Our electoral system inherited from the British regime creates an illusion of democracy while two-party politics has disappeared from our political landscape for several decades.
There is something insidious about a minority of the electorate being able to elect a government that holds the majority of seats in parliament and that can shamelessly assume all power.
Quebec parliamentarians voted in favor of the principle of Bill 39, which aims to reform the voting system. Their majority endorsement opens the way to a fairer and more equitable electoral system in Quebec.
However, the detailed study of the project in parliamentary committee and a possible referendum campaign will not be easy!
The comfortable status quo
Difficult to change institutions. The efforts of long-time activists to reform the voting system bear witness to this.
The CAQ is not the first political formation to be more finicky in the process of electoral reform when it finds itself in power.
Justin Trudeau’s Liberals rushed to torpedo the project at the federal level after promising changes when they were in opposition.
The PQ had done the same after having mandated one of its ministers to carry out such a reform.
It seems difficult for politicians in power not to induce bias that is favorable to them in a reform project. They prefer to be satisfied with the status quo if the opposition balks.
This is how the CAQ, confident in his re-election, includes a bonus for the winner in its reform project to give even more assurance to its deputies that they will find their place in the parliamentary precinct.
As for the PLQ, it would live with the status quo with the ballot box bonus provided by Anglophones and the vast majority of Allophones.
Despite the pitfalls, former Minister Jean-Pierre Charbonneau continues to believe that significant progress is possible in the transformation of the voting system if the parties agree to throw in ballast, especially those who have subscribed to the transpartisan alliance (CAQ, QS and PQ).
In her eyes, Minister Sonia LeBel has the qualities to encourage her colleagues to adhere to useful compromises and promote the emergence of a fairer electoral system.
However, major changes will have to be made to the bill to guarantee this electoral justice, which requires better consideration of the weight of votes and concerns for proximity, parity and government stability.
The challenge will also prove to be great for Prime Minister Legault, who will have to lead a campaign to have the possible reform endorsed by the population despite the scarecrow army which will stir up the feared disaster. However, the majority of countries have adopted a proportional voting system.
To reassure the anxious, François Legault could, as in New Zealand, include in law a validation referendum after three general elections under the new regime!