T-🧨N🧨-T - True North Truths with Rod McPhee; Trudeau’s electoral reform betrayal robbed democracy

Rod McPhee

When the Liberal Party of Canada unceremoniously disposed of Stephane Dion, I confidently predicted that they would select Justin Trudeau as the new leader because the LPC, a party that views themselves as the rightful ruling party, after years outside the PMO, were achingly nostalgic for a return to their glory days under Pierre Trudeau, Canada’s third longest serving PM, and lusting for a return to the public trough at which they yearned to gorge themselves.

As expected, they opted for a return to Trudeau, prompting me to warn my Liberal acquaintances that Justin had a lot more ON his headthan had his father, but that he had one hell of a lot less IN it. I viewed Trudeau as an intellectually vacuous individual, a trust fund kewpie doll, born with a silver spoon in his mouth, someone who knew nothing about the life of the average Canadian citizen. While his father was a Pierre (rock), the son is merely cailloux (pebbles), a mediocre extemporaneous speaker, perhaps because he had des cailloux dans son bouche, or due to indecision as to which lie to tell, or, as I suspect, his CPU (i.e. brain) is seriously underpowered. Sadly, his greatest talent is posing for selfies.

In 2015, Trudeau was the beneficiary of the accumulated distaste for Stephen Harper and the addle-brained campaign of the NDP, which was based on fear of losing, advice Tom Mulcair should have rejected out of hand. Trudeau built on these advantages by making a number of seemingly sincere commitments on issues that mattered to many, many Canadian voters. These included establishing a “nation to nation" relationship with First Nations, bringing “sunny ways” to government, running a transparent and accountable government, making climate change and protection of the environment a key priority, and, the commitment that I believe mattered most to a wide cross-section of Canadians, electoral reform, assuring voters that he would ensure the 2015 election would be the last using the “first-past-the-post” voting system, vowing to introduce electoral reform to ensure “every vote counts”. I strongly believe this commitment to introduce meaningful electoral reform appealed to a great many disillusioned Canadians, seducing them to vote for Justin and the Liberals, believing long overdue electoral reform would produce a much more effective democracy from which all Canadians would benefit.

I had not voted for Justin and the LPC, but I was fully prepared to give him a chance, based on his commitment to finally introduce electoral reform to a system that had allowed Harper to form a minority government in 2008 with only 37.63% of the popular vote and a majority government in 2011 with only 39.62% of the popular vote. Some democracy ! Disgusting ! I was appalled that Justin and the LPC won a large majority with only 39.5% of the popular vote, but I trusted in his solemn vow to correct this seriously flawed system to ensure “every vote counts” and that “we are committed to ensuring that the 2015 election will be the last federal election using first past the post.”

I expect that most of you share my disdain for hypocrites, people who lie, making promises and commitments, then shamelessly reneging on them. This is one of many reasons Justin Trudeau fills me with disgust, but it is the major one. Electoral reform is long overdue, and absolutely necessary , if we are to have the truly democratic government we deserve. Consider the following table:

I am not certain if Justin Trudeau and the LPC ever complained publicly about the illegitimacy of the Harper majority in 2011, when the Conservatives received less than 40 % of the popular vote, but I suspect they did. Yet, in 2015, Trudeau and the LPC actually formed a majority government on a slightly lower percentage of the popular vote. They certainly weren’t complaining about the system then. They also aren’t complaining about the system following the most recent election, in which the first-past-the-post system enabled Trudeau and the LPC to form a minority government with the lowest percentage of the popular vote for the governing party in Canadian history ! He should be ashamed of himself, but he doesn’t have enough class for that.

Just over a year into his mandate, having gone through some pretense of consulting Canadians on electoral reform, spending a great deal of taxpayer money on cross-country “consultations” by Maryam Monsef, Trudeau proved it was all a sham when he announced there would be absolutely no action on electoral reform.

The reality of our parliamentary system is that winning a majority essentially gives the winning party the untrammelled power of a dictatorship. The last time Canada had a government in power that was actually voted for by a clear majority of voters, was 1958. It is well past time that Canadians unite and, like Howard Beale, in the movie Network, loudly proclaim “(We are) mad as hell and (we) won’t take it any more !”

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