Conservative Party Does Not Believe in Equality of Voters
This fascinating and scary post just showed up on the FairVote Canada Facebook page:
A couple of things to notice here and I’ll just leave it at that.
The Conservative party is worried about what the NDP and Green Party have to say about reforming our democracy. They are scared of PR and Elizabeth May and the NDP. They are scared that Canadians will finally say yes to staring to improve our unfair system.
Ridings, Not Voters
“Our country was founded on the equality of riding first and foremost.”
Gee, I thought it was the voters who were equal. Why do we care about ridings being equal? If every single person in the country has the same power to affect the process of governance in Ottawa, surely that is what we want. Apparently not.
Equality = Majority
Somebody should make buttons with Stephen Harper saying this. Notice the “Equality = Majority” and “Say yes to future strong, stable majority conservative governments”. This shows that the Conservative Party has made a calculation that the only way they can hold on to majority rule is to maintain the current system. The current system weights riding equally, that is true. But it does not weight voters equally. 39% of voters supported the Conservatives last election and they were rewarded with complete, untrammeled power. The weight that a voter has in determining what happens in Ottawa is not only due to population and rules about smaller provinces having more seats. The weight of a voters in a non-competitive riding where they are in the minority is effectively zero. When a riding is split more than two ways all the votes for smaller parties are wasted. There is nothing about proportional representation which would cause one riding or region to have more votes than another. What PR would do is remove the current inequality between voters who have different impact depending on the largest voice in their riding.
With a fair, more proportional system every voter would have a chance to have a voice even if they were surrounded by a majority against them. This goes for Conservatives in Quebec just as much as it does for NDP and Liberals in Alberta or Greens in most ridings.
What matters is that every voter has a voice, that every vote matters. The ridings are only important if you are counting your pieces of the pie and worrying that it might be split more evenly in the future. The only one who worries about that is the one who knows he is getting too much pie. And right now, the only one in that situation is the Conservative Party.
Following discussion in the comments I whipped up this image for the counterargument I think people need to make against this approach by the Conservatives. Feel free to use this image as you wish. (Click on the image for the png file. Click here for a pdf : votingfairness.pdf)