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‘Strategic voting’ is a degradation of democracy

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09.10.2019

One thing is certain: on Oct. 21, millions of Canadians will be angry and aghast that their side didn’t win.

Mock Americans all you want for their decrepit political system and idiot leader, but Canada is treading the same route toward a corrupted democracy, and it has to do as much with people’s attitudes as it does with backroom influence and wealthy elites.

Ponder the notion of the “wasted vote,” which took hold a few years ago when the push for a proportional-representation system became popular.

In the currently used first-past-the-post system, if your candidate loses, then your vote is deemed wasted. You get nothing. It is winner take all.

If, however, your wasted vote were counted along with thousands and perhaps millions of other wasted votes in a proportional-representation system, your vote would suddenly be meaningful. You, too, could be counted among the winners.

It sounds reasonable, in the everybody-gets-a-medal sort of way, except that it undermines the single most essential aspect of democracy: majority rules, but it does not rule absolutely. The rights, opinions and needs of the minority — of the losers — must be given credence and attention by the winners.

In a democracy, winners get........

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