There are six candidates confirmed for the federal election in Chilliwack-Hope. Clockwise from top left, incumbent Conservative Mark Strahl, Liberal Kelly Velonis, NDP Heather McQuillan, Marxist-Leninist Dorothy-Jean O’Donnell, People’s Party Rob Bogunovic, and Green Party Arthur Green.

EDITORIAL: Electoral reform could have made things less inevitable

We know who is likely to win in Chilliwack-Hope but it didn’t have to be this way

As we ramp up to vote in the federal election in Chilliwack-Hope, there will be signs around town, door-knocking from candidates, ads in the paper and flyers in your mailboxes, all-candidates debates and pontificating all over social media.

But there is one subject, one reality, that few dare to mention and that is: We know who is going to win.

The next Prime Minister? No, no. The Conservatives and Liberals seem in a near dead heat in polling, and so much depends on whether new Conservative leader Andrew Scheer is palatable to enough Stephen Harper supporters, or whether Justin Trudeau can weather the SNC-Lavalin and brownface scandals.

No, just here in Chilliwack-Hope where Mark Strahl is solid. Love the Conservatives or hate them, Strahl is a genuine person who cares about the community. And this has been, for several decades at least, a small “c” and big “C” conservative riding.

He will be the next Member of Parliament for Chilliwack-Hope. Sorry if you don’t like it, but anything else would be a shocker.

The point here is that the electoral results could be different, not strictly speaking locally, but across the country, with less importance on “safe” ridings if only Trudeau had lived up to his promise of electoral reform.

In a campaign launched this week, Fair Vote Canada said that Trudeau looked into the TV cameras in 2015 and said, “We need to know that when we vote, it counts. That when we cast a ballot, it matters.”

He did not live up to that promise.

Of course voting always matters, always counts. We should always vote. But with a 39.5 per cent majority, Trudeau won.

And here in Chilliwack-Hope, with 42 per cent, Strahl won handily. Yet 77 per cent of Canadians support a switch to proportional representation, according to a new Angus Reid Poll. That system would make the votes cast here for someone other than Strahl feel and be more meaningful across the whole system.

Not this time. Next?

– Black Press Media

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