To the excitement of almost nobody, we are probably having a federal election this fall in Canada.
Under first-past-the-post, Canadians don’t have a ranked ballot nor proportional representation so we must nearly always vote strategically.
We like to think of ourselves as having a superior democracy to the Americans with half a dozen different parties elected to The House of Commons. But with the electoral system in place, *each riding* is effectively a two-way, two-party race fueled by strategic voting.
Liberal vs Conservative, Liberal vs NDP, Green vs NDP, BLOC vs Liberals, NDP vs Conservatives, Conservatives vs Christian Federation, People’s Party vs Conservatives.
We might have a more diverse lineup of parties than the Americans, but on election day, on the ballot – we’re effectively stuck with the same problem; a two-party race.
Canadians hold their nose and vote for whichever party in the two-way race of their particular riding they disagree with least.
Here in Canada, we don’t really vote for our MPs because of who they are or what they stand for – we vote for them purely because of their party affiliation and our assessment of their Party’s Leader. So, it’s no secret that our MPs are completely beholden to their party’s interests.
It’s actually completely backwards, Members of Parliament are more loyal to their party’s interests than they are to their constituents’. In my view, this is the entire crux of the problem in our democracy. It’s a problem of motivation. We need legislation so that even self-centered public servants’ interests are aligned with the public.
My name is Peter House and I’m announcing my candidacy to run for Member of Parliament in the next Federal Election in the riding of Waterloo, ON. I am forming a new Federal Party; The Electoral Reform Party of Canada.
Here is our party’s platform:
- The Electoral Reform Party will put forth legislation that mandates Proportional Representation and Ranked Voting such as Single Transferable Vote so Canadians are free from strategic voting.
- The Electoral Reform Party will put forth legislation that mandates all Members of Parliament must hold monthly town halls in their riding so that their constituents can address them about the issues of the day face-to-face and MPs have a pulse on the riding they represent.
- The Electoral Reform Party will put forth legislation that mandates all Members of Parliament must write a weekly blog entry, make a vlog entry greater than 5 minutes or write a newspaper column that is publicly accessible online communicating with their constituents how and what they have been doing as their Member of Parliament. Currently we just receive quarterly partisan leaflets in the mail with our local MP’s face slapped on them.
- The Electoral Reform Party will put forth legislation that ties Member of Parliament salaries to their quarterly approval rating among their constituents. Because what good are you anyways if as Member of Parliament your constituents don’t approve of you?!
In jurisdictions where farmers don’t vote, there are no farming subsidies.
Students don’t have a voice in government *because* they don’t vote.
Our riding of Waterloo is dominated by the student population – the whole Waterloo economy revolves around the College and Universities and there are so many students living here that the population of the city drops by one-third in the summer term when students go back home for work or away for co-op. If you elect me to office, it will be a signal to Ottawa that students are voting and they’re voting for electoral reform!
Here is the play – it’s a two-punch approach. In my first term as your Member of Parliament, I will be the biggest nuance in the House because I won’t shut-up about Electoral Reform and advocating for the interests of our constituents rather than the strategic interests of the major party think-tanks.
I will voice *your* concerns. I may only be one member of parliament in my first term in office, but we will grow the party, and in the election to follow, we will have candidates in other ridings and more ERP MPs elected to the House.
I enthusiastically scrutineered for The Liberals and helped elect Justin Trudeau in 2015 on the promise of legal marijuana and electoral reform, one of which he butchered and the other he reneged on completely. Mr. Trudeau’s charisma shines on the campaign trail but he legislates whatever the liberal think-tank tells him to.
After Trudeau reneged on his promise “2015 would be our last election under First Past The Post,” I became active within the NDP. I was a delegate at the NDP’s National Convention in Ottawa in 2018 and then elected President of the Mississauga-Lakeshore NDP Riding Association until I resigned to start the Electoral Reform Party in 2019. There are many NDP policy resolutions I admire but their virtue-signaling attitude will never inspire loyalty among the working-class they claim to represent.
My party platform is a simple, lean, four-point platform because I want to build a big tent of support.
This isn’t about left-right politics, this is strictly about accountability of government and the electoral system at the core of our democracy. Our government doesn’t represent us and young people are paying the biggest price.
I’m noticing the price of inflation at the grocery store. People are struggling to pay their rent and the price of housing has skyrocketed. I’ve been a working on a construction project during covid as a construction worker and we’ve seen the price of lumber double. Our government doesn’t understand the digital era and is again trying to legislate freedom of speech and net neutrality restrictions on the internet on behalf of our telecoms, who always seem to get their way with the government despite Rogers and Bell being the mostly widely despised corporations in the country. Our politicians rely on good coverage from Rogers and Bell, especially during elections and the Canadian Telecommunications companies pockets are deep with the criminal monthly rates they charge us. Tristan Harris from “The Social Dilemma” on Netflix raises a ton of valid concerns about the social media’s influence over society, yet our politicians rely on it to get elected, much like the telcos. Our government virtue signals and pays us lip service but it rarely amounts to anything, aggravating everyone. Consider, indigenous people for instance. (Or climate change.)
We need new representation in government dedicated to addressing accountability of government and the electoral system at the core of our democracy. How our MPs ‘represent’ us in parliament won’t begin to reflect the interests of constituents until then, so, we need to focus on electoral reform.
I will be holding a meet and greet in (late) August in Waterloo Park, but until then, directions to become a founding member of the Electoral Reform Party are available at www.electoralreformparty.ca/join. You just need to be able to vote in Canada to become a founding member and there is no fee for joining except the cost of postage to Waterloo. We can start a new party with just 250 founding members and we’re already halfway there!
I’d like to take any questions now as though this were an impromptu virtual Town Hall. AMA!
Please comment on this reddit post or our other social media and thank you very much!
– Peter House