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electoral reform

Will California-style "voter recall" legislation catch on in Canada?

dylan c. robertson

You can vote a politician in, but wouldn’t it be fun to vote one out? Well you can — in the US, in Switzerland, in Venezuela, and even in BC. Voter recall—known in political science as a citizens’ initiative—is best known for taking place in the basketcase democracy that is California. In 2003 the “Dump Davis” campaign was launched a […] More »

Some worthwhile reads to mark International Women's Day

Graham F. Scott

Since today marks the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, we wanted to highlight some recent stuff that’s appeared in This and elsewhere on the subject of gender justice and equality. Emma Woolley at Shameless has provided a comprehensive overview of why International Women’s Day still matters. The upshot is that while the last century […] More »
January-February 2011

Forget mandatory voting. Canada should be paying people to go to the polls

Bruce M. Hicks

From the Second World War until the end of the 20th century, roughly 75 percent of eligible voters consistently cast ballots in federal elections. During the Jean Chrétien era, however, that number began to drop and has been declining ever since. There are many theories as to why this is the case: the increased frequency […] More »
July-August 2010

3 alternative voting systems in use today around the world

Graham F. Scott

Proportional representation comes in, well, not quite 31 flavours, but it’s a lot. There’s more than one way to elect an MP! Party List System In list systems, parties put forward a list of candidates, and voters cast a ballot for one party and its slate of individuals. Seats are allocated to parties based on […] More »
July-August 2010

British coalition preps for 2011 voting reform referendum

Jesse Mintz

Previously in our special week on electoral reform: Parliament needs women and proportional representation is the solution (to which this article was a sidebar); and our interview with Judy Rebick. Electoral reform is on the agenda in the U.K. following the May election that saw the creation of the first British coalition government in more than […] More »
July-August 2010

Q&A with Judy Rebick: “We have one of the least democratic systems in the world”

Paul McLaughlinWebsite

The recent U.K. election has raised the issue of electoral reform there, as the Liberal Democratic party made it a condition for propping up the Conservative government. This spoke to social activist Judy Rebick, who is a member of Fair Vote Canada, about her group’s campaign to bring some form of proportional representation to Canada. […] More »
July-August 2010

Another reason for voting reform: Parliament needs women

Katie Addleman

Canada has shockingly few female legislators. Our electoral system is broken. Voting reform could fix both problems at once. One Thursday last spring, an Angolan MP named Faustina Fernandes Inglês de Almeida Alves addressed an assembly at United Nations Headquarters in New York City. Those present—members of the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the UN Division for […] More »

Wednesday WTF: Britain can do coalition government. Why can't we?

jesse mintz

Britain’s five days of post-election limbo are over as David Cameron, Conservative Party leader and now Prime Minister, announced Britain’s first peacetime coalition government since the 1930s.  Ushering in an era of cross-bench unity, Cameron’s Conservatives will join forces with Nick Clegg’s Liberal Democratic Party.  Cameron has appointed six Liberal Democrats to the cabinet, including […] More »
March-April 2010

How the Communist Party changed Canadian elections forever

Eric Rail

“Working people did not cause this crisis … and we won’t pay for it!” These words were printed in bright red letters on a flyer recently published by the Communist Party of Canada as part of its effort to raise public awareness about the root causes of the global economic crisis. The flyer sat atop […] More »
November-December 2009

How to bring democracy back to Alberta

Lindsay Kneteman

There’s voter apathy and then there’s Alberta. In the 2008 provincial election, a mere 41 percent of eligible voters came out. The provincial Conservative government went on to claim a historic 11th straight victory, a win that Athabasca University history professor Alvin Finkel believes was the result of Albertans not believing that there’s a viable […] More »
March-April 2009

Baffled at the Ballot Box

Bruce M. Hicks

In 1864, Thomas Hare argued at the Association Internationale pour le Progrès des Sciences Sociales meeting in Amsterdam that proportional representation — in which parliamentary seats are awarded based on political parties’ share of the popular vote — was a much fairer system than the “single member plurality” system being used in his home country […] More »