Canadians don’t want a two party federal system — we’re far too diverse.
That’s why we’ve embraced the notion of being a “mosaic” nation, a stark contrast to the American “melting pot” culture, where everyone is expected to fit into the homogeneous mold. But my Canada has found unity in diversity — we are a confederation of different peoples and different cultures. It’s no surprise we have so many political parties.
Unfortunately our antiquated electoral system disadvantages both independent candidates and the smaller parties, making it very difficult for them to represent citizens in Parliament. For a long time the Green Party of Canada failed to achieve a single voice in parliament — even with the support of almost a million Canadians. But when governments in power have the ability to change rules and riding boundaries to their own advantage, its no wonder the more powerful parties are able to secure seats in parliament with a many fewer votes. But persistence can pay off, and we now have two GPC parliamentarians, and we’ve seen what a difference the addition has made.
But the Canadian tragedy is that there are still far too many of us without any representation at all. but in reality, any electoral system that fails to provide representation to three quarters of the eligible voters can hardly be called a “representative democracy.”
Too many citizens give up on our unfair political system in frustration. The reasoning goes: why waste our time voting if our votes don’t count? When almost half of the eligible voters don’t vote, support for the smaller parties waxes and wanes, and fewer votes determine our election outcomes.
But many Canadians are stubborn, too. That’s why many smaller parties continuously jump through the bureaucratic hoops necessary to retain their official “Registered Party” status. These small political parties may not be able to have official standing in the House of Commons, but they nonetheless represent a great many of our citizens and residents, many of whom are among the most politically active members of Canadian society. These Canadians work for significant programs, and fight for real solutions to the major problems facing Canadians, including proposals for democratic reform.
This is why so many Canadians keep on “wasting our votes” by voting for the candidates and parties we want to send to Ottawa. Even when we understand that supporting one of the smaller parties is unlikely to secure us representation in parliament, a great many Canadians continue our dogged support of a wide variety of diverse smaller political parties. Because we believe that Canada should truly be a democracy, most Canadians believe all Canadians deserve representation in Parliament.
Even though our badly outdated winner-take-all electoral system makes it nearly impossible for the smaller parties to install MPs in the House of Commons, they can still speak for us.
Add they do speak for us.
On Friday, April 11th, 2014, the Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party of Canada, the Canadian Action Party, the Christian Heritage Party, the Communist Party of Canada, the Libertarian Party of Canada, the Marijuana Party of Canada, the Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada, the Party for Accountability, Competency and Transparency, the Pirate Party of Canada, and the Progressive Canadian Party will be speaking up for the vast majority of Canadians who lack representation in Ottawa.
Press Conference on Parliament Hill
On Friday morning, Canada’s small Registered Political Parties will discuss Bill C-23, The Fair Elections Act, at a Press Conference on Parliament Hill.
This diverse group of political parties will come together to voice their particular concerns and objections and outline their commonly held reasons for opposing Bill C-23. All these parties are unanimous in their opposition to Bill C-23, and like the many Canadians they represent, they want to see this Unfair Elections Act withdrawn in its entirety.
Unrepresented Canadians and Small Parties without House of Commons seats share the challenge of being heard. This is why citizen journalists, bloggers and even mainstream media (and citizens, too) need to attend this press conference, and share their views on this vitally important topic.
Date: Friday, April 11, 2014
Time: 10:30 am Ottawa Time
Place: Charles Lynch Room, Centre Block, Parliament Hill
For further information contact the party of your choice:
- Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party of Canada, 416-462-9541
- Canadian Action Party, 519-852-8279
- Christian Heritage Party, 819-281-6686, 1-888-868-3247
- Communist Party of Canada, 416-469-2446
- Libertarian Party of Canada, 613-288-9089
- Marijuana Party of Canada, 514-507-5188
- Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada, 416-253-4475
- Party for Accountability, Competency and Transparency, 416-567-6913
- Pirate Party of Canada, (877) 978-2023
- Progressive Canadian Party, 905-853-8949
Although these small parties have yet to overcome the artificial barriers inherent in our unfair First Past The Post electoral system, they do in fact speak for much of the effectively disenfranchised Canadian population. In a real democracy, all voices must be heard.
Keep track of the progress of Bill C-23 here.
And call or write your Member of Parliament to tell them just what you think of this mis-named legislation.