Thank you for your thought-provoking editorial, “Election taking on an American feel,” in the July 10 Saanich News.
There are a number of positive ways we can ensure that we do not follow American-style politics.
One the one hand, there is hope that our political system will be strengthened by introduction of a mixed member proportional representation system – along the lines of the German or New Zealand model – proposed as part of the NDP democratic reform initiative. This system ensures that every vote counts, and hence may spur citizens who felt that their votes were wasted to participate in the crucial democratic election process.
Further, adoption of the Ontario practice of having all government advertising vetted by the Auditor General to ensure it is non-partisan and informative rather than electioneering would be both cost effective and wise.
Finally, holding a referendum to seek the will of the people regarding abolition of our triple-U Senate – unelected, undemocratic and unaccountable – would go a long way to restoring the power of the people to inform all provincial premiers as well as the federal government that we no longer want a 19th century chamber of Liberal and Conservative patronage and corruption in modern Canada. Every province that had a senate has abolished theirs – with no loss of democracy – and the gridlock of the American congressional system with its elected American Senate is really not worth repeating here.
On the other hand, backroom American-style politics such as occurred here in Greater Victoria needs to be exposed. Last provincial election the Liberal party purchased an advertisement supporting the local Green candidates. Now the Green MLA has returned the favour, advising in the accompanying tweet of June 29, that Green followers vote Green if they think there is a winnable Green candidate in a few ridings but otherwise vote for Liberal candidates in all other ridings.
Such backroom deals between the Alberta Conservatives and the Wildrose caucus backfired – let’s hope Victorians are equally appalled by such fiddling with our democratic election process.