A few analogies came to mind tonight. I wanted to say how awesome I feel to be here. I was really impressed with what I heard from the presenters and from the thoughtfulness from you guys. Some people might be a little bit hesitant believing that this is real.
Picture yourself in Athens at the birth of democracy. Someone says, “Let's have everybody vote, and everybody's opinion will matter.” The answer is “No, it's going to take way too long to count all the hands, and then we're going to have to pay somebody to actually count them. They'll have to be an employee. Yeah, let's forget about that.”
A second analogy comes to mind whenever I think about proportional representation. I think about how people fear this dialogue and this co-operation that's going to go on in the House of Commons. Then I think how if either I or my husband was the one who made all the decisions in my house, it would end either in divorce or in extreme depression of one of the parties.
This is something we cannot fear. This is natural. Dialogue is natural. Speaking to everybody who has an existence in Canada is natural and it's right. When we talk about proportional representation compared to different things, I think STV sounds like a very tiny band-aid, and proportional representation sounds like what we're really looking for, what Canadians really want, because it's the right thing to do.
One of the reasons that it's the right thing to do is because of minorities. I don't know if that's been brought up to you yet or not. In New Zealand, for example, the Maori people have a place in the House of Representatives, a voice, a platform to speak from. They might not be able to pass a vote all on their own, but how many of you have had experiences with an aboriginal person coming to you and telling you something about their culture that you had no idea about before that? You couldn't believe you had never thought of it, and it was actually compatible with a bunch of things that your party thinks.
That was my experience in 2015 when we had the national election. I discovered that it was actually on principle that some aboriginal people don't vote. The idea is that we don't want them voting in our elections, so we're not going to vote in theirs. We're not citizens of Canada; they made a treaty with us.
Then we think, “What? I thought you thought you were a citizen of Canada.”
This is just mind-boggling. We can't just continue to have them sitting at round tables all the time. Our government goes and meets them at the round table, but they should actually be in our government.