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Canada's Electoral System

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It has become widely accepted that Canada uses a first past the post electoral system. However, this system may not be in the best interest of Canada any more. There are many reasons why Canada should change its electoral system to a mixed member proportional one, a variant of proportional representation. With a first past the post system, the elected officials will always be of the majority and this excludes minorities from fair representation. Adopting MMP can create stronger voter turnouts, more personal campaigning, better individual representation, and better party selection. John Hiemstra and Harold Janson, are both in favour of a MMP electoral system. They understand that with the switch, the citizens will get more representation in parliament, their preferred choice will have some say in the House of Commons, and finally someone can be held accountable which creates a closer knit between citizens and Members of Parliament. Nelson Wiseman argues against the MMP system because he feels that there is nothing to be fixed in Canada. If the current system has been working well thus far, there is no need to change it. MMP would allow smaller parties to have their voices heard. Unfortunately first past the post tends to have an over representation of regional parties; contrary to first past the post system, MMP lets Canadians have advocates and legislators who the majority of citizens agree with. Another advantage of MMP is the elimination of strategic voting. With MMP people can finally vote for who they want to rather than choose who the majority may prefer. A change in the electoral system of Canada will create a more fair and just Parliament governing the citizens.

Nelson Wiseman feels that many are unaware of the complexity...

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...ess back to the citizens.

Proportional representation is almost always acknowledged as the fairest electoral system. With this in mind, many still reject a mixed member proportional system. Critics argue that the current method has produced a stable and effective government, while MMP would create an ineffective government. Wiseman feels that since Canada has been consistently stable, our electoral system does not need to be changed. Hiemstra and Jansen disagree with the plurality system that is currently in place for it does not produce fair representation and devalues citizen’s votes. Canadians must make a choice between the value of effectiveness and the values of justice and equity. Although a switch is not anticipated in the near future, Canadian citizens can hope that it is at least in the minds of many voters and on the discussion list of the government.
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