OTTAWA—The Broadbent Institute cares deeply about renewing Canada’s democracy and we welcome the launch of a special parliamentary committee to study new voting systems.
We know our current first-past-the-post system is broken. It creates false majorities, exacerbates regional divisions and produces legislatures that don’t reflect the diversity of our country. We have a chance to get this right and we must seize the opportunity.
This means making sure every voter counts. The only way to do that – as well as advance the key first principle identified by Minister of Democratic Institutions Maryam Monsef to underpin the new system – is a proportional system. It’s the only way to ensure that votes are fairly translated into elected results so the system is effective and legitimate.
A proportional system also improves engagement and inclusiveness. Conversely, layering preferential (also known as ranked) ballots onto our current majoritarian system would just exacerbate the problems we have today.
Let’s get to work to build a fair, equal and engaging voting system. Let’s join the vast majority of OECD countries and introduce proportionality into our electoral system.