Week 7: Electoral Systems

Betting on the nag

There is no doubt we need a better electoral system in Canada: one that will truly represent the sentiments of a proud society rather than an oppressed one.

As we have it, our electoral system is like a horse race: the party whose candidates get first past the political post with the most votes wins first place for their leader. The practice entails candidates pandering to the party leader, licking the boots of backers and manipulating financial fixes just so their horse will win – even if it is a nag.

It’s no wonder we have such a low voter turnout: half of the population has given up betting on their favourite horse, because they know the race is already fixed. What’s worse, fraudulence isn’t the only rotten reason many capable concerned citizens fail to feel their oats on election day: they’re frantically running in their own race for survival.

Economic misrepresentation

A sad economic fact is: too high a percentage of Canada’s population relies on food banks every single day – even those with jobs. The original cause fell mostly to the loss of innumerable blue collar positions being regurgitated overseas at a fraction of the production costs. Regardless, the blame still falls to the lack of representation from government – then and now. Maybe they don’t understand the word ‘represent’, let alone how it relates to the people, which is probably why our once proud ‘Made in Canada’ label is rarely seen anymore.

For an institutionalized band-aid that was created to cover a symptom of recession as a temporary patch, it’s disgraceful that food banks have become an integral and necessary aspect of our society. And, it’s not for the lack of solutions to our government’s disparity in divvying up the dividends, because those who have become experts in managing the food banks offer ultra viable recommendations. The truth of the problem is that our pathetic politicians ignore them, because they want to suffer the people to their own agenda. Does that not speak volumes about where our government’s priorities are and what kind of economy we really have?

Imagine: Creating an impoverished state so that you can force your vile will as the only option at your behest to appear to rescue a country that you held hostage on the brink of an economic decline that you formulated. A classic terrorist tactic!

Poverty and politics don’t mix

It’s a fact of human nature that when we are in survival mode, our brains work in such a way that we cannot incorporate concepts beyond that realm: in particular, ones that require self-expression, like politics. This is because self-expression is the next level up from survival on the transformation scale and those higher thoughts cannot be assimilated from an atmosphere of adversity. It’s a mindset of limited awareness in that one’s immediate circumstances require every atom of their being just to maintain some semblance of subsisting in a climate of misfortune.

Inspiration for change

Currently in Canada we have a ‘majoritarian system’, which exhibits failure to the point where even the advantages of accountability and clear majority have been reallocated to the disadvantage list. A list that includes cons in more ways and meanings than those of insincere strategic voting and non-representational government to form ‘manufactured majorities’. What’s ironic is even the simplest benefit of cost-efficiency is becoming more expensive in the long term, giving us zero advantage within our current structure.

When it comes to setting the electoral voting stage, we have many options for bringing the best representation of our voice and our hearts to the forefront. Our options include:

  • Alternative Vote: we can choose our candidates in order of preference and the losers’ votes are not wasted, but instead go to the next choice on the ballot.
  • ‘Two-Round’ system: we can vote twice and change our vote the second time if we don’t like the looks of the first outcome.
  • PR (Proportional Representation) List systems: parties receive seats in proportion to their overall share of voices.
  • Tier systems: mix-and-match components where one type is used for federal and one for provincial elections.

Additionally, there are determining factors involved that can be tweaked to reflect the true voice of the people: district magnitude; majoritarian versus proportional; dependent versus independent, etc.

Getting past the hurdles

Sure the government has high falutin’ notions like switching to electronic voting to attract more voters to the polls on election day – in theory. Clearly, changing the voting system doesn’t change the two enormous mitigating factors for absence and apathy that could sway the vote against them – and maybe they don’t want that.

  1. Many citizens are either too plighted by poverty or
  2. they abhor the prospect of having to select the lesser of evils from a list of delusional derelicts.

So, face it we must: we are not going to get what we need or want with the government officials we have now, neither on the provincial nor the federal levels. Harper and Clark have proven they are not the people for the job, as they are nothing but proponents for theories and conjecture and we are their field for disproving them.

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