Elections

Do you support some form of proportional representation instead of first-past-the-post voting? If so, what will you do to promote it? If not, why not?

Responses to the question: "Do you support some form of proportional representation instead of first-past-the-post voting? If so, what will you do to promote it? If not, why not?"

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16 Candidate Responses (top)

Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Anthony Giles Yes Yes, I support this. I am part of a very small party myself. I'm not sure how I would promote it though.
Dave Braden Yes Yes. I would be interested in pursuing it by talking about it in the appropriate committee meetings to get it moved forward.
Jamile Ghaddar Yes Rather than debating the best way in which to count votes in our current electoral system, the MLPC is working to realize our program for democratic renewal in a new way. The democratic crisis in Canada is evident in the fact that we live under constant threat of elections in this country and that when elections are held, Canadians do not see a viable alternative to the major parties of the rich which are considered illegitimate by the majority. For the MLPC, the issue is not about how the votes are counted (though certainly the first-past-the-post system is egregiously flawed) but rather how the right to elect and be elected can be truly upheld, in deed not just word. The crisis in our democratic system is not simply a matter of tweaking the process here or there; it is a more thoroughgoing crisis whose essence is the fact that the entire process marginalizes the polity at large while empowering the political parties of the rich who have a monopoly within the system and in governance overall.

In Canada, we are told that we have choice amongst the three major political parties, but all three parties represent a small variation on the same neo-liberal, monopoly-driven, war-mongering program. There is no choice in any of these choices! This is how a unanimous vote can pass in the Parliament, sending our military personnel to commit war crimes as Canada leads the NATO aggression on Libya. Not a single dissenting voice was heard within the Parliament. We went to war without even a modicum of discussion in a country where the majority of the people don't support these wars of aggression. There are countless other examples of how all the parties in Parliament are pushing the same agenda, working hand in hand against the interests and aspirations of the Canadian people they allege to represent. In this sense, the elections are obsolete; no matter who you vote for, the same program is implemented. Thus, the democratic crisis cannot be solved by stopping at reforming how the vote is counted. We have to sort out the problem of how and why there is no viable alternative within the elections to the major establishment parties with their practically identical programs.

The MLPC puts forward that Canada needs a new and modern constitution and, as part of that, democratic renewal to our electoral system. This program aims to vest sovereignty in the people and affirm the fundamental right of all to be part of decision-making on the affairs that affect them. We base this program on the principle that there can be no election without selection. To enable the people of Canada to exercise their sovereignty, this new and modern constitution must lay down as a fundamental principle that there can be:

* No Election Without Selection.

This means that unless the Canadian people can themselves directly nominate candidates and establish their programs, there is no election taking place worthy of the name.
Under the fundamental law that elected representatives and all institutions must be subordinate to the electorate, the constitution must also enshrine:

● The Right to an Informed Vote;
● The Right to Recall;
● The Right to Initiate Legislation.

These laws, once passed, must be turned into reality through the establishment of institutions which enable the electors to exercise their right to elect and to be elected, and facilitate their maximum participation in governance. A Canada-Wide Electoral Commission, as well as Electoral Committees in each constituency would be bodies to replace Elections Canada. The finances and facilities currently provided to Elections Canada and to Members of Parliament to operate their constituency offices would be reallocated to fund the functioning of the Canada-Wide Electoral Commission and Electoral Committees. The Members of Parliament would conduct their affairs through the Electoral Committees to which they would be subordinate. 

The Canada-Wide Electoral Commission and the Electoral Committees would be entrusted with two key tasks: (1) Guaranteeing that all electors can exercise their right to elect and be elected; and (2) Ensuring that the elected representatives are subordinate to the electors and serve their interests. These bodies would involve a large number of people, especially in the task of ensuring the subordination of the elected to the electors.

The sum total of this process of renewal would do away with the cartel party system. It is a bold new approach; electors through their local committees would select candidates and their programs. The local committees would be a mechanism for Canadians in each riding to discuss with one another, be informed of what their elected officials are doing, to initiate legislation or recall officials. It is a way to ensure that Canadians can hold elected officials accountable and be part of decision-making in and out elections. Also, in this way the domination of the electoral system by the political parties would be ended as
Nancy MacBain Yes Earlier this year, NDP MP David Christopherson brought a motion before the house that called for the abolishment of the senate and the creation of a special committee on electoral reform. The committee would consult with Canadians and make recommendations on introducing some form of proportional representation.

