Friday, September 18, 2009

Electoral Reform in My Lifetime? I Doubt It.

Whooee! Well friends an' foes, I was just over to POGGE's fine boog an' left me a bigass comment on the troublems with our dumbass electoral system. One o' the commenters by the name o' Greg said he figgered he only had 3 parties to choose from an' that got my Green Party hackles raised up so I lit in with a ramblin' diatribe. Here it is:

Greg said: Finally, I could withhold my vote...

There is another party that runs in all ridings and has remained steadfastly in favour of PR. While the Greens have not elected anyone, GPC support has been steadily growing and the unfairness of FPTP is driven home to more and more voters after each election.

NDP and GPC voters tend to have a better grasp on the problems with the current system simply because we are the ones most victimized by it. The two leading parties are the main beneficiaries of the unfair FPTP system and find it very easy -- and self-serving -- to deny that any problem exists.

I worked alongside my GPC candidate in the 2008 election. She was a big Fair Vote Canada campaigner and worked tirelessly in the Ontario referendum. Whenever she would bring up electoral reform, it would end up working against her. After a few such debacles, it was decided to keep the issue low key. It just didn't resonate or else it was deemed too complicated -- or a dead duck done deal due to the resounding defeat in the referendum.

Attempting to get votes, knowing full well that your party doesn't stand a chance in FPTP, can be frustrating. People will ask, "Why bother?" One of the best reasons has to be the mere fact that once a person sees his or her vote declared essentially meaningless due to FPTP, they will be more receptive and more vocal about the inherent unfairness of the current system.

When enough people start asking why a party that gets 8% or 9% of the popular votes gets 0% representation, we might stand a chance of changing the system. And, it's not just the disenfranchised GPC and NDP voters who can see the discrepancy.

Obviously, the main beneficiaries will be loathe to change a system in which they are the main beneficiaries. I'm not sure we can change that. A Liberal or Con MP who votes for a system that will deprive his party of seats will quickly be dropped from the party.

In the meantime, all we can do is vote our conscience and do our best to inform the public that we have a patently unfair system. I'm 60 YO and have lost all hope that the system will change within my lifetime. That won't stop me from pushing for change. Hey... I'm still pushing for world peace, too.



Rural said...

Yeah, this old fart doubts it also but we gota keep trying......

JimBobby said...

I figger at least we can try to help pave the way for some future generation.