Wednesday, December 03, 2008


Oldtown News
Vancouver, BC


Hi All

It has been an exciting week with the prospect of a proposed new government and in particular the manner in which this government may come about has stirred up citizens from every political stripe across this country. I believe this is great for democracy when citizens rise up, become engaged and voice their opinions.

In our current electoral system, citizens elect a parliament but not a Prime Minister. We leave it up to political parties to choose their own leaders and we vest the responsibility with our elected parliamentarians on how to make parliament work.

This mandate by the citizens is now being played out before our eyes and what is happening is an overthrow of the current regime. This is historical in itself and whether this process is in the best interests of the citizens, only time will tell.

My preference of an electoral system is pro-rep where each party is given a proportionate share of seats based on their popular vote. I'm uncertain whether this taking of political power based on political parties making agreements with each other is the best method of how parliament should work.

I would like to know if the proposed coalition forces before our next election plan to change our system to a pro-rep one? If our representatives do not mandate this legislative change, I suspect we may well be witnessing the usurping of democracy.

While Coalition forces claim that they are representing the majority of citizens who did not vote for the Conservative party and while this is in fact true, in my opinion what the forces are doing in the absence of electoral reform is creating a new party to govern.

In recent times the Reform, Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservative parties did exactly this--outside of parliament and meta-morphed into the Conservative Party of Canada. They then came before the electorate under a new entity under our current first-past-the-post system, the voters gave them opposition status and then twice bestowed minority status on them.

I hope if the Governor-General allows the Coalition forces to form government before coming before the people for sanction, that her Highness sets a time-limit on their tenure, at which time they must come before the people in order to maintain representative plurality democracy as Canadians currently have.

It seems to me that if the Liberals, New Democratic Party and Bloc Quebecois are serious about working together for the best interests of Canadian citizens they will either form a new Coalition party or enact a pro-rep electoral system where the actual wishes of the voting public prevails.

If the aforementioned parties choose to do neither of these things, what they are doing is subverting democracy for their own self-interests and this will not bode well for any of these current parties come election time.

So at this point, I think citizens are doing the right thing by holding onto our power and letting our elected parliamentarians know if they do not act in the public interest, there will be a price to pay.

Jamie Lee Hamilton