Fair Vote Calgary has been vigorously trying to determine the positions of the candidates on proportional representation (PR). Janet Keeping, candidate and Leader, Alberta Green Party and Mark Taylor, candidate, Alberta Party, are the only candidates who actively support PR. In choosing for whom to vote, if PR is their over-riding concern Calgary-Foothills electors are advised to select one of these candidates . For more about the candidates and party policies, see this page.
Alberta’s general election has been called for Tuesday 5 May 2015, and at the half-way mark:
* I have emailed (nearly#) all 150 Calgary area candidates asking them to declare their position on proportional representation (PR) by signing the Declaration of Voters’ Rights – Politician’s Pledge. So far, five have replied and signed the declaration.
* I have sought the position on PR of the various parties and their leaders – their declared positions are shown here
* This evening the four party leaders who already had representatives in the legislature at dissolution debated on television what journalists and some Albertans thought were important matters. Electoral reform was not even mentioned. The Green Party, Alberta Party, Social Credit Party and Communist Party leaders were not included in the debate.
* As campaigning proceeds and if the positions change, these pages will be updated.
# Some candidates have not published email addresses, and the Alberta Liberal Party has created a web page with a contact form which does not serve our purposes – so below there is an open letter to Liberal candidates.
Dear Jim Prentice:
Some days ago you stirred up Albertans by seeming to imply that we were all responsible for the present provincial fiscal situation.
In the last three provincial general elections the Progressive Conservatives obtained only 48% of the popular vote even though electing on average 65 (77%) members of the legislature of an average 84.33 available seats.
These types of distorted results are inevitable when we attempt to use the present Plurality-Majority or First-Past-The-Post electoral system, designed to cope with two-candidate or two-party electoral situations. There were nine parties (in the last three elections) and usually some four or five candidates in each electoral district.
In the October 2014 by-elections, The Progressive Conservatives won all four seats with only 44% of the popular vote. Gordon Dirks claimed his seat with only 33% of the popular vote and you were the sole candidate to win with an ‘absolute’ majority of 58% (meaning 42% of the electorate cast votes which did not help to elect anyone).
I ask for your commitment now, before the coming election, to announce your intention to introduce a suitable form of proportional representation which more accurately reflects the popular vote, not the distortions of the present system. This would make 2016 (or 2015 if you choose to drop the writ early) ‘The Last Unfair Election in Alberta’.
As I wrote to the Calgary Herald immediately after the 2012 General Election:
“It is now time to start the conversation about a proportional representation system. If the new legislature were representative of the popular vote, we would have nine MLAs of each of the Liberal and New Democratic Parties and one Alberta Party MLA. Most interesting of all there would be 30 Wild Rose and 38 Progressive Conservative MLAs”.
If that legislature had been elected (without any allowance for people who didn’t vote or who voted strategically), you could fairly claim that we could look in the mirror and state that we are all in this together. Those numbers would have ensured debate in the legislature and decisions would have been made collectively, not presidentially.
A.M. (Mark) Hambridge
C.C. Doug Bailey, President, Fair Vote Canada
Anita Nickerson, Director, Fair Vote Canada
Kelly Carmichael, Executive Director, Fair Vote Canada
Greg Clarke, Leader, Alberta Party
Dr. David Swann, Acting Leader, Alberta Liberal Party
Rachel Notley, Leader, Alberta New Democrats
Janet Keeping, Leader, Alberta Green Party
Heather Forsythe, Acting Leader, Wild Rose Party