Yesterday’s chirp covered how Doug Ford won a large majority in the last Ontario provincial election, where under 18% of total eligible voters voted for Ford’s Progressive Conservative Party. Then again, only 43.5% of eligible voters actually voted.
Let’s look at the last Canadian federal election, held in September 2021. The Liberal Party won 160 seats to form a minority government. All other parties, combined, won 178 seats. A total of 62.5% of eligible voters actually voted. Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party received 32.6% of actual votes cast. The Conservative Party, came second, winning 119 seats. They did this even though more voters voted for the Conservative Party than the Liberal Party. The Conservatives actually received 33.7% of actual votes cast, a full one per cent higher than what the Liberal Party received. Now, Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative provincial party won a large majority with under 18% of total eligible voters voting for Ford’s Party. Justin Trudeau’s federal Liberal Party won a minority government with 20.4% of total eligible voters voting for his party. Doug Ford received a smaller per centage of total eligible votes cast, yet won a majority. That being said, Justin Trudeau’s party received less than 21% of total eligible votes and he is Prime Minister.
While the vitriol towards both Ford and Trudeau, on social media is worrisome (hatred is much more on Trudeau than Ford) the ambivalence towards both is understandable given that three quarters of eligible voters voted for neither.
For years, the concept of proportional representation has been discussed. At its bare bones, under a proprtional representation system, the number of seats a party would receive would be based on voting share. If this had been in place, during the last federal election, the Condervative Party, given that they received more votes, would be the ruling party. However, even under this system a huge majority of Canadians, federally, and Ontarions, provincially, would not have voted for the current ruling parties of both jurisdictions. To address this, discussions have been held about mandatory voting. But that is as far as that has gone. So we live with what we have. I am not even going to go there regarding our Senate structure
How about our neighbour to the south, with their system. Well, in 2020, almost 67% of eligible voters, voted. Yet, Trump and Biden received both received underr 40% of total eligible votes cast. Furthermore, the Republicans are doing everything possible to reduce voter turnout. End result, both in Canada and the US, divided countries, though much more virulent (so far) in the US.
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