Weighted First Past The Post

CANADIAN FEDERAL ELECTORAL REFORM

Creating a Proportional Representation Electoral System That Works

by Larry Kryski
Wellesley. Ontario

A relatively simple way to create a Proportional Representation Electoral System in Canada would be to create a weighted version of our First Past the Post Process. In this concept, the total election votes received by each party with elected representatives (or an elected independent) would set the voting weight in Voting Units (VU)for each MP of that particular party.

WHY CHANGE IS NECESSARY

The best explanation would be to take an example from the election of 2015, where the Green Party won only one seat, but received 605,864 votes. Compare this result to the BQ in Quebec, which won 10 seats but received 818,652 votes. Under the current system, the BQ with only 35% more votes than the Green Party has 1000% more voting power in Parliament. This is extremely unfair from any point of view.

THIS PROCESS PROVIDES FAIRNESS

The Weighted First Past the Post System addresses the inequality inherent in the existing First Past the Post System.

It does this by redistributing law-making power in proportion to a party’s received votes, not by the number of seats won.

In this weighted system, the Green MP would have received 605,864 VU, while each BQ MP would have received 81,865 VU. By comparison each MP in the other parties would have received the following VU proportions: Liberals—37,664 VU, Conservatives—56,571 VU, and NDP—78,665 VU. Thus in the weighted system, it would take eight BQ votes to neutralize one Green vote but 17 Liberal votes to do the same thing.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Our government has two principal functions — to make laws and to administer the country. To maintain a strong Canadian government, the weighted process recommended here should not apply to money bills or non-confidence motions. These relate more to the business administration of Canada. All other bills would be subject to the weighting process. Historically, many of Canadas best laws have originated with our minority governments. This weighted process will function more like a minority government in its daily existence and should instigate more reasonably negotiated benefits and more palatable decisions tor the whole country.

This approach leaves most of our existing infrastructure untouched, but dramatically enhances proportional representation. Fringe parties will not benefit from this change unless they elect a member, so it will emphasize strategies to win an actual riding. The biggest changes will be in the bookkeeping process of counting votes and the change in the politics of negotiating between parties.

A variation of this concept was submitted to the federal government when they requested public submissions of briefs In October 2016.

Originated: October, 7, 2016
Rev. 5: May 31, 2018
Feedback: larry@spellboundpublishing.com