Gateway Gazette

Harper uses Senate to Dodge real Reform

 

Harper undecided about Senate abolition.

Maybe it’s time to take a stand for real democratic reform: Fair Vote Canada

Stephen Harper can’t make up his mind about Senate abolition. But if he is really interested in democratic reform, he should drop his opposition to proportional representation in the House. Unlike Senate reform or abolition, PR in the House does not require constitutional change and would ensure democratic government.

“For more than a decade Harper has used the Senate as a diversion to avoid discussing democratic reform of the House of Commons,” says Kelly Carmichael, executive director of Fair Vote Canada.

“Nine years of talk about Senate reform has gone nowhere. And now a trial balloon on abolition has been shot down. Maybe it’s time to face the most critical issue in Canada’s democratic deficit: the voting system that can turn 39 per cent support into a majority government with exclusive power.”

After every election, half of Canadian voters find winner-take-all voting denied us effective representation, with no ability to elect an MP from our first choice of party. And, a few voters in swing ridings can deliver a “majority” to a party with less that 39% support.

In 1997, as a reformer, Stephen Harper extolled the virtues of proportional representation in his paper titled Our Benign Dictatorship. He suggested “our parliamentary government creates a concentrated power structure out of step with other aspects of society… For Canadian democracy to mature, Canadian citizens must face these facts, as citizens in other countries have, and update our political structures to reflect the diverse political aspirations of our diverse communities.”

Real democratic reformers know that reform seldom happens because the people who hold the best cards are invested in the status quo. Canadian democracy is mature, what we really need are mature politicians who believe in the virtue of democracy, not parade it out as a dog & pony show whenever it suits their best interests.

Fair Vote Canada is a multi-partisan, citizen’s campaign representing over 55,000 Canadian advocating for voting system reform. FVC promotes an introduction of an element of proportional representation in elections at all levels of government and in civil society.

Fair Vote Canada (FVC) is a grassroots multi-partisan citizens’ campaign for voting system reform. We promote the introduction of an element of proportional representation into elections for all levels of government and throughout civil society.

Source Fair Vote Canada

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