Letters to the Editors

Proportional representation required

This election seems to have resulted in an unclear mandate because no party won a majority in parliament. However, it is important to remember that the overwhelming majority of Canadians voted against Stephen Harper’s radical social conservative agenda.

The platforms of the Liberals, the NDP, and the Bloc all support progressive social agendas, not to mention the Green Party, which took a significant share of the vote.

Paul Martin’s Liberals’ actual commitment to this agenda is questionable. They are not investing as much as they should in health care or education; they seem to be nurturing George W. Bush’s megalomaniacal ambitions by supporting Star Wars, and they have dragged their feet on gay marriage legislation.

However, the Liberals portrayed themselves as a progressive part in order to attract votes. They know the vast majority of Canadians simply will not support a conservative agenda. However, we already knew this.

The real lesson to be learned from this election is that the Canadian electoral system is broken. When an extremist party like Stephen Harper’s Conservatives has a chance at forming a government with the support of fewer than thirty percent of Canadian voters, the system is broken.

When the NDP earns the support of more than fifteen percent of Canadians, but takes fewer than ten percent of the seats in parliament, something is wrong.

When only sixty-percent of eligible voters bother to show up at all, something must be done to restore faith. The system needs to be fixed so that the interests and the values of Canadians will be protected in future elections.

Only a system of proportional representation will protect Canadians from the extreme agendas of a minority of Canadians, end the fierce regionalism seen in this election, and encourage Canadians to vote again.

Chris Davidson
Chairperson, Queen’s NDP

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