Provincial elections are coming up this summer, with three heavyweights in the game of politics. Kathleen Wynne and her Liberals are looking to go for a comically sad two decades in power. The Conservatives have, unsurprisingly, unleashed the Ford monarchy onto Ontario. The NDP are doing what the NDP do: stay under the radar and lose elections.
Much will be made of the type of personalities and individual leaders of the parties competing for control of Canada’s best province. Much will be made of their differing backstories and various scandals (get over the fact that Doug Ford was a cool ass hash dealer — don’t get over the fact that he shit on disabled kids). Andrea Horwath also exists in a deeply forgettable space in the political landscape. Very little however will be made of the greatest political failure of the past decade: Electoral Reform.
The rigid First Past the Post system (FPP) has effectively created a dearth of democracy in not only Ontario but Canada abroad. FPP is the way Ontario decides who is elected in each riding. FPP takes whomever got the most votes in a particular riding and declares them the winner. This system is simple, but it results in millions of votes every election essentially amounting to nothing in a winner-take-all gambit.
Other electoral systems award seats based on proportional representation (i.e. the amount of votes that parties receive in total and awards them a corresponding amount of seats in Parliament). This establishes a greater diversity of opinion within Parliament, which can lead to more radical voices on the left and right wing of politics being represented. Regardless of how one feels about the presence of radical voices in politics, one cannot argue against that the inclusion of radical voices is more representative of populations than exclusion of those voices.
Electoral reforms is but one type of institutional change that could be made to Canada and Ontario. Regardless, the lack of willingness to pursue electoral reform by all parties that have occupied power at a national stage in Canada is part of the reason why Ontarians have such an inept field to choose from in our upcoming elections.
Doug Ford described a home for developmentally disabled youth in his ward, as a “nightmare” for the neighbourhood. Kathleen Wynne privatizes public goods like energy production and has overseen ridiculous rise in energy costs in Ontario during her reign. Who is Andrea Horwath? Larry, Curly and Moe will make for an entertaining election, filled with slapstick, perhaps some racism, and Ontarians will be left with diminished intellects for it.
There is a better way. It probably starts with cutting this article out of the newspaper, urinating on it, covering it lighter fluid, and then setting it on fire. Reject society. Start a cult. Watch Big Brother as an instruction manual for the society you want to build and not as entertainment. Study possums and raccoons to figure out how to live on trash and climb trees real good. Do anything but demand your local politicians give proportional representation a chance.