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I Am Skooter
So here's us, on the raggedy edge.
Once there was a haunted loop / of your deep fallen tears / a forehead resting / on a record shelf
— A.C. Newman, There are Maybe 10 or 12
November 28, 2005
Elections and Electoral Reform

On the night of the corrupt Liberal government’s fall, this is a particularly interesting developmet:

Electoral reform rejected in PEI
Monday, November 28, 2005 Posted at 7:21 PM EST
Canadian Press

Charlottetown — A proposal to reform Prince Edward Island’s electoral system was rejected Monday by a large majority of voters in a provincewide plebiscite.

Here in British Columbia, we trod down this road for a bit and it failed; despite this, we’re heading down it again.

Voters are, to put it simply, afraid of change. Proportional representation is a pretty big change, and a pretty scary one.

There’s an argument that the current minority parliament is working — getting things done. I don’t buy it personally…our entire government structure is based on an assumption of majority governments. The insertion of a minority government with a weak leader into the middle of the pattern has not been effective.

Proportional representation would, essentially, create a system which would result in a continual pattern of minority style coalition governments. It’s the nature of the beast.

This is part of what makes it a scary change, but the extensive deployment of proportional representation electoral systems throughout the world has proven one thing: coalition governments can work well, and often.

PEI has benefited substantially from being a “have not” province and, in the process, fed at the trough presented by a long series of Liberal majorities. $13 Million of tax money was spent to build a bridge to this island province with a population in the range of 130,000, while Vancouver waits for transportation upgrades to just about every aspect of its infrastructure. The persistent presence of a PEI cabinet minister all but assures that the province will benefit from some form of government largesse.

This makes it unsurprising that the voters of PEI would choose to retain a system which has granted them so much political favour: these are people who understand how to use their votes to manipulate dollars, at both the federal and provincial level.

This is also an Island with remarkably high voter turnouts in provincial elections — typically 80% or higher. These people participate in, rather than ignore, their democracy. Electoral reform is often cited as one way to increase voter turnout in other parts of the country — not a problem here.

Electoral Reform, like it or not, is going to have to be imposed from above I think. Voters are afraid of change, and persistent attempts to implement it with their input have met with failure. Electoral reform is, I’m afraid, the only way to destroy the currently arrogant and self-important Liberal Party of Canada. Only by facing voters in a system which doesn’t reward the tyranny of the minority with an effective majority will the current crop of Liberal thugs realize that they need to put forward ideas, and a vision, and leadership in order to truly lead Canadians.

Posted by skooter at 7:43 PM This entry is filed under Politics.

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