So much for that majority government. With numerous polls now showing the Conservatives and Liberals in a statistical tie, an election campaign that was supposed to be smooth sailing for the governing party has now gotten deadly serious. And once again, just as in 2019, its ability to win — or even survive — this election may depend on the willingness of Canadians to vote strategically.

In a poll taken after the last election, more than one-third of Canadians told Leger they voted strategically in order to stop another party from winning. “Of the respondents who ultimately voted Liberal, 46 per cent said they had considered voting for the NDP at some point during the campaign,” The Canadian Press’s Joan Bryden wrote. “About 30 per cent of Liberal voters also considered voting Bloc and 29 per cent thought about going Green.”

In some respects, this validates the Trudeau government’s decision to punt on its promised electoral reform. If the first-past-the-post system serves as a kind of safety net for the Liberal Party and is able to force progressives to hold their nose and support them rather than voting for the NDP or Green Party, you can see the political calculus behind preserving it.

But that calculus ignores the damage it does to the vitality of our democratic culture and the longer-term impacts it may have on people’s willingness to participate in it. And as we’ve seen south of the border, that democratic culture isn’t nearly as solid or steadfast as we might like to imagine. If the system loses its legitimacy with enough of the public, it opens the door to those who might suggest other ways of governing ourselves.

We need to inoculate our democracy against that sort of cynicism, and the people — populists, mostly — who would prey on it. And while it may not suit the government of the day or its ambitions, electoral reform remains the best way to protect democracy and those who value it. Canadians should have the ability to vote for the party they genuinely like, not the one they fear the least. And parties should have to compete for everyone’s vote, rather than playing to a narrower base.

That’s why, if we get another minority government, the NDP should use its power to demand a change in the electoral system. And not just any change: a ranked ballot, one that will allow people to cast a ballot both for their preferred party and a fallback, if they so desire. Under a ranked ballot, a candidate would only be elected if they had more than 50 per cent of first-choice votes. If they didn’t, the second-choice votes of the candidate with the lowest totals would get tallied up and added to the other candidates’ counts, and so on until someone crossed the 50-plus-one threshold.

Dave Meslin, a longtime activist in Toronto and the creative director of Unlock Democracy, has been advocating for ranked ballots for years now. His pitch to people is simple: “Canada is the only member of the OECD that uses first past the post for all three levels of government,” he says. “We are an outlier amongst outliers. A dinosaur.” Ranked ballots, he says, would be an important step along the way to a healthier and more responsive democracy. “Ranked ballots at the federal level would increase civility, choice, and engagement. Our current voting system forces millions of voters to abandon their true values, and vote strategically.”

Implementing a ranked ballot system would also improve the diversity in our national legislature. As Canada’s National Observer’s Morgan Sharp noted last year, the first election held in London, Ont., using a ranked ballot produced a much different looking council. “The slate of councillors elected in the province’s first ranked ballot experiment include newcomers who are young, gay, Black and Indigenous, boosting the claims of the preferential voting system’s advocates that it creates a more democratic, more equitable, and more inclusive political system.” The recent Democratic primary for New York City’s mayoral race, one in which a ranked ballot was used for the first time, is another data point in a growing body of evidence that suggests ranked ballots improve representational diversity.

That sort of diversity is still sorely lacking in the House of Commons. As the CBC noted in a recent data journalism project, white men represented 62 per cent of winning candidates in 2015 and 2019 despite only making up a third of the population. And while there have been some improvements in recent election cycles, Marc-André Bodet, an associate professor of political science at Laval University, says the House of Commons still looks like Canada did at the turn of the century. “It means that maybe in 10 years we will have a House of Commons that will look like the Canadian population today.”

That’s not nearly good enough, and it’s just one area where a ranked ballot can help us improve. It would reinforce the national consensus on climate change, promote a politics that revolves more around consensus than conflict, and give millions of Canadians the opportunity to vote with both their heads and their hearts. Justin Trudeau and the Liberals whiffed on their first attempt at electoral reform. If they get another opportunity, they shouldn’t pass it up.

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I’m a big fan of ranked ballot.

