On Monday, September 21, I attended a Waterloo candidates debate hosted by Fair Vote Canada. I knew that Conservative Peter Braid would not be there. I honestly wasn’t angry about that.
Until they read the email he sent in:
“We do not participate in partisan debates on a single issue.”
This is my response:
- Why did you characterize this debate as “partisan” (“fervent, even prejudiced devotion to one party or cause”) when:
- Fair Vote Canada is a multi-partisan organization promoting electoral reform, but without advocating for a particular voting system.
- All parties were invited to attend the debate, and were given equal opportunity to respond to questions?
- If you truly believe (as many Canadians do) that first past the post is the best voting system, why not defend it?
- This “single issue” debate actually covered many issues related to Canadian democracy, including the “whipping” of MPs to vote along party lines. Would you like the freedom to put your constituent’s interests ahead of your party’s when voting? If not, why not?
- The room was full to capacity with citizens–presumably your constituents–whose questions and comments made it clear how passionate they were about trying to improve Canadian democracy. Why not listen to them instead of dismissing their concerns in a single sentence?