After Trudeau was elected I was elated. The dark Harper years were over and now we would be moving to the left. That is what proportional representation would mean for Canadians. It would mean that vote splitting on the left would end and minority of the country that got the Conservatives elected would not be able to take control alone again.
Under first past the post the left in Canada is divided and under represented. Every vote for a Green not in Elizabeth May’s riding is wasted. Then there are many people who lean Green but can’t convince themselves to go there. The Greens split votes with the NDP. In some places neither will win. In others the difference is enough to cost seats.
Then the Liberals take more left-wing votes causing a three way split. The Conservatives are alone on the right. They have less than a majority of votes but the left and centre split three ways. That is how Harper came to power and it is how the Conservatives would come to power again — a potential outcome in 2019.
PR would mean that the Conservatives can never split their way to a win again. It would mean that the left would finally get their due. Sadly Trudeau has decided to keep a system that under represents the left and gives a disproportionate chance of winning to the right. Given the current situation in the Conservative leadership race this is an extremely dangerous move. Trudeau has kept in place a system that gives a minority of votes all the power, a system that leaves the door wide open for a Trump or Brexit style politician in the next election — both happened in winner take all systems. It is a gift to the right and a dangerous greedy move.