I wholeheartedly support the NDP's efforts to achieve electoral reform. Canadian democracy is in bad shape. Only 58% of eligible electors voted in the last federal election. Youth are among the most alienated voters. Just 37% of voters aged 18 to 24 voted in the last federal election.

The first past the post system is a big part of the problem. Since it's a winner take all system, voters who did not support the most popular party are left without a voice. It also produces skewed results. As Fair Vote Canada points out, a party with 40% of the popular vote can win 60% of the seats and 100% of the power. On the flip side, a party with 30% of the popular vote could end up with only 10% of the seats.

Canadians often feel that their vote doesn't matter or that they can't vote for their favourite candidate because he or she doesn't have a chance. As a result, more and more Canadians are staying home instead on election day or casting a strategic ballot to prevent someone from gaining power rather than supporting their number one choice.

The cynicism and apathy encouraged by our current system is simply not acceptable. It's time we scrapped the outdated first past the post system and replaced it with some form of proportional representation.
Peter Ormond Yes Yes, the Green Party definitely supports proportional representation. In the last election almost one Million Canadians voted Green yet the Green Party never received a single seat. Meanwhile, the Bloc Quebecois received 1.4 Million votes in Quebec, and assumed 49 seats in Canada's Parliament. With proportional representation, more Canadians will choose to vote for what they want, instead of voting for the lesser of two evils. Proportional representation will change the entire tone of parliament, and ensure that the important Green voice is represented in both the House of Commons and at leadership debates.
Hamilton Centre
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Lisa Nussey Yes Rather than debating the best way in which to count votes in our current electoral system, the MLPC is working to realize our program for democratic renewal in a new way. The democratic crisis in Canada is evident in the fact that we live under constant threat of elections in this country and that when elections are held, Canadians do not see a viable alternative to the major parties of the rich which are considered illegitimate by the majority. For the MLPC, the issue is not about how the votes are counted (though certainly the first-past-the-post system is egregiously flawed) but rather how the right to elect and be elected can be truly upheld, in deed not just word. The crisis in our democratic system is not simply a matter of tweaking the process here or there; it is a more thoroughgoing crisis whose essence is the fact that the entire process marginalizes the polity at large while empowering the political parties of the rich who have a monopoly within the system and in governance overall.

In Canada, we are told that we have choice amongst the three major political parties, but all three parties represent a small variation on the same neo-liberal, monopoly-driven, war-mongering program. There is no choice in any of these choices! This is how a unanimous vote can pass in the Parliament, sending our military personnel to commit war crimes as Canada leads the NATO aggression on Libya. Not a single dissenting voice was heard within the Parliament. We went to war without even a modicum of discussion in a country where the majority of the people don't support these wars of aggression. There are countless other examples of how all the parties in Parliament are pushing the same agenda, working hand in hand against the interests and aspirations of the Canadian people they allege to represent. In this sense, the elections are obsolete; no matter who you vote for, the same program is implemented. Thus, the democratic crisis cannot be solved by stopping at reforming how the vote is counted. We have to sort out the problem of how and why there is no viable alternative within the elections to the major establishment parties with their practically identical programs.

The MLPC puts forward that Canada needs a new and modern constitution and, as part of that, democratic renewal to our electoral system. This program aims to vest sovereignty in the people and affirm the fundamental right of all to be part of decision-making on the affairs that affect them. We base this program on the principle that there can be no election without selection. To enable the people of Canada to exercise their sovereignty, this new and modern constitution must lay down as a fundamental principle that there can be:

* No Election Without Selection.

This means that unless the Canadian people can themselves directly nominate candidates and establish their programs, there is no election taking place worthy of the name.
Under the fundamental law that elected representatives and all institutions must be subordinate to the electorate, the constitution must also enshrine:

● The Right to an Informed Vote;
● The Right to Recall;
● The Right to Initiate Legislation.