But I don’t want to get into a bun fight with PR folks about which is better, because while the bread flies we’re still stuck with fptp.

Asking politicians which they’d prefer puts them in a direct conflict of interest. And it shows. And that only leads to confusion, indecision and the status quo.

Not sure how we get past this, but I’m all ears.

Agreed. Nominate and elect more progressive women?

The bun fight happens because PR folks know that ranked ballots in single-member districts—or Preferential Voting, the system the author is referring to—tend to hand false majority governments to whichever party collects the most 2nd & 3rd votes. In this country that'd mean nothing but Liberal governments on into the foreseeable future, which is why it's the only "reform" Trudeau said he would approve.

The good news is that ranked ballots and PR can be combined very effectively into a multi-member system called Single Transferable Voting, so fans of either can team up, pool their buns and press for reform together. And the more buns the better, because Trudeau can be expected to resist in every way he can.

Unless, of course, he's voted out.

A National Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform.

Politicians need to acknowledge their conflict of interest when it comes to electoral reform, and get out of the way so citizens can lead. The OECD has done an excellent report "The Deliberative Wave" on Citizens' Assemblies -- and they are being used all around the world to find consensus-based solutions for tough, polarizing problems.

We need to make this a priority at the doorsteps: asking candidates "If elected, will you support an independent, arms-length and demographically-representative National Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform?"

This is why the NDP should tell Bill Tieleman to take a long walk off a short pier.
And I haven't forgotten that Trudeau broke a campaign promise to bring in proportional representation.
I'm inclined to think that the only way the electoral system is going to change is to vote Green. Prove me wrong.

Reality is that it's still a numbers game though, so Greens should obviously join with the far more functional NDP if they're serious at this point.
As far as "breaking the promise" (to that I say how old are we all?) I suspect that it simply became too problematic to actually impose such a change when it came down to it, with so much entrenched opposition, conservatives leading the pack as usual on anything that smacks of progress. They didn't officially remove the word "progressive" from their name for nothing. Trudeau doesn't get enough credit for being able to endure the constant, personal assaults from the uniquely nasty cons all these years.
And he need not have even brought PR up if he didn't see the merit in it, but remember that there have been several provincial referendums on changing over, and it's been voted down every time.

"... it's [PB/PR] been voted down every time."

That's not quite accurate.

Progressives rightfully disdain former BC premier Gordon Campbell on several fronts, but he did develop a methodology to analyze various voting systems from around the world and propose a referendum question on proportionality to the public.

As the result we now have the very good Citizen's Assembly model where several dozen ordinary citizens from all walks of life and backgrounds were chosen by lottery to serve on the Assembly for a year. The Assembly had a budget to call on electoral system professionals to submit reports and appear in person to answer questions on the various voting systems and methods and their costs. The Assembly also toured the province so that no region was left out. The process was utterly democratic, live streamed and recorded for posterity.

The Assembly did the hard work to figure out the mechanics, and in the end recommended the Single Transferable Vote. Campbell was true to his word and a referendum question on the STV appeared on the ballots in the next provincial election. And 58% of the voters said Yes.

Here's where Campbell's inner wolf poked out of the sheep's costume. He deliberately set the bar at 60%. In essence, false governing majorities of less that 40% can be won under the FPTP system and wreak all kinds of damage and mayhem and ideology on the public, but a change in the voting system requires a supermajority? Where is the rationale for that? That is cynical at best, duplicitous at worst.

The most recent attempt was by the Horgan NDP, but it had nowhere near the same consultation and open democracy methodology, was utterly partisan and flaccid, and made the public even more cynical about politician's intentions and sincerity. Many fear that one killed proportionality in BC form a long time.

Yes, let's have a minority federal government enact a national consultation process, hopefully using the representative Citizen's Assembly model with very wide powers of consultation, but let's ensure the referendum bar remains exactly where it is today: at 50% + one.

Did not know about that, appreciate the update.

so........... how do we make the Ranked Ballot a major discussion point of THIS election?

