Electoral Reform

Electoral Reform MORE DEMOCRACY IS Always a good thing. Electoral reform that starts with proportional representation will give us more democracy. Therefore, proportional representation is a good thing. But, not everybody sees it that way. That’s largely because many of us lack a clear and broad understanding of what exactly proportional representation can be and how it can work. We have no way to cross over a “proportional representation information gap”. Canadians for a Modern Industrial Strategy has produced a series of papers to help us bridge that gap. The series includes a main paper and four backgrounders.

The Main Paper

Spoiled ballots: Trudeau’s broken promise and what to do about it

This paper provides an analysis of the federal electoral reform process since 2015. It concludes that parties who do not benefit from electoral reform (Liberal and Conservative) will not adopt a proportional representation electoral system. Parties that would benefit (NDP and Green) would be much more likely to do so.

The Four Backgrounders

#1 - A closer look at electoral systems

This backgrounder briefly identifies the pros and cons of the 5 major electoral systems. It provides concise explanations to help the reader understand what those pros and cons really mean. Images are used to help guide the reader.

#2 - The role of referenda in electoral reform: best choice when done properly, otherwise the worst

This backgrounder explains key characteristics of referenda. It focusses on how they can easily be manipulated to favour the status quo. That is why they are used by governments who are pressured to address electoral reform.

#3 - Why political parties that form government in Canada are resistant to electoral reform

This paper explains why the Canadian parties that form government are very motivated to keep the current First-PastThe-Post electoral system. This system gives Canadian Prime Ministers incredible power. Changing it to a proportional system significantly dilutes that power.

#4 - An overview of the 2018 electoral reform process in British Columbia

This backgrounder demonstrates that the British Columbia referendum on electoral reform was designed to fail. On the surface it appeared to be fair, but by keeping information low and identifying the status quo option on the ballot, it was all but guaranteed to fail.