These laws, once passed, must be turned into reality through the establishment of institutions which enable the electors to exercise their right to elect and to be elected, and facilitate their maximum participation in governance. A Canada-Wide Electoral Commission, as well as Electoral Committees in each constituency would be bodies to replace Elections Canada. The finances and facilities currently provided to Elections Canada and to Members of Parliament to operate their constituency offices would be reallocated to fund the functioning of the Canada-Wide Electoral Commission and Electoral Committees. The Members of Parliament would conduct their affairs through the Electoral Committees to which they would be subordinate. 

The Canada-Wide Electoral Commission and the Electoral Committees would be entrusted with two key tasks: (1) Guaranteeing that all electors can exercise their right to elect and be elected; and (2) Ensuring that the elected representatives are subordinate to the electors and serve their interests. These bodies would involve a large number of people, especially in the task of ensuring the subordination of the elected to the electors.

The sum total of this process of renewal would do away with the cartel party system. It is a bold new approach; electors through their local committees would select candidates and their programs. The local committees would be a mechanism for Canadians in each riding to discuss with one another, be informed of what their elected officials are doing, to initiate legislation or recall officials. It is a way to ensure that Canadians can hold elected officials accountable and be part of decision-making in and out elections. Also, in this way the domination of the electoral system by the political parties would be ended as
Michael James Baldasaro Yes Yes. I will do all I can to promote more and equal representation at all levels of government.
Hamilton East-Stoney Creek
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Bob Green Innes Yes The Canadian Action Party (CAP) has 5 pillars in its election platform: 1) democratic reform, 2) restoration of full sovereignty, 3) restoration of traditional civil rights, 4) Monetary system reform, and 5) preservation of the environment against corporate excess.

CAP's democratic reform comprises 5 elements: 1) Swiss style referendum system, 2) open government 3) ban electronic voting machines, 4) 'Jury' selected Senate system and 5) Parliamentary reform. Parliamentary reform includes British Question Period system (rotating), all party legislation system, all party campaign advertising, citizen initiatives/recall, and proportional representation.

We are convinced our policies are the right solutions for Canada, and had they been in place, we would not be in the situation we are in where the party of big business, party of big gummerment and the party of big unions, support corporate friendly policies, leaving the little guy to get squeezed by ever higher taxes and prices but lower wages and more regulations.
David Hart Dyke Yes Yes. The Green Party supports proportional representation and is working to make it happen. Aside from our commitment to genuine democracy in Canada, I have to point out that in the last federal election, we received almost as many votes as the Bloc Quebecois. We got no seats, they got 49. I'm on Fair Vote Canada's discussion e-list, though I'm not an actual member.
Gord Hill No No, I do not support it as we start from the vote of the Individual then their riding and it is this race that then decides the number past the post which gives the authority to run the Government.
Greg Pattinson Yes Proportional representation would allow smaller parties to have a bigger voice in elections. It removes the necessity to vote strategically for the party that is likely to win and that is least offensive. If proportional representation were to be implemented in Canada people could vote for the candidate that they want to win instead of the candidate they think will beat the candidate they want to lose. The argument can also be made that first past the post voting will inevitably lead to a two party system like in the U.S. eliminating choice that Canadians have.
Wayne Marston Yes If you watched the Leader's debate, you will know that NDP Jack Layton was the only Leader to come out in enthusiastic support of proportional representation. Just prior to the writ being dropped, the NDP tabled an Opposition Day motion in the House of Commons calling for proportional representation. The NDP motion called for the establishment of a Special Committee for Democratic Improvement that would pave the way for a referendum on proportional representation, as well as for abolishing the Senate.
Wendell Fields Yes Rather than debating the best way in which to count votes in our current electoral system, the MLPC is working to realize our program for democratic renewal in a new way. The democratic crisis in Canada is evident in the fact that we live under constant threat of elections in this country and that when elections are held, Canadians do not see a viable alternative to the major parties of the rich which are considered illegitimate by the majority. For the MLPC, the issue is not about how the votes are counted (though certainly the first-past-the-post system is egregiously flawed) but rather how the right to elect and be elected can be truly upheld, in deed not just word. The crisis in our democratic system is not simply a matter of tweaking the process here or there; it is a more thoroughgoing crisis whose essence is the fact that the entire process marginalizes the polity at large while empowering the political parties of the rich who have a monopoly within the system and in governance overall.

