The federal Liberal government has asked all MPs, including Conservatives, to address the issue of electoral reform with their constituents.
This is the first time in the 20 years I’ve lived here that I’ve experienced a public consultation with my MP.
Mr. Doll (Proportional representation has flaws of its own, Sept. 13 Letters) makes several statements that are inaccurate about proportional representation (PR). The first point about having numerous parties, we started with two and now have five, showing a diversity in the Canadian landscape. One party in particular has quite regional interests, Bloc Quebecois and through our present first past the post (FPTP) system, ended up being our official opposition party in the 1993 election! This would not happen under a PR system that Mr. Doll claims is problematic. When he states there would be no impetus for parties to broaden their appeal, I would suggest that parties would work harder to appeal to voters because there will be more choice for the voter in a PR system.
Mr. Doll is contradicting himself when he says that coalition governments will be dominated by the centre of the political spectrum then goes on to say that small, fringe parties will exercise more authority than they should. Small parties on the fringe of mainstream ideology will remain on the fringe unless the electorate decide otherwise.
The most erroneous statement claims that we will lose a local representative because we have to vote for a slate of reps. Just think, in PR we can have multi-member districts where we will have a number of different candidates from parties according to how people vote in that region instead of the one winner that we have now. With PR we will no longer be stuck with one representative who may not share any of our beliefs or values. We will all be represented by the candidates we chose. There will be a coalition of representatives who must work together on behalf of their constituents and people will be able to choose who they go to see from their region. This will make sure that the MPs we elect will be working hard to prove they are worth having because we, the electorate, will be able to hold them accountable! What a refreshing idea!