Electoral system needs fixing

Justin Trudeau has a golden opportunity to bring a more democratic voting system to Canada

After an election in which 9,093,630 (51.8 per cent) votes went nowhere, Justin Trudeau has a golden opportunity to bring a more democratic voting system to Canada.

Liberals won a majority with 39.5 per cent of the popular vote and more than half of all voters were unable to cast an effective ballot. They now will wait another four years to have the opportunity to elect a representative aligned with their values – or not.

Fair Vote Canada’s executive director declares: “Given the distortion of the popular vote, Trudeau must ensure Canadians will have equal and effective votes in future elections. Never again should we face a one-party, one-man government elected by a minority of voters. We urge you to work with all parties and enact voting rules for a true and modern representative democracy in time for the next election.”

Canadians voted for change. This election was a referendum on the last false-majority government. They coalesced their votes around a promise to end first-past-the-post voting and an opportunity to have a truly democratic voting system that will make all our votes count – only proportional representation can deliver on that promise.

In total, 51.8 per cent of Canadian voters cast votes for losing candidates – with the riding of Pierre-Boucher-Les Patriotes-Verchères casting the most ineffective votes: 71.3 per cent. A system of proportional representation could reduce that number to as low as five per cent.

All parties are hurt by the outcome of winner-take-all elections

Across the country:

93.88 per cent of Green Party voters couldn’t elect a representative

76.78 per cent of Bloc voters couldn’t elect a representative

74.5 per cent of NDP voters couldn’t elect a representative

50.98 per cent of Conservative voters couldn’t elect a representative

And, 33.49 per cent of Liberal voters couldn’t elect a representative

Under a proportional system the seat count would be: Lib 135, Con 109, NDP 68, GPC, 11, Bloc 15.

Last month, over 500 Canadian academics, including several Fellows of the Royal Society of Canada, 29 Canada Research Chairs and two professors with the Order of Canada, called on all political parties to work together to bring in a proportional electoral system.

Fair Vote Canada and its supporters are asking Justin Trudeau to be brave. We are asking him to lead and put the country and its citizens before his party and build a representative democracy where all Canadians have the opportunity to equally participate in the governance and policy making of our country.

We hope he will seize this opportunity to build a country where every citizen is heard, where diversity is respected, and where representatives of a popular majority rule – a democratic country. A country that we can all proudly call Canada.

Fair Vote Canada is a multi-partisan, citizen’s campaign representing of 61,000 Canadians advocating for voting system reform. FVC promotes an introduction of an element of proportional representation in elections at all levels of government and in civil society.

In Kelowna-Lake Country, Stephen Fuhr has indicated he supports proportional representation.

In North Okanagan-Shuswap, Mel Arnold has not indicated his preferences on an electoral system.

For more information on Fair Vote Canada, go to www.fairvote.ca.

Tom Bell, Lake Country

 

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