I do not know what the best way of forming a government is. I am not sure what decisions I would make if I were tasked with making one up. At the moment we have first-past-the-post. Is first-past-the-post the best way to form a government? Almost certainly not. Is it the worst? No, not by a long shot.
Our democracy is based in political parties. I dislike party systems since political parties seem inevitably to become representatives of special interests. Whether that is the 1%, bankers, trade unionists, white supremacists, particular religions or fashionable ideologies there is hardly any way for selfish special interests to align with best public policy. But political parties is what we have to work with, so…
Firstly, I want to live in a country that can form functional governments. In principal and often in the past, first-past-the-post has delivered that. Not so much with Mulroney or with Harper, or Harris or Ford, but most of the time, until relatively recently. And there is no essential reason why another system, such as some form of proportional representation could not perform as well. There are certainly examples, contemporary and historical of either working. And there are examples of both not working. And there are examples where the formation of government is inherently undemocratic, but the country somehow gets a decent government anyway.
But no electoral system is proof against people voting irresponsibly, pointlessly, maliciously or stupidly. That we have more than one right-wing extremist party in Canada now fills me with shame. And that does not get better if you do not cast your vote so as to deprive those extremists seats. Elections may superficially seem like some kind of team-based popularity contest. What they are however is a mechanism for choosing a government.
I want you to imagine a bratty child who is given the choice between vanilla ice cream and poison. But they stamp their feet and shriek that they want Tiger. So not having contributed to the choosing they get the poison. People sometimes talk about voting strategically as if it is some sort of compromise, like choosing who to vote for can be a process that dispenses with any thought of consequence.
I do not care who you vote for so long as you deprive the CPC and the PPC and all those whatever-ya-wanna-call-ems seats. If a CPC candidate is elected in your constituency by a smaller percentage than votes cast for candidates who were never going to win then voters who decided to deliberately not elect someone, from whatever party, Liberal, New Democrat, Green, I don’t care, who could beat that CPC are just as guilty of electing them as anyone who voted for them.