From the Hill with Wayne Stetski

MP Wayne Stetski discusses struggles with the democratic system.

This summer, you do not have to look hard or far to find examples of struggles within democratic systems. Whether it is the uprisings in Turkey, the deep divisions caused by Brexit or the rise of Donald Trump, democratic systems are suffering.

It is easy for us, as Canadians, to pat ourselves on the back, and say that our democracy is healthy. Yet it is important to remember that what keeps our democracy strong is our ability to have free and open conversations about what matters most to us as Canadians. We must also be able to explore where we can improve.

The federal government has committed to making 2015 the last first-past-the-post election. The existing system has produced false majorities in Canada since before the invention of the automobile. The Government tasked a special parliamentary committee to conduct a study of viable alternate voting systems and recommend changes to how we vote. My NDP colleague Nathan Cullen was able to pressure the Government to change the committee’s structure so that it has proportional representation for all parties and a majority of Members of Parliament from opposition benches. This committee is seeking input from Canadians across the country to participate in its review of the electoral system.

To ensure the views of residents from the Kootenay-Columbia are heard and have a strong voice in Ottawa, I hit the road in August on a “Democratic Reform Tour.” I hosted discussions in 14 communities about what type of changes can be made to help improve our voting system. I was joined by citizens of all political stripes, and conversations ranged from mandatory voting, to lowering the voting age, to electronic voting, to discussing the advantages and nuances of different proportional systems. The overall sentiments were virtually unanimous Canada needs an electoral system that is more fair, representative and engaging.

In addition to the tour, I have also mailed a survey to every household across the riding that can be sent back, postage free, with your thoughts. As always, feel free to contact my offices if you have questions or feedback to add.

We have an historic opportunity to improve our unfair voting system. It is important that any changes represent the interest of all Canadians, not just that of those from the party in power. Your voice can help make the difference!

 

Just Posted

Passenger counts still rising at West Kootenay Regional Airport

Reliability rates also on rise in second quarter.

Andrew Bellerby out as RDCK’s regional fire chief

Bellerby held the job since January 2016

Craft cannabis development planned for Castlegar

Plans are underway for one of the first craft cannabis industrial parks in the province.

Abra Brynne wins Kootenay-Columbia Green Party nomination

Brynne is one of three candidates who will challenge MP Wayne Stetski

Police call Appledale death a homicide

But few other details being released

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

UPDATE: West Kelowna fawn euthanized, not claimed by sanctuary

Gilbert the deer has been euthanized after a suitable home was not found in time

BC Wildfire Service warns wet weather no reason to be complacent

Fire risk currently low for much of B.C. compared to same time over last two years.

Bank of Canada lowers qualifying rate used in mortgage stress tests

Home sales softened last year after the federal government introduced new stress test rules for uninsured mortgages

B.C. man pleads guilty in snake venom death of toddler

Plea comes more than five years after the incident in North Vancouver

Trudeau says Ottawa open to proposals for B.C. refinery as gas prices soar

Prime minister says he knows B.C. residents are struggling and the federal government is open to ideas

Clock’s ticking to share how you feel about Daylight Saving Time in B.C.

Provincial public survey ends at 4 p.m. on Friday

Most Read