Trudeau breaks promise on electoral reform

Walt's World with Walter Jones

Published on March 17, 2017

Walt's World with Walter Jones

I am peeved with Justin Trudeau.

He made a promise and now he broke it. He said, "This will be the last election using the first past the post system." He probably vacuumed in a lot of votes from young people or simply people who are tired of their vote not counting.

First past the post is a terrible system, whereby a party can win a majority government with a small percentage of the vote. I think the government got 37 per cent this time.

What really peeves me is that he is trying to explain why he broke his promise and the explanation makes no sense.

Also, he is talking as if there is only one alternative system and that is also not true.

He chooses proportional representation as his model. Here is his explanation: if we use this method a fringe party could conceivably get four or five seats under this system.

So far so good, they could.

Then he goes on to say that they could wind up holding the balance of power and get a more powerful voice than they should.

This would work if there were only three parties, as there was when it was the Conservatives, the Liberals and the NDP. That's how we got national hospitalization. Tommy Douglas's NDP held the balance of power and that was his price.

Now that wasn't so bad was it?

He, Justin, is suggesting this would be a radical party. Same situation, we would need only three parties. How likely is that? He has now changed his tune and is saying this mythical party could hold 15 or 20 seats.

To my way of thinking he has just shot himself in the foot again. If a party can elect that many members they deserve a voice. Come on Justin, this is a democracy!

When he uses that many seats as a demonstration and wants to deny them a voice it changes the context of his argument for the worst. I don't like proportional representation, not for his reason, but because your votes get lumped together, so you have to vote for the party and the party leadership decides who is elected.

I favour a ranking system. This is the system political parties use to elect a new leader. You don't think they would run for leadership using first past the post do you?        


Walter Jones’s column appears weekly in the Amherst News.