Canada's 40th General Election has come and gone. Very little has changed with another Conservative minority government. The one lesson that has come out of this election, as with all recent Canadian elections, is that our electoral system is broken.
According to Fair Vote Canada, an organization pushing for proportional representation in Canadian elections:
The chief victims of the October 14 federal election were:
Green Party: 940,000 voters supporting the Green Party sent no one to Parliament, setting a new record for the most votes cast for any party that gained no parliamentary representation. By comparison, 813,000 Conservative voters in Alberta alone were able to elect 27 MPs.
Prairie Liberals and New Democrats: In the prairie provinces, Conservatives received roughly twice the vote of the Liberals and NDP, but took seven times as many seats.
Urban Conservatives: Similar to the last election, a quarter-million Conservative voters in Toronto elected no one and neither did Conservative voters in Montreal.
New Democrats: The NDP attracted 1.1 million more votes than the Bloc, but the voting system gave the Bloc 50 seats, the NDP 37.
Had the votes on October 14 been cast under a fair and proportional voting system, Fair Vote Canada projected that the seats allocation would have been approximately as follows:
- Conservatives - 38% of the popular vote: 117 seats (not 143)
- Liberals - 26% of the popular vote: 81 seats (not 76)
- NDP - 18% of the popular vote: 57 seats (not 37)
- Bloc - 10% of the popular vote: 28 seats (not 50)
- Greens - 7% of the popular vote: 23 seats (not 0)
It's amazing that all of Canada's political parties aren't pushing for a change to our electoral system. All of them lose under the current first-past-the-post system. Anything has to be better than the current system which encourages strategic voting and not being true to one's beliefs.
How many Canadians who might have voted Green or NDP voted Liberal strategically to prevent a Conservative majority?
So how are we going to fix this system? Good question. Well you can start by connecting with Fair Vote Canada and continuing to remind people about how the election could have gone. Then continue to badger your MP and MPP about supporting a new proportional system both federally and provincially.
It's not going to be easy but if we don't change it expect voting numbers to continue to drop. For this election, just 59.1 percent of eligible Canadian voters went to the polls, the lowest ever.
When one's vote is often wasted by our first-past-the-post system, can you blame them?
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