THE BLOG

Candidate Blog: Enacting Proportional Representation

11/12/2013 05:30 EST | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST

Polls show between 75 per cent and 90 per cent of Canadian voters support Proportional Representation (PR). It is too obvious that the "First-Past-the-Post" (FPTP) system is not representative when you look at our "majority" Conservative Parliament based on less than 25 per cent of the eligible voters' support!

So obvious that even Stephen Harper once supported PR, well, when his party was in opposition. The Liberal Party and the NDP also say they do, but so far there's no legislation introduced in the Parliament by any party or MP.

If PR is so popular with the voters, why is it not done already? The super simple answer is that PR chips away the power of the big parties! The top two or three parties certainly stand to lose seats in favour of the smaller parties and independent candidates. If the 2011 elections would have been organized based on Proportional Representation, we would have 122 Conservative MPs (down from 166), 94 NDP MPs (down from 103), 58 Liberals (up from 34), 18 PQ (up from 4). Most significantly, we would also have 12 Green Party MPs, up from 1**, plus 4 Independents instead of none.

**Indeed, the Green Party received support from over 1 million voters and only have 1 MP in the Parliament today.

The reality is that laws are made by the big parties, and none of them have any interest to replace FPTP squarely because they don't want to lose MPs or the chance to win a majority. PM Harper currently enjoys an unchallenged, total grip on power and to be sure, Justin Trudeau expressed his admiration of a Chinese-style 'basic dictatorship' which explains why he won't support PR.

NDP fought so hard to get 103 seats, why on earth would they agree to a system change that would take away some of their precious seats? All 3 big parties' political leaders keep talking 'in favour' of PR, conveniently supporting different variations of PR to justify the lack of action. Various non-governmental organizations such as FairVote.ca are used by big party politicians to create the impression that they're doing something while enjoying the unfair FPTP system.

Online Party of Canada (OPC), the party I represent in the Toronto Centre District in the Nov 25th By-Elections, was created to empower voters to have their say in politics and to override the big parties if they fail to act on voters' demands, such is the case of PR. OPC has initiated a non-partisan initiative called 'Action for Proportional Representation' a concrete plan to enact PR without begging big parties to kindly do it. Instead, it enlists in each of the 338 ridings one candidate willing to sign a sworn declaration, pledging to move without delay to enact pre-drafted PR legislation and quit, calling for new elections immediately.

This plan has 100 per cent success guaranteed in writing and it is not dependent on big parties' cooperation. But here's the catch: Canadian voters must follow through with their demand and make it happen, because this is a non-partisan, grassroots initiative. They must do two things: 1) use Social Media (Facebook,Twitter) to rally support, and 2) on elections day in 2015 to vote for an APR Candidate. It can only work if more than 170 APR Candidates are elected so they can pass PR legislation.

Enacting PR this way would represent the strongest voters action against the political establishment, in Canada and abroad. It would set a precedent and send a message to the elected officials everywhere: listen to your voters or else the voters will override you! I signed up as an APR Candidate for 2015 Elections and I hope that Canadian voters will seize the opportunity to make change happen!