John Baglow

Ontario election: a parody of democracy

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Apathy.jpg

Dalton McGuinty got a near-majority with less than 37% of the vote. But nearly two-thirds more than half of the electorate stayed home.

Do the math. McGuinty has a mandate to govern from all of 15% 18% of Ontario electors.

Democracy in Canada, 2011.

First past the post is part of the problem. People don’t like to spend valuable time wasting their votes. Under proportional representation, everybody’s vote counts. The legislature more or less reflects the differing political opinions of the voters. But the smart-ass pundits and the vested political interests kicked that one to the curb in 2007.

What political elite (and their corporate media shills) don’t like a tame, apathetic electorate?

But there’s more, so much more, wrong with our system. Electoral politics is a sham, a charade. Nothing ever seems to change. In fact, nothing much actually does. No matter whom you vote for, the government gets elected.

Police go wilding during the G20 protests. A massive violation of civil liberties, one of the worst in Canadian history during peacetime. The cops are supported to the hilt by Stephen Harper (Conservative), Dalton McGuinty (Liberal) and the mayor of Toronto at the time, David Miller (NDP).

Electoral politics could be important. But they aren’t. Don’t take my word for it. Go ask the folks who no longer bother.

UPDATE: Reports of a 40% turnout I thought I saw last night were somewhat exaggerated, or I was bleary-eyed. Corrections made, but the point clearly remains.

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This page contains a single entry by John Baglow published on October 7, 2011 12:33 AM.

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