Time to step up

100 Mile House Free Press Thursday Jan. 12, 2017 editorial

Following the election of Donald Trump, there was a lot of finger-pointing and attributing blame, including to the media and to politicians.

Regardless of what you think of Trump’s politics, conduct, electability or qualifications, his election is a tragedy in the same way Justin Trudeau’s election was a tragedy. Not because of their beliefs. Not because of what they stand for or may or may not do.

Their elections are tragic because both rule with a majority government despite only being selected by a minority of voters (47% of votes for Trump and 39% of votes for Trudeau).

Now they may or may not do great things while in government, but we’ll let the history books decide on that.

Canadians have made it loud and clear that they want electoral reform, weather it’s by the Liberals being elected after promising it would be the last election under First Past the Post (FPTP), a poll by Ipsos Public Affairs from May finding 73 per cent of Canadians want a referendum or Cathy McLeod’s poll from August finding 76.8 per cent want a referendum.

In October, however, Trudeau started backing away from electoral reform.

“With the current system, they [Canadians] now have a government with which they’re happier. And the need to change the electoral system is less compelling

“Less support and a small change, that would maybe be acceptable,” Trudeau said. “A bigger change, that would take more support.”

Support for electoral reform is still strong among Canadians.

We’ve received multiple letters to the editor about electoral reform and as previously mentioned, polls show support for a referendum remains high.

As long as Canada operates under FPTP, there will be Canadians who are disenfranchised, don’t feel represented or are dissatisfied with the way our elections work.

To some extent, even beyond reasons of self-preservation, Trudeau’s perspective is understandable.

Some of the electoral reform committee sessions were extremely poorly attended by the public.

Canada, however, is a huge country and it’s not realistic to expect in person attendance at these sessions. Let us help you make your voices hear from a distance.

If you do nothing and the next election is still under FPTP, you can blame yourself if you’re one of the many voters not represented by the winning party.

If you’re as shocked by the winning candidate as many people in the United States were by Trump, don’t point your fingers at us.

We’ll print letters.

We’ll cover protests.

We’ll do our best to make your voice heard, but it starts with you.

Together, let’s make sure Canadian elections are fair for everyone.

100 Mile House Free Press