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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Electoral system fails voters again

First-past-the-post has cheated voters in every province, says letter writer

To the editor,

The results of the 2019 federal election have once again showcased, in spades, the many failings of our archaic, outdated electoral voting system: first-past-the-post. A system which Justin Trudeau and the Liberals promised to replace before the 2015 election and later shamefully, cynically, reneged on.

The seat count results of this election are a travesty, a betrayal of the electors and democracy – not indicative at all of how this country voted. Let’s review the current party results, in both seats and vote percentages:

Liberals 157 (33.1 per cent), Conservatives 121 (34.4), Bloc Québécois 32 (7.7), NDP 24 (15.9), Green 3 (6.6), People’s Party of Canada 0 (1.6).

Under proportional representation, the system recommended by the House of Commons Special Committee on Electoral Reform in 2017, the seat distribution would have looked something like this:

Liberals 116, Conservatives 117, BQ 26, NDP 57, Green 22, PPC 0 (received less than five per cent of the vote) – much more representative of the vote percentages, i.e. how people voted.

FPTP has cheated voters in every province of this country by throwing whole segments of votes in the trash. This has resulted in a skewed perception of how we voted, has trampled voter diversity, exaggerated our differences, exacerbated polarization, and fostered disillusionment, instability, uncertainty, and animosity; and given the Liberals a mandate to govern with only 33 per cent of the popular vote. Canadian voters deserve better.

Murray Chantler, Qualicum Beach

RELATED: Green Party’s Paul Manly re-elected in Nanaimo-Ladysmith

RELATED: Community connections a factor in Nanaimo-Ladysmith election results, university professors say

To the editor,

With the results of the federal election, the subject of electoral reform has re-surfaced. Although this was a campaign promise of the Liberal party during the past election, nothing was approved.

As part of this reform, I suggest the constitution should also be amended to ensure fairness. The current guarantee on the number of representatives for each province favours the Atlantic provinces. For example, I find it difficult to understand how a province such as Prince Edward Island can have four representatives for a population of 157,000 to cover an area of less than 57,000 square kilometres. Vancouver Island currently has seven representatives for a population of 775,000 covering an area of 137,300 square kilometres. Each member of Parliament on the Island is the representative for more than 100,000 citizens – similar to the average for Canada. When the Yukon, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories are guaranteed only one representative, why have each of the Atlantic provinces been guaranteed so many members?

R. Tsuji, Nanaimo

RELATED: Election reform debate ‘finished’ in B.C., backers admit


The views and opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the writer and do not reflect the views of Black Press or the Nanaimo News Bulletin. If you have a different view, we encourage you to write to us or contribute to the discussion below.

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