Canadian Parliament Votes on Mixed-Member Proportional Voting

Posted by Sarah John on December 04, 2014
On December 3, 2014, the New Democratic Party (the Official Opposition Party in the Canadian Parliament) moved:
That, in the opinion of the House [of Commons]: (a) the next federal election should be the last conducted under the current first-past-the-post electoral system which has repeatedly delivered a majority of seats to parties supported by a minority of voters, or under any other winner-take-all electoral system; and (b) a form of mixed-member proportional representation would be the best electoral system for Canada.
An impassioned debate broke out. In support of mixed-member proportional (MMP), members of the Canadian Parliament spoke about the "extremely unfair" winner-take-all system and the "false majorit[ies]" it creates. They endorsed MMP as ensuring "no one who goes to vote will be able to say that his vote will not count." In reflecting on the low voter turnouts that blight Canadian elections, member of parliament (MP) Alexandrine Latendresse said, "[w]hen people realize that their vote can make a difference [under MMP] and that they can influence what their government and Parliament look like, they will vote."

The complete transcript of the debates is available on the Canadian Parliament's website.

The motion was ultimately defeated -- though it garnered 110 votes in favor (and 166 votes against). Voting in favor of the motion were most members of the New Democratic Party, half of all Liberal Party MPs, the Green Party, the 2 members of Bloc Quebecois and three Independent MPs.   


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