How did you celebrate September's Democracy Week? Elections Canada's 2013 theme, "Connect with Democracy," was "about connecting with people, places and information that help broaden your understanding of why democracy and voting are so important." While connecting is important, our electoral system is short circuiting us.
Canada is one of the few remaining democracies wired with the First-Past-the-Post (FPTP) system. When we had only two parties, FPTP did deliver the power to a majority winner, but we now have more than two parties. Over 80 democracies utilize proportional representation (PR) to send power along multiple party circuits fairly.
The difference between FPTP and PR can be illustrated with a chocolate bar election featuring Aero, Crunchie, Mars, and Snickers on the ballot. Imagine we have nine seats and 100 votes. In FPTP as few as 33 voters would make Mars the winner of all nine seats leaving 67 voters—Aero (32), Snickers (22) and Crunchie (13) without even a taste of power.
With PR, the number of seats for each party would be in proportion to the number of votes received—Mars and Aero three each, Snickers two and Crunchie one.
Civilizations rise with equality and fairness, and fall when inequality and unfairness become unbearable. This pattern continues because we appear unaware that fairness and inequality are never secure and need vigilance. It is time to rewire our electoral system.
Make the next federal election our final unfair election. Please find and support a candidate committed to proportional representation.