Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Trudeau's Election reform: who will benefit from it.

It seems that Team Trudeau is now committed to ensuring that 2015 federal election, will be the last election which was conducted under Canada's current voting system. Also known as first-past-the-post (abbreviated as FPTP, 1stP, 1PTP or FPP) voting system, which many countries such as the United States, and Great Britain have used as to electing their government officials. The FPTP voting system is one of the best democratic systems in the world, which requires voters to choose their candidate of their choice, and the candidate who receives more votes than any other candidate wins. There is some criticism of the system, often produces majority governments with the winning party capturing less than a majority of the votes in the federal election. As an example the Liberals took an average of 39.5 per cent of the elected vote count in the 2015 election. The Liberals only won only 184 seats or 54.4 per cent of the 338 seats in the house of commons.

Preferential Ballot (PB) system, is a voting system used to elect a single candidate from a field of more than two candidates. In a PB election, voters will rank every candidate in an order of preference. Every elector would vote for almost every candidate on the ballot, but in a preference order. A candidate can only be elected, only if that candidate can secure more than 50% of the popular vote. Under the PB rules, if no candidate wins with more than 50% of the votes. The candidate that has the least amount of votes is dropped from the ballot. Any elector's who voted for that candidate as 1st preference, would have their second choice candidate be counted instead of their first choice. This process of elimination will continue, until until one candidate reaches the more than 50% majority threshold, not democratic as you think.

FPTP is Canadian democracy working at it's best. It seems the Liberal government is comparing our Canadian democracy to the American democratic system, when only two of the last ten majority governments elected had more than 50 per cent of the popular vote. The only way it would be possible to have the majority (more than 50%) of the popular vote per winning candidate in every federal election, is to have only 2 major political parties, being listed on the actual election ballots. This two party system is the preferred method by Americans for over hundred years in selecting their elected government officials. Which the two party political party system, does not gives many Canadians not allot of choices to choose their next elected member of parliament. Should I vote Tory or Liberal, this is more like comparing Pepsi to Coca-Cola. What would happen if you wanted Dr. Pepper or wanted to vote for the NDP, instead of voting for a Liberal or a Conservative candidate into office. Now when you add that third party into the equation, you change the majority votes needed to elect a member of parliament down from 50% to just more than 33.33%. Now place a 4th political party like the Bloc Québécois onto the election ballot, the majority need to win that seat in the house of commons now goes down from more than 33.33% to over 25%. To be quite fair, the number of popular votes should be 66% or greater with popular votes in order to have a real majority of the popular vote elected as their MP, not more than 50% to be counted as the majority of votes as suggested by Trudeau and the Liberals in the new proposed Preferential Ballot system. The Liberals and Justin Trudeau strongly believe that the Preferential Ballot system, would restore the trust back in Canada’s Democracy to Canadians.

This so called preferential ballot (PB) system will undermine democratic process of electing a members of parliament. Canadians should have an electoral system that values their right to elect an candidate of their first choice. Voting MP's into office with the current FPTP system, ensures Canadians are part of the political process of our Canadian democracy. Switching to the Preferential Ballot system would alienate certain electors, and make them feel like their vote did not count as it should have actually counted for. This PB system would disenfranchise certain Canadians, as some candidates of choice would have been eliminated from the race, if their candidate receives the lowest amount of votes. The Liberal Government wants to be the party of real change and transparency, then why would choose a preferential ballot system. Preferential means a bunch of MP's will be elected into office based on some elector's second or third choice pick, not their preferential first pick. If the Liberals get the chance to change the current electoral system from FPTP to PB, this change will strip Canadians of their voting rights to vote for their MP by actual choice into office. The Liberal Government seems to want making our election into some sort of game of chancery, this could change Canada into a 2 political party system like the United States, in order to avoid 2nd or 3rd choice candidates being counted, under the new PB system. This preferential ballot system, is the preferred voting method by the Liberal Party of Canada.

The Liberals are trying to change Canada's voting system from FPTP to a PB system without holding a referendum. Maybe referendums might be expensive, and how could Preferential Ballot system be preferred legitimate voting method in Canada, without holding a referendum for Canadians to decide this fate? The Liberals wants to keep to their promise of reforming Canada's electoral system, within 18 months of forming the 42nd Canadian Parliament in Canada, and Trudeau vows to get rid of the so-called first-past-the-post system. The Liberal plan also includes introducing new legislation to enact a electoral reform committee, not to hold a national referendum on switching from the FPTP to the new PB voting systems preferred choice by Liberals. Instead the Liberal government and Team Trudeau has proposed that a special electoral committee that would make this decision for Canadians. This Liberal electoral committee would consist of 10 voting members, which would be made of six Liberals, three Conservatives and one New Democrat member. The Liberal government has also invited the Bloc Québécois and Green parties to have one participant in this committee, but there will be no voting privileges assigned to these two members of the committee. The FPTP has been the preferred method of voting in Canada for close to nearly 150 years, in which the local candidate with the most votes gets to be MP. The Liberals claim this method only elects winning candidates with only less than half of the actual Canadian voters actually voting for them into office, making the claim more than half the votes were being wasted and did not count. This electoral committee will report back to the House of Commons by first December of this year on their recommendations, in regards to electoral voting changes. Since the Liberals will make up 60% of this committee, and the six votes would give the Liberal the final approval of any proposed electoral system, which makes this Liberal controlled electoral committee seems manipulative and undemocratic to Canada's democracy. Yet still the Liberals has not formed a electoral committee to oversee this radical change to Canada's elections. Referendums on changes to electoral voting methods were held in Prince Edward Island, Ontario, New Brunswick, and British Columbia. Every single referendum that was held in regards to electoral reform was rejected by the voters in all 4 providences mentioned.

Remember the first-past-the-post, is a system that has governed Canadian elections since Canada was formed in 1867. FPTP is also known the winner take all system, critics claim it skews the will of voters, allowing majority governments to be formed without a majority of the popular vote. Which the Liberal party has defined a majority being more than 50% of electors voting for one candidate, which this majority only works if there were only two candidates on the ballot. FPTP system works perfectly in the United States, but Canada does not have a two party political system to get a more than 50% of the votes for one candidate. This so called Preferential Ballot system, will undermine the Canadian democracy, by electing MP's under elector's second or third pick of candidates. Liberals have have not completely ruled out a referendum vote for changes to Canadian electoral system. To change the future of Canada's electoral voting system, the Liberals will need the support of at least two thirds of Canadians in order for their new Preferential Ballot electoral system to be legitimate in Canada. If the Liberals change Canada's electoral system from a First-Past-the-Post to a Preferential Ballot system without a referendum. Any election under the new electoral system should be considered undemocratic and illegitimate, without the support of two-thirds of Canadians. 

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