A potential way forward on electoral reform in Canada

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Brendan Edge


Tommy Douglas often used the “Mouseland” analogy when discussing parliament. The tale described a land, like Canada, peopled by mice, but which kept electing cats (first black, then white, then both, and finally a multitude of varieties) to serve in parliament. Recently discussions of a reformed electoral system came to a standstill once again in Canada, with the major political parties unable to come to an agreement on a method of reform. The status quo leaves countless Canadians underrepresented; least of all those who voted for candidates or a party which didn’t win. I offer a solution, a uniquely Canadian compromise which offers each major political party what it desires, while borrowing and building on the better components of other electoral systems of the present and past. An increased number of seats in Parliament will see 2/3 representing individual ridings across Canada, and the remaining 1/3 representing proportional seats for each province; no province will have fewer seats. There will also be 18 Indigenous Districts and 15 Collegiate (Youth) districts across the country. Following two election cycles under such a system, a referendum, separate from any election will be held, with a simple question regarding maintaining the new system or returning to the old. Nearly completed, and ready to be submitted to Parliamentarians, I’ll elaborate on how the proposed system would work, why I chose it, and why we should give it serious thought.

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