Electoral Reform in Canada Essay

Electoral Reform in Canada Essay

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Since party politics began in Canada, the style in which leaders are elected is comparable to a horse race. Using the single member plurality (SMP), more commonly referred to as “first past the post,” method of seat allocation in both the House of Commons and each province's Legislative Assembly, whoever gets the most votes is asked to form the government; this only takes into accounts the number of seats a party wins, not the overall popular vote. In a political system not limited to two parties, like the United States, many times over 50% of Canadians do not want the party that won, to win. In this current electoral system, votes are wasted, smaller parties are terribly misrepresented and, in some cases, a party with a lower percent of the vote has come into power. Already, three provinces have attempted to vote on electoral reform; however, the vote did not pass in any of them. British Columbia (BC) and Prince Edward Island (PEI) both held their first referendum on the subject in 2005, BC's second referendum was held in 2009. Also, Ontario held their referendum in 2007. Because none of the referendums passed, it is clear that Canadians are not quite ready for electoral reform. Regardless, it is evident that a spark has ignited in the brains of citizens nation-wide; with recurring evidence that suggests the current electoral system horribly represents the majority of Canadian citizens, the public is beginning to realize that there is something terribly wrong.
The SMP method of voting is what is now used in all Canadian Legislative Assemblies and the House of Commons. During a provincial election, each province is separated into electoral districts. The area allocated to each district is determined, largely, by population densi...


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