Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pulled his campaign promise to change our federal voting system, but for a good reason.
In the past, other smaller parties such as the Green Party have been shut out of Canadian politics because they have not garnered enough regional support. The proposed changes were looking at making the vote per cent equal the actual percentage seats — so 15 per cent of the vote would equal 15 per cent of the seats. Or there was also a system of preferred options: first choice, second choice and so on. Bryan May, Liberal MP from Cambridge, wrote on his website “We listened to people, learned what experts have to say, reached out to families, and understood how changes could influence all of us. However, believing in public consultation means that you have to actually listen to what people are saying.”
Right now, the most of the seats for members of parliament are in Ontario and Quebec. If the government changed the system this year to a proportional representation system, some models show the Liberal party would never leave government because people generally vote for centrist parties in Canada. However, as tempting as this might sound to anyone in government, the whole idea of doing something for self-gain is the cardinal sin in politics. Until there are rallies in the streets demanding that we change our voting system, I do not feel our government will step into this fire. The economy is the number one issue on the government’s mind right now, why would they want to have a un-stabilizing controversy of changing election laws for self gain get in the way of fixing our economy?
Our federal government not introducing proportional representation or another form of voting is upsetting its base who voted for them, which is a big risk. There were also complaints that the questioners used to poll people about the voting changes were confusing. After being in politics for 10 years and running in six elections, I have come to learn how important it is to have the support of your voter base. You must also be as principled as possible even if you don’t have a stance on an issue. Our prime minister wrote in his book Common Ground how much he values his principles and his country. Changing the voting system can and will change our country overnight. That would be a good thing if our country is headed down the wrong path or has major political problems. But we’re not. If we change our voting system, it should happen gradually over time and should not be seen benefiting those in power.
Timing is very important in life and in politics. With the Trump government causing instability in almost every aspect of our political world, now is not the time for Canada to be unstable through massive change and controversy. Justin Trudeau is proud of our place in the world as a country seen to be helping and stabilizing the world through good actions and deeds. Our country’s reputation as a peace maker and connector of balanced values is more important at this stage in world politics.