Yukon News

Open letter to Justin Trudeau on electoral reform

Wednesday February 8, 2017

I am shocked that your government campaigned in favour of electoral change, but did so much to prevent any meaningful discussion about it.

You say there is not consensus among Canadians. I say that you didn’t allow for any discussion about options.

If you had been serious about it, you would have held town hall meetings where real options were discussed.

You wouldn’t have focused on sidebars that the public was not asking for such as online voting or enforced voting.

You would have held serious discussions about the ranked ballot option, and about how some countries work successfully with, or have problems with, proportional representation.

You would have given weight to the number of Canadians who came to the electoral reform committee meetings and the Liberal town halls, who were overwhelmingly in favour of change, rather than asking vague questions in an online survey.

Of course if you ask people if they prefer a complicated ballot to a simple ballot, they will say they want a simple one. Do you think people can’t become educated about how to fill in a ballot before the next election?

I feel you have acted very cynically. Leading up to the last election, you tapped into the concern that many Canadians have that the system allowed Stephen Harper’s Conservatives to have full authority with less than 40 per cent of the popular vote.

Your party was elected with the same percentage of the vote. Now that you have 100 per cent of the power, you are acting the same way Harper did, and blaming Canadians for not agreeing.

One thing Canadians do agree on is that if a political party promises to reform the electoral system, after Canadians endured 11 years of draconian government, that party is morally bound to follow through with it.

I have voted strategically in all elections over the past 30 years. I cast a ballot for a party I didn’t truly support in order to prevent a party I really opposed from winning. The party that benefited from my strategic vote, every single time, was the Liberal Party.

Now that you have alienated hundreds of thousands of Canadians, who, like me, will never vote Liberal when faced with our next strategic voting decision, perhaps you’ll regret squandering the opportunity you had to reform our unfair elections process.

Tanya Van Valkenburg,

Whitehorse

5 Comments

Bewildered wrote:
11:21pm Wednesday February 15, 2017

@Dave - Thanks for your reply. But it doesn’t change anything. The system we have at present encourages strategic voting. That’s why the Liberal promise to change it to a fairer and more equitable system got peoples votes - strategic or not.

So why the need to make disparaging remarks about the Tanya or a particular political party when historically all the major parties, even the ones I’ve voted for, are equally culpable?

Duane Gastant' Aucoin wrote:
6:20pm Wednesday February 15, 2017

As a strategic voter I’m very disillusioned over the Liberals failed promise of electoral reform…among other failed commitments.  I believed that 2015 would be as Trudeau declared, “the last election using First Past the Post” & I looked forward to finally being able to vote with my heart in the next federal election. Apparently this is now not going to happen. Do I now regret voting strategically…surprisingly no. Because even though the Liberals are turning out to be Conservatives Light…they are still way better than another Harper Government. Have I now given up on strategic voting…unfortunately no. If the next election is using First Past the Post then the goal of us Strategic Voters will be to make sure the Liberals do not get another majority. A Liberal minority government will force them to work with the other parties. So next election I’ll be putting 3 signs up in my yard…Liberal, NDP & Green! smile

Dave wrote:
4:56pm Wednesday February 15, 2017

@ Bewildered, whoever you are I’ll try and help you out of your bewilderment. I’m more than happy with my credibility as I voted my conscience for the party and person I believed in, unlike so called strategic voters who voted for a party that didn’t represent their beliefs just to try and pull a fast one on the system. It didn’t work and the howls and tears of disbelief are coming in now that the little plan they hatched didn’t come off as they hoped.

Bewildered wrote:
10:44am Wednesday February 15, 2017

@Dave - Broken promises aren’t just Liberal trait. They happen with all governments. And electoral reform may help reduce the frequency with more consensus politics.

Strategic voting would be a thing of the past. And it would perhaps not give you the opportunity to make so-called “smart”  comments on someone’s real concerns. You lost all credibility there.

Dave wrote:
5:01pm Tuesday February 14, 2017

Tanya, if you really expected the Liberals to do what they promised you obviously haven’t experienced to many Liberal governments before. It takes more than a smile and a selfie to govern and I think a lot of us were surprised that so many people bought the Kool-Aid Trudeau was selling. So much for strategic voting, in the end it turns out you outsmarted yourself didn’t you?

Add a comment

The Yukon News welcomes your comments and insight. We encourage a healthy environment for debate that is inclusive, thoughtful and respectful.

The comments are moderated. Personal attacks, vulgarity, profanity, unsubstantiated allegations, hateful comments and incoherence will not be tolerated.

If you have a complaint regarding a comment or have a question please contact the web administrator at webadmin@yukon-news.com.