6.1 Democratic renewal and proportional representation

Our electoral system unfairly punishes Conservative voters in cities, Liberal and NDP voters in the west, and Green voters throughout Canada. Ultimately, it does not produce governments that reflect the diversity of people in Canada, nor does it do a good job of accurately reflecting voters’ wishes. Canada is one of the last few free and prosperous nations in the world to still use the antiquated first-past-the-post voting system. Canadians have had it with winner-take-all elections which class half of all voters as losers unworthy of representation. We are ready for democratic reform.

The Green Party of Canada believes that Canada must change, immediately, to a proportional voting system that fairly and directly translates all votes into representation in Parliament.

We also believe that democracy requires reduced financial barriers to running for political office and lowering the voter age to 16 to encourage more youth participation.

Green Party MPs will:

  • Legislate the end of first-past-the-post voting; establish immediately an all-party Democratic Voting Commission to review past research and conduct a public consultation on the style of proportional representation best suited to Canada. We will instruct it to make recommendations to Parliament for the necessary democratic voting reform, including draft legislation, within 12 months;

  • The Commission will also engage Canadians from coast to coast in a public inquiry into the interwoven and anti-democratic trends within Canada:

    1. The growing and unhealthy power of the Prime Minister’s Office;

    2. The lack of scope for independent action of individual MPs;

    3. The use of prorogation to avoid political embarrassment, in violation of Parliamentary practice and tradition;

    4. The abuse by the Senate of its role of ‘sober, second thought’ in voting down bills approved by the House, as in the case in November of 2010 in their defeat without debate of Bill C-311 (the Climate Change Accountability Act);

    5. The recommendations of the Commission will be presented as options to Canadian voters.

  • Adhere to fixed election dates permitting political stability and fair elections;

  • Reduce the mandatory $1,000 candidate deposit to encourage more Canadians to participate in the democratic system;

  • Eliminate any system that allows top-down control within parties of the nomination process for candidates;

  • Slash the PMO budget by 50%.