Dumping proportional representation the right call
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