Amid all the ado surrounding the potential election last week, one phrase kept being repeated: Canadians do not want a summer election. Come to think of it, Canadians never like elections. Fall is a bad time because the school year has just started, winter is bad because it's Christmas, spring is bad because who wants to think of politics when everything else is in bloom, and in summer it's quite difficult to vote when you'd rather hang around the barbecue.
It would seem that Canadians never want an election. This is paralyzing politics in this country as the reason constantly given for not going to the polls is that no one wants an election. Ignatieff's sad capitulation to Harper over EI and other issues was due to advice that centered around Canadians do not want election.
Now, this of particular concern to Liberals as whenever voter turnout is low, there is a greater probability of a Conservative majority. However, the facts remain that each party uses it, the Conservatives even to their advantage. In fact, this is integral to their attacks on the Liberal party.
So the solution is pretty clear. To avoid all this strategic pandering to Canadians' adversity to elections, we can eliminate that adversity, or rather, circumnavigate it. In other words, force Canadians to vote, by enacting such a law. Not voting would become an offence.
This is a system that is used in in other regions worldwide, to quite significant success. In such systems, voter participation, such as in Australia, exceeds 90%.
Maybe, if we had had this reform, we would have less strategic fear mongering in Parliament. And Ignatieff would have forced an election.
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