In Canada, we are told that we have choice amongst the three major political parties, but all three parties represent a small variation on the same neo-liberal, monopoly-driven, war-mongering program. There is no choice in any of these choices! This is how a unanimous vote can pass in the Parliament, sending our military personnel to commit war crimes as Canada leads the NATO aggression on Libya. Not a single dissenting voice was heard within the Parliament. We went to war without even a modicum of discussion in a country where the majority of the people don't support these wars of aggression. There are countless other examples of how all the parties in Parliament are pushing the same agenda, working hand in hand against the interests and aspirations of the Canadian people they allege to represent. In this sense, the elections are obsolete; no matter who you vote for, the same program is implemented. Thus, the democratic crisis cannot be solved by stopping at reforming how the vote is counted. We have to sort out the problem of how and why there is no viable alternative within the elections to the major establishment parties with their practically identical programs.

The MLPC puts forward that Canada needs a new and modern constitution and, as part of that, democratic renewal to our electoral system. This program aims to vest sovereignty in the people and affirm the fundamental right of all to be part of decision-making on the affairs that affect them. We base this program on the principle that there can be no election without selection. To enable the people of Canada to exercise their sovereignty, this new and modern constitution must lay down as a fundamental principle that there can be:

* No Election Without Selection.

This means that unless the Canadian people can themselves directly nominate candidates and establish their programs, there is no election taking place worthy of the name.
Under the fundamental law that elected representatives and all institutions must be subordinate to the electorate, the constitution must also enshrine:

● The Right to an Informed Vote;
● The Right to Recall;
● The Right to Initiate Legislation.

These laws, once passed, must be turned into reality through the establishment of institutions which enable the electors to exercise their right to elect and to be elected, and facilitate their maximum participation in governance. A Canada-Wide Electoral Commission, as well as Electoral Committees in each constituency would be bodies to replace Elections Canada. The finances and facilities currently provided to Elections Canada and to Members of Parliament to operate their constituency offices would be reallocated to fund the functioning of the Canada-Wide Electoral Commission and Electoral Committees. The Members of Parliament would conduct their affairs through the Electoral Committees to which they would be subordinate. 

The Canada-Wide Electoral Commission and the Electoral Committees would be entrusted with two key tasks: (1) Guaranteeing that all electors can exercise their right to elect and be elected; and (2) Ensuring that the elected representatives are subordinate to the electors and serve their interests. These bodies would involve a large number of people, especially in the task of ensuring the subordination of the elected to the electors.

The sum total of this process of renewal would do away with the cartel party system. It is a bold new approach; electors through their local committees would select candidates and their programs. The local committees would be a mechanism for Canadians in each riding to discuss with one another, be informed of what their elected officials are doing, to initiate legislation or recall officials. It is a way to ensure that Canadians can hold elected officials accountable and be part of decision-making in and out elections. Also, in this way the domination of the electoral system by the political parties would be ended as
Hamilton Mountain
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Marie Bountrogianni No Although I did consider proportional representation as a viable system when I was Minister for Democratic Renewal, the Ontario public did not vote for it in a referendum in 2007. I respect the public's view.

In addition being Canada's traditional, constitutional way of electing Members of Parliament, "first past the post" has several practical advantages:

- Proportional representation leads a too-wide variety of small, narrowly focused parties.

- "First past the post", by contrast, discourages this fractious "splintering", making it easier for governments to develop and pass legislation in a stable, effective, and focused way.

- "First past the post" encourages parties to be centrist and inclusive, so as to attract the votes a broad cross-section of Canadians on election day. In turn, this encourages the parties to listen to a greater diversity of voices and reasonable views in forming policy.

- In "first past the post", there is a close physical-geographical link between the MP and the people in her constituency. "First past the post" makes MPs directly accountable to real people and real local communities. This is lacking in proportional representation.
Stephen E. Brotherston Yes Some form of proportional representation would be highly preferable.
Niagara West-Glanbrook
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Stephen Bieda Maybe I do in principle favour proportional representation, however my opinion is not necessarily what matters on its own. As a Liberal, I am with my party in that I am a proponent of modernized voting. I feel such critical a issue as how parliament conducts itself, would best be served by an online vote of the citizens in the riding. I believe MPs should make their best efforts to represent their constituents' interests.

Response Summary (top)

Brief ResponseCount% of Total
Yes1381.3%
No212.5%
Maybe16.3%

15 Candidates Have Not Responded (top)

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