To determine the best model of Proportional Representation for Canada, while respecting the need for all MPs to face the voters
and be accountable to voters, we call on federal parties and candidates to commit to:
- Conducting a citizen-led consultation process immediately following the next federal election.
- Implementing the model in time for the following election.
Click on a Canadian to see why Fair Voting is an integral part of Democracy
My parents were born and raised in Canada, yet they couldn’t vote till after World War II because they were of Japanese extraction, so I value the right to vote. I have voted in every federal election since I reached adulthood and have never voted for the party that formed government. We desperately need proportional representation so that a diversity of values and perspectives may be elected.
MP Saanich Gulf Islands
Leader of the Green Party of Canada
The vast majority of modern democracies use one form or another of proportional representation, that gets higher voter turnout, higher levels of women in political office, and more diverse ethnicity within Parliaments. First-past-the-post is a perverse system. It is tearing this country apart.
Leader of the Official Opposition
In a democracy, every vote should count. It’s as simple as that. But sadly, in our outdated, winner-take-all electoral system, that isn’t the case. It’s a system that allows parties to wield majority control with a minority of votes – and as a result, the voices of many Canadians just aren’t heard. It doesn’t have to be this way. For decades, New Democrats have fought for fair and proportional voting system. And we’ll continue to lead the fight to modernize our electoral system – so that parliament finally reflects your will.
Nobel Laureate and Member of the BC Legislature
When you have a system of proportional representation, you’re forced into a situation where you have to work with others, and that’s what I think voters would like to see more of.
Former Prime Minister of Canada, quoted in the Leader Post, 1979
[I]t will be even more difficult for the federal government to speak in the name of the nation and form national policy [unless Canada adopts a more proportional voting system].
Canadians need to know that their votes will really count. This means moving beyond our first past the post system.
Retired Civil Servant
"We live in a representative democracy, so for the voting process to be meaningful, a vote has to buy a measure of representation. Our current system fails us in this respect. I can't remember when I achieved anything by voting. That is the harsh reality. It makes me angry, and it's no wonder that two thirds of young people don't bother to vote. PR may not solve all our problems, but it will give people a reason to vote. What could be more basic and important than that for the health of our democracy?"
Réal Lavergne lives in Ottawa and is a recently retired civil servant. He made his career in the field of international development. In retirement, he has started to focus his energy on the issue of electoral reform in Canada.
“Most of us exercise democracy as members of a committee or group, when we vote at our condominium board meeting, admit a new member to our golf club, or decide to go on strike. We accept the decision of the 51% even if we do not agree with it. So why is it that, when we make that most vital decision of electing MPs, whose decisions control our very lives, we accept a government chosen by 39% of voters?”
Qais Ghanem is a retired neurologist, now author of 5 books, newspaper columnist and radio host. Optional: He supports democracy, social justice and human rights.
Retired Unitarian Minister
I have been voting in Federal, Provincial and Municipal elections since I was 18, and almost never have I actually voted for the person who ultimately represented me. Lately I haven’t even felt free to vote for the person who most closely represented my views. We always seem to be caught in strategic voting to vote for the person who will cause the least harm rather than voting for building the kind of community or country that we want. I’m tired of elections being about absolute power for somebody to then implement some agenda that they never even mentioned during the election campaign. I want to change the quality of the conversation in politics. I hope that Proportional Representation will ensure that all voices are at the table and parties will need to treat each other with respect and cooperate with each other in order to move the country forward.
Frances Deverell is a retired Unitarian minister now volunteering in the community. She works to raise awareness about the importance of taking action on climate change by making the transition to renewable energy. She believes to make fundamental changes like this, we also need electoral reform.
Co-founder Idle No More and Defenders of the Land
Overwhelmingly, Canadians feel the current government do not represent their best interests, yet they claimed a majority government with less than 40% of the vote. With spiralling social and environmental crisis both locally and globally, there is an urgency to mend the skepticism towards democracy, and one such way is by implementing proportional representation.
National Chairperson, Council of Canadians
Greater equality among citizens, fairer trade, protecting Canada’s environment, water, and social safety net for the generations to come – these are all issues Canadians care deeply about. Proportional representation is a fundamental key to achieving progress. Making every vote count will give us all a voice in shaping Canada’s future.
Senator, Conservative Party of Canada
PR would mean my vote would be counted. This is vital to feminists and democracy.
Liberal Democratic Reform Critic, former Liberal Leader
Our current voting system is weakening Canada’s cohesion. Changes need to be made to the voting rules. My proposal for a combination of moderate proportional representation and preferential ballot would change these voting rules for the better.
Q.C. Author, lawyer, and Progressive-Conservative Member of Parliament (1984-1993)
Why not turn the theory of representative government into reality? Legislatures that reflect citizens’ values, in proportion to how we vote in elections, can help make balance, moderation, diversity, inclusiveness, and maturity the refreshing new hallmarks of Canadian democracy.
Official Opposition Critic for Parliamentary and Democratic Reform
In the next federal election, the NDP will be asking Canadians to elect a government that can be trusted to spearhead real reform of Canada’s electoral system. Real reform means introducing an element of proportional representation in a way that allows every Canadian’s vote to truly count. Until the next election I will be conducting a cross-Canada tour to help Canadians better understand Mixed Member Proportional Representation and to seek their views on the concrete features that will be needed for an MMP system to be suited to Canada’s context.