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132 political scientists call for action on the democratic deficit
Jan 5, 2010
As the controversy over the proroguing of Parliament continues, Fair Vote Canada announced today that 132 Canadian political scientists from 36 universities and colleges have co-signed a statement calling for federal electoral reform within the next five years.
Among the 132 political scientists signing the statement are 10 professors emerti, the President-elect of the Canadian Political Science Association (CPSA), six former presidents of CPSA, the current Secretary General of the International Political Science Association (IPSA) and a former Secretary General of IPSA.
“In recent days, editorial writers and political commentators have focused on the key role of the House of Commons – and opposition parties in particular – which is to hold the government to account,” said Bronwen Bruch, President of Fair Vote Canada, a national citizens’ campaign for electoral reform. “While we join those condemning the inappropriate shut-down of the Parliament, an even bigger obstacle to democratically accountable government is our antiquated voting system that creates an unrepresentative and unstable House of Commons. First-past-the-post usually creates either “majority” governments that the majority voted against, or unstable minority governments where any party nearing 40 per cent in the polls has incentive to pull the plug in hope of winning an undeserved majority of seats.”
The political scientists’ statement says:
Canada is now faced with a significant democracy deficit, illustrated by unstable short-sighted minority governments, superficial partisan posturing, steadily declining voter turnout and, most disturbing, an increasing majority of younger Canadians who see little value in voting or engaging in electoral politics.
As political scientists at Canadian universities and colleges across the country, we believe Canada can no longer afford to ignore the urgent need for electoral reform. We need an inclusive and functioning representative democracy based on a fair and proportional voting system.
We call on the Prime Minister and leaders of all parliamentary parties to set aside partisan interests and together support a substantive program to engage Canadians in a national discussion on: 1) fair voting principles – voter equality, proportional results and the formation of governments whose policies reflect the majority of voters, and 2) the various types of fair voting systems based on those principles.
We call on the government to engage experts, consult widely with citizens, and implement a Canadian version of a more proportional and fair voting system within the next five years.
|political scientists statement and signers.pdf||207.78 KB|