Re: “Proportional voting deserves a test-drive,” letter, Oct. 4.
I favour proportional representation because majority governments are potentially dangerous to our rights and freedoms. There are many examples of this globally and historically, but let’s look at our own Canadian experience.
In the 1980s, the Parti Québécois majority government used its power to severely limit the rights of anglophones. It would have been difficult for a minority or coalition government to get away with this, but the attitude was “the majority rules.”
More recently, a minority of citizens (40 per cent of the less than 60 per cent who voted) elected a majority government that was narrowly focused on expanding pipelines. Again, our rights and freedoms were threatened. The Canada Revenue Agency was subverted into an instrument of political punishment, protections were removed from thousands of rivers and streams, and, under the Conservatives’ Bill C-51, the definition of terrorism was expanded to include anyone who interferes with infrastructure. Pipelines are infrastructure.
The small majority who elected that government are the same people who now oppose a true democracy where every vote counts. They are typically using the classic tactics of voter manipulation: create fear by cherry-picking and distorting facts, perhaps citing the few examples of unstable governments, but neglecting the many successful examples of stable PR governments.
Democracy is difficult and messy but dictatorship is very stable. These people will never mention the many dictatorships that originally began as democratically elected majorities.
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