How we vote: Government committee on electoral reform


During the federal government election the question of whether first past the post is a fair system loomed over the liberal party's platform. Now Justin Trudeau and the Liberals have rolled out a committee on electoral reform. This committee is made up of all the parties in the house and after the recent pressure by the NDP now reflects the popular vote not the seat count in the House. The committee is made up of 12 seats, 5 Liberal (one is the chair), 3 Conservatives, 2 NDP, 1 Bloc Quebeco, 1 Green. This is based off of the NDP proposal that was championed by Skeena-Bukley Valley MP Nathan Cullen.

The Conservative Party has been calling for a referendum on this issue. They assert that this question no matter what the committee makes up looks like will be illegitimate if it does not have the consent of the people of Canada. This could be problematic for the committee since in order to get a resolution passed the liberals will need the support of 1 or 2 opposition parties.  The Liberals have also stated that they will reach out to Canadian but how that will look is still yet to be disclosed.

The Green Party and the NDP have been calling for proportional representation, while the Liberals tend to favor a system of preferential ballot. It is likely that the committee will move towards a proportional system but to which degree will depends on the committee.

The current system gives a preference to the Conservatives and the Liberals in elections. With the current system a party can win the most seats but loose the popular vote amongst Canadians. After the Liberals devastating lose in 2011 they have been in favor of a change to the system. It is likely that the electoral reform issue will not come back around until parliament is back in the fall.