Halton Hills and North Halton newspapers
Letters to the editor...
Independent & Free Press (Georgetown, ON), 5 Jan 2007, p. 6

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Dear editor, I would like to respond to Eileen Hutcheson's letter, "Politicians to blame for low voter turnout" in the Dec 15, edition of The Independent & Free Press. Politicians do, at times, make decisions that are stupid and undemocratic. However, there comes a point where the electorate is responsible for who is in office and how they got there. Voters must take responsibility for their apathy and ignorance or suffer the consequences. Recently, there was a meeting in town to look at the way we vote and the electoral system we use. Our voters need to take the opportunity through the Ontario Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform (see Internet) to evaluate the way we vote, with consideration given to legitimacy, fairness of representation, voter choice, stronger voter participation, accountability and other principles. I was enlightened to find out that the way we vote in Canada is not the same way people vote in other democracies. The one we use is much the same as the one in the U.S. where parties are secured and perpetuated in the electoral system. Most people who do vote tend to vote for an incumbent or mainstay party, or the status quo. It may be time for a change here. I wonder if some of our new immigrants don't bother voting because they see our present electoral system as very dysfunctional. Maybe even those who have lived her a long time are finding our electoral system antiquated and dysfunctional. May I suggest that in the present system, even before we think about changing or keeping our electoral system that we be allowed to have on the ballot "none of the above"-- that we be given the right to protest, not by a spoiled ballot, not by voting for another candidate that we know nothing about, or by staying away from the voting box. Even those who are acclaimed in municipal elections should have to face the "none of the above" vote and stand the test of the electorate and if "none of the above" vote should garner the most votes then a by-election would be held six months later and none of the candidates or parties that were disapproved of could run in that by-election. I agree with Ms. Hutcheson when she says, "The present system worked well when people believed that their votes counted for something. That was when politicians were still trustworthy and responsible to deserve a vote." However, that may be reason enough to investigate a new electoral system, to get rid of, or enlighten, our present political parties and politicians and encourage new parties and Canadian citizens to represent us so that we can have a stronger and more viable country. David Harley, Georgetown

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5 Jan 2007
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Harley, David
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Letters to the editor...