This is a blog on electoral reform in Canada. As the government makes good on their promise to abandon the First Past the Post (FPTP) voting system, this blog advocates the Manougian Model to replace it. Specifically, it calls for:
Original 6 Points published November 16, 2015
- Make the Senate an elected assembly using the fully proportional method of closed party lists.
- Senate elections to be held concurrently with the House of Commons.
- Senators to have no geographically-subdivided constituency. They would be elected from the entire country-wide vote tally. (Constitutional amendments required.)
- Allocate seats not from the usual method of vote share percentage, but by absolute number of total votes. That is, a lower voter turnout would result in less total Senators.
- Elect MPs to the House of Commons using an optional preferential ballot.
- Maintain the current 338 electoral districts and their boundaries (until the next census).
- Include a “Declined” option on the ballot, which does not drop off the final count.
- Allow for a seat to remain vacant for 12 months if the “Declined” option obtains a majority. (By-election to follow.)
- Add Student Parliamentarians to the House of Commons
- Elected by 14-17 year-old citizens and permanent residents.
- Candidates must be aged 14-17 at the time of the election and be a Canadian citizen.
- Two representatives per constituency, elected for two year terms on a staggered basis, separately from the regular general elections.
- Constituencies would be much bigger than the regular 338 electoral districts to reflect a similar number of eligible voters.
- Student Parliamentarians would have the right to speak and vote in the House of Commons. Their votes would be recorded but not counted towards the passing or defeat of a bill or motion.
- Introduce a term limit of two consecutive general elections within the same House.
- Allow MPs to run for the Senate immediately after two terms in the Lower House and vice versa.
- Allow returning to a House after a one term absence.
- Maintain the freedom to not vote without penalty.
- Maintain the requirement to cast a paper ballot.
- No on-line voting option.
- Machine-assisted voting available for accessibility needs only.
Supplementary 4 Points published June 5, 2016
- Remove the party affiliation of candidates from the ballot paper.
- Use Robson Rotation to alternate the printed order of the candidates on the ballot paper.
- Remove the senatorial floor rule and the one riding per territory convention when assigning the number of ridings per province/territory. (Constitutional amendments required).
- Allow voter recall of an MP.
- Upon submission of a petition of electors of a riding, collected within 90 days, numbering greater than the (first-choice) votes received by a sitting Member of Parliament in their most recent election, a by-election should be called where the incumbent may attempt re-election.