Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau paid a quick visit to Victoria and Esquimalt today, speaking with Mayor Lisa Helps and giving a press conference at the Naval base.
As Trudeau had passed on a previous Town Hall in Victoria, the folk decided to hold an impromptu session on the steps of City Hall prior to the PM’s arrival.
Much has been made of Trudeau’s reversal on his pre and post-election promise that the 2015 federal election would be the “last election using the first past the post system.” There are also concerns about the federal government imprimatur on the contentious Kinder Morgan pipeline project, bringing diluted bitumen across the breadth of the province to Burnaby for trans-shipment to Asia, and the greenlighting of the Site C mega-dam project that will make a sacrifice zone of a portion of the Peace River country in the northeast of the province.
I went down to get some opinions. Below is the press release sent out by ElectoralReform.ca.
No-Electoral-Reform Excuse Myth Busting
“Fear of both Proportional Representation, including the possible emergence of fringe or even Alt-Right parties, and a potentially divisive national referendum led Justin Trudeau’s government to abandon his promise of Electoral Reform” -CBC
To ensure Democracy and safeguard it against “the possible emergence of fringe or even alt-right parties”, the Allies imposed Proportional Representation on Germany and Japan after the WWII.
Our current first-past-the-post electoral system leads to U.S.-style two-party politics. It elected the Reform Party (the Canadian version of the Tea Party), Stephen Harper, and Donald Trump, and it could also easily elect Kellie Leitch. FPTP party system is more prone to be hijacked by “fringe or Alt-Right” groups than Proportional Representation is. PR safeguards against it.
To immunize the Canadian Democracy against “fringe or Alt-Right” groups, we need Electoral Reform and Proportional Representation; the very same form of Proportional Representation imposed by the Allies on Germany and Japan after the WWII.
There was no need for a “referendum.” How could you have a “referendum” on an electoral system not yet tried? Plus, we hire politicians to make decisions on our behalf. Harper had no problem ramming through Omnibus Bills, the “Unfair Elections Act,” and Prorogue the Parliament without the need for a pesky “referendum.”
There was no “consensus” when Justin Trudeau’s own father implemented the switch from Imperial to Metric. There was lots of opposition from the Conservatives, but he showed leadership and Canada is better for it. Ask any of those resisting the change: “How cold is it today?” and they will reply in Metric despite Mulroney Conservatives abolition of the Metric Commission 15 years later. Dinosaurs die hard. The very same Dinosaurs are resisting the Electoral Reform today. We need leadership; “no consensus” is an excuse.
And yes, lots of Greens and the NDPs, wanting to vote Harper out, and tired of their votes being wasted election after election, took this historic, once in a generation chance, to vote for Electoral Reform. Liberals pulled away NDP & Green votes to steal the election on a flagship promise of Electoral Reform they had no intention of keeping.
Today is a sad day for Canadian Democracy!
Of all the battles we have fought for Democracy in Canada, Electoral Reform is the most important, for if we lose this battle, we have lost the war on all fronts.
Electoral Reform is a Class War and the other side has more money, influence, connections, media…
To all the victims of deception, deceit, and dishonour, to those who feel betrayed and disenfranchised, the only sure way to get Electoral Reform & Proportional Representation is to force a NDP-Green Coalition prior to the next election.
– Tirdad Shirvani
www.ReformeElectorale.Ca (La Réforme Électorale)
www.ErRe.Ca (Electoral Reform / La Réforme Électorale)