Sunday, August 22, 2021

Letter to Hill Times Re: Are political parties undermining democratic practices?

The following is the unedited version of the letter to the Hill Times editor that became: Canada’s electoral system needs to truly modernize, democratize: McOrmond

It was in reply to: Are political parties undermining democratic practices? which referenced a letter that Elizabeth May wrote.

I read Ms. May's letter, and I found it odd that while acknowledging what Ms. Wilson-Raybould had written, Ms. May decided to double-down on the problem.

Referencing her preference for an electoral system that optimizes for "party popular vote", she is promoting the very thinking that creates the hierarchy of unelected power.

Peoples of this homeland have had systems of democratic governance for longer than Europeans and their colonies have, and we should be looking more closely at those.

Party Representation, mislabeled Proportional Representation, is the opposite to what most Indigenous nations use.  In the diversity of Indigenous systems the leadership are spokespersons, and never treated as the CEO of a corporation (or Feudal Lords or Monarchies, to reference the relatively recent colonial history), or allowed to treat elected members of parliament as employees.  Granting seats in parliament merely based on party affiliation will only make these problems worse.

While there are electoral systems to move us away from the divisive system of First Past The Post, optimizing for "party popular vote" moves us in the opposite direction.

As an early start, we should be removing party names from ballots, disallowing party executives to manipulate the local nomination processes, and ensuring party leaders are elected by (and always accountable to) fellow caucus members.

While still based on a colonial constitutional monarchy, the governance systems used in Nunavut and Northwest Territories are far more advanced than used in the provinces or federal government.

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