The Popular Vote

Working for DemocracyWhy Don’t We Have PR Already?

Canadians Deserve Better -Proportional Representation - on Canadian Flag backgroundThis is the fifth in the Whoa!Canada: Proportional Representation Series

For years I didn’t understand that mysterious phrase “The Popular Vote.” The popular vote numbers never seemed to have any connection to the number of seats a political party won.  I just assumed the numbers seemed like gobbledegook since I’ve always been something of a mathphobe. So imagine my surprise when I learned it was the system that was skewed, not my grasp of the numbers.

The popular vote is the number of valid votes Canadians cast. If we look at the results of the 2015 election, we see
6,943,276 votes translated to 184 seats for the Liberal Party, 39.5% of the votes won 54.4% of the seats in parliament while
5,613,614 votes translated to 99 seats for the Conservative Party, whose 31.9% of the votes only won 29.3% of the seats.

Graph shows Liberals 39.5% translate to more seats (54.4%), Conservative 31.9% votes translate to fewer seats (29.3%)

The Liberal Party formed government by winning a much larger percentage of seats than it earned in votes, while the Conservatives won fewer seats.  This is disproportional representation.  As you can see from looking at the percentages across the entire election, with the Liberal Party being the biggest beneficiary of the disproportional results.  Every other party won a substantially higher percentage of votes than seats.
This graph illustrates the disproportionality between votes cast and seats won

Our American friends have an electoral system as unfair ~ or perhaps even more unfair than ours.  The Americans scrambling to vote in presidential primaries may come to nought because the actual votes Americans cast ~ the popular vote ~ can be over ruled by their Electoral College.  (And no, I don’t understand why!)

The Language of Elections

When most Canadians first stumble into discussions about electoral reform, the incomprehensible jargon makes it hard to understand what people are talking about.  But it gets worse.  Not only are there are many different voting systems we’ve never even heard of, some have more than one name.  And worse still, most of the people talking about it use acronyms, so it is a considerable challenge just to follow the conversation.  It isn’t that electoral reformers are intending to confuse us, it’s just that many electoral reformers have been thinking and talking about the intricacies of electoral reform for years.

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand electoral systems, but nobody can keep up without some idea of what the words in this specialized language mean.  Since Canadians have been promised electoral reform, it is important for us to have a basic understanding of the choices available so we can let our representatives know which we prefer.  As I’ve had a few years head start, I’ve been working on a basic Electoral Reform Glossary.

Why Don’t We Have PR Already?

Working for Democracy
Proportional Representation For Canada series so far:

• Proportional Representation for Canada
• What’s so bad about First Past The Post
• Democracy Primer
• Working for Democracy
• The Popular Vote
• Why Don’t We Have PR Already?
• Stability
• Why No Referendum?
• Electoral System Roundup
• When Canadians Learn about PR with CGP Grey
• Entitlement
• Proportional Representation vs. Alternative Vote
• #ERRÉ #Q Committee
• #ERRÉ #Q Meetings & Transcripts
• Take The Poll ~ #ERRÉ #Q
Proportionality #ERRÉ #Q 
• The Poll’s The Thing 
• DIY Electoral Reform Info Sessions
• What WE Can Do for ERRÉ
• #ERRÉ today and Gone Tomorrow (…er, Friday)
• Redistricting Roulette 
• #ERRÉ submission Deadline TONIGHT!
#ERRÉ Submission by Laurel L. Russwurm
• The Promise: “We will make every vote count” #ERRÉ
FVC: Consultations Provide Strong Mandate for Proportional Representation #ERRÉ
PEI picks Proportional Representation
There is only one way to make every vote count #ERRÉ
Canada is Ready 4 Proportional Representation
Sign the Petition e-616
#ProportionalRepresentation Spin Cycle ~ #ERRÉ
• International Women’s Day 2017 ~ #IWD
• An Open Letter to ERRÉ Committee Liberals

and don’t forget to check out the PR4Canada Resources page!

Canadian Mouse Tales

A lot of the people I talk to think the Harper Government is the biggest problem facing Canada. And while I strongly disagree with much of what this government has done, I think that the CPC’s behavior is really just symptom of the real problem: our winner-take-all electoral system.

This is an excellent little story I’d never heard, in a nice little film that I’d never seen.  Canadian actor Kiefer Sutherland introduces this allegory told by his grandfather, here set to animation.  It’s well worth a look because it’s just as pertinent today as it was when Tommy Douglas told it.

[Thanks to Larry Wartels for pointing me to “Mouseland.”]

Craig Scott in Waterloo, 2011
NDP Democracy Critic, Craig Scott

Proportional Representation

With a little help from us, the political parties that are currently shut out of Parliament will commit to the implementation of meaningful electoral reform.

The Green Party has long been committed to Proportional Representation.

The NDP voted to adopt Proportional Representation at their policy convention.  Even better, the party is demonstrating its active commitment to PR as Craig Scott, the NDP Democracy critic stumps for meaningful electoral reform across Canada. Bravo!  (Too bad Ontario’s NDP hasn’t  worked with the LPO to implement open list MMP in Ontario… apparently both parties would rather gift the province to Mr. Hudack)

"Support Resolution 31" ButtonHaving backed Alternative Vote initially, the Liberal Party seemed entrenched in its dismissal of Proportional Representation. Many Liberals have been working to change LPC party policy.  I helped some of my Liberal friends make a film to support their resolution to reopen the electoral reform issue at their policy convention. And sure enough, their resolution 31 passed. While the Liberal Party has not actually committed to Proportional Representation yet, it has opened the door.

When some votes count more than others, but most don’t count at all, it isn’t democratic.  Many of us have tried to push back against the inequitable system with strategical voting.  The problem is that if we vote strategically instead of voting for the candidate we think will best represent us, we will never elect the candidates we want; this makes a farce out of our “democracy.”

But things are changing.  Canadians are starting to see past the status quo propped up by the bulk of our mainstream media.  That’s why Canadians across the country have been calling and writing their MPs, and delivering petitions to let them know Proportional Representation must be on the national agenda.  Even some Conservative MPs are coming to the realization we need to modernize our First Past The Post system because they are discovering for themselves how frustrating it is not to have your voice heard.

Part of the problem we face is that nearly half of Canada’s eligible voters have become disaffected by the gross inequity inherent in our unfair system.    If all the disaffected voters come back to the polls and vote in the next election — no matter who they vote for — all of our fractional votes would combine into enough votes to turn the tide.

Fair Vote Canada tells us that Ten Canadian Commissions, Assemblies and Reports have recommended proportional representation.

And although I expect Tommy Douglas would be pleased to see the NDP as Canada’s Official Opposition, I think he’d be happier still if Canada adopted Proportional Representation, so that the mice and the cats can finally be represented proportionally.

For information about what you can do to help Canada become a real democracy, contact Fair Vote Canada to find the chapter near you.

leadership

Canadian Political Party Logos

If you’ve read this blog before, you may know I’ve never belonged to a political party.

My own preference would be the eventual elimination of political parties altogether.

But parties are entrenched in our current system and are unlikely to go away any time soon.

So why would I sign up as a Liberal Party of Canada supporter?

I’ve known good people across the spectrum of Canadian Political Parties. The very existence of so many political parties speaks to the fact that a mere two parties is woefully inadequate to the task of representing us.

Canadians are quite a diverse bunch ~ one size does not fit all.

Like many Canadians, I want to see Canada redefined into a real democracy that actually seeks to represent all of us. But the only way to achieve that is through meaningful electoral reform. I think we deserve democracy.

“Democracy is a form of government in which all eligible citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Democracy allows eligible citizens to participate equally—either directly or through elected representatives—in the proposal, development, and creation of laws. It encompasses social, economic and cultural conditions that enable the free and equal practice of political self-determination.”

Wikipedia: Democracy

Canadians have been led to believe that the ability to vote our government out of office makes our electoral system democratic. We’re supposed to have a representative democracy, but our electoral system is so unfair our “representatives” are virtually unaccountable.

Canadian FlagThe majority have learned that casting votes is futile in a system where some votes count more than others, and some count not at all. Since voting is disheartening; it’s hard to get out and vote, knowing the chance of actually being represented is slim to none. In fact, it’s not very democratic at all.

Worse, when we elect a majority government it’s effectively a dictatorship for the length of the term. And like any Winner-Take-All electoral system, ours is adversarial by nature, which guarantees that competition will trump consensus every time.

So candidates win or lose.

And parties win or lose.

But worst of all, citizens win or lose.

