The election results in Canada were a big disappointment, and what is painfully obvious is the need to overhaul our electoral system.
The Conservatives only had 37.63% of the popular vote and ended up with 143 seats. The Liberals had 26.24% of the popular vote but only for 76 seats.
||Vote Share (%)
(First Past Post)
One of the r Canadian election process is that the First Past the Post system, which we currently use, encourages parties to concentrate their efforts in a small area. Take the Bloc Quebecois for example, with less than 10% of the populat vote, they get an incredible 60 seats in the house. Do you really think they have the interests of all Canadians in mind?
Another problem is that parties such as the Green Party, which has support “an inch deep and a mile wide”, get no seats because they don’t concentrate on one tiny area. You can see if we gave seats out as a potion of the popular vote then the Conservatives have 23 fewer seats, the BQ have 28 fewer and everyone else gains seats.
Personally I think we should switch to a popular vote system. One of the common objections is how do we decide which ridings end up represented by which party? I think the easiest solution is to say that MPs represent all Canadians, not their specific riding. This would also help keep nepotism to a minimum. Back when election results were being continuously published by the media throughout election day I would wait to see who Ontario voted for and then vote for the same party. The idea being I wanted my MP to be on the winning team. If he or she was on the majority then they would be in a better position to help my riding out.
The other thing we could do is allow the parties to put forth the list of names in order of members they would put in power should they win. Similar to the batting order in pro baseball. This way voters know in advance who the parties would put forth and it would force parties to put their best people first.
One of the biggest advantages of the popular vote is that every vote counts. Even the fringe votes will mean something. People will be able to vote for who they really want, and not need to strategically vote to prevent the person they don’t want from getting office.
This also means parties without a concentrated base will gain seats. For example the Green Party received no seats in this election but would end up with 22 seats in the popular vote system.
The other thing I would implement is a penalty for not voting. Make it small, like a $10 fine. Democracy is not a right, and it is not a privilege. It is something that we have worked hard for and every Canadian has an obligation to do their part.