Re: "Low voter turnouts a warning sign," Sept. 22.
Chief electoral officer Marc Mayrand's letter identifies a huge problem for democracy in Canada. Unfortunately, his analysis is simplistic and denigrates our young people. He states that "a growing number are simply disengaged."
However, they may have good reason. About a third of B.C. federal ridings in 2011 were considered swing ridings. Young people are not stupid. Many feel that their votes do not make a difference, particularly if they are not in a swing riding or favour a less-popular party.
Everyone wants their vote to count. With our antiquated first-past-the-post voting system, most votes don't count. In the last federal election, Conservative party candidates formed a majority government despite the votes of most Canadians. Sixty per cent of voters did not vote for the Conservative party.
We need to ensure all eligible citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Mayrand's proposed solution is safe political rhetoric. Despite being "independent," he cannot say what is obvious to many. It is time to change our voting system to be more democratic by adopting a voting system so that seats in Parliament are proportional to votes. When people know that their votes count, they will show up at the polling stations.
Salt Spring Island
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