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Letter: Most Canadians want to end ‘unfair elections’

By: Letter to the Editor

 | Aug 21, 2014 - 11:52 AM |

Re: Nickel Belt MP Claude Gravelle’s column “MP supports voting reform,” which appeared in Northern Life July 17.

Claude Gravelle’s column supporting proportional representation is remarkable. 

In most of Canada, NDP voters are cheated by our skewed voting system. Take mid-eastern Ontario, with nine MPs, where enough voters cast NDP votes to elect two NDP MPs, but elected none.

But in the North it’s the NDP that benefits. So it’s wonderful to see an NDP MP ready to give up a couple of seats in order to give a region like mine a fair system.

Some of your readers don’t know how it works. Seventeen parties? Israel? They have no local MPs, and any party that gets two per cent of the votes nation-wide gets seats.

Most countries use a four- or five-per-cent threshold, and even Israel has decided to raise theirs to four per cent. The Scottish Parliament’s model is a far better one; it takes more than five per cent to elect an MP in their 16-MP regions.
Minority governments with frequent elections? Most countries have stable coalition governments with fewer elections than Canada.

Again, look at Scotland, which had two Labour-Liberal coalition governments in a row, representing a true majority of voters. Unlike Canada, where a prime minster can roll the dice, win an artificial majority with only 38 per cent of the vote, and have unbridled power for four years.

That’s why polls show at least 70 per cent of Canadians want every vote to count equally, including supporters of all parties. No more unfair elections, please.

Wilfred Day
barrister and solicitor
Port Hope, Ont.

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