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- “[P]rison as a deterrent does not work. If it did, America would be the safest country on earth.”
Canadians for Justice is pleased to release our first policy paper, the subject of which is electoral reform.
Canada’s electoral system does a poor job of allocating seats in the House of Commons relative to the popular vote. In the last federal election, the electoral system awarded 53.9% of the seats to a party that won only 39.6% of the votes cast, and allowed that party to form the Government. All told, the present electoral system resulted in a distortion of 22.2% in terms of seat allocation as compared to the parties’ shares of the popular vote. According to Ekos Research, roughy two thirds of Canadian voters are “progressive” yet the electoral system produced a conservative government. A system that distorts the results by more than 22% cannot be said to meet the standards for a functioning democracy.
There are many challenges facing Canadian society. Solutions consistent with our collective views cannot be implemented by a government that has not earned our collective support and does not share our collective views. Canada needs a new electoral system, one that allocates seats in the House of Commons in proportion to the popular vote in each province and territory, rather than at the riding level. Our democracy has to be fixed before our challenges can be addressed in the manner of our choosing. This is why Canadians for Justice chose electoral reform as our first project.
Canadians for Justice has designed a new electoral system. This system, called PTPR (Provincial/Territorial Proportional Representation), allocates seats based on the percentage of the parties’ popular vote in each province/territory. Candidates are ranked and elected based on the percentage of the popular vote they earned in their respective ridings. This system is far more accurate than Canada’s present electoral system. When applying the system to the results of the past election, the distortion factor is reduced from 22.2% to just 1.6%.
Canadians for Justice has also designed a path to achieve electoral reform. The New Democratic Party and the Green Party both advocate the adoption of a form of proportional representation. The Liberals have yet to make this commitment. If they do, then the three parties should cooperate in a limited number of ridings in the next election with the goal of displacing the present government and implementing electoral reform. Once electoral reform is passed, a new election should be called and the seats allocated based on the new electoral system. This would restore legitimacy to Canada’s democratic institutions and give Canadians future governments that reflect their aspirations.
The specifics of the electoral system and the path to achieve electoral reform are outlined in our policy paper which can be found at the Electoral Reform link below. This paper, together with the supporting research documents, can also be found here.
In the coming weeks and months, Canadians for Justice will reach out to interested parties to secure support for our electoral reform proposals. If you would like to help in this effort, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.