Good question. How about reintroducing the perennial subject of uniting the left? Relative to that, which involves sacrificing apparently sacred tribal ID, proportional representation is the classic Canadian compromise...

At this point, holding your nose beats cutting it off....

While I can see the value of ranked ballots for regional and municipal elections where parties aren't as strong, I have real concerns at the provincial or federal level (bun fight coming up) where there are a minimal number of strong parties that would capture enough votes to make a difference. In a lot of cases it would come down to three parties, NDP, Liberal and Conservative. Looking at them along a continuum from liberal to conservative, who's in the middle? The Liberals. Who would most Conservatives choose second? The Liberals. Who would the NDP voters choose second? The Liberals. In fact, ranked ballots would elect the Liberals in perpetuity, and for that reason was favoured by Trudeau when voter reform was being looked at before and after Trudeau's majority election. Both experts and non-experts, however, favoured some form of proportional representation by over 80%, and so he canned the entire enterprise. Better to limp along with FPTP than support a system there the Liberals might lose, or be forced into actually cooperating with other parties to govern.

Alan Crook wrote: "Who would the NDP voters choose second? The Liberals."
Or the Greens.
If marking a second-choice candidate were optional, no one would be forced to vote for a party or candidate they do not in fact support.
I prefer the Liberals to the Conservatives, but could not vote for either.
"Some jurisdictions require voters to rank all candidates; some limit the number who may be ranked; and some allow voters to rank as many as they see fit, with the rest being lumped together at the end."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ranked_voting

I find making the second choice optional interesting, but am still concerned that strategic voting will still come into play, particularly for the NDP. They won't want Conservatives elected and so would be much more likely to vote Liberal than Green in their second choice, since the Libs in most cases would have a better chance of blocking the Cons.

ABC, anything but cons.

In 2015 the Greens garnered 500,000 votes, not the least due to the intelligent and articulate performance of Elizabeth May. That would have translated into around 10 seats under STV, Mixed Member or facsimile. In a minority or coalition government, a 10-seat bloc would have had a fair measure of influence on policy.

Currently, the Greens seem to be self-immolating. The strongest left progressive party remains the NDP. The problem in some ridings like mine is that the Libs and Cons are both very competitive, leaving NDP supporters in a now common nose-holding strategic voting quandary.

The angst is doubly troublesome as it was revealed today that the Lib candidate flipped 42 houses over the last decade or so in the nation's most inflated housing market. He ran last time as well, but lost to Jody Wilson Raybould who is not running this time. In 2019 the Greens ran a fake candidate who was a West Side real estate agent in the same market, and whose staff were pulled to work on Jody's campaign. Even the venerable Ms. May admitted -- well into the campaign, mind you -- this was a cardboard candidate with a rented office and no staff. The Greens therein lost my respect because they don't take my riding seriously.

Are there any policos out there who haven't peed in the pool?

So which of these parties gets the nose vote this time if the Cons are gaining? Based on the cold, hard math, it's the candidate with the best chance of defeating the Con candidate, which leaves only the real estate flipper standing.

Sad.

I guess we just have to be more realistic and utilitarian about voting and democracy as well, even though the cult of personality thing always lurks because people weirdly want to worship someone or something, for SOME reason which I truly do not fathom.

I feel your pain.

I once tried to adopt the philosophy of choosing the best candidate and voted NDP and watched Lawrence Cannon saunter up the middle of a vote split in what was said to be a ‘safe’ Liberal riding.

This past time around I voted for Will Amos.

I quite agree: ranked ballots could prove to be the worst system of all, handing the federal Liberals power in perpetuity. Much better to have some form of proportional representation. I would suggest MMP (mixed-member proportional). MMP is easy to understand and preserves the present system for electing local riding representatives, so it would stand the best chance of being implemented.

"the Liberals whiffed on their first attempt at electoral reform"
The Liberals didn't swing and miss. On the campaign trail they promised to take a swing, then reneged on their promise once in office.

