Put electoral fairness ahead of politics

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

Editor:

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% 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.”

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.

“We urge you, as a top priority for the new government, to establish right away a multi-partisan task force bringing together pro-reform citizens and experts. We are calling on you to design a voting system for Canada in which every ballot delivers equal representation, and trust that this process will not seize on a quick fix that favours only centrist parties”, says Jennifer Ross, FVC Caucus Chair for Liberals for Fair Voting.

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 5 per cent.

All parties are hurt by the outcome of Winner-Take-All elections.

Across the Country:

• 93.9 per cent of Green Party Voters couldn’t elect a representative;

• 76.8 per cent of Bloc Voters;

• 74.5 per cent of NDP voters;

• 51% of Conservatives;

• 33.5% of Liberals.

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

“In Nanaimo-Ladysmith, 66.1% of voters cast disregarded votes.

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.

Jordan EllisFair Vote CanadaMid-Island Team