OTTAWA – The Green Party is calling for a public inquiry into the fraudulent robodials and a referendum on electoral reform.
Suggesting that Canada’s first-past-the-post system is highly vulnerable to electoral fraud, the party is calling for reforms that would ensure parties hold a number of seats that is proportional to the number of votes they receive.
“If a mere 6,848 votes can magically transform a 39% minority vote into a majority government in Canada, then we need to move to a new electoral system,” said Elizabeth May, Green Party Leader. “We need a proportional system that will give greater stability and prevent this kind of fraudulent voter suppression.”
Currently the Conservatives enjoy a slim majority of 12 seats in the House of Commons. 6,848 votes is the total number of votes between first place Conservative candidates and second place candidates in the 14 closest races in ridings across Canada. For example, in Etobicoke Centre the Conservatives won by 26 votes and in Nipissing-Timiskaming they won by only 18 votes. With a proportional electoral system, a party must achieve greater than 50% of the popular vote to enjoy a majority in the house.
“Canadians are outraged by the fact that our electoral system could theoretically have been so easily rigged to produce such dramatic results,” said May. “The difference between a minority and majority government is significant and if only a few thousand votes can mean a majority, then our electoral system will always be open to this kind of scam.”
Under a proportional system such tactics would have little effect on the overall outcome, therefore, reducing the motivation to engage in dirty tricks like voter suppression. For example, a difference of 6,848 votes could perhaps make a difference of 1 win for a party but would not translate into 14 wins as it did under the current system.