Essay about Every Voice Heard: The Case for Proportional Representation

2375 Words 10 Pages
There is a fundamental problem with democracy in Canada. The problem is rooted within our federal parliamentary voting-system. However, there is a promising solution to this issue. Canada should adopt the proportional representation system, known as the party list format (party-list PR), at the federal level if we wish to promote the expansion of democracy. If Canada embraces proportional representation in the battle for electoral reform then we will see beneficial results. Party-list PR will increase voter participation, which in turn will create more accurate representation in the parliament and ultimately a positive shift away from our disturbingly partisan dominated political culture.
The current federal parliamentary
…show more content…
But, why should we change the system that has served us so faithfully for so many years? Dennis Pilon argues,
It is not merely that different voting systems count votes differently, but that different voting-system arrangements alter the incentives that voters and parties face to do certain things: to vote for one party over another, to try to appeal to one group of voters over another, and so on (Pilon 12)6.

One of the main benefits that countries which have opted for proportional representation have noticed is an undeniable increase in voter turnout. In a political democracy citizen engagement is incredibly important. In situations where a plurality voting-system has been abandoned in favour of a system utilizing proportional representation the rise in voter turnout averages 7 to 8% (Pilon 155)7. There is no reason to believe that Party-list PR would have any different effect on Canadian parliamentary democracy. A possible reason SMP voting-systems cause low voter turnout might have to do with individual’s understanding of how much their vote counts. A great number of ridings in Canada are considered political strongholds for one party or another. This means that they were won by margins larger than any overcome in the most recent election. Based on the combined recent results