Ambitions in Throne Speech Thwarted by First-past-the-post
The Throne Speech raised two major concerns worth noting: the importance of regional concerns and the need for a more cooperative approach to government. However, neither of these concerns can be adequately addressed in the absence of electoral reform.
Today’s Throne Speech stated:
“Canadians have also spoken clearly about the importance of their regions and their local needs.
The Government has heard Canadians’ concerns that the world is increasingly uncertain and that the economy is changing. And in this context, regional needs and differences really matter. Today’s regional economic concerns are both justified and important.
The Government will work with provinces, territories, municipalities, Indigenous groups, stakeholders, industry, and Canadians to find solutions.”
Due to Canada’s broken electoral system, diverse voices in every region have been shut out.
No Liberal MPs from Alberta and Saskatchewan.
No Conservatives from the 40 ridings of Toronto, Peel and Halton, nor from the 38 ridings of Metropolitan Montreal.
Only proportional representation can ensure that no region is shut out of government.
Only proportional representation will ensure that the range of MPs from every region reflect the diversity of voters in that region.
As Justin Trudeau once stated, “diversity is our strength.” Yet the words “diverse” and “diversity” are conspicuous by their absence in this Throne Speech.
Today’s Throne Speech also emphasized cooperation:
“Canadians have sent a clear message: from young people to seniors, they want their Parliamentarians to work together on the issues that matter most to them.”
This cannot be overstated. In September, 2019, 90% of respondents to an Angus Reid poll agreed with this statement:
“Our electoral system should encourage parties to cooperate and compromise so that the important policies that are passed in parliament reflect the support of over 50% of Canadians.”
Canadians are looking for a democracy where politicians think past the partisan interests of their party, and work with other parties on policies that are built to last. An Angus Reid poll released November 21 showed that seven in ten Canadians support a move to proportional representation – which would create a culture of cooperation.
Today’s Throne Speech stated:
“The mandate of this recent election is a starting point, not the final word. The Government is open to new ideas from all Parliamentarians, stakeholders, public servants, and Canadians – ideas like universal dental care are worth exploring, and I encourage Parliament to look into this.”
Fair Vote Canada is proposing a new and innovative solution: A National Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform. 79% of Canadians who responded to a September 2019 Angus Reid poll agree:
“Whichever political party forms government in the upcoming federal election in October should organize a National Citizens’ Assembly on electoral reform.”
Fair Vote Canada is a cross-partisan national citizens’ campaign representing 80,000 Canadians advocating for voting system reform. FVC promotes the introduction of an element of proportional representation in elections at all levels of government.