Fair Vote Vancouver Island North presents an open forum on reforming our federal electoral system to one using Proportional Representation. Independent speakers will present some views on different forms of proportional representation and how to achieve it. All federal political parties have been invited to present their party’s position on proportional representation with discussion to follow.
Vancouver Island North information meeting
November 22nd, 2014, 1-3 pm Lower Elks Hall, Courtenay, BC
Canada currently has many examples of ‘majority’ governments being formed without the consent of the majority of voters. Federally we have a government that received 39.6 % of the popular vote securing 166 seats and 100% of the power to create legislation. Seven of our provincial governments have false majorities, B.C with 44% of the popular vote, Manitoba 46.5% ,Ontario 39%, NS 45%, Quebec 41.5%, Alberta 44% and now New Brunswick with 43%. The majority of the votes cast did not count and for the most part are ignored by the party in power.
Fairvote spokesperson Michael Nutland, stresses that this is not a partisan or political issue but one of democracy. Fairvote Canada is advocating the implementation of a system of Proportional Representation (PR), to address this situation of false majorities. “Under the current ‘First Past the Post’ system, everyone, sometime, regardless of political stripe, loses representation to which they are entitled. There is no effective representation for the majority. This is NOT democracy”.
“One of the main objections to Proportional Representation is that it will create minority governments, which some view as ineffective and unstable. History tells us differently. Through cooperation and consensus, Minority Governments were responsible for Universal Health Care, the Canada Pension Plan and the Charter of Rights, to name a few” says Nutland.
Some of the other negative effects of the ‘First Past the Post system include;
• Low voter turnout, voter apathy, due to fact that if you do not want to vote for the potential ‘winner’, people don’t believe there’s any point in voting
• Concentrates a disproportionate amount of power in the hands of a few.
• MP’s, once elected, are accountable to their party leadership and not to the people who elected them.
• Voting against someone instead of for someone.
• A vocal but powerless opposition.
• Negative, attack style campaigning.
• Creates ‘swing’ ridings that disproportionately influence the outcome of an election.
There are only three major democracies left with the antiquated FPTP. All others have moved to some form of Proportional Representation. It’s time for Canada to join them.
Fairvote Canada extends an invitation to all who believe in and are concerned about true democracy to attend at the Lower Elks Hall, 231 6th Street, Courtenay from 1 pm to 3 pm on Saturday, November 22nd
For more information, go to http://www.fairvote.ca, Facebook –fair vote vancouver island north– or contact Michael Nutland at 250-897-6188