Enact Electoral Reform and Proportional Representation in Canada

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In the 2015 federal election campaign, Justin Trudeau promised Canadians that, if elected PM, that would be the last election ever run under the First Past The Post (FPTP) electoral system. This promise pushed many people, myself included, to vote Liberal, for one time only, in order to enact electoral reform.

Despite overwhelming evidence pointing towards Proportional Representation as the clear best choice, the PM failed to follow through on enacting change. Rather, all discussion of electoral reform at the federal level was essentially shut down, replaced with willingness to consider only ranked ballots - a system which would benefit the Liberal Party, and produce even more skewed election results. (With the Liberals being a centrist party, they would likely pick up second choice votes from voters both the right and the left of them ie from Conservatives as well as NDP/Green voters).

Now, we have just finished another federal election, again held under FPTP, and the results are, again, highly skewed. Countless Canadians voted for a party that is not represented by their MP. Some parties got many seats with relatively few votes, while others received very few seats despite relatively high popular vote. Countless progressive voters (including myself), have been told, in many election campaigns, that we need to vote for our second or third choice (ie Liberal) to avoid splitting the vote. However, all voters deserve the right to vote for their first choice (not just to avoid something that they don't want) and have that reflected in government.

FPTP encourages competition between parties and negative campaigning - all in an attempt to win ridings at the expense of another party. PR encourages cooperation and consensus building, and is generally recognized as being more positive, ending the flipping of policies (where one party enacts policies which are undone in the next election), and conducive to better policies on climate action and many other issues that are important to voters. Cooperation also helps to build unity, which is especially critical in a large, diverse country such as Canada.

Countless other groups are already working on this, and doing excellent work, such as FairVote Canada and others. In support of their work, and on behalf of all Canadians who would like a more fair electoral system, I am calling on the Canadian government to ensure that this highly disproportionate system of government truly ends now. Demand that our government enact PR before the next federal election. Thank you!