Democratic Reforms Including Proportional Prepresentation
We prioritize participatory democratic engagement as the principal mandate of the local Green Party Association. To have all citizens effectively represented in government would result in better legislation for everything government does. We need all political parties to have representation and influence that reflects how voters cast their ballots. We need a system of Proportional Representation to have an effective democracy.
Our current First Past the Post (FPTP) voting system is "winner take all". A party can win by one vote more than the second place finisher in just over half the ridings, and have a "majority" government with a minority of votes. The second place finisher may have more total votes overall in "wrong winner" elections. A third party could have over 30% of the votes in every riding and not win even one seat, silencing the voice of one-third of all voters.
Disproportionate and unpredictable outcomes are features of FPTP. Many voters are under-represented, while others are as over-represented as if the ballot box was stuffed with extra votes for their party.
A fairer proportional system will encourage citizen participation, as it will accurately reflect how people vote. It will demand cross-party collaboration and consensus-building to create stronger, long-lasting policies.
We need government that respects and engages citizens and communities; building partnerships to develop sensible solutions, instead of imposing top-down bureaucratic solutions. We need to have checks and balances to ensure that all public officials are held to high ethical standards, including implementing principles of open government that lead to fairness and transparency. It’s time for more democracy.
Move to proportional representation in federal and provincial elections.
Extend the right of voting to include permanent residents in municipal, provincial and federal elections so that they too can have a say in how their tax dollars are spent.
Lower the provincial and federal voting age to 16 in order to engage youth earlier and create lifelong voting habits.
Create a Citizens Institute that will help train citizens to intervene in government processes, such as lobbying, speaking to committees, and participating in formal proceedings like the Environmental Bill of Rights. This would provide training and resources to qualifying, community-led initiatives, and be funded by an increase in the lobbyist registration fee.
Support the creation of an Open Data Portal, where a broad range of government data from road traffic data, to resource extraction, to environmental reports, to government contracts, and expenses, would be available for the public to access and use for data analysis.
Learn more about proportional representation and discuss it with your family and friends. Help them understand how this will improve our democracy to be the fair and representative institution it should be.
Consider joining groups like FairVote Canada and engaging the public in a broader way. Sign their online petition to government demanding PR.
Contact your MP and MPP and tell them to support a non-partisan Citizen's Assembly to investigate electoral reforms, and in particular our voting system, which should have all party support to its findings.