Wednesday, February 01, 2017

On false change

The Libs have made it official that they're breaking their promise of electoral reform with no reason other than their own blinkered refusal to acknowledge the consensus in support of a more proportional system. But particularly in light of Justin Trudeau's past claims that all anybody really wanted was a change in government, let's remember exactly what it is that made a change in government and a change in electoral systems seem so tightly tied together - and what Trudeau is ultimately endorsing.

After all, the Harper majority which came before Trudeau was built on a systematic appeal to the vulnerabilities of FPTP. Unlike any other electoral system under consideration, that system rewarded a strategy aimed at targeting 30% of voters as firm supporters and another 10% as marginal ones - no matter how much the rest of the country was left out.

That's how we ended up stuck with absolute power in the hands of a Prime Minister whose views were far to the right of a strong majority of the country - and with the disastrous governance that resulted.

Now, Trudeau has chosen to saddle us with the continued potential for exactly that type of perverse result on us for election cycles to come, even after making a core promise to change matters for the better.

So we've confirmed today that just because it suits his own purposes in the short term, Trudeau is perfectly happy with a system which could hardly be better designed to favour the next Stephen Harper to exploit its distortions. Which means that in addition to not delivering the real change he promised Trudeau is personally trying to ensure we're stuck with more of the same to come.

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