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The Big Questions: Electoral Reform

Canada’s electoral system is outdated and unfair. In the absence of proportional representation, the make-up of our parliament distorts Canadians’ electoral preferences, fails to reflect who we really are, and creates voter apathy in the process.

There is one simple question facing politicians who want to make our elections more democratic:

Will you support the National Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform before the next election?

Our current first-past-the-post electoral system does not provide equal weight to each vote. In the last election, the Liberals won 47% of the seats with less than one-third of the popular vote. The Liberals repeatedly promised to enact electoral reform in their 2015 campaign, but dropped their promise soon after their election. This year we will still be voting under the old system. First-past-the-post subjects the country to a more divided, entrenched party system that needlessly misrepresents popular votes.

80% of people across party lines support a National Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform. A motion to study such an Assembly, supported by all parties except the Conservatives, was passed in Committee in the last Parliament. Politicians won’t give up a system that entrenches their power. A National Citizens’ Assembly would give a representative section of society the opportunity to make informed recommendations without political interference. Politicians must commit to popular leadership in our electoral system.