Electoral Reform 1 of 6
“Let the buyer beware” is an excellent approach for citizens to take when it comes to an issue of the significance of electoral reform, particularly a change to proportional representation, a system of electing a government with which Canadians have no experience.
Despite the apparently cavalier attitude of the NDP/Green collaboration, election reform is a BIG DEAL.
Electoral reform is about changing the way we choose our governments from the system that has been used since Canada became the Dominion of Canada in 1867. Any change from our current ‘first past the post’ to proportional representation is a MAJOR change that can have profound effects on the outcome of elections and on government behaviour.
Because of the significance of election reform and the potential for undesired and/or unrecognized outcomes and consequences, electoral reform is not only the most important issue currently in front of citizens, it is the most important issue citizens have ever had in front of them.
Although one would not know that from the feckless behavior and actions of the NDP/Green collaboration on the matter of election reform. The NDP/Green collaborators are either woefully ignorant on the importance and potential far reaching effects of their proposal to change our electoral system, or are trying to slip this major change past citizens.
While politicians and political parties may come and go, the process we use to elect them stays…….actually, with proportional representation getting rid of a politician or changing the government can be much more problematic.
In light of the downplaying of the importance and effects of electoral reform and the NDP/Green dissembling on the matter, citizens need to add a healthy serving of Cave Politicus – Beware the Politician – to Caveat Emptor
The NDP/Green are selling changing the electoral system as ‘improving’, ‘fixing’ and ‘making our democracy more democratic’.
Yet there has been no discussion about why we need to change our electoral system. No discussion about the purpose and goals of making a change. No discussion about whether any change can fulfill those purposes and goals. No discussion of the mechanics of proportional representation. No discussion about the history and experience of proportional representation. No discussion of side effects, consequences or the realities of proportional representation.
.Caveat Emptor…….Caveat Emptor…….Caveat Emptor
The change the NDP/Green collaboration is seeking to make is a significant and fundamental change in how politicians and governments are chosen/elected. As a result citizens should have final say – Yes or No – on the final legislation setting out the changes and as the change involves changing the fundamentals of our electoral system, approval should require 80% approval – not simply 50% + 1.
Instead the collaborators are seeking carte blanche from citizens to make whatever changes the collaboration chooses. A reality that they have obscured using a process that gives the illusion of being democratic but lacks democratic substance.
Voters are being asked to choose from three change options that are vague [lack specifics], somewhat confusing [unclear language] and a touch misleading [there is no context]…….I suppose, given the involvement of politicians, vague, confusing and misleading are really a given.
In choosing among these vague, confusing and misleading options voters are not choosing something concrete, but are merely providing ‘direction’ to the politicians who will write the legislation.
Under the NDP/Green process, once the politicians have the legislation written to their satisfaction, voters do not have the right or opportunity to accept or reject the legislation and electoral process created by the politicians.
Hmmm, rather ironically the NDP/Green have presented three choices to BC citizens…….the same number of ‘options’ presented to the suckers in the shell game or three card monte.
Whether the queen card or ball are palmed, or a partner of the huckster distracts the suckers, only the huckster wins.
Whatever the motivates the NDP/Greens [addressed in Part 2] the reality is that the only way citizens can avoid being stuck with whatever the politicians decide on and have the final say in how politicians and governments are elected is to vote for No Change, voting to continue using our current system.
Voting No does not close the door to changing our electoral system. Voting No says to politicians ‘this issue is too important for politics and political games, do it properly.’
I wouldn’t buy a used car from a politician. So I certainly will not risk being stuck with a lemon of an electoral system by buying sight unseen changes in how politicians are elected or giving politicians carte blanche to design whatever system they want.
Protect our democratic process, say NO to the NDP/Green babble.