No doubt Stephen Harper feels he did the right thing in appointing the unelected Michael Fortier and the elected but politically flexible David Emerson to his cabinet. He had excellent motives —he wanted to provide representation for Quebec and BC in his government—something the election process and the voters inconsiderately failed to do in the last election.
He has my sympathy. Mr. Harper is just another victim of an antiquated voting system that allowed him to form the government without a single elected representative from such backwaters as Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.
Almost any form of proportional voting system would have given him nine MPs from those regions and provided him a choice of elected MPs from which to form his cabinet. Instead, he has to suffer the embarrassment of stealing from the opposition and appointing a party hack from the back room.
In Mr. Harper's defense, we have to grant that he had no choice. He, like the rest of us, is a victim of our system. The sad thing is that, instead of blaming the system and starting to work on fixing it, he has tried to justify the unjustifiable. We can only hope that he will wake up one morning soon, recognize he never would have had the problem if Canada had a proportional voting system, and realise that he can actually do something about it so it won't happen in the future.
By John Winters