Our democracy deserves a fair voting system. Every vote must count.
The current “winner-take-all” voting system contradicts the fundamental democratic rights of being fairly represented in federal and provincial/territorial legislatures.
The current voting system in Canada is First Past the Post (FPTP). Under this majoritarian system, voters indicate on ballots their choice and the candidate receiving most votes wins. This would be the case even if the candidate has not received majority of the votes. This makes it impossible for all voters in a riding to elect a representative that represents their values and priorities. This system is capable of producing a “wrong winner,” when one party received more popular support, but another party gets to govern with a majority.
What’s the solution?
We need a system that represents voters! No one should feel the urge to vote strategically… or be indifferent as they fear their voice goes unrepresented.
Reforming the voting system is the only way to fair representation that will help our democracy become stronger and diverse. With Proportional Representation, no matter what party you support or where you live, your vote counts. Proportional representation is a democratic principle specifying that people should be represented in proportion to how they voted. This means the percentage of seats a party has in the legislature should reflect the percentage of people who voted for that party. Any PR voting system elects several representatives at once for a given geographic region so that most voters in that region have a voice in Parliament. This approach yields a fair result in which 30% of the votes yields 30% of the seats. According to recent reports, most nations around the world choose to have at least some multi-winner districts in their national legislatures. Voter turnout is higher in democracies with PR voting system than “winner-take-all.” Compare Canada’s voter turnout 66.7% to that of Sweden 87.2 % and Denmark 85.9 %. Both Sweden and Denmark use PR voting system.
What happens if Canada reforms its voting system and adopts Proportional Representation?
With made-for-Canada Proportional Representation:
- Almost every vote will count to define the makeup of the legislature.
- Almost every voter will help elect a representative who shares their values.
- All regions will have representation in both government and as part of the opposition.
- A single party will no longer be able to attain a majority government with just 40% of the vote.
- Cooperation and compromise will become the norm.
Our democracy is precious. At PSAC North, we are re-launching our campaign demanding a fair voting system. We have post cards for you to send to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asking him for electoral reform that makes every vote count.
Post cards are available at PSAC regional offices in Whitehorse, Yellowknife and Iqaluit. Please let us know if you need some to be mailed to you. Click here to view and/or print the postcard.
For more information on electoral reform, we invite you to visit Fair Vote Canada website.