Talk of proportional representation has been around for a long time. Linda McQuaig writes:
The most widely-supported version of PR for Canada — called Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) — is used in Germany, Scotland and New Zealand, and has the advantage of combining local representation with a seat count in the legislature based on the popular vote. MMP was recommended by the Law Commission of Canada in a 2004 report on Canadian electoral reform. It has the support of nonpartisan groups like Fair Vote Canada and the Canadian Electoral Alliance.
And, last month, exactly such a proposal was presented to the House. It had the support of the NDP, the Green Party and 16 Liberal MP's. Curiously, Justin Trudeau voted against the proposal. The question is why? Stephen Harper is the incarnation of the argument for PR:
The rise of Stephen Harper’s Conservatives — with their aggression, their willingness to flout democratic rules and traditions, their indifference to the interests of those who didn’t vote for them — has highlighted the danger of an over-empowered minority in an urgent new way.
With only 39.5 per cent of the popular vote in the 2011 election (plus an unquantifiable amount of hubris), the Harper government has exercised 100 per cent control over Parliament, using that power to sabotage international efforts on climate change and implement a whole range of other policies at odds with the values of most Canadians.
McQuaig suggests that a minority government may, indeed, be what we are left with after this year's election:
A minority government is distinctly possible — and opposition parties undoubtedly would work together to ensure the end of the Harper government.
That could involve some kind of deal between them, a deal which should require the implementation of proportional representation in order to ensure a permanent guarantee of greater democracy.
If Trudeau the Younger is serious about democratic reform, he should be talking about proportional representation.