Almost one million Canadians voted for the Green Party in the last federal election without electing a single Green MP. Our electoral system unfairly punishes Conservative voters in cities, Liberal and NDP voters in the west, and Green voters throughout Canada. Our system also elects far more men then women and gives some provinces an unfair share of power, based on their population, compared to others. It does not produce governments that reflect the diversity of people in Canada, nor does it do a good job of accurately reflecting voters’ wishes. Canada is one of the last few parliamentary democracies in the world to still use the antiquated first-past-the-post voting system, and Canadians are ready for positive change.
The Green Party of Canada believes that Canadian democracy would benefit by reducing the financial barriers to running for political office, lowering the voter age to encourage more youth participation, and changing to a voting system that more fairly translates peoples’ votes into representation in Parliament.
The Green Party would create a Citizens’ Assembly to study electoral systems used around the world, with a view to designing several models that are proportional and fairer than our current system. The recommendations of the Citizens Assembly would be presented as options to Canadian voters.
Canadians could then have a ballot question at the next federal election on whether they want to change our voting system and which one of the options prepared by the Citizens’ Assembly they prefer. The threshold for the ballot question to change our voting system should be fifty per cent plus one.