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voting reform

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

Harper’s parliamentary reforms could solve some problems—and cause others

Bruce M. Hicks

The Harper government has placed a bill before Parliament that would alter the formula for how seats are redistributed following the census. It would give Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia more seats in the House of Commons; naturally, Quebec and the Atlantic Canadian provinces are upset with this change as it diminishes their relative influence […] 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 »
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 »