2017-02-12 Sun

Observations

Saturday’s Globe and Mail ran a full-page article by William A. Macdonald “Why a Failed Bid for Electoral Reform is a Win for Canada”.

To my mind there are several flaws in Macdonald’s logic, but I don’t have figures to bolster arguments, so this is an Observation rather than Clear Thinking, but still and all ...

I am of the firm opinion that any nation (or state) that bases its political leadership of the outcome of a horse race (for that is what First Past The Post is) deserves the government it gets. If you think I’m joking, consider this: At least in horse racing the second and third place finishers get some of the prize money, so you could say that horse racing is a fairer distribution of riches as a reward for effort than politics.

That said, ...

(1) The Failed bid is a broken promise, a promise broken by a Prime Minister. Canada deserves the politicians that it elects by a first-past-the-post electoral system.

(2) Macdonald’s view that “there were two possible outcomes” both of which would hurt the now-elected liberals supports my view that electoral reform is (in Macdonald’s view) all about the governing party, rather than the destiny of the nation. Canada deserves the politicians that it elects by a first-past-the-post electoral system.

(3) Macdonald’s view that “Canada today has the best political system in the world” can be assumed to be false. I doubt if Macdonald grew up in a nation where voting is compulsory, and so where young people gradually get to thinking seriously about politics. It is worth a great deal when I write that Trudeau made a lot of noise about his pledge for electoral reform, and once elected, backed out of that promise. Canada deserves the politicians that it elects by a first-past-the-post electoral system.

(4) Macdonald writes “No one has shown how any alternative voting system would enable Canada to govern itself better”, which suggests to me that Macdonald has not been reading newspapers for the past twenty-four months. The Toronto Star, the Globe and mail, and the National post, at least, have been peppered with articles promoting two broad systems “Preferential Voting” and “Proportional Representation”. Both systems have good points, so my argument is made that someone HAS shown how an alternate voting system would enable Canada ...

I have reached the end of the first of four columns on page F8 of the Globe and Mail of Saturday February 11th. I could go on with the remaining three columns, but you get my point. This is an entire page dedicated to what Winston Churchill would class as terminological inexactitudes.

Canada deserves the politicians that it elects by a first-past-the-post electoral system.

It is to Canada’s debit that its sheep-like voters (“if it was good enough for my father it’s good enough for me”) elect lying politicians to govern the country and the provinces and, in some case, the cities.