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:



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.)


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.