Current voting system gives stable democracy


Re: “Put vote reform to referendum,” editorial, Sept. 30.

Claiming that “dissatisfaction with our current first-past-the-post system is understandable” is specious. Most of those dissatisfied fall into one of two camps: small political parties with limited followers, or radical individual extremists.

The “dissatisfaction” statement’s addendum that “a party can form a majority government without winning a majority of the popular vote,” is a misleading non-sequitur. Any such majority government is formed by elected members who have each won their respective ridings with either a majority or a plurality of votes.

With our present system, we see voter support for the inevitably smaller third- or fourth-tier political parties — or even independent candidates — inevitably fade over time. The majority of Canadian voters already realize that the long-term benefits of governmental stability enabled with two (or at most three) national political parties overshadow the wishes of a minority of voters to elect outliers or fringe candidates.

There are those who support one or more of the multiple proportional-representation voting systems. Odds are it’s those voters who have been perennial losers within our present electoral system who are now the greatest champions of change.

There’s an overarching lesson to be gleaned from four of the world’s most stable democratic countries. Canada, Great Britain, India and the United States all currently use a first-past-the-post electoral formula for national elections.

Let’s, with a national referendum, stay in this winner’s list by enabling Canadian voters to confirm their preferred electoral system.

Ron Johnson


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