Appendix 6: Values and Analysis Based on Five Key Consultative Processes

This appendix looks at Canadian values identified in five of the main consultative processes on electoral reform across the country in recent years and assesses whether they can be satisfactorily addressed under a made-in-Canada PR system as compared to a majoritarian system (FPTP or Alternative Vote).

These tables summarize the reasons why each of these processes chose some form of PR as their preferred option.

The five consultative processes in question are:

For more information on the evidence relating to families of systems based on comparative research, please see Appendix 1 of this Submission.

To hear the reflections of the non-partisan members of past consultation processes about why proportionality was so important to them, see “Appendix 7: Reflections from Participants of Past Processes”.

Law Commission of Canada (2004)

Value

Met by Proportional System

Met by Majoritarian System

Notes

Representation of parties (proportional representation)

YES

NO

PR systems may include a threshold but Law Commission did not recommend one

Demographic Representation

YES

NO

PR systems better reflect all diversity

Diverse Ideas

YES

NO

PR systems represent diverse ideas and media covers more diverse policy discussion

Geographic Representation

YES

YES

All PR systems for Canada keep local representation

Effective Government

YES

YES

Majority governments formed through majoritarian systems or PR systems are equally stable but PR systems represent voters accurately.

Accountable Government

YES

YES

Depends how you define accountability. A government only accountable to its base is not responsive to all Canadians

Effective Opposition

YES

YES

Opposition can often be seriously weakened in majoritarian systems. There have been elections in New Brunswick, PEI and BC where opposition was reduced to only one or two MPs or even completely eliminated.

Valuing Votes

YES

NO

About 52% of voters in the last federal election elected no-one.

Regional Balance

YES

NO

With PR systems, no single party can sweep every seat in a region – diversity is represented

Inclusive Decision Making

YES

NO

 

 

British Columbia Citizens’ Assembly (2004)

Value

Met by Proportional System

Met by Majoritarian System

Notes

Fair election result (proportional representation)

YES

NO

 

Effective Local Representation

YES

Partial

Under STV you receive a collection of local MPs. Under SMP, half the voters did not support MP

More Voter Choice

YES

NO

Choice of candidates of the same party

More Inclusive, Consensual Politics

YES

NO

 

 

Commission on Legislative Democracy – New Brunswick (2004)

Value

Met by Proportional System

Met by Majoritarian System

Notes

Fair Representation (PR, and better representation of women)

YES

NO

 

Equality of the Vote

YES

NO

 

Local Representation

YES

Partial

See above

Effective Government

YES

YES

 

 

Quebec Citizens’ Committee (2006)

Value

Met by Proportional System

Met by Majoritarian System

Notes

Equality of Votes, Wishes of Electorate (proportional representation)

YES

NO

 

Reflect Diversity of Ideas in Society

YES

NO

 

Maintain Current  Political Weight of Various Regions

YES

YES

Proportionality by separate regions in large provinces

 

Ontario Citizens’ Assembly (2007)

Value

Met by Proportional System

Met by Majoritarian System

Notes

Fair Election Results (proportional representation)

YES

NO

 

Legitimacy (of process and results)

YES

YES

 

Stable and Effective Government

YES

YES

 

Stronger Voter Participation

Possibly

NO

 

Accountability

YES

YES

 

Simplicity and Practicality

YES

YES

Over 80% of OECD countries use proportional ballots

Strong Local Representation

YES

Partial

 

To view our full brief submitted the Special Committee on Electoral reform, please visit: http://www.fairvote.ca/category/fvc-erre-submissions/

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