Canada's inability to elect majority governments of late, and how that could jeopardize our democracy.
Well, I won't start rhyming off the jokes about democracy and the tyranny of the "majority" and how democracy is three wolves and two sheep voting on what's for dinner.......OK, sorry, I said I won't.
Mr. Reynolds makes the point that very few (25 out of 308) of our Federal Members of Parliament (MPs) actually received a majority in their ridings in the 2008 federal election. That fact can be viewed this way: only 59% of the qualified electorate actually voted and 37% of them actually chose candidates that form our current Conservative minority government. So our current government represents just 22% of the possible voters, but that speaks to the issue that voters feel powerless to change the system so they don't bother to vote. That last point of course, is why we have many little parties, Libertarians among them.
Mr. Reynolds suggests that allowing a "runoff election" in ridings where no candidate has a majority, as is done in many countries, will rectify the situation. He further goes on to blame our multi-party system especially the Bloc Quebecois and the NDP for our inability to elect a majority now, or in the foreseeable future. All this of course is true, just as its true and ironic that many of the smaller special interest parties receive the bulk of their funding from the public purse. It just makes me shake my head, we are paying for the Bloc to block a possible majority and allowing them to disrupt the running of our parliament and split the country apart, only in Canada!
Anyway, the odds of this issue being addressed by the current government is nil. Their primary attempt at electoral reform is to create more ridings in areas where more Conservatives can be elected, that is, in rural areas and out west while improving representation by population (also a good idea). This may be our only hope, but its affects will not be felt for years.
In the meantime some groups are pushing for what is called proportional representation, an idea that was defeated in the last Ontario election in a referendum and would further fracture our already fractured parliament. If it weren't so serious, it would be funny.