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Majority rule often means mob rule. But it’s hard to get rid of the 51 percent win idea. 51 percent of the people can thwart the will of 49 percent of the people. Hardly fair. If you ask for 75 percent for a win, you have minority rule. 26 percent of the population can then thwart the will of 74 percent of the population. That’s not fair either

But to me, the biggest problem is our adversarial party system. It seems that every party disagrees with the other no matter what the other party says, just on principal, not on fact. That’s just wrong. It’s not in the interest of truth or finding the best way to proceed.

Have you heard of a game in which the person who guesses the number of jellybeans in the jar wins a prize? Sure you have. But as it turns out most people are way off in either direction. Some are close in either direction. But almost no one guesses right.

The funny thing about this is, test after test shows that if you take the average of all the given guesses it’s almost always within 1 percent of the right answer Perhaps it works similarly with voting? Perhaps everyone not being well informed or really bright doesn’t ultimately matter as much as one might think?

A much bigger problem is voter apathy. People don’t think their vote counts for anything, and there are many reasons for this, but the main complaint seems to be, no matter who I vote for, once in power they do what they want. Often it just doesn’t seem to matter who wins, no one represents our particular view point all the time. And often we don’t like the leader of any party.

I am a social liberal, and a fiscal conservative. That is to say I advocate as much civil freedom as possible. The more rights we have, the better. I hate a nanny state. But I also like the idea of less government, lower taxes etc. I’m also a bit of a socialist, in that I think energy is an essential service and our resources should be provided at a not for profit cost.

Between the fed and the province we pay 40 percent or more tax on fuel. That’s outrageous in my view. How do you boost your economy? Cheep energy. Electricity costs in Ontario force people to choose between electricity and food. That’s truly outrageous. Tobacco prices are mostly tax, but then to add insult to injury, they tax the tax. And that’s not the only time that happens. That’s criminal. Yet not one party on the federal or provincial side is going to do anything that would lower their take.

Why do we elect representatives? Because government is a full time job and not all of us want to be nor can be In politics. We hire people to do the job for us so we can get on with our lives. There was no way we could vote on every issue even 40 years ago..

But now we can. Everyone has a cell phone or internet at home or at the office. Five minutes a week would be more than enough time to log into a site, check mark all your preferences and perhaps even comment on how you’d like to see a bill changed. All of us have an opinion, and we’re more than happy to give it if it actually makes a difference. I guarantee many more people would vote if they thought they had a real voice.

The role of the government would become bringing issues to our attention, educating us on the issues with real facts from many perspectives , and then coming up with several solutions for us to choose from, including: do nothing. The media would play an important role in this too.

One thing that would change is: we’d have a far less adversarial party system. We would still vote in a prime minister, and regional representatives that would form government together. But government would not vote on bills, except as individuals with the rest of us.

Note, I’m not even suggesting we get rid of parties, though we could talk about that. I just mean that no party could rule alone. Once an issue was raised by the ruling party or in a private member’s bill, each party would be tasked with giving us their own alternatives to every issue. Perhaps two for each party. We would decide. Could be that the Conservatives win on one issue, Liberals on another, and New Democrats on another on the same day, regardless of who the ruling party is or the number of seats they have. It would be much less necessary to be in power in order to get your message out.

We may have to vote on the same issue several times over a few weeks, ruling out alternatives till we have one clear winner, or it becomes clear we don’t like any of them, and the government needs to go back to the drawing board, or drop the issue. Again, doing noting or dropping the issue should automatically be options on every ballot. .

Another thing I think is criminal is lobby groups like big pharma or the NRA in the US. No special interest group should be allowed to influence legislation by “donating” money to a particular party or campaign. They would, of course, be allowed to make their case, but in the end if we’re the ones with the final say, influence peddling would be drastically reduced.

Of course, what keeps it all together is that no party could give us a choice that is unconstitutional, such as something that is against our charter of rights and freedoms. And, though it might take slight modification of our constitution to make this work, the Canadian constitution is one of, if not the, best constitution in the world when it comes to protecting individual and multicultural rights and freedoms. That helps prevent mob rule.