supposed to be a Representative Democracy. When I was in High school, I wrote a couple letters to my MP, Perrin Beatty. And he actually called me and answered my questions. I felt heard, and I wasn’t even a voter.
Since then, I’ve been voting for over 30 years, and yet I’ve never elected an MP.
I’ve spent the last several days blogging, denting, pinning, tweeting and talking about Proportional Representation with people online. I was actively supporting Joyce Murray’s campaign for leadership of the Liberal Party. Joyce Murray was the only candidate to support Proportional Representation. Joyce did amazingly well, but not enough to be able to counter the power that the name “Trudeau” can still engender in the Liberal Party.
I’d like to congratulate Joyce on a candidacy race well run. I voted for her as a supporter, and if she had won, I probably would have voted Liberal for the first time in my life in the next election.
I want to tell her, “Thank you for trying.”
If all Canadians had a voice in government, if we actually had a representative democracy, think of the wonders that this once great nation could achieve.
Canada is being governed by the Harper Government “Majority,” in a manner I find deeply disturbing. Yet since this government I did not vote for and do not like was elected, for the first time in my life I know what it is like to have representation in government.
Because even though I didn’t vote for her, even though I couldn’t vote for her, Elizabeth May speaks for me.
This is why I know Proportional Representation could work. Working out Canada’s riding size difficulties is a mere detail; having a voice is all.
I’m writing this today as a thank you to Ms. Elizabeth May, who is doing an incredible job against all odds. I want to tell her how much that it means to me.
“I am frequently asked how I maintain a positive attitude when confronted by Stephen Harper’s destructive agenda—dismembering our environmental laws and policies. Honestly, I can respond that most days I am encouraged by the ability of one MP to make a difference. That was not the case last week as, sitting late in the House for votes, news came over my Blackberry that the Cabinet had decided to withdraw from the United Nations Convention to Combat Drought and Desertification (UNCCD). It had the effect of a swift kick in the gut. I had to fight back tears for a day or so … just like when I read Bill C-38. I felt devastated.”
— Elizabeth May Canada Goes Rogue