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LETTER: We must insist on democratic change

Re: First anniversary of the Liberal broken election reform promise

On Feb. 1, we remember sadly the first anniversary of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s broken election promise. He had pledged so enthusiastically in his campaign that the 2016 election was the last under our antiquated “first-past-the-post” (FPTP) system. FPTP gave Harper a majority in 2011 with only 39.4 per cent of the vote and gave Trudeau his present majority with only 39.6 per cent.

In truth, the PM did not promise proportional representation (PR) which is the only fair system that makes every vote count equally by giving each party the same percentage of seats in Ottawa as their votes won in the election. He did promise to look “fully and fairly” at our electoral system but, as became clear later, he actually preferred a ranked ballot, which under most models would have given the Liberals, the centrist party of Canada, in excess of 200 seats instead of the 184 they received at election time.

During the election reform process, over 80 per cent of the submissions made by interested and informed individuals across Canada indicated a decisive preference for PR. PR in Canada would almost certainly result in co-operative, non-majority government and continuity in policy as opposed to the “policy pendulum” in which each new government cancels or guts the legislation of the previous one at great expense.

We need the stability of good long-term planning, co-operation among MPs and sound, robust policy that PR brings.

Let us all insist on this change for the better.

Donald A Fraser

Waterloo, Ont.

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