First past the post must go – Greens demand a system that makes every vote count

VANCOUVER, BC  – Some betrayals fade from memory, but tomorrow – polling day – millions of Canadians will have vivid recollections of voting on election day four years ago – the “last election to use first past the post.”

“Justin Trudeau would go on to break many more promises during his term but his decision to abandon electoral reform still stands as a uniquely bitter and cynical betrayal,” said Green Party leader Elizabeth May. “It means that Canadians go to the polls tomorrow in the knowledge that the result will not reflect the will of the electorate – that what happened in 2015 could happen again, a party with less than 40 per cent of the vote ends up with 54 per cent of the seats and 100 per cent of the power.”

Ms. May said that a Green Party government will make sure that the 2019 election actually is the last first-past-the-post election. By March next year, it will launch a Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform with a mandate to make recommendations to parliament on an electoral system that will make every vote count.

“Canada is among the very last free and prosperous countries in the world still using the outdated first-past-the-post voting system,” said Ms. May. “We need to change immediately to proportional representation, a system that translates all votes into representation in parliament and doesn’t classify more than half the electorate as losers unworthy of representation.”

Greens will also lower the voting age to 16. “It flies in the face of fairness that 16 and 17 year olds are old enough to work and pay taxes but are not allowed to vote for the government that spends that tax revenue,” said Ms. May. “We know that people who start voting young become voters for life. Including youth in the democratic process will make our democracy stronger and more representative.”

Ms. May also addressed the rash of misleading and downright false election advertising that has marred the 2019 campaign. “Currently, political parties seem to be able to lie with impunity,” she said. “Greens will mandate Elections Canada to develop a truth-in-advertising framework for campaigns. We will empower the Elections Commissioner to investigate citizens’ complaints about election advertising and impose sanctions if these complaints are upheld.”

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For more information or to arrange an interview contact:
Anna Dodd
Leader Media Liaison

Rosie Emery
Press Secretary