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UPDATE: Council affirms support of proportional representation during Democracy Week

Fair Vote Canada has named this week (September 12 to 18) the first annual Democracy Week in Canada.

The Council of Canadians has consistently stated over the years that proportional representation is more democratic than our current first-past-the-post electoral system. It ensures a fairer representation of votes cast, and prevents a governing party from holding total power after earning only a small percentage of the popular vote.

Earlier this month, Postmedia News reported that, “Maude Barlow, national chairperson of the Council of Canadians, said she found it ‘appalling’ that Prime Minister Stephen Harper was able to form a majority government with the support of a small percentage of Canadians who actually voted for the Conservative party. ‘We have to find a way, either through proportional representation or alliance of progressive forces, to form a government that truly represents the views of the majority of Canadians,’ Barlow said.”

The day after the May 2 vote, Fair Vote Canada stated, “The Conservatives have won 54.22 per cent of the seats with only 39.62 per cent of the votes, one of the least legitimate majorities in Canadian history. …If the seats were won in proportion to the votes that were cast, the numbers would look like this: Conservatives 122 (45 fewer seats than they won under our current electoral system and below what is required for a majority government), NDP 95 (7 fewer seats), Liberals 59 (25 more than what they now hold), Bloc Quebecois 19 (15 more), Greens 13 (12 more).”

Back on October 18, 2004, the House of Commons unanimously amended the Speech from the Throne to instruct the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs “to recommend a process that engages citizens and parliamentarians in an examination of our electoral system with a review of all options.” Almost seven years later we haven’t seen this process begin.

You can read more about Democracy Week at http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=209119149145328. And you can read more about our support for proportional representation at http://canadians.org/blog/?p=1600.