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Electoral reform: The elephant is still in the room

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With all the talk of elections and coalitions, I remain stupefied (well, not really) that electoral reform remains outside the scope of discussion for political columnists, pundits and parties. The only recent reference I could find online was from Leslie Campbell at the National Democratic Institute in the September 4 Globe and Mail. Harper's ruminations about needing a "majority" (of seats, not votes), to teach the socialists, separatists and liberals a lesson, go unchallenged or are written off as a matter of personality, not program. But we know exactly why Harper wants his phony majority. It's about policy, not "education". Harper wraps himself in democracy and the flag to paint himself and the conservatives as the victims when it is the voters who are victimized election after election. Meanwhile, the media ask "what's that smell?" It's elephant dung stupid.

We know that the liberal party opposes proportional representation. But Iggy goes one step further by falling into Harper's coalition trap. The notion of some kind of coalition government, as allowed for under the current (unfair) electoral & partiamentary system is rejected a priori as illegimate - whether floated as a way to prevent an election or as a potential outcome in any future election. The only "legitimate" victory is a phony majority. Common wisdom?

The Bloc rejects electoral reform for obvious reasons. They are a big beneficiary of the current unfair electoral system. The NDP always say they support reform and PR, but they don't seem to take advantage of any opportunities to talk about it (or to actually do something about it at the provincial level when they've had the opportunity).

So, each of the 3 pan-Canadian parties will carry on with business as usual in the hope (or pretension) that they can finesse enough 3, 4 or 5-way races to end up with a "majority" government with a minority of the votes. "Democracy" is not much more than wedge issue-driven cycnical manipulation that grants total power to the victor. It's a sorry state of affairs. No wonder more and more people are staying home on election day.

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