To Reform or Not to Reform; That is the Election Question!

Many of us at the Maples Met School have been learning about Parliamentary democracy and how Canadians and Manitobans govern themselves. We have learned that our democratic tradition comes from the Westminster model, or from Great Britain. We have a bicameral system federally, where we have the House of Commons (elected) and the Senate (appointed) as part of Parliament. Manitoba got rid of its upper house at the end of the 19th century.

Over the past few decades and certainly more recently, there has been a great deal of talk in Canada about electoral reform. As we discussed a few weeks ago, our electoral system is a First Past The Post system (FPTP). This means that within each riding or constituency, the person that wins simply needs to get the most votes.

Here is a great explanation of how FPTP works:

Here is a great application made through ArcGIS which illustrates the difference between the number of seats won and the popular vote in the last four elections:

canada_s_federal_elections__2000_to_2015_

 

Many Canadians feel that the FPTP system is not fair to smaller parties like the Green Party,the Bloc and even the NDP, as these parties get a lot of votes, but they don’t translate into seats. Some people are advocating for a system of proportional representation, where some representatives are elected based on the popular vote.

In Manitoba, there have been many people who have been advocating for a system of proportional representation. Here is a very interesting article from the CBC looking at how the last provincial election might have been more representative of the popular vote if PR was in place. (PEI is currently contemplating PR.)

electoral_reform_in_manitoba__different_system_would_bring_very_different_results_-_manitoba_-_cbc_news

Taken from CBC Manitoba

What do you think? Should Canada and Manitoba reform their respective electoral systems? Feel free to respond below or via social media using #DoNowReform.

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5 thoughts on “To Reform or Not to Reform; That is the Election Question!

  1. Yes, I think Canada and Manitoba should reform the electoral systems because, the current system is not fair and there will always be the majority that didn’t want the winning party to win. They should be able to give a second vote to make it more accurate of who the citizens want.

  2. I agree that Canada and Manitoba should reform their respective electoral system. The current system right now is not that fair, one party literally almost has all the chairs in the legislature. (40 chairs) which really isn’t that fair since it leaves some parties with no chairs, or barely any, unlike if it was a proportional representation voting system. All parties would be able to have some chairs and the parties could have a say in what happens in the legislature. It makes the system more fair when the voters are able to have a second vote so the parties are able to have a spot in the manitoba legislature building. So I agree that Canada should reform their voting system so it is more fair for the other parties and so the other parties won’t go over the opposition side when it belongs to the government side.

  3. Yes, i think that Canada and Manitoba should reform their electoral system.
    It’s not fair that one party takes up more than their fare share of seats and what’s the point of elections if no matter what, majority of citizens will be unhappy because more than half of us don’t even want the winning party.
    I think that it’s a great idea to be able to choose two parties, because then we can more accurately give the citizens what they want.

  4. Yes, Canada and Manitoba should reform their respectful electoral systems. Since the larger party has more seats, it is an disadvantage to the smaller party. Which makes voting unfair, they should reform and proportion the seats out to make voting more equal to all parties.

  5. Well, Yes I do believe that Canada should change their electoral systems. This will at least give smaller parties a chance to win some seats and have a chance to speak. With a different system that gives seats with the correct proportions with the popular votes, this will definitely be a lot more fair and more sense on how electoral systems work.

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