October 12th, 2016
October 12th, 2016
Over the course of the past four months, New Democrat Members of Parliament launched country-wide public consultations on the pressing issue of electoral reform.
Our goal was to hear directly from Canadians about how they feel we can make our voting system fairer, and ensure that our elections produce governments that truly reflect what Canadians want.
Here's what we heard:
Canadians are overwhelmingly in favour of the principle of proportionality
84.3% of participants agreed or strongly agreed with the following statement: "A party's seats in Parliament should reflect the percentage of votes they received."
Canadians want a voting system that meets their expectations of fairness and for the vast majority that means making the number of seats closely match the popular vote a party receives.
Canadians want their votes to count. Proportionality would ensure that the number of seats that a party has in Parliament reflects the percentage of votes it obtained. It would also ensure that if someone's chosen candidate is not elected, their votes still count towards the broader makeup of Parliament, rather than simply being thrown out. Many citizens don't feel their vote counted or don't feel represented by the makeup of their government. They believe proportional voting would address these problems.
Canadians want local representation
81.7% of participants agreed or strongly agreed with the following statement: "Having a local representative is important to me."
Even if they don't often visit their MP's office, participants showed a strong attachment to the person that represents their community. They like knowing the MP who will act as their voice in Parliament, whether it's to simply to tell them if they're doing a good job or to share their opinions on issues that are important to them. They also value the services offered by their local MP office. The message is clear: participants want to maintain the local connection to their Member of Parliament.
Canadians think it is important for parties to work together to choose a new electoral system
79.1% of participants agreed or strongly agreed with the following statement: "Working collaboratively and having cross-party support for a new system is vital."
They also told us they were tired of partisan behaviour and the lack of collaboration that persists in our politics. They want all parties to work together to find a new electoral system that reflects the many realities of Canadians.
In the last two elections, our outdated voting system allowed a party to win 100% of the power with just 39% of the vote. As a result, millions of votes effectively didn't count and too many Canadian voices aren't heard in Ottawa. The vast majority of Canadians we spoke to agree that's unfair. If you’re one of them, make sure to add your name: