When Trudeau announced that he was reneging on his electoral reform promises, I was pissed. Big time. But I’ve had a change of heart. What Trudeau said the other day in his much maligned mea culpa is actually, when you really think about it, true. Our present system forces political parties to at least try to appeal to the whole country. And that’s good for the country because it forces parties to moderate their message and choose more reasonable leaders.
My friends and I were all psyched about electoral reform when we thought it would necessarily mean more votes for the NDP and the Greens. But clearly we didn’t think this shit through. Because that’s not at all what it necessarily means. In fact, it’s far more likely that it’ll mean more votes for a far-right party that gets its news from Breitbart News and Rebel Media.
If the electoral reforms I once supported were put into place tomorrow, I fear that, by 2020, we’d have a far-right political party in Parliament led (directly or indirectly) by the likes of Ezra Levant. This openly racist party wouldn’t get more than 15% of the vote, but the legitimacy representation in Parliament would give to their toxic ideas, and the long-term damage to our political culture, would far outweigh the size of their electoral success.
“This was my choice to make,” the PM said the other day, to a booing crowd, “and I chose to make it with full consequence of the cost that is possibly going to come (from) it, but I will not compromise on what is in the best interests of Canada. That’s what Canadians elected me for.”
Justin just took a bullet for his country.
—John Faithful Hamer, Blue Notes (2017)