Idea alert

by Aaron Wherry

Stephane Dion proposes a preferential voting system that would expand the size of ridings and elect three to five MPs per riding.

The great advantage of preferential voting is that it promotes cooperation among the parties. It is actually in each party’s interest to persuade those who support other parties that it represents a second acceptable choice … voters should be allowed not only to rank parties by preference, but also to select a candidate. They would choose the candidate they prefer from among those put forward by the party they select as their top preference. In other words, voters would choose only one candidate in the party of their first choice. This would allow Canadians to continue voting for real live candidates, not just for parties. Hence, voting would remain personalized.

This is how the ballots would be counted. First, the voters’ first party preferences would be counted. If one or more parties failed to obtain enough first choices to win a seat, the party that got the smallest number of votes would be eliminated and its voters’ second choices would be transferred to the remaining parties. The second and subsequent choices of the eliminated parties would be allocated until all of the parties still in the running obtain at least one seat. This would produce the percentages of votes that determine the number of seats obtained by the various parties. Then, the voters’ choices as to their preferred candidate among those attached to their preferred party are counted. If a party obtained two seats, that party’s two candidates who received the highest number of votes would win those two seats.




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Idea alert

  1. Two thoughts:

    1- A referendum should be required (IMO) to make any changes to our voting system. Such a vote was held in the UK recently on proposals similar to Dion’s.

    2- Australia has a preferential voting system in place. The irony is that Australia’s political system is essentially a 2-party system. Does PV lead to a 2-party state? Or is it simply a coincidence? I’m not sure, but it would be ironic if a PV system led to a 2-party state. Sort of defeats the puropse.

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