Trudeau’s treach­ery trick

Annapolis Valley Register - - OP-ED -

Re­cently Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau tried to ex­punge his prom­ise to Cana­di­ans made dur­ing the 2015 fed­eral elec­tion that, should he and his Lib­eral party be elected to gov­ern, it would be the last one held un­der the an­ti­quated “first-past-the-post” sys­tem we in­her­ited in our colo­nial in­fancy. The re­al­ity is that he de­lib­er­ately told a cal­cu­lated “alternative fact” dur­ing the cam­paign with the hope that it would help boost his party past the fron­trun­ning New Democrats. Both were in a dog fight to ap­peal to vot­ers as the alternative to the “Trump-like” Harper Con­ser­va­tives who had been cheer­fully con­sumed for a decade with the suf­fo­ca­tion of our democ­racy.

In the end, Cana­di­ans opted for the silly “sunny ways” mantra. Now, as a re­sult of his treach­ery, the best chance we have had in our coun­try’s his­tory to jet­ti­son “democ­ra­cylite” has been eclipsed. Who knows how long we will have to en­dure our cur­rent quasidemo­cratic sys­tem be­fore the pub­lic mood will once more trend be­hind a po­lit­i­cal party that re­ally would in­tro­duce a form of pro­por­tional rep­re­sen­ta­tion?

Un­der­stand this: pub­lic re­la­tions is the cru­cial pivot point around which all pro­gres­sive pol­icy and ac­tion is di­rected. It is an in­clu­sive means to the pro­duc­tion of just de­ci­sions and laws. It is a sys­tem that in­vites de­bate, com­pro­mise, tol­er­ance and con­sen­sus. Con­trast that with the ac­ri­mo­nious ad­ver­sar­ial atavism of f-p-t-p. Pro­por­tional rep­re­sen­ta­tion is also our best in­oc­u­la­tion against the rise of a ar­bi­trary leader who vac­u­ums all power to­wards him­self like a Trump-et.

Roger Boutilier Wolfville

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