Making promises in the first place is stupid and paternalistic, and us petulantly attacking politicians for what may well be a result of them simply changing their minds on something is childish, as I said in an earlier comment. Since outright lying is endemic with the current right wing, they just assume everyone else does it too. O'Toole is standing there and talking in a calm, reasonable voice saying the exact bloody opposite of what we know to be true, with a straight face, it's how you know he's conservative. That, and the fact that he's wearing sneakers....

Campaign promises are the platform policies on which parties run candidates for office. It's what you vote for. It's why you choose to mark x beside one candidate's name and not another's. An unsigned contract between candidate and voter.
Leaders of all stripes say one thing on the campaign trail, another in office. False advertising. Bait and switch. If political parties feel free to change their positions after election day, they makes a mockery of elections. If we vote for a certain platform, and the party/candidates are free to reverse their positions, what do our votes mean?
Democracy depends on a well-informed electorate. Who can make a well-informed choice if choice is an illusion — and policies are subject to change or cancellation at a whim?
Being well informed for election day does not help much if leaders break their promises and change their policies.
If we excuse broken promises and reward betrayal with our votes, we can expect more of the same. If we fail to hold our representatives accountable, the democratic system breaks down. That's on us.

You are too idealistic about something that is, at this point anyway, in keeping with the term first past the post, a horse race between 3 main parties. Only ONE party doesn't think climate change exists at a time when it has become critical, so strategic voting is the only thing that makes sense under such circumstances. Between the NDP, Liberals, and the Greens, we are looking at the "narcissism of small differences." This isn't just about your one, personal vote, it's more important than that. Voting is not a form of personal expression when the crazy religious right could drag us back and down again, as they always do, and at a time when we simply can NOT afford it. We're out of time...

When I mark my X on the ballot, I am voting for a set of policies — not a candidate or party irrespective of their policies.
Expecting political parties to meet their commitments to voters is hardly "idealistic". Democracy doesn't work otherwise.
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On COVID and COVID-support, the Liberals are infinitely preferable to the Conservatives. Conservative health policy, at least in Alberta, is a contradiction in terms. Non-stop disaster.
On climate, the difference between the Liberals and the federal NDP/Greens is hardly the "narcissism of small differences." The Liberals and Conservatives both plan to fail on climate. Which is worse? Climate sabotage on the right — or betrayal by "progressive" parties?
The Liberals and AB and BC NDP have proved far more effective than the Conservatives in delivering on Big Oil's and Corporate Canada's agenda. Trudeau & Co. have persuaded many Canadians that we can both act on climate and double down on fossil fuels. Have our cake and eat it too. No surprise that Canada is not on track to meet its emissions targets.
Trudeau and Notley moved the ball on the Trans Mountain pipeline down to the ten-yard line. Their signal achievement was to "push country-wide support for pipelines from 40% to 70%." Something Harper, Scheer, and Kenney could never dream of doing.
Acknowledge the science, but ignore its implications. Boast about climate leadership, but push fossil fuel expansion and pipelines. Sign int'l agreements, but fail to live up to them. Putting emissions targets out of reach.
According to these "progressive" leaders, the path to renewable energy and a sustainable future runs through a massive spike in fossil-fuel combustion and emissions. Excluding the only rational responses to our global emergency — reduce emissions and stop expanding fossil fuel infrastructure. Complete disconnect from the science.
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PM Trudeau (2016): "There is growth to be had in the oilsands. They will be developing more fossil fuels while there's a market for it, while we transition off fossil fuels."
Trudeau (2017): "No madman would find 173 billion barrels of oil in the ground and just leave them there."
Sorry, that's a typo. He actually said "no country".

