Our new minority government offers a rare opportunity to reconsider our electoral system. When the Conservative Party with the higher popular vote gains fewer seats than the Liberal Party and when the Liberals with 32 per cent get 156 seats and the NDP with 16 per cent get only 24 seats, you know something isn’t working right.
At least we have avoided the norm where 39 per cent of the 65 per cent eligible voters (who typically vote) form a majority and determine how it will be for everyone else for four to five years.
In Europe, of course, minority or coalition governments are the norm and one might wonder why they are typically more progressive. Now provides the opportunity for Canada to really consider the way in which we can move towards proportional representation, which according to a recent Angus Reid poll is supported by 77 per cent of Canadians.
That being said there are many hurdles to get there. The NDP are broke and are in no position to leverage their vote over the Liberals. Besides, proportional representation isn’t a priority for either the Liberals or the Conservatives. So as a fallback, and to avoid the continual splintering on the left, now would be a good time for the NDP and the Greens to seriously focus on their commonality instead of their differences and merge to create an entirely new party.
After all, what can be actualized is equally important to what can be imagined. And while they are at it they might seriously consider Jody Wilson-Raybould as their first leader.