Saturday, February 11, 2017

How Nathan Cullen can bring about electoral reform within months

Our Prime Minister clearly has limited knowledge of electoral reform, both the theories and the practice.

This article rebuts his extraordinarily inaccurate claims about the dangers to Canada of electoral reform:

The prime minister keeps making the bizarre argument that a partly proportional electoral system would allow anti-immigration Conservative Kellie Leitch to form her own party and get seats in parliament --perhaps even hold the balance of power.

He did it again on Thursday in Iqaluit.

It is true that in Israel, and some other countries with pure and total proportional systems, extremist parties have, indeed, gained a foothold in parliament, and, at times, a role in governing coalitions.

Nobody, however, proposes pure proportional for Canada.

One of the options that was on the table until Justin Trudeau pulled the plug is mixed-member proportional, the system they use in Germany.

In the German case, half of the members are elected the way we Canadians elect representatives: by first-past-the-post. The others are elected proportionally, by party, on a regional basis. To get any proportional seats, however, parties must win at least five per cent of the vote. That proviso has kept out extremists, and

Germany has had stable, consensual coalitions for about 70 years.

The Canadian first-past-the-post system, on the other hand, allowed Stephen Harper, who gave Kellie Leitch her start in politics, to win not just a handful of seats, but a majority.

In many respects, Harper was an extremist.

But one of the comments on this article is brilliant – it advises the NDP to agree to a first step in electoral reform instead of going for the whole hog.

So, why does MP Cullen not table an NDP bill in Parliament calling for a replacement of the first past the post system of electing our MPs with a ranked ballot system, that PM Trudeau says he thinks is better for Canada than the undemocratic first past the post system?

Trudeau said he turned his back on this system as well, because some say it would favour the Liberal Party.

That is not necessarily true.

By tabling the bill, the NDP will call the PM’s bluff, and if the LPC votes for it, we will at least have some semblance of electoral reform.

And then we can use the new system to elect MPs who will push for a modified proportional representation system, along the lines of the German model.

How about it, Nathan?

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