On Jun. 17, 2019, the Liberal Govt declared a climate emergency.
On Jun. 18, 2019 — the next day — the same Liberal Govt approved the TMX pipeline expansion project.
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Ottawa announced a "minimum of almost $18 billion to the oil and gas sector in 2020. In contrast, the Government’s new climate plan commits $15 billion to climate initiatives – spread over ten years."
"Paying Polluters: How much Canada gave in federal financial support for oil and gas in 2020" (Environmental Defence, April 15, 2021)
https://environmentaldefence.ca/2021/04/15/paying-polluters-much-canada-...
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Seamus O'Regan, Natural Resources Minister, "acknowledged that Canada’s oil sector faced a growing problem. 'Our worst-case scenario would be if a portfolio manager sitting at the end of this table looks at his juniors and says, 'What are we doing on climate change?' And one just said, 'we’re getting out of Canadian oil and gas' . . . And you become the box-check. That’s what we’ve got to combat.'
"Canada defends role for oil sands projects in energy transition" (The Financial Times, Aug. 12, 2020)
"Output at controversial assets to increase even as government seeks to cut emissions, minister says"
https://www.ft.com/content/705a6403-0d42-4cc4-bbac-0cf986b86ac5
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On the day the IPCC released its latest climate report: "[Environment Minister Jonathan] Wilkinson reaffirmed Canada's commitment to phasing out fossil fuels and achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050, but said achieving that target will require money generated by fossil fuels.
"'Canada needs to ensure that in the context of that transition, it's extracting full value for its resources and using that money to push forward in terms of reducing emissions.
"'What we're doing is saying it's got to be part of the transition, but part of the transition is being able to raise the revenues that enable you to actually make the investments that are required to go there.'"
"Ottawa says it needs revenue generated by the Trans Mountain pipeline to fight climate change" (CBC, 9-Aug-21)
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The new denialism. Just as delusional as the old kind but more insidious. And far more dangerous.
"The New Climate Denialism: Time for an Intervention" (The Narwhal, Sep 26, 2016)
https://thenarwhal.ca/new-climate-denialism-time-intervention
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Under climate leader Trudeau, Canada's GHG emissions in 2018 hit levels not seen in a decade."Canada's emissions have actually climbed slightly every year the Liberals have been in power, from 707 Mt in 2016 to 716 Mt in 2017, 728 Mt in 2018 and 730 Mt in 2019."
Conclusion: If you care about climate, marine life, and your grandchildren, vote Liberal.
Not!

You're right, it's all completely inadequate, I was for the Leap Manifesto, but STILL. The Conservatives are by far and away the WORST, so.....

Agreed.

We held a simulated election in Junior High School one year and when the parties’ platforms and fptp rules were explained to us, believe it or not many of us voted strategically.

I didn’t like it then and I certainly after what seems one hundred years has passed, like it even less now. But even back then it was obvious that a vote for a party that can’t win an fptp race is at best benign and at worst disasterous.

I’ll check out STV - I strongly suspect I’d be happy with that, too! :)

I’m not averse to electoral review and, if voters want it—and understand what they say they want—, electoral reform, but the premises for this (ranked ballot) proposal is unnecessarily scattershot, and that, IMHO, is partly what derailed every electoral-systems referendum in Canada for the past decade and a half.

First, let’s get out of the way that JT didn’t primarily or most likely call a snap election to win a majority, rather it’s about getting it done before Covid gets way worse and the politics gets way harder. Two possible results, minority or majority government (or, I suppose, junior coalition partner with the NDP), buy an extra two years, effectively making the next fixed election date four years hence instead of two. Note that presumes Covid will be a tricky file for longer than two years from today, either the disease itself or, even if it’s substantially beaten, its socio-economic aftermath.

Second, don’t presume that Canadians would have approved changing the status quo electoral system even if the Liberals had authorized a referendum—which. BTW, JT never articulated on campaign. Indeed, by all accounts and data we have, voters probably wouldn’t have approved change. While I disapproved of JT’s sleazy campaign tactic of promising to make 2015 “the last election under ‘First-Past-the-Post’”, I don’t believe it was the reason most voters elected the Liberals; rather, they wanted to get rid of the HarperCons. Without any further details about simply getting rid of FPtP, only suckers would have believed that promise or that the 2015 win was effectively a licence to unilaterally ditch FPtP. That would have been a very naive notion of everything political. (In contrast to JT’s promise, the Loyal Opposition NDP did have a detailed electoral reform proposal that might have been accepted at referendum had they not lost the election and been returned to third-party status. BTW, how come the NDP didn’t “demand” electoral reform when it held the balance of power in JT’s second mandate?)

