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Electoral reform in Canada: Your suggestions

Categories: Canada, Politics


A proposal to reform the U.K.'s electoral system looks like it's headed for defeat, the Guardian reported Friday.

An estimated 18.6 million citizens voted Thursday in a referendum on whether to ditch the first-past-the-post process in favour of the alternative vote (AV) system.

Under the AV method, voters would rank candidates according to preference, and could rank as many or as few candidates as they wish.

The Guardian website reported at 7:17 p.m. local time that early voting results indicated about 68 per cent of voters are opposed to making the switch.

The Community team asked you whether you believe Canada's electoral system needs reform. As of Friday 2 p.m. ET, more than 4,300 votes were cast in our online survey. About 88 per cent of respondents said we do need reform and should do away with first-past-the-post.

But what should we replace it with? Readers weighed in with numerous suggestions on what reforms they want to see.

One of the most popular suggestions was for Canada to switch to a type of proportional representation voting system.

"Canada needs to adopt proportional representation or mixed-member proportional representation, as well as democratizing the Senate with one of those systems,"
marcperrot wrote.

Selidor thinks the AV system proposed in the U.K. referendum "would be a pretty good option."

Facebook user Kerry McKeown agreed. "It's a majoritarian system that allows voters to rank their preferences and ensures the winner has a majority of support."

bdu1148 offered a few recommendations.

"To work the way it was designed, the Canadian Parliamentary system needs:

1) A lower house in which the elected representatives look after the concerns and wishes of their constituents, NOT the desires of the powerful within the party caucus, and

2) An upper house (Senate) with an equal number of elected representatives from each province to oversee/advise/suggest modifications to the bills presented to them by the lower house based on regional concerns, not party lines.

3) An electorate who are actually taught how our system is supposed to work (primarily that we elect the best representative from our riding, not a prime minister).

Meanwhile, Norfin would like to see recall legislation to all provinces and territories. "I'm sure Quebec would be in favour!!"

We received other electoral reform suggestions and we've compiled them in an online survey. Let us know what kind of changes you want to see or if you're satisfied with the electoral system as it is.
(This survey is not scientific. It is based on readers' responses.)

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