Rather than lead you through some long and possibly tedious arguments, I will lay out what I think Canada needs in a new electoral system.
There are, of course, a number of criteria that we take for granted because we live in one of the premier democracies of the world. The notion of full inclusion, ability to be free of intimidation while voting, and the freedom to independently choose how to vote are ingrained in the Canadian psyche.
- Canada needs representation which reflects, proportionally, the wishes of Canadians. That is to say, if 40% of the people share the vision of a particular party, then that party should get 40% of the seats in Parliament. Similiarly, if 10% of the people support another party, then that party should get 10% of the seats.
- Canadians need a system which is understandable, transparent and accountable. People want to know exactly how their vote is counted and to see where the power of their vote has gone.
- Canadians want to have some local accountability. Every voter wants to be able to access and speak with their local representative.
- Provinces and Territories want to ensure that they have adequate representation in any system.
- The Special Committee on Electoral Reform is charged with finding a new system which meets several broad criteria:
- Effectiveness and legitimacy – to improve public confidence, reduce distortions, link election results to voter intention;
- Engagement – to encourage voting, participate and collaboration;
- Accessibility and Inclusiveness – avoid undo complexity;
- Integrity – reliable and verifiable results;
- Local representation – accountability and sense of community.