Letter: Prorep won’t work

“Politicians need a wakeup call.”

In 2016, just over half (53 per cent) wanted to keep first-past-the-post while the rest wanted to move to proportional representation. Today, more than two-thirds (68 per cent) now say that they would prefer Canada change its voting system. (Angus Reid Poll)

Proportional representation will not work. Under the present system of governance, the leader and party insiders working behind the scenes decide the focus of government. Backbenchers are gagged from active participation and the party whip ensures everyone is kept in line.

Political parties ignore their responsibility to electors, holding parliament hostage to the whims of party activists. Politicians and officials push to increase the share of their party’s vote with proportional representation. That will not improve the democratic system, only strengthen political parties working against the interests of the electorate they are elected to serve.

Politicians need a wakeup call. Confederation in Canada began as a partnership of once similar-minded people that believed combined they were stronger and more viable than alone and that all partners would be equal and share economic opportunity. As more provinces joined confederation this partnership became skewed as power increasingly centred in Ottawa, Ontario and Quebec gripped the nation and subsequently ruled in the interests of those provinces by simple majority vote.

When a partnership no longer shares common goals but is about the unilateral interest the bonds weaken and begin to dissolve. The founding principle of common values united from coast to coast which recognizes and embraces important regional initiatives has now likely passed.

Few of us realize that four urban centres have about 39 per cent of our population: Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa-Gatineau and Vancouver with a population total of 14, 661,880 people have very different priorities from rural or mixed urban/rural areas.

Wexit is spreading as it gains strength. Saskatchewan has seen pop-up booths set up in Regina, Saskatoon, Swift Current, Assiniboia and Estevan to collect signatures. They say they are planning similar booths in MB and B.C.

Politicians better worry. Kenney and Moe are federalists. But once past the tipping point, it can go downhill fast. Canadians don’t need riots or civil war; what they do need is to make clear they are not asking permission for change but change must come.

Elvena Slump

Penticton

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