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NEWS: ‘We need a government that represents the majority of Canadians’, says Barlow

Postmedia News reports, “This week, Winnipeg MP Pat Martin called on the party to consider a merger or other electoral arrangement with the Liberals, which he says would make it more difficult for the Tories to win the next federal election. He received support Thursday from Ken Lewenza, president of the Canadian Auto Workers, the biggest private sector union in the country. (Quebec MP Thomas) Mulcair says he appreciates what Martin is saying, but he won’t support a merger.”

“On Friday, Canada’s major labour groups were tight-lipped about the letter from Lewenza that encouraged merger discussions. Representatives from the Canadian Union of Public Employees and the Canadian Labour Congress declined to comment, but the president of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, Gary Corbett, said he believed (Jack Layton’s last) letter reflects a fear that the government will make its decisions based on its ideological views instead of evidence and facts.”

“Maude Barlow, national chairperson of the Council of Canadians, said she found it ‘appalling’ that Prime Minister Stephen Harper was able to form a majority government with the support of a small percentage of Canadians who actually voted for the Conservative party. ‘We have to find a way, either through proportional representation or alliance of progressive forces, to form a government that truly represents the views of the majority of Canadians,’ Barlow said.”

The day after the May 2 vote, Fair Vote Canada stated, “The Conservatives have won 54.22 per cent of the seats with only 39.62 per cent of the votes, one of the least legitimate majorities in Canadian history. …If the seats were won in proportion to the votes that were cast, the numbers would look like this: Conservatives 122 (45 fewer seats than they won under our current electoral system and below what is required for a majority government), NDP 95 (7 fewer seats), Liberals 59 (25 more than what they now hold), Bloc Quebecois 19 (15 more), Greens 13 (12 more).”

In the past several elections, the Council of Canadians has called for a coalition government (or alliance) based on a progressive policy platform as the best likely outcome. We have also highlighted that poll after poll shows that Canadians disagree with the Harper government on numerous key issues, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=9291. For example, an Environics Research poll commissioned by the Council of Canadians in March 2011 indicated that 73 per cent of Canadians want the Harper government to recognize the human right to clean and safe water and sanitation. The poll also found that 78 per cent of Canadians would support the federal government spending $31 billion in federal budgets over the coming years for urgently needed maintenance and upgrading of water and waste water infrastructure.

The Postmedia News article can be read at http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Delay+leadership+race+running+Mulcair/5346401/story.html.