How much “vitality of our democratic culture” does this or that electoral system foster? More frequent elections? more extreme contention? More Citizens’ Initiatives and ballot plebiscites? One might just as well include the possibility that, in a very close election result in any majoritarian system, the losing ‘side’ might take a notion to nullify the result and take on the other side with main force, trusting instead the vicissitudes of violence to nullify the margin of democratic difference —such as we see entertained in the USA today, most recently manifest on January 6th in the Capitol.

I don’t “like to imagine” virtues of American democracy but, since it was brought up, the most conscious complaint down there is lack of trust—tRumpublicans and not a few Democrats included, the former believing the 2020 election was rigged against them, the latter that the Covid-mail-in ballot contingency proved vote-suppression is the normal practice upon nonWhite citizens: both are a matter of trust, but one is an article of faith (in a false narrative that euphemizes race discrimination) and the other of fact. In any case, these are primarily voting-systems problems, not electoral systems, and in a country with democracy-cheating Electoral Colleges. There’s little correlation to Canada and only indirectly to our electoral system.

Participation is a psephological buzzword. The Sovereign guarantees we have a popularly elected government, but does not prescribe any level of participation in electing it. Theoretically, if nobody voted in a riding, the Governor would either appoint an incumbent or, failing that, somebody else to represent it. Common expereince shows that a significant proportion of eligible voters don’t bother to vote, not necessarily because they see no point in it (for some reason, good or bad), but because they’re happy with whichever party wins government (with about 60% turnout and dividing the remainder in half, one being the complacent, the charge that FPtP is ‘undemocratic’ and ‘doesn’t represent the majority’ probably goes out the window).

Thus, turnout cannot be reliably used to measure citizens’ affection or lack of it for our system of government, for electing, voting, or for whom we elect. But low turnout can be encouraged (or, conversely, voting can be discouraged) to an effect some candidates and parties try to use to manipulate partisan positioning—perhaps less obvious in majoritarian or ‘winner-take-all’ systems than it might be with electoral systems that usually elect hung parliaments. More concerning today (especially with respect US government), is an anti-politician demagogue encouraging anti-government sentiment for reasons ulterior to the nation’s wellbeing. That of course is a matter of trust—or, in that case, sowing suspicion—and, as we know, trust is the foundation of electoral politics and democratic government, no matter what the turnout or electoral system is.

Parties can do what they want within the bounds of societies-regulation and rule of law. Naturally, different electoral systems encourage different numbers of participating parties and their partisan complexion, but there will always be bad parties—or parties badly-run—and good parties, for as long as they’re run well (recall that the Liberals were caught doing a job so bad that even its own stalwarts sat out a couple elections, allowing the HarperCons to win by default). The best that could be said about electoral reform is that the deck chairs would be rearranged, passengers would squabble, but the rules of navigation would remain the same.

The NDP can demand to review and reform the electoral system, but no party in power (or in serious contention) would impose any change without first referring to voters. Last I checked, the party officially proposes a mixed-pro-rep/FPtP system (MMP)—which is a damn-sight better than JT’s unworkable promise of something unknown. But, aside from the probability that Canadian voters would continue to reject any systems-change anyway, every referendum so far ( several provinces and one aborted federal attempt) has gone off the rails at one, another, or all phases of the process: design, propaganda, and xvoting. One of the most disappointing things for me was the polarizing designed of all of these contests: FPtP versus pro-rep, leaving ranked systems out entirely. I found this perennial omission suspect. I happen to prefer FPtP, but I’d rather have the opportunity to make up my own mind about ranked ballots.

Perhaps politicians are uncomfortable with all electoral systems, least being FPtP, middle being pro-rep, and most averse, apparently, being ranked ballots. Pro-reppers characteristically demonize politicians and parties along with FPtP, even though the hung parliaments pro-rep almost always produces would multiply the number of parties and the political gaming required to form governments and get legislation passed. Far be it from me to resort to the same bashing— that self-interested politicians and parties are so afraid of the ranked-ballot that they manipulate referenda design in order to exclude it—and that, therefore, if ‘evil’ politicians don’t like it, it must be good. That’s just compounding the problem.

