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One could argue the exploration of electoral reform right after our government abandons the idea would be inutile. However, considering an NDP-sponsored petition calling on the Liberals to uphold their promise of electoral reform reached over 130,000 signatures, and was just presented to the House of Commons on March 23, 2017, one could also argue an evaluation of our current system is even more relevant. Should We Change How We Vote? addresses this timely query.
Challenging the idea that first past the post is obsolete, Should We Change How We Vote? urges Canadians to make sure they understand their electoral system before making drastic changes to it. The contributors to this volume assert that there is perhaps no institution more misunderstood and misrepresented than the Canadian electoral system – praised by some for ensuring broad regional representation in Ottawa, but criticized by others for allowing political parties with less than half the popular vote to assume more than half the seats in Parliament. They consider not only how the system works, but also its flaws and its advantages, and whether or not electoral reform is legitimate without a referendum.
“Canadians have the capacity to have a serious conversation about electoral reform. But in order to do so they need to have the relevant issues put before them in a manner that inhibits substantive deliberation. Throughout its ill-fated exercise in reform, neither Trudeau nor his ministers made any real effort to provide Canadians with the resources with which to engage in such deliberation. Instead, they allowed the debate to become mired in procedural quandaries and political machinations. Electoral reform is off the table for now, but it will return eventually. And when it does, we hope that these essays will contribute to righting the focus of this important discussion.” –Introduction excerpt, Should We Change How We Vote?