Last week, Justin Trudeau was heard asking a rhetorical question.
“Do you think that Kellie Leitch should have her own party?”
Trudeau has been getting a lot of well-deserved flack since he ditched his promise to reform Canada’s awkward and in many ways un-democratic first-past-the-post electoral system.
A new system was one of the Liberals hallmark promises, and it was certainly the one I was the most excited about.
But Trudeau has been trying to say that he made this decision so we could avoid “instability and uncertainty.”
“We’d be putting at risk the very thing that makes us luckier than anyone else on the planet,” he told one crowd.
The Kellie Leitch question is part of that. Leitch is trying to run a campaign for the leadership of the federal Conservatives as “Trump Lite.”
She wants to screen immigrants and refugees for Canadian values. She also notes that time-consuming interviews would definitely reduce the immigration rate.
So I’m going to answer Trudeau’s question.
Every major party in Canada is a coalition, an uneasy alliance.
The Tories have their religious social conservatives, but they rub cheek-by-jowl with godless libertarians, and with those who just want lower taxes.
The NDP has environmentalists and loggers, union members and social progressives and a scattering of actual socialists.
The Liberals try to scoop up whoever remains in the middle, those who worry about lurching too far to the left or the right.
A proportional system would shatter the old parties. Those coalitions could go their own ways – libertarians and socialists, greens and social conservatives would likely win election on their own narrow platforms.
So yes, Kellie Leitch would have a party. So would others, friendlier to new Canadians.
I hate to break it to Mr. Trudeau, but Kelie Leitch stands a good chance of having her own political party, anyway. There’s no small chance that she’ll be victorious and lead the Conservatives.
Trudeau says Canada needs stability. I say he’s confusing stability with Liberal party rule. We can have stability and expand democracy, make it more meaningful – and not just in the way we elect leaders, but through a hundred other reforms not yet considered.
We’ll never get there if we look at the future, with all its threats and promises, and decided to stand still.