The Cons have started a new misinformation campaign. They claim democracy is founded on the “equality of ridings” and somehow First-Past-the-Post is the only voting system that can deliver it. They couldn’t be more wrong.
No doubt, equality of ridings is important in a country with diverse regions like Canada. It ensures regional representation at a federal level. That’s why all the major kinds of voting reform being proposed take equality of ridings into account.
Single Transferable Vote (PR)
This not only delivers equality of ridings, it gives constituents better representation. Instead of voters getting saddled with a single MP on 35% of the vote, they have many who can speak for them.
Seats are awarded to party candidates proportional to the riding vote. Collectively this approximates federal proportional representation ensuring equality of voters as well.
Mixed Member Proportional (PR)
It delivers the best of both worlds: equality of ridings and equality of voters.
Ranked Ballot (runoff voting)
This keeps our existing Westminster system intact but makes MPs earn their seats with a majority — ensuring they have the right to represent constituents. It stops vote splitting and prevents wasted votes. Not only are all ridings equal, all voters are equal as well.
First-Past-the-Post doesn’t deliver
FPP doesn’t deliver on equality of ridings or equality of voters.
Thanks to vote splitting, some voters are more equal than others. In 2011, a 40% Conservative minority had more say than the 60% super-majority. That’s the opposite of voter equality — and democracy.
Voters didn’t fare any better at a riding level. The Conservatives won dozens of center-left ridings saddling voters with the opposite of what they voted for. Obviously there is no equality of ridings when constituents have the wrong person/party representing them.
Both equality of ridings and voters are essential to democracy. That’s why 91% of developed countries ditched FPP for a democratic voting system. In 2015, we need to tackle the democratic deficit with voting reform.