Declaration of Voter's Rights

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Electoral Reform Committee Not Looking at Status Quo

I jokingly say I prefer being on a committee of one—me or someone else. Imagine you are the committee responsible for electoral reform in Canada. Your Liberal party campaign promise was that the 2015 federal election would be the last using our first-past-the-post (FPTP) winner-take-all-losers-get-nothing plurality-majority electoral system. Your committee must report by December 2016 on reforms that include ranked ballots and proportional representation.

The Conservative Party has vowed to block any electoral reform without a referendum. Perhaps though it would be wiser for the Conservatives to support proportional representation rather than counting on a referendum to keep the status quo. If your committee report recommends proportional representation, the Conservatives would get seats proportional to how voters voted—9 more than FPTP gave in 2015.

If your committee report recommends ranked ballots (which is still winner take all), it could give the Liberals a perpetual advantage. What advantage? In experiments, voters on the right rank Conservatives #1 and Liberals #2. Voters on the left rank NDPs #1 and Liberals #2. All the Liberal #2s plus their own #1s rank them into first place.

Proportional representation is not just fair for the Conservatives; it is fair for all Canadians. It is the system that over 80 countries have progressed to because it is consensus based rather than majoritarian oppositional so parliamentarians can focus on policy rather than politics.

The committee wants to hear from you at "PARTICIPATE in the study" or ask your MP about their electoral reform town hall.

Nancy Carswell, Co-spokesperson Fair Vote Canada Saskatchewan Chapter