I am writing in response to Andrew Kemle’s Nov.15 article urging young Canadians to vote. Although I appreciate and support the point that he made, I would disagree that 39.4 per cent of the votes equates for our current government to being “well in the majority”.
What it means, is that a political party that received less than 40 per cent of the votes in Canada is still our “majority” government! This is a result of our severely outdated first-past-the-post electoral system. So what Canadian citizens voted for, and what we actually got, were two very different things, not unlike the results of the US election.
The current government emphasized throughout their 2015 campaign that the 2015 election would be the last election that relied on the first-past-the-post election method. What does this mean for us as young Canadians? As Andrew emphasized, as young people we have the power to enact change. Not only when the elections come, but now when the discussion of electoral reform is on the agenda! We have to encourage the government to hold a referendum and let Canadians speak up and have a say in what our election system looks like!
A shift to a Proportional Representation (PR) voting system would allow for every vote to actually count, and seats would be divided within the government according to the number of votes they received. Thirty nine per cent of the votes = 39 per cent of seats. It would mean no need for “strategic” or “throw away” votes instead people could vote for the party that truly represented their desires. PR is currently used successfully in 81 different countries around the world!
As the faces of the future, now, more than ever, is the time to become politically involved. Just because our next election is not right around the corner does not mean there is nothing to get involved in. Learn who your Member of Parliament is and let them know that you want electoral reform and that you want a referendum to ensure that your voice is heard!
Don’t let a United States-like situation happen in Canada. Let’s make sure that it’s the people who elect our leader and not the system!
Master’s of Social Work