Op-Ed: A Great Time for Democracy
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A Great Time for Democracy: How Maxime Bernier is Improving Voter Choice
This is a great time for Canadian democracy with Maxime Bernier (a high profile member of the Conservative Party) setting up a new federal political party. The more choices people feel they have, the more they can vote with their conscience instead of feeling like they have to vote strategically to keep the "bad guys" out of power.
Democracy is at its weakest in a two-party system. For far too long in Canada, voters have felt like their only two options were the Liberals or Conservatives.
The NDP, the Green Party, the Bloc, and various other parties have held seats here or there, and the NDP even won the Official Opposition in 2011. Nonetheless, strategic voting has plagued our democracy for decades.
Particularly on the left, many people across the country vote Liberal despite their honest desire to vote NDP or Green. They vote Liberal because keeping Conservatives out has been a higher priority than voting for the party they truly believe in.
Maxime Bernier’s new party will certainly be farther right on the political spectrum than Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives.
The Conservatives lament that splitting the right-wing vote will guarantee victory for the Liberals. Andrew Sheer told reporters, “Today Maxim made a choice. He decided today to help Justin Trudeau.”
That could not be farther from the truth.
With more choice on the right, Canada’s left-wing voters will be free to vote with their conscience instead of voting strategically. Bernier’s party is not just splitting the right; it will split the left as well.
This change will level the playing field for many parties across the political spectrum. We will see richer debate with more perspectives. We will have a broader range of proposed solutions to any given political issue. We will have more power over our nation’s future.
The Liberals have won nothing as a result of Bernier’s actions. Canadians, and democracy, are the real winners here.