Fair Vote Calgary is a multi-partisan organization seeking to bring all people who want to work together to achieve change in our electoral systems and move toward proportional representation. Fair Vote Calgary has been in existence for a number of years but has flown well below the radar. This is changing. Why? Why now?
■ Canada now (in 2016) has a Liberal ‘false majority’ government elected by fewer voters than the seats in Parliament allocated to the parties would seem to indicate. Consequently, the other political parties (and the people who voted for them) are generally under-represented.
■ Alberta has a New Democratic Party government that does not reflect the popular vote and people who voted for other parties are under-represented.
These governments succeed the previous Conservative and Progressive Conservative governments that were equally unrepresentative.
■ Calgary has a Mayor and Council elected by a system which allows more people to vote against a candidate than vote for the winner, yet the leading candidate gets elected to office with less than a true majority of the popular vote.
■ There have been significant complaints about election procedures, financing and reporting at all levels of government in Canada over the last several federal, provincial and municipal elections, even to the point of investigations by Elections Canada, Elections Alberta and police.
■ There is a lack of transparency about election financing at all levels and it appears that lobbyists and corporations, which don’t have a vote, have more influence than individual voters.
In short, Canada has a badly broken democracy – one of the worst in the modern world – and it is time to fix it. Our election laws are out of date, our electoral systems are relics of the two-party or two candidate systems of the 19th century. New methods of election financing and reporting are needed so the electorate can see who is trying to influence decisions by financial persuasion.
The good news is that there are ways to fix these problems and make every vote count.
✓ Germany, New Zealand, Sweden and Scotland and more than 70 other countries have introduced electoral systems that better reflect the will of the electors, so Canada does not have to re-invent the wheel.
✓ Canadians want more representative legislatures, where the representatives reflect to legislatures the wishes of the people who voted for them (rather than represent the party in power TO the people who elected them).
✓ Canadians want to move away from the ideologically driven grasping power of political parties which – having obtained power – think they have the right to impose their brand of policy on all of the people, despite not being elected by or representative of a majority of those people.
✓ Canadians have a growing desire for collaboration, cooperation and compromise in decision making rather than the quasi-dictatorships we have come to expect in so-called majority governments which impose decisions on the people.
Now is the time for all present and future electors to come together to persuade the leaders and politicians that a change to the electoral system is necessary. The smart leaders will lead the change and gain the respect of the electorate.
Revised 2016 04 13