Is Changing the Canadian Voting System a Outstanding Idea?

We have just come through an election and there is no way that any of us want to think about anything to do with voting for a long time to come.   However, there are rumblings in parliament that Mr. Trudeau wants to change the way the voting system is now.

This is in reference to what is called first past the post (FPTP), which is the system that we have here for voting in Canada.   What this system is that when candidates in each riding are being voted on the highest number of votes is what declares the winner to hold that seat in the House of Commons.   The winner doesn’t have to have the majority which if it did it would mean that they had to have 50% of the votes for their riding.

While some figure that the system works just fine and should be left alone, others have a problem with it.   The problem area maybe is because candidate’s that don’t get 50% of the votes can still win their seats.   What this can mean is that individuals running in different ridings can get the same percentage of votes but they may not win their seat.   The danger of this type of voting can be what some refer to as tactical voting.   What this means is that an individual may vote not because they want the candidate to win but they don’t want the candidate that they dislike the most to win.

The replacement of this current type of voting could be one that is called proportional representation.   What this would mean is that in every district several members would have to be elected and then the seats available would be assigned to the winners according to their share of the vote in their district.

There are pros and cons to both of the forms of voting and electing and there is no doubt that individuals are each going to form their own opinion.   As to the voters themselves they will basically go along with whatever the government finally decides upon.

Over all proportional representation is the most common system that is used in democracies that are well established but the consensus is that it might be really confusing for Canada because of the number of candidates.

Mr. Trudeau seems to be intent on getting electoral reform in place before another election were to arise.   This is causing concern amongst the opposition who feel that a referendum would be the first step.

Back in 2006 there was a suggestion made that on the ballot for voting that voters would get the chance to decide whether they wanted to implement a mixed member proportional system which is quite complex.   Under that system what would happen is that voters would vote for their local MPP then place another vote for the party.   At that time the Liberals backed away from this concept and the referendum was never carried through with. Mr. Trudeau doesn’t feel that a referendum is necessary.   The bottom line is that Trudeau wants a system where every vote counts and every vote makes a difference.

It will be interesting to follow the outcome of this situation however there are other important things that are on the minds of Canadians right now which is getting their taxes done and over with.   Which means that if you haven’t chosen your accountant as yet, now is the time to do so, so that you can get this obligation taking care of.


Share Your Thoughts!


Sam Seidman, CPA, CA, LPA
629 Sheppard Avenue West
Toronto, Ontario
M3H 2S3

Telephone: (416) 398-1700
Fax: (416) 398-6226

Chartered Professional Accountant, Chartered Accountant, Licensed Public Accountant


Contact Sam today

The information provided here and throughout the site of TorontoAccountant.CA is intended for general tax information only, and should not be misconstrued as a legal source of information regarding your tax situation, or be used for any other purposes other than for general information.
Sam Seidman, Chartered Accountant - Copyright ©2013. All Rights Reserved.