The Government’s only legitimate option is Proportional Representation (PR)

By Kelly Carmichael
October 19, 2016

  In his election promise and on behalf of his party, Justin Trudeau pledged “We will make every vote count.” Politicians who oppose this promise now try to claim it is not legitimate. ”Democracy is not about politicians, it’s about …

A referendum on the voting system would be undemocratic and immoral

By Kelly Carmichael
October 17, 2016

Conservatives and their media supporters have spent the summer beating the referendum drum, insisting than any change to Canada’s voting system must be approved by the electorate in a national vote. A referendum on the voting system would be both undemocratic and immoral. The process violates more important democratic principles. Continue reading

FVC: Submission to the Special Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reform

By Kelly Carmichael
August 19, 2016

SUMMARY This submission covers the case for proportional representation (PR); a values-based approach to reform; and options for a made-in-Canada solution. We believe that the meaningful choice facing the ERRE is to recommend the best PR option for Canada. Emphasizing …

Appendix 1: A Look at the Evidence

By Kelly Carmichael
August 19, 2016

Why Proportional Representation? This appendix summarizes results from comparative research comparing the performance of the two main families of voting systems: winner-take-all and proportional representation (PR). We already know that PR is a way of ensuring that all votes count …

Appendix 2: Myths and Facts about PR

By Kelly Carmichael
August 19, 2016

As the all-party committee consults with Canadians about which values and features are important to them in a new electoral system, it is to the benefit of everyone to ground the conversation in facts. Will MPs be “appointed and unaccountable”? …

Appendix 3: Most Democracies Moving To PR

By Kelly Carmichael
August 19, 2016

In 2005, Joseph Colomer looked at 219 elections in 87 countries from 1874 on and found that the trend over time was clearly towards proportional representation. He writes that today, “more than four-fifths of today’s democracies in countries with more …

Appendix 4: Electoral Systems and Incumbency

By Kelly Carmichael
August 19, 2016

A weakness of winner-take-all systems is that small swings in popular support can cause huge changes in outcomes, resulting in policy lurch. Similarly, a bandwagon effect can result in the accidental defeat of popular MPs. This leads us to ask …

Appendix 5: Electoral Reform Timetable

By Kelly Carmichael
August 19, 2016

FVC has been paying close attention to the electoral reform timetable because most PR reform options would require some degree of redistricting. The Liberal platform promised to enact electoral reform legislation doing away with FPTP within 18 months. Taking this …

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

By Kelly Carmichael
August 19, 2016

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 …

Appendix 7: Reflections on Past Processes

By Kelly Carmichael
August 19, 2016

Shoni Field, former member of the BC Citizens’ Assembly, 2004 In January 2004, I embarked on a precedent setting, year-long process with 159 of my fellow citizens to examine whether B.C.’s current electoral system served us well. I was very …

Appendix 8: Democratic Nominations

By Kelly Carmichael
August 19, 2016

Carolyn Bennett wrote as long ago as 2001 that: Electoral reform can only be successful in concert with renewed democracy between elections, parliamentary reform and party reform… Political parties must be democratic organizations. On March 3, 2011, in the House …

Appendix 9: Statement by FVC’s Rural and Small-Urban Caucus

By Kelly Carmichael
August 19, 2016

This portion of the submission was developed independently by Fair Vote Canada’s rural and small-urban caucus, which consists of Canadians living in rural or small urban areas of Nova Scotia, PEI, Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia …

Appendix 10: Made-in-Canada MMP

By Kelly Carmichael
August 19, 2016

A widely-supported option for Canada Internationally, MMP has been used in Germany since the mid-1940s, in New Zealand since 1994, and for parliamentary elections in Scotland and Wales since 1999. In 1998, the Jenkins Commission recommended a moderately proportional form …