In loss, NDP candidate calls for alternative voting system

In his loss to the Liberal candidate in Scarborough Centre, Monday night, the NDP candidate called for a change from the first-past-the-post federal election system.

Scarborough Centre NDP candidate Pastor Alex Wilson
‘Changing the vote system is the only way that the people who really want to vote for us … will do that,’ Scarborough Centre NDP candidate Pastor Alex Wilson says after conceding defeat to Liberal contender Salma Zahid. (Eden Debebe/Toronto Observer)

Pastor Alex Wilson conceded defeat to Salma Zahid, who won the riding with a 5,661 plurality, or more than 51 per cent of the vote. Roxanne James, the Conservative, came in second with about 30 per cent of the ballots, while Pastor Alex Wilson polled about 12 per cent for third place. In losing, Wilson called for a new voting system.

“Changing the vote system is the only way that the people who really want to vote for us…will do that,” Wilson said and he went on to suggest that voters instead “have two votes: one for your member of parliament, and one for the (prime minister). Liberals are looking at it, but my concern is that they are so vague. They promise only to ‘consult Canadians.’”

Wilson said he expects that some change will come for middle class constituents in his riding, though not for lower-income residents.

“The middle class will benefit from the new tax breaks,” he said, “but those earning less than $40,000 will not see major changes and I think that’s unfortunate. We tried to be broader … including seniors and increasing old age security.”

For the future, Wilson said he wished the best for the winning candidate.

“Salma (Zahid) seems to be somebody who works hard, so that in itself would be better than the previous MP who really did not represent the people well here,” he said.