Renewing Our Democracy

In Sweden's last election, voter participation was at a forty year low with 80 per cent of registered voters casting ballots. Canada also experienced a historically low turnout, but our voter participation barely made it over 60 per cent. Voter apathy is tangible in our country especially among young adults who sadly and maybe justifiably subscribe to the "it-doesn't-matter-anyway" philosophy. This electoral indifference is spreading among Canadians who feel that their vote simply doesn't count. And who can blame them? While 583,000 Green Party voters did not elect a single MP in 2004, 500,000 Liberal Party voters elected 22 MPs in Atlantic Canada. The Green Party proposes to implement what numerous political parties have promised Canadians: proportional representation. Canada's democracy is ready to evolve, to become a fairer, more accountable and truly representative electoral system. Such electoral systems also encourage the election of women and visible minorities to Parliament. The Green Party believes that it's time to get past the first-past-the-post system and build a House of Commons that reflects Canada's multifaceted population. The Green Party's vision also encompasses citizen participation in government decision-making by greater use of popular consultations and referenda. Decentralized decision-making and participatory democracy are core principles of the Green Party. Green Party MPs will work to:
  • Create a broad-based, result-driven public consultation process to determine the form of proportional representation that best serves Canadians for the next federal election.
  • Support the legislative changes required to introduce the proportional representation electoral system recommended by the public consultation.
  • Introduce fixed election dates permitting political stability and fair elections.
  • Require a mandatory series of open leaders' debates during an election organized by an independent agency such as Elections Canada.
  • Move from the current partial ban on corporate and union donations to political parties to a full ban on such donations, modeled on Qu├ębec and Manitoba provincial legislation.
  • Reduce the mandatory $1,000 candidate deposit to encourage more Canadians to participate in the democratic system.
  • Lower the voting age to seventeen.