Electoral Reform in Canada The issue of electoral reform has become more important than ever in Canada in recent years as the general public has come to realize that our current first-past-the-post, winner-take-all system, formally known as single-member plurality (SMP) has produced majority governments of questionable legitimacy. Of the major democracies in the world, Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom are the only countries that still have SMP systems in place. Interestingly enough, there has been enormous political tension and division in the last few years in these countries, culminating with the election results in Canada and the USA this year that polarized both countries. In the last year we have seen
In America, many citizens choose not to vote every year. Although, The United States of America is a democracy, Americans should be required to vote. Whether the voting is for local places or for the government, citizens should be required to vote. This will give everyone a chance to speak their minds and learn more about politics. Compulsory voting is important because everyone should have a chance to vote for what they believe in.
The electoral system in Canada is also known as a “first past the post” system. “First past the post” means the candidate with the highest number of votes wins the congressional seat, whereas the other candidates with a lower number of votes don’t get any representation. There are many cons to this system that will be highlighted throughout this essay. I will argue that the electoral system requires reform due to the discrepancies between the percentage of popular votes and the number of seats won. Canada’s electoral system has many problems and is not seen as fully democratic since it has provided poor representation for both candidates that win and lose. Candidates can win seats with less than 50% of votes, meaning that even if the majority of the nation, or province did not vote for the candidate they still win the election as they consume the highest number of votes among the parties. FPTP allows two people in different ridings to get the same number of votes with the outcome of one winner since the distribution of votes and seats are unequal. The system can also encourage strategic voting such as not voting for whom you think is the best fit but voting for the candidate that seems most likely to win in order to beat candidate you dislike. FPTP leads to an imbalance of power and has the potential for corruption.
The civic issue that my point of view has changed on is the 1st speaker’s issue for the second speaker’s corner reflection. The speaker’s issue is that more Canadians need to vote. He states that only about 60% of the citizens voted in the last federal election. He also continues and says that if 60% of the population is voting for a government that is representing 100% of the population, you can’t really call that a truly democratically elected government anymore. By having more people to vote, we can have a government that represents our country the best since everyone’s opinions are considered. This can allow our country to develop into an even greater country. The speaker suggests that Canada should introduce some form of mandatory voting legislation to encourage people to vote. This civics issue is important to all Canadian citizens because our government represents 100% of the Canadian population. This is also another
Non-Citizens Should Have the Right to Vote Tayler Gill Ryerson University Joerg Wittenbrinck Non-Citizens should have the right to vote According to Elections Canada (2011), the right to vote is a major equitable right that is ensured by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It is the foundation of democracy. When we vote,
Changing the Electoral System Canada’s friendly neighbor to the South, the US, has an electoral system that is composed of 3 separate elections, one of them deciding the head of state. The president elected by the people and he or she is the determining person of the country’s political system. In the US runs like a majority system” In Canada, however, elections are held slightly differently. Citizens vote for a Member of Parliament in a 308-seat house and candidates win not by a majority, unlike in the US, but by a plurality. This means that a candidate can actually win by simply having more votes than the other candidates. This method of representative democracy, in general, does not cause too much controversy in a global scope but has
The most important issue in relation to the Canadian electoral process is the debate over whether or not the state should implement electoral reform for federal elections. It is my stance that replacing the Single Member Plurality system (SMP) with the Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) is undeniably in the best interest of Canadians, and I will attempt to prove this by contrasting The Limits: Electoral Systems and Electoral Reform - Or How I Came to Love SMP by Christopher Kam, who believes in the current SMP system, and Getting What You Vote For by John Hiemstra, who pushes for a change in favour of the MMP system. This paper will conclude with further critical analysis, as well as my justified stance the MMP system is clearly superior.
Canadians, like citizens of numerous countries around the world, take pride in living in a democratic nation. While Canada is unequivocally a democracy, there are certain aspects of the system that call into question its true democratic nature. The first past the post electoral system Canada currently has in place is undemocratic and unjust, as it undermines millions of citizens’ rights to vote. This has influenced a great deal of subsequent apathy and indifference toward politics in the masses, and democracy no longer seems to be a benchmark of Canadian society.
Reform is a necessary component in aiding a country in advancement, staying with traditions often causes one to lose their belief in their country and to protest against it. For instance, recently many citizens protested against the first-past-the-post system and demanded proportional representation. Therefore, it is an immensely shared outlook that Canada’s electoral system is outdated. There are various whys and wherefores for this, such as the fact that the party with the majority simply wins whilst the votes for other parties are easily thrown out. At times, this means that a party with little support can easily win. To put it in perspective, imagine that Party A has thirty percent of the votes, Party B has twenty-five percent of the votes, Party D has twenty-three percent of the votes, and Party E has twenty-two percent of the votes; in this scenario, Party A will win the election despite having 70% of the population against this decision. In addition to this, the first-past-the-post system does not allow independent candidates and parties to be represented. A proportional representation system will fix both issues by giving the parties seats in proportion to the vote, thus ending the ruling dynasty of the current three majority parties in Canada, and causing all votes to be represented. Furthermore, in the concluding of the elections, a coalition government may
Throughout Canada’s history, citizens have had an interest in electoral reform. The issue has been continuously brought up in both national and provincial elections for the last couple of decades. Does this mean Canadians are unsatisfied with the current first past the post system or does it mean that they
Canada’s issue of a democratic deficit has been a widely discussed topic among Canadian politicians for many years, yet action towards a political reform has yet to have been made. Inadequate citizen representation in the Canadian parliamentary system roots primarily from the first-past-the-post electoral system that is used within the country. This system is based on single member constituency plurality and brings forward the ultimate simplistic of voting systems. The level of simplicity provided by the system for the average voter and for the vote analysis may be its only advantage. The first-past-the-post system allows for the votes of certain, more populated districts to be worth more than those of less populated districts, as they each
The topic of non-citizen voting is a hot issue globally and throughout Canada. Previously, discussions about women, prison inmates, and mentally deficient people voting were heavily discussed issues. Still, issues of who should and should not have the right to vote is toilsome. Democracies have almost universally determined that the minimum voting age should be 18 years old and that mentally impaired people should not have the right to vote. There is little agreement about whether the right to vote should only be open to citizens, if expatriate electors should keep their voting rights, and if prison inmates should be able to vote.
POLI 201: Electoral Reform in Canada Kelsey Dechant UCID 30012085 November 10, 2015 TA: Camilo Torres, T03 The format of a state’s electoral system plays a foundational role in the quality of its democracy. Illiberal democracies, for example, may limit potential opponents of the ruling party; these kinds of states are generally said to be less democratic than those which encourage political freedom. Because a nation’s electoral structure influences the nature of its democracy, one must take a critical view on current systems and seek to better them where possible. Though not an extreme example, the electoral system in Canada can be said to hinder democracy, albeit indirectly, leading to apathy and discontent amongst the electorate. In a “disproportionate” system such as Canada’s, citizens’ voices are not as easily or accurately represented. For this reason, it is of utmost importance to consider electoral reform so that Canada’s system is more proportionate and conducive to political engagement.
Voting systems all around the world serve more functions than to only elect representatives for the people. Elections create a sense of a democratic environment inside a country; they give accountability and legitimacy to the government in power, assuming it is the people’s voice that is being heard. In a world where most countries enjoy democratic governments and freedom and equality are encouraged, Canada’s current voting system is a nothing but disrespectful to these democratic values. Like in many post-colonial countries, the legacy of imperial regimes has made its way to the modern political system in Canada, still attacking central democratic principles . Canada has been using a single-member-plurality (SMP) electoral system, also
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