It’s time to change the system

Resident calls for reforms to the political system in Canada after the election

Certainly strategic voting did not produce the desired result of a Conservative defeat in the North Okanagan-Shuswap. It did, however, reduce the Conservative majority to a plurality with a split vote.

In Kelowna Lake Country,  a riding every bit as Conservative as ours, pre-electoral strategic co-operation between the Greens and the Liberals, as well as strategic voting, resulted in the stunning upset of a long-time Conservative incumbent. It also gives local Greens a voice in the Liberal caucus.

Nationally, strategic voting produced an unexpectedly strong Liberal majority.

Here is Leadnow’s summary of their strategic vote effort:

“NDP and Liberals took 25 of the 29 targeted seats away from the Conservatives. That’s an 86 per cent success rate in seats the Conservatives won in 2011: a huge shift and far more dramatic than the national average. Local Leadnow members recommended 13 NDP candidates and 16 Liberal candidates as the most likely to defeat their Conservative opponent.  In the seats Conservatives lost, our recommended candidate was the winner 96 per cent of the time (24 out of 25 ridings). In our four targeted seats where Conservatives won, our recommended candidate ended up as the closest challenger twice. In the two other ridings, the recommended candidates ended up finishing third. In the ridings where a recommended candidate won, Leadnow members and the voters we directly engaged account for more than the margin of victory in eight ridings and more than half the margin of victory in 14 ridings.”

Make no mistake. The success of strategic voting in this election is nothing to be celebrated.

All voters would prefer to vote for their first choice rather than against their last.

Strategic voting is a result of our antiquated first past the post voting that gave, for example, the Conservatives in 2011, and the Liberals in 2015, 100 per cent of the power to govern with just 39 per cent of the vote.

Justin Trudeau has promised to make 2015 the last unfair election.

It is time for some form of proportional representation (fairvote.ca).

Let the discussion begin.

Susan Young

Vernon