Letter to Conservative MPs who voted against Craig Scott's motion on Proportional Representation
January 2, 2015
We are disappointed that not one Conservative voted in favour of the motion on proportional representation (PR) (introduced by Craig Scott) on December 3 2014. There are many Conservatives (not in the House) who support PR--some are active in FairVote Canada.
Conservatives currently profit from first-past-the-post, but have been penalized by it in the past, and may well again be so. After the Kim Campbell election, there were only two left, a drastic under-representation according to popular vote.
More to the point, first-past-the-post routinely produces skewed results--the under-representation of some parties in some regions, to the advantage (for a time) of one. Voter apathy is one unfortunate result: why bother, when my vote does not count? With PR, every vote counts, with an equal weight. In a House of Commons elected with Mixed Member Proportional each party would have the proportion of MPs they deserve from voter choice.
The objections to the proposal raised by Pierre Pollievre were weak and irrelevant. Indeed, he spent most of his time discussing such matters as voter ID and how MPs vote in the House! His contention that with PR voters will not have thieir own MP to go to is factually wrong. Under the MMP system proposed every voter will have a regular, constituency MP; the list would allocate (say) one third of MPS regionally.
These MPs ensure that the total number in the House per party reflects their support in the electorate. A look at Voting Counts, 2004, produced by the Law Commission of Canada, would show this clearly.
We urge Conservative MPs to give thought to this important democratic reform, and to put improving our democratic system ahead of (immediate) party interest.