The troubling question of “Who to vote for?” in the coming federal election really indicates an underlying more fundamental issue that the system of Western liberal democracy is itself inherently flawed and incapable of meeting the needs of our globally interdependent world.
The basic adversarial structure of partisan political parties motivated by self-interests competing for power, compromises and corrupts all those involved as winning at all costs becomes the overriding goal. This results in unsustainable governance unduly influenced by lobbyists and corporate funders, unable to solve complex issues and prone to incivility and mean spiritedness fostering intractable conflict and contention.
What we need at all levels of society are unifying democratic systems of governance based upon cooperation, reciprocity and the setting of the common good above private interests.
In such a system individuals are elected based upon their quality of character, mature experience and well-trained minds without nominations or electioneering utilizing a plurality system of voting.
Power and authority are vested in institutions rather than individuals thus minimizing the corrupting influence of power.
Complex issues facing our society can then be addressed through consultation and cooperation to determine the best solutions based upon sound science and moral principles rather than political ideology.
We can begin this process by applying these concepts in our local communities, in our volunteer organizations, in our local businesses and in our municipal governments to gain the necessary experience and realize the benefits of the system in preparation for applying it at the regional, provincial and federal levels of our society.
Regarding the existing system, the best we can do is vote for the candidates based on the attributes outlined above without regard for what party they belong to. Secondly, we can stop supporting the partisan political system itself by not joining any political party or contributing time and energy or funds in support of the system. The system will eventually collapse due to attrition opening the opportunity to replace it with the alternative, cooperative democratic model of governance.