In two hours, electoral reform was mentioned only briefly

Martin Regg Cohn’s column on February 26 about low voter turnout in Ontario claimed the electorate is more alienated and disengaged than at any time in history.

Cohn then chaired a Ryerson Democracy Forum of the four party leaders and reported the results in a second column on March 2. The exchange was thoughtful, civil and collegial prompting Cohn’s question “Why can’t you be like this all the time?”

Ontario’s voter turnout is the worst in Canada and much lower than in most other democracies in the world. Reasons put forward by participants included the feeling that people’s votes don’t matter, broken promises, negativity and partisanship.

In two hours electoral reform was mentioned only briefly by the NDP and Green leaders with no discussion. What a travesty! Federal and provincial governments have been told that 90% of EU and OECD countries use proportional representation where all votes count, voter turnouts are much higher, more voices are heard, and there is much more collaboration and less negativity.

David Arthur, Kitchener

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