Electoral reform in B.C. won’t enable the far right

No electoral system has a monopoly on either preventing or fostering far right parties

Electoral reform in B.C. won’t enable the far rightBy Seth Klein and Vyas Saran Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives Endlessly repeating that proportional representation should be rejected because it will enable far right or extremist political parties is clearly a core assertion of the No side in B.C.’s electoral reform referendum debate. It’s a bogus claim. No electoral system has a monopoly on either…

Electoral reform actually enhances local representation

In all three models being considered in the B.C. referendum, every MLA will be accountable to either a local riding or region

Electoral reform actually enhances local representationLocal representation in our democracy matters to most of us, and rightly so. While our current first-past-the-post (FPTP) electoral system has many faults, one of its most popular features is that every member of the legislative assembly represents – and, in theory, is accountable to – a local constituency. To speak with a political representative…

The compelling arguments against electoral reform in B.C.

Former NDP Premiers Glen Clark and Ujjal Dosanjh may be against electoral reform, but retired lawyer Ian MacLeod expresses his opposition best

The compelling arguments against electoral reform in B.C.We’re in the midst of a mail-in referendum in British Columbia that could dramatically change – and not for the better – how democracy does or doesn’t work in the province. We should really suspect that something is wrong with the proposed changes when people from both major political parties are opposed to the initiative,…

Proportional representation a perfect example of loser take all

Replacing the existing system with proportional representation will result in a government of chaos

Proportional representation a perfect example of loser take allThe B.C. referendum on how citizens elect those who govern them is fast approaching. The current system has given us viable government for a long time. But like most things in the real world, it’s not perfect. Those who live in a riding that’s considered safe for a party other than the one they choose…

Proportional representation breeds unstable governments

B.C.’s electoral reform referendum could lead to more shaky coalitions and less effective government

Proportional representation breeds unstable governmentsSome see the upcoming B.C. referendum on electoral reform – whether the province should switch to a proportional representation (PR) voting system – as a blatant attempt by the B.C. Green Party to secure more power. While it’s clear that under any form of PR, the Greens could increase their seat share, there would also…

How much does your vote really count?

Ontario’s recent election results signal Canada’s wider democratic dilemma 

How much does your vote really count?Ontario’s June election was one for change and Doug Ford's Progressive Conservatives emerged the victors. Unfortunately, many voters believe their vote didn’t count. Thanks to our first-past-the-post (FPTP) electoral system, they’re right. Once again, there’s an overwhelming majority provincial government in Canada elected by a minority of voters. Just over 40 per cent of voters supported Ford's Progressive Conservatives.…

Fairness should be at the heart of electoral reform

Every argument in favour of our current flawed system is either easily rebutted or simply untrue

Fairness should be at the heart of electoral reformIn a recent address on proportional representation (PR), Guy Giorno, one of Stephen Harper’s former strategists, said, “The unassailable moral high ground we (supporters of PR) hold is the people and a result that fairly reflects their will.” This caused me to pause and reflect. I’ve long been a supporter of PR and now I…

B.C. moves to embrace the essence of good government

As our country has evolved, dialogue is encouraged in education and the media, but is stymied in our highest law-making institutions

B.C. moves to embrace the essence of good government“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Though the origin of this statement is debated, its essence beautifully summarizes the ideals of our democracy and the importance of freedom of speech. While I have my opinions on certain issues, I thoroughly enjoy and appreciate…

B.C. democratic reform neither simple nor straightforward

Referendum may grant more power to B.C. politicians and bureaucrats, at democracy’s expense

B.C. democratic reform neither simple nor straightforwardThis fall, British Columbians will vote on what system they prefer for provincial elections. But far too much uncertainty surrounds all the potential choices. The mail-in referendum ballot will give voters two choices: B.C.’s current first-past-the-post system or proportional representation. A secondary question will ask: If adopted, what type of proportional representation system would you…

The Liberal’s lukewarm shift toward electoral reform

The Trudeau government’s belated commitment to election law revisions is welcome, if far short of earlier promises

The Liberal’s lukewarm shift toward electoral reformThe recent introduction by the federal government of Bill C 76, meant to overhaul Canada’s Election Act, raises the question: Is a belated commitment to improving electoral democracy better than no commitment at all? The answer has to be yes. However, the Liberals have been conspicuously ambivalent and lukewarm on electoral reform during their time…

Leave our electoral system alone

British Columbians are being asked, for the third time, to vote on drastic electoral changes. It would be a mistake

Leave our electoral system aloneAmericans look upon their government to ensure them life, liberty and the chance to pursue happiness. In Canada, peace, order and good government are what we expect from our leaders. For the last 150 years that is what we have received. Canada is one of the best countries in the world to live because we…

A two-step approach to electoral reform

One referendum, with little public education, is not enough. Voters need to have full knowledge of the consequences of their choices

A two-step approach to electoral reformIn its haste to change the way we vote, British Columbia’s new government has created an unnecessarily short timeline. While advocates for reform think the speedy process will help their cause, it’s more likely to result in another failed attempt at changing the way representatives are selected. The government’s public consultation campaign on the referendum…

‘None of the above’ should be a valid ballot choice

Voters should be given the opportunity to say none of the options are acceptable. It could lay the foundation for a stronger democracy

‘None of the above’ should be a valid ballot choiceImagine holding an election in which no one wins. When none of the candidates meet our expectations, it’s an appealing idea. How often have each of us looked at the choices on the ballot, sighed and asked ourselves, “Is this the best we can do?” Having nothing but poor choices can lead to a sense…

Shining a light on the dark side of municipal campaign financing

By informing the public about who provided campaign support before the election, the public can watch for any favoritism after

Shining a light on the dark side of municipal campaign financingAnyone who has been involved in municipal politics – at least over the past couple of decades – has heard virtually every candidate say they support increased transparency. Why do they say this and then not follow through? Transparency makes the democratic process work better because the public can understand, and then react to the…

Time to question foreign influence on Canada’s oil debate

The Dogwood Initiative, Leadnow, and Greenpeace receive substantial funding from a U.S. advocacy group called Tides

Time to question foreign influence on Canada’s oil debateWith the kids back to school and Thanksgiving now behind us, for Canadian households the fall season brings a few things back into sharp focus. We all have bills to pay, careers to foster, aging parents and extended family (sometimes on the other side of the world) to support. And now there’s one more thing…