The election draws nigh; let the scare-mongering begin. For example: every major party leader except Stephen Harper has promised to put proportional representation on the national agenda. Predictably, the naysayers want to frighten us off by raising the spectre of coalition government. What’s wrong with this picture?
We have coalition governments to thank creating the Canada Pension Plan, the Canadian National Railway, the Supreme Court, the Old Age Pension and Family Allowance, the Charter of Human Rights, and universal Medicare. Did I mention the Freedom of Information Act, Social Assistance and employment insurance, the Office of the Auditor General, and votes for Aboriginal Peoples? Not to mention the historical firsts: first female governor general, first indigenous senator, and first cabinet minister of African descent.
Coalitions gave us benefits, rights and protections that once made us the envy of nations around the globe – rights and protections, I might add, that are steadily eroding under the current fake-majority government.
History tells us that coalition governments have worked cooperatively to achieve great things, so why be afraid? Proportional representation? Bring it on!