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Proposal For Electoral And Senate Reform In Canada

The current First-Past-The-Post system of election in Canada suffers from several known deficiencies. Many voters are concerned that the system does not return a proportional number of seats to parties as the popular vote, while others are concerned by the tendency towards strategic voting. At the same time, many find the appointed nature of the senate to be dangerously undemocratic.

To solve both of these issues to an extent, be it proposed the following electoral system:

Preferential Parallel Vote

Ridings are divided to be representation by population. Each riding elects one Member of the House of Commons directly, and one Senator indirectly.

Voters make two selections, one ranking candidates according to preference, and the other selecting a single party. An instant-runoff decides from the candidate selection, which representative will sit for the riding in the House of Commons. The voter’s party preference is then used to determine the proportion of seats in the Senate which will be assigned to each party. Senators are now elected from party lists for each province.

The senate would now consist of two hundred senators, twenty from each province. The twenty from each province would be assigned to each party according to their popular vote (first choice).

Since there are twenty seats up for grabs in each province, the split means that each seat is based on a 5% segment of votes. Where the numbers are not exactly 5%, the seat will go to the highest tallies.

Example:

Conservatives: 33% = 7 seats

Liberals: 32% = 7 seats

NDP: 21% = 4 seats

Green: 9% = 2 seat

Estimated Senate based on 2008 Election:

Popular Vote (Canada):

Conservative Party: Popular Vote (Canada): 37.6% = 80 seat

Liberal Party: Popular Vote (Canada): 26.2% = 50 seat

NDP: Popular Vote (Canada): 18.13% = 40 seat

Green Party: Popular Vote (Canada): 6.80% = 10 seat

Bloc Quebecois: Popular Vote (Canada): 10.0% = 20 seats

Popular Vote (Divided By Province):

(Source: http://www.sfu.ca/~aheard/elections/results.html)

Conservative Party

Newfoundland: 16.6% = 3 seats

P.E.I.: 36.2% = 7 seats

Nova Scotia: 26.1% = 5 seats

New Brunswick: 39.4% = 8 seats

Quebec: 21.7% = 4 seats

Ontario: 39.2% = 8 seats

Manitoba: 48.9 % = 10 seats

Saskatchewan: 53.8% = 11 seats

Alberta: 64.7% = 13 seats

B.C.: 44.5% = 9 seats

Canada: 78 seats

Liberal Party

Newfoundland: 46.8% = 10 seats

P.E.I.: 47.7% = 10 seats

Nova Scotia: 29.8% = 6 seats

New Brunswick: 32.5% = 7 seats

Quebec: 23.7% = 5 seats

Ontario: 33.8% = 7 seats

Manitoba: 19.1% = 4 seats

Saskatchewan: 14.9% = 3 seats

Alberta: 11.4% = 2 seats

B.C.: 19.3% = 4 seats

Canada: 58 seats

NDP

Newfoundland: 33.7% = 7 seats

P.E.I.: 9.8% = 2 seats

Nova Scotia: 28.9% = 6 seats

New Brunswick: 21.9% = 4 seats

Quebec: 12.1% = 2 seats

Ontario: 18.2% = 4 seats

Manitoba: 24.0% = 5 seats

Saskatchewan: 25.5% = 5 seats

Alberta: 12.7% = 3 seats

B.C.: 26.1% = 5 seats

Canada: 43 seats

Green Party

Newfoundland: 1.7% = 0 seats

P.E.I.: 4.7% = 1 seats

Nova Scotia: 8.0% = 2 seats

New Brunswick: 6.1% = 1 seats

Quebec: 3.5% = 1 seats

Ontario: 8% = 1 seats

Manitoba: 6.8% = 1 seats

Saskatchewan: 5.6% = 1 seats

Alberta: 8.8% = 2 seats

B.C.: 9.4% = 2 seats

Canada: 12 seats

Bloc Quebecois

Quebec: 38.1% = 8 seats

Other

Newfoundland: 1.3% = 0 seats

P.E.I.: 1.7% = 0 seats

Nova Scotia: 6.6% = 1 seats

New Brunswick: 0.2% = 0 seats

Quebec: 0.8% = 0 seats

Ontario: 0.9% = 0 seats

Manitoba: 1.2% = 0 seats

Saskatchewan: 0.2% = 0 seats

Alberta: 2.6% = 0 seats

B.C.: 0.8% = 0 seats

Canada: 1 seats

Percentage Representation in the current House of Commons vs. Hypothetical Senate:

Conservative Party: HoC = 143/308 (46.4%) vs. New Senate 78/200 (39%)

Liberal Party: HoC = 77/308 (25%) vs. New Senate 58/200 (29%)

NDP: HoC = 37/308 (12%) vs. New Senate 43/200 (21.5%)

Green Party: HoC = 0/308 (0%) vs. New Senate 12/200 (6%)

Bloc Quebecois: HoC = 49/308 (15.9%) vs. New Senate 8/200 (4%)

Other: HoC = 2/308 (0.6%) vs. New Senate 1/200 (0.5%)

For Reference – Popular Vote (Canada):

Conservative Party: 37.6%

Liberal Party: 26.2%

NDP: 18.13%

Green Party: 6.80%

Bloc Quebecois: 10.0%

Other: 1.2%

An alternative arrangement that may not require the constitutional hurdles would be to keep the existing divisions of the Senate and just change how they are appointed. This would limit the number of Senators to 113, and would probably require legislation in which Senators would be compelled to formally resign.

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Page last modified on July 23, 2014, at 03:17 PM