Dump­ing pro­por­tional rep­re­sen­ta­tion the right call

Cape Breton Post - - EDITORIAL -

The Trudeau gov­ern­ment’s re­cent de­ci­sion not to pro­ceed with the im­ple­men­ta­tion of pro­por­tional rep­re­sen­ta­tion for the next fed­eral elec­tion was the cor­rect one. The present first-past-the-post sys­tem, al­though not com­pletely demo­cratic, is the best one in a multi-cul­tural and di­verse so­ci­ety such as Canada.

Even un­der ideal con­di­tions, pol­i­tics can be very di­vi­sive and con­tro­ver­sial. Italy, for ex­am­ple, has a mul­ti­tude of parties with the re­sult there hasn’t been a ma­jor­ity gov­ern­ment since the end of the Sec­ond World War. The coun­try is gov­erned by form­ing coali­tions and po­lit­i­cal al­liances. As a re­sult, Ital­ian gov­ern­ments never last long and lit­tle is ac­com­plished.

Is­rael has a to­tal of 21 parties and in or­der for a ma­jor party to form a gov­ern­ment it must make deals with smaller parties in or­der to ob­tain their sup­port. Some of these parties are ex­tremely right wing and we of­ten see the tail wag­ging the dog. This makes gov­ern­ing ex­tremely dif­fi­cult and gov­ern­ments are of­ten held hostage to rad­i­cal fringe el­e­ments or one-is­sue parties.

I can un­der­stand why the NDP and Green Party are in fa­vor of pro­por­tional rep­re­sen­ta­tion. The Green party would have a num­ber of MPs based on their share of the to­tal vote. This would be a good thing but where would it stop?

We would soon see the emer­gence of many one-is­sue parties as well as parties rep­re­sent­ing in­di­vid­ual eth­nic groups across the coun­try. We could also see the emer­gence of far right wing or left wing parties such as neo-Nazis, com­mu­nists and Max­ists end up with seats in par­lia­ment. We could also see the be­gin­ning many eth­nic parties.

Our coali­tion gov­ern­ments would be much worse than we have to­day and noth­ing would ever be ac­com­plished as parties fight for their piece of the pie. Un­der such a sys­tem our coun­try would soon be­come un­govern­able and prob­a­bly lead to the frac­ture of our con­fed­er­a­tion. In this case, the gov­ern­ment made the cor­rect de­ci­sion. Lawrence Bar­ron In­go­nish Har­bour

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