Our 2019 Election Plan
No single party with 39% of the vote should get 100% of the power. Your vote should count.
In 2019, we can elect MPs who will get proportional representation back on the table!
Fair Vote Canada’s goal is to help elect more pro-PR MPs to parliament. In the event of a minority government situation, we would like to see those holding the balance of power make proportional representation a condition for supporting the government.
Our plan has four elements:
Make Justin Trudeau’s broken promise, and the need for proportional representation, an issue across Canada this election—in the media, on social media, at election debates in every riding. Be part of the PR team!
Endorse candidates in every riding who will champion proportional representation. We’ll be endorsing candidates whose party has a strong position on proportional representation and/or the candidate has taken personal action for PR. Stay tuned!
We’re calling for a National Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform. We will call on the government to hand the process over to a representative assembly of citizens who can be trusted because they have no personal stake in the result. Read about our call for a National Citizens’ Assembly on this special page!
Our Target Ridings
In 2019, Fair Vote Canada will be focusing on making Justin Trudeau’s broken promise on electoral reform a key election issue across the country.
We’ll be focusing resources on a limited number of “target ridings” where we can help a pro-PR MP win, or hold the seat. Here is the tentative list of ridings.
If you would like to help in one of these ridings – or any other riding across the country – we want to hear from you!
In 2015, three parties – the Liberals, the NDP and the Greens, representing 63% of voters – promised that if elected, 2015 would be the last election under first-past-the-post.
The NDP and Greens promised to implement proportional representation.
The Liberals promised to end first-past-the-post, listen to expert advice and follow evidence-based policy on electoral reform, and to “make every vote count.”
Results and Outcome of the ERRE (Electoral Reform) Committee
Between June and December 2016, an all-party committee on electoral reform (ERRE) held meetings in Ottawa and in 19 locations across Canada, hearing from hundreds of experts from Canada and around the world and thousands of citizens, in person and online.
MPs also held town halls, Minister of Democratic Institutions Maryam Monsef held a cross-country tour, and citizens held community forums.
The results of consultations showed that 88% of the expert witnesses and 87% of the citizens who testified recommended Canada adopt a system of proportional representation. This was consistent with the recommendations of 13 previous commissions, assemblies or committees.
Finding no willingness from the Liberal members on the ERRE to keep their own promise, the NDP and Green Party members joined with the Conservatives in recommending a referendum on proportional representation in the committee’s report, in an effort to find a majority consensus and keep the conversation alive. This was a desperate bid, considering that most of the expert witnesses were against a referendum.
However, the day the ERRE’s report was released, the five Liberal members held a press conference recommending that the Liberal Party break its own promise to Canadians. Justin Trudeau reassured Canadians that he was still on track to keep his promise, but two months later, on February 1, 2017, the new Minister of Democratic Institutions Karina Gould informed the press that changing Canada’s electoral system would not be in her mandate. The Liberal promise to end first-past-the-post and make every vote count in time for 2019 was being dropped. Justin Trudeau declared shortly afterwards that this was “my choice to make.”
Nation-wide protests followed , the tone of which is well illustrated in the above video.
In May 2017, the NDP put the report of the ERRE to a vote in the House of Commons. The vote was a final effort to give MPs themselves a chance to speak up and re-open the conversation.
In advance of the vote, Fair Vote Canada commissioned the largest poll ever of Canadians on this topic—a sample of over 15,000 people in 20 Liberal ridings and elsewhere. The poll results showed a strong majority of constituents wanted the Liberals to keep their promise and wanted their own MP to stand up for it.
Unfortunately, every Liberal MP present except two (Nathaniel Erskine Smith and Sean Casey) voted no. NDP, Green and Conservative MPs present all voted yes. The motion failed, based on the Liberals’ Parliamentary majority.
What Justin Trudeau really wanted was another winner-take-all system. In June 2017, Justin Trudeau admitted that despite his own campaign promises and reassurances to the contrary, he had always opposed any form of proportional representation and was only ever willing to consider what he calls the “preferential ballot,” which is to the system normally referred to as the Alternative Vote.
Although ranked ballots can be used as a feature of proportional systems, Alternative Vote is a winner-take-all system supported by only 4% of experts who testified to the ERRE. Expert testimony and simulation work have shown that the Alternative Vote would have given the Liberal Party an even bigger false majority in 2015 (213 seats instead of 184).