Jack Layton must resign By Arthur Weinreb Monday, December 8, 2008
The main argument in favour of the Coalition of the Chilling that is attempting to replace the government of Stephen Harper is that the current government is not democratic. The argument goes that as more Canadians voted against the Conservatives than voted for them, the party has no real mandate to govern Canada. To allow the Conservatives to continue to rule is somehow undemocratic and unfair to the citizens of the country.
Okay, so let’s go with that; democracy dictates that in order for a government (either a single party or a coalition) to be legitimate, they must have the support of 50% plus 1 of the voters. If they don’t, then even if they have the legal authority they lack the moral authority to govern Canada. But if that is the theory, there is no reason why it should only be applied to the country as a whole.
The moving force behind the forming of the coalition was Jack Layton, although he is currently being shoved into the background by trailing Liberal leadership candidate Bob Rae. After being tipped by a CFP reader, it has come to our attention that Jack Layton is the only leader of a federal political party with members sitting in the House of Commons who did not garner 50% of the votes in his own riding.
According to Elections Canada, in the election that was held on October 14, 45,578 votes were cast in the riding of Toronto-Danforth. One hundred and ninety-one of these ballots were rejected for a total of 45,387 valid votes. Of that number, Jack Layton received 20,323 or 44.8% of the total. In other words more people voted against Layton (25,064) than voted for him (20,323). So where exactly did Jack Layton get the mandate to represent the good people of Toronto-Danforth in the House of Commons?
None of the other party leaders failed to get the support of at least half of their constituents. Stephen Harper (73.0%), Stéphane Dion (61.7%) and Gilles Duceppe (50.2%) all won their seats democratically. Not so Jack Layton.
Even Jack can’t have it both ways. If the Conservatives are illegitimate because 62.4% of Canadians didn’t vote for them, then Layton is the illegitimate MP for the riding of Toronto-Danforth because 53.2% of voters voted against him. Either getting less than 50% of the votes is sufficient or it’s not. If Jack Layton actually believes that the Harper government must go because a majority of people didn’t vote for them, then he must do the honourable thing and resign his seat in the House of Commons.
For those who truly believe in democracy and the principle that the will of the people should be followed, call or write Jack. Tell him that he must resign his seat immediately. He has no mandate from the voters of Toronto-Danforth to represent them. Tell him he must listen to his constituents.
Jack Layton: firstname.lastname@example.org