December 07, 2005

NDP + Electoral Reform = ?????

Two days ago, I posted about how electoral reform was a missing item from the major parties. I also said that I believed if the NDP were to introduce it as a platform piece, it would boost their number of votes. I still believe it will. And now the NDP have included electoral reform as part of an overall accountability package. I believe this to be the smartest thing the NDP can do and they should run with it as a major piece of policy. It is obvious the Liberals and the Conservatives wouldn't want this. The odds would be against them ever having a majority government again. Given the current state of public opinion towards either party - one is believed to be corrupt and the other can't get majority support despite that - electoral reform is probably the best thing that could happen to Canadian politics. Minority governments in Canada have often been very productive even if short-lived. Health-care, Canadian Pension Plan, Federal Student Loans, etc. are pieces of legislation that became part of Canadians' lives via minority governments. While they may also be unstable, this doesn't have to be the case. If minority governments were to become the norm within Canada, I have very little doubt that our parties would find ways to make it work. After all, we are Canadians and compromising is in our nature. (No, I don't consider that a weighted argument) So for now I'll be giving my vote to the NDP. As I announced in my last post, I was willing to give my vote to the party that would honestly make electoral reform a part of their platform. I also mused about the possibility of having to move to Quebec. I guess that won't happen though I'm wondering why I feel a small sense of disappointment about that... Oh, well. I do relish the idea of having continuous minority governments, as long as they don't turn out to be like Italy's.

1 comment:

Idealistic Pragmatist said...

The electoral reform plank is definitely one of the things I'm most pleased about the NDP's platform so far.

Don't make the mistake of confusing minority and coalition governments, though. Proportional representation systems don't tend to produce minority governments very often; instead the parties tend to fall into a pattern of coalition governments. (There's more here, if you're interested.)

Quotes from people smarter than me...

"If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich" ~ JFK

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. " ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. " ~ Benjamin Franklin

"First it is necessary to stand on your own two feet. But the minute a man finds himself in that position, the next thing he should do is reach out his arms. " ~ Kristin Hunter

"When you're a mayor and you have a problem you blame the provincial government. If you are provincial government and you have a problem you blame the federal government. We don't blame the Queen any more, so once in a while we might blame the Americans." ~ Jean Chretien

"Which is ideology? Which not? You shall know them by their assertion of truth, their contempt for considered reflection, and their fear of debate." ~ John Ralston Saul

"It is undoubtedly easier to believe in absolutes, follow blindly, mouth received wisdom. But that is self-betrayal." ~ John Ralston Saul

"Everybody dies, Tracey. Someone's carrying a bullet for you right now, doesn't even know it. The trick is to die of old age before it finds you." ~ Cpt. Malcolm Reynolds (Firefly, Episode 12)