‘Electoral Reform’ is the latest buzz word being thrown around by the media to distract the Canadian working class from the current recession and the uncertainty capitalism provides. Spearheaded by Liberal MP Maryam Monsef, this latest media campaign features headlines quoting Monsef describing the current first-past-the-post electoral system as being “antiquated” – in reality, what is antiquated is the entire economic system of capitalism and the current Canadian state which manages it.
Canada’s first-past-the-post electoral system is originally based on the system used by the United Kingdom and its former colonies. In this system, the candidate with the highest number of votes in their respective riding are elected as Member of Parliament for that riding. Naturally we are told that so and so ‘represents’ their constituents.
Unfortunately for Canada’s working class, parliamentary elections are nothing more than a farce designed to elect the next government which will be in charge of managing the affairs and interests of Canada’s capitalist class in terms of maximizing profit both here and over seas. For instance, during times of recession, Canada’s ‘elected’ government will gladly come rushing with a bailout for at-risk capitalists. Similarly, they are more than happy to legislate workers back to work if there is a chance that they will win in their struggle against their boss during a strike. Lastly, one should never forget that these so called ‘democratically’ elected officials are more than happy to go to war abroad if its profitable for Canada’s wealthy elites.
The question then arises, why the fuss now about Canada’s electoral system? The answer is pretty straight forward, in order to for this rotten system to keep on functioning, large segments of the working class need to feel invested in it. This has not been the case since the 90’s when federal election turnout sunk to an average in the range of the mid 60%. Most of those eligible to vote but choose not too are young people, working class folk, and other marginalized peoples. Frankly, from a capitalist point of view, there is no better time than now to tell Canada’s oppressed peoples to get involved especially when the media is flooded with articles over the U.K’s ‘Brexit’ vote results.
Canada’s low voter turn out can be said to be a form of passive resistance to a system that fails to meet the basic needs of the working class and other oppressed peoples. The government is well aware of this and even their 38 page “tool kit” on how to host an ‘electoral reform dialogue session in our own communities’ will fail. The only way forward out of this rotten system is to turn the already passive resistance into an active resistance, in other words, we must work together and organize to bring about nothing less than a revolution.
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