Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee
Greta Hoaken (Liberal): Is Canada Better Off with More or Fewer Political Parties?

.

What makes our Canadian political system great? (Yes, even in light of recent events and the occasional “shenanigans” MPs get into, at the end of the day, we have one of the best governmental systems of all time.) Our system is democratic, it’s transparent, and it is fair. Most importantly, however, the Canadian political system allows for a broad representation of Canadian multiculturalism.

What I love most about Canada is its diversity. In my own city alone, there are so many cultures present, so many different ideas, and so many different types of people. I’m proud to be a member of a party that celebrates this cultural mosaic and sees difference as a catalyst for diverse policies that appeal to all Canadians, instead of as a hindrance. Thanks to our democratic system, theoretically, all of these different opinions can be represented. Representation by population helps to account for the different geographic political difference, and every area of the country is represented fairly in the House of Commons and the Senate. However, merely accounting for geographic differences is not sufficient, in my opinion, in order to represent Canadians fairly. In order to capture the multifarious opinions of Canadians, we need multiple parties to represent our varying opinions. It is primarily for this reason that I would argue that Canada is better off with more parties.

One must only look to the United States to see that less is not more. With only two major parties, it seems that the paradox of ‘all dichotomies being false dichotomies’ has come to life.

The Republican Party, for example, is plagued with something of an internal conflict. Varying degree of right-wing-minded party members have become the face of the Republican Party, overshadowing moderate Republicans entirely. .

What has resulted is a scenario where voters are torn between party loyalty and deciding which party is moderate enough to represent their views. In Canada, however, despite claims that Liberals and NDPers are merely nuances of each other, one must only go back in history to see that the two parties were formed with different aims and purposes. Even today, the two parties are fundamentally about different things.  This fact allows for better debate and a broader representation of opinion in discussions.

Ultimately, this leads to better accountability for Canadians, where party lines don’t define everything, and a plethora of opinions are represented. Canada is better off with more parties because many issues are not black or white and it’s the varying shades in between that really define our views. Thanks to our multi-party political system, these shades can be represented.

.

**Disclaimer: At CJPAC, we strive to encourage debate and discussion – as they say, 2 Jews, 3 opinions. We have provided this forum as an opportunity for members of the Jewish and pro-Israel community to express their unique points of view. The opinions in this article are those of the author, and may not reflect the views of CJPAC, its staff or its officers.