An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
WITH THE WRIT FOR THE FEDERAL ELECTION bound to be dropped any day now — the deadline is Sunday — campaigning will become official.
Latest poll numbers confirm it’s a horse race. CBC’s Poll Tracker has the Conservatives oh-so-slightly in the lead with 33.8 per cent compared to the Liberals with 33.5 per cent.
The 338Canada.ca site, which does a similar aggregation of polls, shows very similar results — 34.3 per cent for the Conservatives, 33.7 per cent for the Liberals.
What’s fascinating about these numbers are the projections for who will win the most seats. Both Poll Tracker and 338 suggest the Liberals could very likely win more seats than the Conservatives, forming either a minority or a majority government. They don’t rule out the possibility of the Conservatives winning government, but as things stand the Liberals have much to be optimistic about.
Sooooo….. We could have another situation in this country where the party that wins the most popular support loses the election. I can anticipate the outrage from supporters of proportional representation if this happens, reminding us of Justin Trudeau’s broken promise that 2015 would be the last election fought with first-past-the-post.
If he’d kept his promise, they’ll say, 2019 could have been much different — in their view, much more fair.
But that is not necessarily the case, not by a long shot. The fallacy of proportional representation is that the percentage of votes should always equal percentage of seats.
That ignores the importance of recognizing localized wishes on representation. We live in a very diverse country, and first-past-the post understands that. So while the party that wins the most votes in this election might not win the most seats, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.