Letter: Conservatives: 100% of the power, 39% of the popular vote

Hopefully this will be the last election using the first-past-the-post system

To the editor:

Alistair Waters writes in his July 8 column: “Estimates of support here show the Conservatives have more backing than the Liberals and Greens combined so this co-nomination plan is going to need a little help from elsewhere to win the ultimate prize—a seat in the commons—even if Green Party nominating voters go for it…. It may be messy but in a democracy, one person gets one vote and anyone can run for office. That (is) why government’s can win power with less than 50 per cent of the vote.”

In the 2011 election, the Conservatives won a majority. They got 100% of the power in Parliament with only 39% of the popular vote. Is this true democracy?

Hopefully this will be the last election using the first-past-the-post system, which doesn’t accurately reflect the will of the people in a country with several political parties.

What Canada really needs is some form of proportional representation. MPs need to be more accountable to voters. Google: Fairvote.ca

Dianne Varga’s July 8 letter (Amping up the power of the opposition) quotes a more recent riding projection for Kelowna-Lake Country, and puts Cannan’s vote share at 38.3 per cent. But numbers fromthreehundredeight.com are historically very inaccurate this far from an election. Care to know what threehundredeight.com projected for the Progressive Conservatives four weeks before the Alberta election (May 5)? A popular vote of 31.1 per cent with 46 seats.

The actual result: the PCs received 27.8 per cent of the popular vote with only 10 seats. So any speculation about how Canadians will vote on October 19 is totally premature.

As we are stuck with first-past-the-post for this election, google: votetogether.ca: “The Vote Together campaign is about bringing people together—people who have voted NDP, Liberal, and Green, first-time voters, and even some unhappy Conservative voters—to pick the best local candidate who can defeat the Conservatives in their riding and move Canada forward.”

To replace Cannan in Kelowna-Lake Country, fiscal and progressive conservatives who are aware of Harper’s poor management of the economy–due in part to an overemphasis on Canada’s energy sector at the expense of other areas, such as manufacturing– are more likely to vote Liberal than NDP when a viable Liberal candidate exists. (So will most Greens, if you ask them: “Would you rather have a Liberal government or four more years of Harper?”)

And there is a viable Liberal candidate: Steve Fuhr, a retired military officer and CF-18 fighter pilot for the Royal Canadian Air Force. He was born in Alberta, grew up in the B.C. Interior, and had always voted Conservative.

Fuhr is also a business leader. After retiring from the Air Force he joined his family’s Kelowna-based company, SkyTrac Systems, which develops aviation communication and tracking equipment. He successfully managed the company of 40 employees, and currently works as an aircraft Captain on a Gulfstream 650.

In the closing days of the election campaign, most traditional NDP voters will vote for Fuhr when they realize they don’t have a chance of defeating Cannan, and are staring at another four years of Harper.

The NDP may agree on many of the same issues as Greens, but the NDP still whip votes. An NDP MP will not have the flexibility to facilitate any Green policy that doesn’t line up exactly with NDP policy. On the other hand, Liberals allow for free votes on everything but Charter issues, election promises, and confidence issues.

Go to realchange.ca and click on: “A new plan for Canada’s environment and economy”.

What we need in Canada is a return to evidence-based decision making, not another four years of decision-based evidence making from Stephen Harper, who author Michael Harris calls the “Party of One” (Viking Canada, 2014). Google: ipolitics.ca/author/mharris and hchips.ca.

David Buckna, Kelowna

 

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