Wednesday, 16 September 2015 16:17

Election system needs a major overhaul soon

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When asked by the late Jack Layton to enter federal politics, renowned Inuk environmental activist Sheila Watt-Cloutier declined because she “couldn’t possibly survive the loud and uncivil manner in which the House of Commons conducts itself.”
Where does this loud and uncivil manner originate from? It is from our winner-take-all first-past-the-post (FPTP) electoral system that produces phony majorities.
FPTP works well in a two-party system.
With more than two parties there is always the potential that more people will vote against the winners than for them. 
Our 2011 federal election gave 54 per cent of the seats to a party that won 40 per cent of the popular vote. Then, 40 per cent of the people didn’t vote so the Conservative mandate was from 25 per cent of the eligible voters.
Conversely, FPTP gave 100 per cent of the power to a party not mandated by 75 per cent of the eligible voters.
As soon as a party forms the government, the goal becomes to win the next election by competing with the other parties — not collaborating, so we have a “loud and uncivil” House.
FPTP has to go. Insist your candidate commit to proportional representation (PR). PR is designed to produce a House that shares out its seats in proportion to the way voters vote so the volume of each party’s voice is genuine, not phony.
Let’s make 2015 the last time a party wins a phony majority. If your candidate commits to electoral reform through PR, then Go Vote.  
Nancy Carswell, Shellbrook, Sask.
Co-spokesperson Saskatchewan Chapter Fair Vote Canada

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