Unfortunately, I’ve yet to see a party which let’s the electoral officer design the process independently (the BC cabinet itself designed our most recent Referendum—IMHO, a conflict of interest), starting with a review (to see if citizens want a change) and, if voters want reform, a referendum-design proposal (or a choice for voters from a complete range of systems-options), strictly regulated campaign propaganda (so far, we’ve seen government-funded propaganda on all sides that was misleading, patently false, oxymoronically partisan, and unhelpfully divisive), a binding referendum, finality (the BC Referendum inadvisedly allowed a trial-run option for FPtP alternatives), and a voting-system that precludes misinterpretation of the results ( BC used both a mail-in ballot and a simple, 50%+1 threshold that could have resulted in a near-tie within the margin of unavoidable mail-in ballot fraud, leaving it up to cabinet to decide the outcome; it should have been conducted in conjunction with a general election—on the same ballot—or the threshold raised to 60%—the only good thing about BC’s first two STV Referenda, both of which rejected the proposal).

In the end, what is most important in any electoral and voting system is trust: it has to be impeccable, whereas trust in politicians, parties and cabinets trust can and should be reserved until promises are proved effective and good. No thinking person ‘likes’ every policy of any party; nevertheless, the idea of democracy is not simply to elect government most people can tolerate, but more, to tolerate fellow citizens who differ on certain policy details, whether they’re on a government’s agenda or not. We have to trust that in four or five years we’ll have an opportunity to remedy mistaken voting, and that the election will be will be trustworthy. It doesn’t so much matter what system we use.

Interesting and cogent analysis aside, to pull back even further, let's just look at where we are right now. I totally agree with Trudeau's assessment that we are at a crossroads, how is this not patently obvious, and if it also happens to be a more auspicious time to wrest back a Liberal majority, thereby getting the the utterly rabid conservatives off his throat, what's the problem? Imagine sitting across the aisle from these orcs for this many years, and see how YOU feel. He also likes a fight of course, is indeed a pugilist. But any decent progressive party wants the same thing! Total hypocrisy, this stupid accusation of "playing politics" when that's what they're ALL doing. Too moronic, repetitive, and way too much gamesmanship, way too much, not enough progressive women in charge; they have less testosterone and more perspective
But the pandemic has fully flushed out the banality of evil that is the current Canadian version of a "right wing that has lost its mind" and has had a deliberate strategy to stoke polarization using fear and anger, aided and abetted by wildly enabling social media. Relatively brand-new descriptors like "con, alt-right, religious right, and extreme right" tell the tale (none of them an improvement) via the Reform Party here and the Tea Party in the U.S. Anyone of a certain age recognizes THAT just like they recognize the looming horror of climate change. Again, with the cons denying climate science and all other science too; I mean, let's face it, they haven't fully accepted covid as a threat greater than the flu, or that masks help, or that vaccines are a valid public health requirement, not a personal health "choice" or that women have a right to choose, or that homosexuality even exists for gods' sake, (recall "conversion therapy" still under discussion), let alone gay marriage, and all the other evolving societal issues! They somehow continue to attract followers despite the utter contradiction of being both evangelical AND libertarian simultaneously! Just look at the UCP's closet gay uber-Catholic leader as their poster boy.
So we're in a culture war as well as a war for survival; the planet will be fine, it's US that are in trouble, so why everyone wants to pile on Trudeau, I do not understand. I just want progressive government, not outsized male egos jockeying for deck chairs while our world literally burns around us!
Who knew so many people were so stupid, so easily manipulated, and so incapable of seeing the forest for the trees!

By all means, tell us how reactionary the Tories are. But, please, stop pretending that the Liberals are progressive when in fact they are another status quo, big business/big oil party, differentiated from the Conservatives primarily by being more liberal on culture-war social issues. Trudeau the drama teacher knows how to don the progressive mask and play the role of climate and environment champion, to pose as the defender of Indigenous and human rights at home and abroad, especially to an audience more eager to embrace an uplifting narrative than to examine the dismal record.