Diverse coalition marks Democracy Day with call to make Canada’s electoral system truly fair and democratic



New video and digital campaign say it’s time to design made-in-Canada proportional representation

OTTAWA — It’s time to get on with designing a proportional electoral system suited to Canada, says a broad coalition representing the country’s leading women’s groups, the country’s largest unions, leading advocacy groups in Quebec, and organizations advocating for students and immigrants.

The Every Voter Counts Alliance, bringing together over 60 organisations, is making the call on Democracy Day, a global initiative of the United Nations established in 2007 to promote and uphold the principles of democracy.

The Canadian Labour Congress, a founding Alliance supporter, is using the occasion on September 15 to release a new video called Choose PR as part of its proportional representation campaign. The Broadbent Institute, another founding Alliance supporter, also launched a digital campaign on Democracy Day titled My Voting Story to showcase how broken the current system is.

Fair Vote is also marking Democracy Day with a new online tool so Canadians can send its brief to the special committee on electoral reform to their local MPs as part an educational initiative. 

“What better time to release a new video on proportional representation to urge our Parliamentarians to heed the advice of what experts are telling us — a proportional system with local representation is the way to go. Now let’s get on with what that looks like in Canada,” said Hassan Yussuff, president of the Canadian Labour Congress. 

“We asked Canadians to share their voting stories with us, and hundreds from across the country responded. These personal stories are a must-read on Democracy Day,” said Rick Smith, Executive Director of the Broadbent Institute.

Added Mélanie Sarazin, president of the Fédération des femmes du Québec, a supporting member of the Alliance: "Let's celebrate Democracy Day by working towards adopting a fairer and more egalitarian electoral system, which would include measures to ensure gender parity, in order to protect women's rights to equality, diversity and regional representation."

“Canada ranks number one in the world on women’s education, but with the best educated population of women on the planet, our House of Commons remains almost 75% men,” added Ann Decter, Director of Advocacy and Public Policy at YWCA Canada, a supporting member of the Alliance. “Evidence indicates a made-in-Canada proportional representation system supports electing women. As an organization advocating for women since the 1800s, our message is it’s time for change.”

Other supporting organizations of the Alliance include Unifor, Leadnow, Institut du Nouveau Monde, Canadian Council of Muslim Women, Unlock Democracy, Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants, Movement democratic nouvelle, and Canadian Federation of Students. 


For more information about www.everyvotercounts.ca, please contact Alliance spokesperson Willy Blomme, 514-699-4636, or media@everyvotercounts.ca.