For the Proportional Referendum (Pro-Rep) ballot vote to succeed in Canada’s up-coming election its essential that the under 35’s vote, since, when polled, 7 in 10 of them want to change the voting system and make it more egalitarian and democratic. The same situation applies to voters in the forthcoming midterm politics in the United States who hope to change its nowfunctionally fascist political climate.
But if it’s left to the over 55 generation in either Canada or the U.S. then any significant change is doomed because polls show older voters favour the status quo by a strong margin. Yet though those over 55 in Canada only make up one third of its voters, they account for more than half of all the votes cast because the majority of voters, under 35’s in particular, never vote.
Yet as a dual Canadian-American citizen, over 55 voter, community activist and political writer now living on the North Shore of British Columbia, this one strongly resents the constant efforts made by Canada’s LIberal and Conservative Party’s, the United States Democratic and Republican Party’s, and that of both country’s mainstream corporate press, who continually quash every positive, constructive attempt ever put forward to voters to make their political systems more egalitarian and democratic; while constantly keeping them ignorant and in the dark about the many advantages that such voting systems as Proportional Represention offer to the citizenry to create a truly democratic process of government and governance.
But Hope Springs Eternal! Canada is currently mailing to voters all across the country a referendum ballot that will actually give them the power to between whether Canada adopts a Proportional Representation voting system or stays with its first-past-the-post (FPTP) system that will forevermore decide Canada’s fate in the same dysmal direction as everything has gone in the past.
Why dismal? Because FPTP voting won’t ever tell the whole truth of what needs to be done because Canada and the United States mainstream corporate newspapers and digitized news media (Facebook, Google, Twitter, Instagram) now is part of a tightly-controlled and managed worldwide network of propagandized thought that carefully manipulates what the public, and voters in particular, should or should not think about Proportional Representation or whatever other new progressive political concept, idea or ideal that ever is put before the voters.
Hence, the result is a constant dumbing-down of the electorate to the point that intelligent, independent, free-thinking human beings eventually become disillusioned and turned off by whatever political system, while the low-level thinking it demands and perpetutates among its followers continues to direct life in the future everywhere on earth.
But Canadians and Americans are once again about to undergo yet another unfair, inadequate, if not archaic, first-past-the-post (FPTP) voting cycle, where the majority of voters, especially those under 35, never vote and those elected seldom are represented by the youth, women First Nations, Native Americans and other minorities.
Some say that why so many among the citizenry don’t ever vote is because of the same worldwide disdain felt towards too much deceitful, authoritarian political-corporate rule. In the United States, during its last presidential election that ushered into office Donald Trump, it’s estimated that over 100 million disgruntled voters didn’t bother to vote, many of them the under 35’s, even though 7 out of 10 voters under age 35 avowedly wanted to see the kind of significant changes they envisoned could still occur in the world.
When a recent Debate.org poll was taken in the United States and the question asked, “Should the U.S. Adopt Proportional Representation?” 91% of the respondents said yes on the basis that: (a) nothing in the U.S. Constitution states that geographic-based winner-takes-all voting should exist; (b) it’s unconstitutional that a voting system, like FPTP, can make one vote count less than any other vote; (c) a less popular political party under FPTP can only ever act as a spoiler that causes the major party closest to its philosophy and policies to constantly loose an election, and; (d) the people need different and more accurate representation than FPTP ever allows.
Yet imagine, for a moment, what would or could potentially happen overnight if the majority of voters in Canada, especially the under 35’s, soon suddenly did decide to vote and marked “YES” on their ballot for Proportional Representation? What kind of inspirational example and ripple would that create among Americans who desire a similar egalitarian democratic form of rule?
However, unless or until that were to happen, Canada’s current similar so-called democratic form of rule to that of the United States’ will also fail to woo a majority of voters to the polls for many of the same reasons because its voting system is equally out of touch with the will of the majority of its people, whether it be the over 55’s, the youth, women, indigenous and minority peoples.
Only electoral reform, that seeks a more egalitarian Proportional Representation (PR) voting system can even remotely begin to level the playing field between them all and reflect the realities that exist at the federal and provincial levels, but especially the municipal level where, though voting ostensibly focuses upon an individual candidate’s personal qualities and beliefs, the underlying philosophy of that candidate’s party affilations, like a silent elephant in the room, surrepticiously still is brought to bear on whatever civic decisions and policies are to be made. Thus, PR voting, especially at the municipal level, represents the critically-important missing first link in a long chain of more responsive government to the electorate.
This is where the Achilles Heel of the FPTP voting system and its style of governance is most glaringly obvious and why every ensuing election continues to look more like trying to rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic with the same end result a given. While the politicians, blind to the sea of grassroot discontent that constantly swirls all around them forever try to bail out themselves and the gross shortcomings of whatever FPTP system.
But if perchance Canada’s voters do decide to opt to implement their own unique Proportional Representational system, Canada, and prhaps the rest of North America could or would soon become a very different place than it is today. If not, however: the same results of Canada’s FPTP elections will once again be repeated; the majority of voters will once more choose not to vote, and; the general malaise of so much general indifference, ignorance or disdain will continue to exist in society.
Jerome Irwin is a freelance writer and author of “The Wild Gentle Ones; A Turtle Island Odyssey” (www.turtle-island-odyssey.com), a three volume account of his travels as a spiritual sojourner, during the 1960’s, 70’s & 80’s, among Native American & First Nation peoples in North America. It encompasses the Indigenous Spiritual Renaissance & Liberation Movements that emerged throughout North America during the civil rights era. Irwin has authored over the years a number of environmental, political, cultural, spiritual articles with a special focus on Native Americans, First Nations, Australian aboriginals, Israeli, Gazan, Palestinian and Syrian peoples. Irwin also is the publisher of The Wild Gentle Press.