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article imageFair Vote Canada reports 'classic phony majority'

By Ryan Moore     May 10, 2011 in Politics
Ottawa - Canada is run by a Conservative government because it does not use a proportional voting system, an electoral reform group says. Only 39 percent of Canadians voted for the Conservative Party. The minority of voters have elected the majority of seats.
Most nations have rid themselves of the winner-take-all system, but Canada is still one of the few major nations still using the first-past-the-post voting system (FPTP). “The Conservative party increased their vote percentage by less than two points,” says Fair Vote Canada (FVC) President Bronwen Bruch, “but this allowed them to win 24 more seats than in 2008, when they were already over-represented. Stephen Harper calls this a ‘decisive endorsement,’ but we call it a rip-off.”
Seats won for each party:
CON 167, NDP 102, LIB 34, BQ 4, GREEN 1
Seats won if votes were proportional:
CON 122, NDP 95, LIB 59, BQ 19, GREEN 13
As a result of using an outdated voting system, Canadians have witnessed one of the least legitimate majorities in their nation’s history, Fair Vote states. “This is a classic phony majority,” said Bruch, “and leaves us with a government that is completely unaccountable to Parliament. As long as they maintain rigid party discipline, nothing bad can happen to them for four years.”
According to a recent analysis by Fair Vote Canada, The New Democratic Party, which has been notoriously under-represented, is now over represented by seven seats. The Liberal Party, traditionally over-represented, has been dismantled by the FPTP voting system, losing more than half their seats.
The Bloc Quebecois have also been dismantled, holding only four seats. Although their vote percentage collapsed, a proportional voting system would have entitled them to 19 seats. The Green Party has made history by achieving their very first seat in Parliament, yet under a proportional voting system they would have received enough votes to win 13 seats.
Most nations have rid themselves of the winner-take-all system and Canada is still one of the few major nations still using the first-past-the-post voting system (FPTP). The FPTP system does not provide legitimate majority rule, destroying principles of democracy and adding to voter apathy. Initiating a Proportional Representation voting system will mean that all votes will count and not just the ones that won a majority riding. 
“Across the country,” added Fair Vote Canada Executive Director Wayne Smith, “vote splits between the Liberals and NDP allowed the Conservatives to steal seats. Once again, our antiquated voting system has given us the wrong government, a government that most of us voted against. It is truly time to change our voting system. If we want politics to be different, we need a vote that makes a difference.”
More about Politics, Canada Election 2011, Democracy, Fair Vote Canada
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