We need electoral reform in Alberta: Urge Notley and your MLA to start the process now

A few weeks ago I sent the following letter to Premier Notley.  Feel free to use any part of it in your letters to her and your MLA:

Dear Premier Notley,

Re:  Electoral reform in Alberta

I am writing again on the need for a change to the way we elect MLAs in Alberta.  Putting in place a proportional system of representation is the right thing to do and it is the position on electoral reform that your party has favoured in the past.

It hardly needs arguing – and I know in any event that you know all the arguments – that our current electoral system is not fair.  Many Albertans have been unrepresented in the Legislature for many years and, notwithstanding your party’s victory last year, you know that significant lack of representation remains the case.

I note that your own party has been in favour of a more proportional method of representation.  I don’t know where that support for PR has gone in the last while, but you and I both know that fairness favours some form of PR over the status quo.

I am prompted to write at this moment because of the recent poll showing the PCs on top in public opinion, with Wildrose second and your party in third.  I am well aware that polls in the fall of 2016 say not a great deal about how the next general election might go.  But you must give credence to the idea that the NDs are in all likelihood not going to get a majority in the next general election, and thus are likely to get fewer seats than they should given the popular vote received, if the election is conducted under first-past-the-post.

So in addition to PR being the right thing to do and what the NDs have favoured for many years, electoral reform in the direction of greater proportionality will probably give better results to your party in the next election than will otherwise be the case.

Please, take this seriously.  You have the opportunity to make important change and if you do bring into effect PR while you still have the power to do so, i.e. before the next general election, you will be forever remembered as the Alberta politician that advanced democracy in our province and country.

Speaking personally, I really cannot bear to think that after the next general election Albertans would once again be subject to domination by a party (either the PCs or the united right) that does not speak to – indeed, stubbornly denies – the political values of so many, many Albertans.

Please, start the process toward reform now.

I look forward to your response and would be happy to discuss this with you at any point.

Sincerely,

Janet Keeping

Leader, Green Party of Alberta

 

Comments 3

  • This makes the most sense in an increasingly nonsensical world.Please help democracy.

  • I don’t understand why the NDP government are not doing this while they have the chance. Surely they realize that their chances of getting another majority are slim, especially with oil prices set to remain in the doldrums for the foreseeable future. The Saudi’s won’t cut back production because they are well aware that a price resurgence will bring back investors to get fracking and piping and deep sea drilling ( remember BP?).
    Are they going to keep FPTP in Alberta so that we can have yet another 44 year dynasty?
    Maybe the Wildrose will remain autonomous and split the vote again but it’s a big gamble to bank on. Get on with it Rachel while there is still time.

  • To bad the provincial NDs aren’t in line with their federal cousins. At a time when electoral reform is commanding the stage nation wide and with P.E.I. ‘s recent approval of PR you would think that governments who are attempting to look progressive would move this way also.

    I hope Rachel takes Janet’s offer and meets with her. Im sure it would be a beneficial conversation for all Albertans.

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