There is something inherently wrong with the first-past-the-post voting (FPTP) system when a political party, with 39 per cent of the votes, can form a majority government and make 100 per cent of the decisions. In the last federal election, 61 per cent of voters wanted someone else in government.
Our voting system, since the First World War, has produced 16 majority governments with only four actually winning a majority of the popular vote.
This flawed governing structure has an impact on Parliamentary decision-making and our democracy. For example, the Conservatives have extended and expanded Canada’s military mission in Iraq and Syria despite opposition from the NDP, Liberals and Greens. While these parties have fewer seats than the Conservatives, they represent far more voters, in fact, two million more voters.
Added to those without much voice are Bloc Québécois supporters. They currently have two MPs in the House of Commons, despite garnering 889,788 votes in the last election. That was six per cent of all votes cast nationwide.
The NDP tabled a non-binding motion last year calling on Parliament to end FPTP voting and introduce a proportional system after the next election. The motion was defeated by a vote of 166 to 110, with the Conservatives voting unanimously against it.
Joining the NDP in voting for the motion were Green Party MPs, other independents, and more than half the Liberal caucus.
Disappointingly, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau voted against the motion.
Perhaps the October federal election will be the last unfair election and 2019 will be the first one conducted under a truly democratic electoral system.
Shane Dyson, Aldergrove