Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

If ever the need were more clear

  • Print

NDP Leader Jack Layton boldly proclaimed in the English language debates Tuesday that we need proportional representation.

It was the first time I’ve heard anybody discuss electoral reform in this election.

Canadians are clearly distressed about how our Parliament is working. Or not working for that matter. The refrain I hear the most is concern that nobody in Ottawa works together or gets along.

The Hill has become the most hyper partisan region I have ever seen. One MP, whose name and party shall remain namesless, recently looked to be near tears as he/she described to me the fact he/she wasn’t allowed to even mention an idea first brought up by a member of an opposing party without being fully ridiculed and then ignored.

The other day there was an interesting piece in the Ottawa Citizen looking at the average MP and the average Canadian. Parliament does not reflect the society in which we live. It is still dominated by white, middle and upper middle class men in their 50s. I’m not suggesting affirmative action hit the House of Commons. It’s not the answer.

But if we ever needed proof that our system is undemocratic one only need recognize that in 2008 900,000 Canadians voted for the Green Party and not a single Green MP got elected. The NDP got 2.5 million votes and elected 37 MPs. The Bloc Quebecois got 1.4 million votes but because they were all in Quebec they elected 49 MPs. That just does not seem okay to me.

Proportional representation may not be the answer. But the first-past-the-post system we have now has passed its due date. We’re one of the only democracies still using it. It’s too late for this election obviously. But it’s really time for a serious debate about how to improve our electoral system.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Waywayseecappo Community School at We Day 2014

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A red squirrel peaks out of the shade in a tree in East Fort Garry, Sunday, September 9, 2012. (TREVOR HAGAN/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Are you in favour of the Harper government's new 'family tax cut'?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google