Quebec’s electoral reform public education initiative falls short

How a government can claim consensus without asking the question is quite a head-scratcher

Quebec’s electoral reform public education initiative falls shortQuebec Justice Minister Sonia LeBel recently announced that the government is moving forward with electoral reform. Yet unlike other provincial governments, rather than proceed with a referendum, the Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ) government will table a bill to move Quebec to a mixed member proportional (MMP) electoral system before Oct. 1. LeBel claims that the…

Electoral reform in B.C. won’t enable the far right

No electoral system has a monopoly on either preventing or fostering far right parties

Electoral reform in B.C. won’t enable the far rightBy Seth Klein and Vyas Saran Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives Endlessly repeating that proportional representation should be rejected because it will enable far right or extremist political parties is clearly a core assertion of the No side in B.C.’s electoral reform referendum debate. It’s a bogus claim. No electoral system has a monopoly on either…

Electoral reform actually enhances local representation

In all three models being considered in the B.C. referendum, every MLA will be accountable to either a local riding or region

Electoral reform actually enhances local representationLocal representation in our democracy matters to most of us, and rightly so. While our current first-past-the-post (FPTP) electoral system has many faults, one of its most popular features is that every member of the legislative assembly represents – and, in theory, is accountable to – a local constituency. To speak with a political representative…

The compelling arguments against electoral reform in B.C.

Former NDP Premiers Glen Clark and Ujjal Dosanjh may be against electoral reform, but retired lawyer Ian MacLeod expresses his opposition best

The compelling arguments against electoral reform in B.C.We’re in the midst of a mail-in referendum in British Columbia that could dramatically change – and not for the better – how democracy does or doesn’t work in the province. We should really suspect that something is wrong with the proposed changes when people from both major political parties are opposed to the initiative,…

Proportional representation a perfect example of loser take all

Replacing the existing system with proportional representation will result in a government of chaos

Proportional representation a perfect example of loser take allThe B.C. referendum on how citizens elect those who govern them is fast approaching. The current system has given us viable government for a long time. But like most things in the real world, it’s not perfect. Those who live in a riding that’s considered safe for a party other than the one they choose…

Proportional representation breeds unstable governments

B.C.’s electoral reform referendum could lead to more shaky coalitions and less effective government

Proportional representation breeds unstable governmentsSome see the upcoming B.C. referendum on electoral reform – whether the province should switch to a proportional representation (PR) voting system – as a blatant attempt by the B.C. Green Party to secure more power. While it’s clear that under any form of PR, the Greens could increase their seat share, there would also…

How much does your vote really count?

Ontario’s recent election results signal Canada’s wider democratic dilemma 

How much does your vote really count?Ontario’s June election was one for change and Doug Ford's Progressive Conservatives emerged the victors. Unfortunately, many voters believe their vote didn’t count. Thanks to our first-past-the-post (FPTP) electoral system, they’re right. Once again, there’s an overwhelming majority provincial government in Canada elected by a minority of voters. Just over 40 per cent of voters supported Ford's Progressive Conservatives.…

Fairness should be at the heart of electoral reform

Every argument in favour of our current flawed system is either easily rebutted or simply untrue

Fairness should be at the heart of electoral reformIn a recent address on proportional representation (PR), Guy Giorno, one of Stephen Harper’s former strategists, said, “The unassailable moral high ground we (supporters of PR) hold is the people and a result that fairly reflects their will.” This caused me to pause and reflect. I’ve long been a supporter of PR and now I…

B.C. moves to embrace the essence of good government

As our country has evolved, dialogue is encouraged in education and the media, but is stymied in our highest law-making institutions

B.C. moves to embrace the essence of good government“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Though the origin of this statement is debated, its essence beautifully summarizes the ideals of our democracy and the importance of freedom of speech. While I have my opinions on certain issues, I thoroughly enjoy and appreciate…

B.C. democratic reform neither simple nor straightforward

Referendum may grant more power to B.C. politicians and bureaucrats, at democracy’s expense

B.C. democratic reform neither simple nor straightforwardThis fall, British Columbians will vote on what system they prefer for provincial elections. But far too much uncertainty surrounds all the potential choices. The mail-in referendum ballot will give voters two choices: B.C.’s current first-past-the-post system or proportional representation. A secondary question will ask: If adopted, what type of proportional representation system would you…
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