Archive for April, 2019

What’s wrong with our Canadian Democracy (a study of Ontario election results)

Over the past months, I have been observing the actions of the Ford (PC) government as it steamrolls its agenda over what the majority of Ontarians (60%) believe in, in terms of healthcare, library services, education, environment, taxation and corporate regulations, climate change and many other social issues. You may point out that the PC’s won the election fair and square according to constitutional rules and that it true based on current rules. In principle, I have no objection to having a PC representative, as long as they take into account the perspective of all of the constituents in their riding. Unfortunately, they don’t! First past the post doesn’t create a representative government.

Let me explain by looking at one single riding: Ottawa West-Napean

What’s special about this riding? It is the most extreme example of how our voting system fails us.

PC

16591

NDP

16415

LIB

14809

GRN

1937

In the riding of Ottawa West-Napean, the vast majority of voters are ideologically “left” of the PC (Progressive Conservative) party which is “right” or conservative in their viewpoint. The collective of the remaining parties, NDP, Liberal and Green are generally referred to as “centre-left”. But in government, the PC representative from the Ottawa West-Napean riding, Jeremy Roberts, most likely votes on behalf of his party, not on behalf of the citizens in his riding. This is what gives Premier Ford power to implement his personal agenda. He does not have the mandate of Ontarians as he continues to claim.

So who is representing the citizens who did not vote Conservative?

Well, frankly, no one.  Quite simply, the first past the post system puts the power in the hands of whoever gets the highest number of votes in the riding, irrespective of whether or not that individual receives a majority vote. When the “centre-left” vote gets split, the “right” tends to win even though most voters are still somewhere in the “centre-left” continuum. We will likely see the same phenomenon in the Federal election.

You might say, well, this is an extreme case. The PC’s won by a majority in most of the ridings! And you would be completely wrong in most ridings.

Can you guess how many ridings elected a PC representative that represents a minority of their electorate?  Think hard!

Would you believe that vote splitting has given the PCs 42 seats in the Ontario Parliament in which the majority of votes are somewhere in the collective “centre-left” in all of these 42 ridings?

In this article, I will present the numbers for each riding, evaluate the impact and suggest one possible solution that would counteract this flaw and give us a more representative government without changing a law or any part of the constitution (or at least based on my understanding). Read on! » Continue reading “What’s wrong with our Canadian Democracy (a study of Ontario election results)”

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