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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Electoral reform

Journalists united against electoral reform: Salutin

It’s hard to understand the widespread passion for such an undemocratic political relic rooted in 18th and 19th century political worst practices
I feel like writing a letter to the editor about surly, negative journalistic reactions to the prospect of electoral reform. There are exceptions, though only Andrew Coyne of the National Postcomes to mind.
Many journalists seem pre-emptively nostalgic for a foul, undemocratic system that has only longevity in its favour, like the death penalty in the U.S. Pardon, the death penalty may have more to be said for it.
I’m perplexed over why they become passionate and fastidious about a political relic rooted in 18th and 19th century political worst practices that has lingered longer than it ever should’ve and now only survives here and in the U.K.
Note that the Liberal campaign promise last fall was that this would be the last Canadian election held under the first-past-the-post system. It was a simple negative and I think voters were aware of it to the extent they’re aware of platforms in elections. The implication was that any alternative- proportional representation, mixed member proportional or ranked ballot- would be better than what we have. Didn’t matter which. Out out damned spot.
The hostility to reform among parties is understandable. The Tories’ only chance at power lies in our current, rigged (thanks, Trump, the word applies perfectly well here) system. If they needed a genuine majority they’d have to go back to being the kind of inclusive, somewhat progressive party they once were. The NDP want only a proportional system and seem ready to stick with the status horribilis if they can’t get that. Me, I’m good with any change.

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