That may be a fine way to run a dictatorship, but a democracy? Not at all.

“The idea that someone whom you didn’t vote for, who does not agree with you on the issue you are concerned about can be an effective representative for you is ludicrous. “Representation” is not about removing uncertainty about which phone number to call to report potholes; it is about being connected to someone who shares your politics who can advocate for things you believe in in a legislative context.”

Stuart Parker

getting there

In the Globe and Mail

In the Globe and Mail:
Representative democracy is supposed to provide all citizens with representation in government.
But the reality is that most Canadians are not represented most of the time. The only part of our antiquated inequitable Winner-Take-All electoral system that might be called democratic is our right to vote. But how democratic is it when the majority of Canadians cast votes that don’t count?
In more than 30 years of voting, I’ve yet to elect an MP. Canada needs proportional representation so that all our votes count.

Political parties are the chief beneficiaries of the unfairness in the electoral system that put them in power. It’s no wonder they are unlikely to make a change. As more Canadians have come to understand the unfairness inherent in our electoral system, the support for Proportional Representation has grown. Even though growing numbers of Canadians want to see a change to a more democratic system of Proportional Representation, it hasn’t happened.

If we’re to have any chance of Proportional Representation, it’s important for Canadians to convince Political Parties (and Party Leaders) to support Proportional Representation while they still struggle at a disadvantage.

where will we find electoral reform

The New Democratic Party has long included electoral reform as an important policy plank. Yet there has been no move toward electoral reform since forming a majority government in Nova Scotia, or in Manitoba, where the NDP has formed four consecutive Provincial Governments.

Federally, in 2011 the New Democratic Party became Canada’s Official Opposition Party for the first time in history. While you might think this means adoption of Proportional Representation will naturally follow in the event of a federal win next time, I’m not so sure.

You can see from the party’s recent choice of Party Leader that now it’s all about winning. After reading about the autocratic way Mulcair muzzled NDP MPs, I’m wondering if he was not chosen as the candidate most like Jack Layton, but rather as the one most like Stephen Harper.

Because our adversarial electoral system is all about choosing a boss, the perception is that we need an autocrat, someone capable of running the show, someone comfortable bossing everyone else around. Like a king.

And of course, Winner-Take-All electoral systems favors the ruthless. The man who would be king. Dictator. Führer. Bully. We’ve been sold the idea that Candidates who can work cooperatively are not  “leadership material.”

What is the right kind of leader for a democracy?

Ontario’s Premier Dalton McGuinty’s Liberals were returned to power for the third consecutive term in 2011. But for the first time, their mandate was one seat shy of a majority. Heads turned a few months into the term when the Premier gave a plum position Conservative Elizabeth Witmer, enticing her to vacate the seat she’d held in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario since 1990. In the ensuing by-election, NDP candidate Catharine Fife won Witmer’s vacant seat by asking citizens to deny Mr. McGuinty a majority.

Catherine Fife (NDP) chats with Elizabeth Rowley (Communist) at Fair Vote Canada’s “Politics Underground” during 2012 Democracy Week

After two previous majority wins, Premier Dalton McGuinty resigned, apparently unequal to the task of governing democratically.

feudalism vs. democracy

Although ostensibly democratic, our political system has actually been slipping further into a kind of nouveau feudalism, as the checks and balances we may have had have been eroded and stripped away over time, and power centralized into fewer and fewer hands.

The difference between Winner-Take-All and an electoral system with an outcome of Proportional Representation is apparent in the resulting style of governance. Where Winner-Take-All produces bosses who tell citizens what to do, Proportional Representation encourages consensus, and a government that doesn’t just give the appearance of listening to constituents but actually governs for the public good. But this requires leaders capable of listening and working well with others, rather than simply issuing commands and bullying citizens.

The closest Canada has ever come to this ideal has been with minority governments, without which we would never have produced one of the policies Canadians value most, universal health care.

Today, of course, Canadians are struggling under the majority Conservative government produced by our Winner-Take-All electoral system. More than ever before, backbench MPs themselves have little if any say, and are often effectively prevented from actually representing constituents.

reinventing the Liberal party

Dion addressed a Liberal Party  Electoral Reform Debate

Although both Parties have undergone great upheavals, Canada has been alternately governed by two parties over the course of our history. Yet for the first time since the founding of Canada, the federal Liberal Party has fallen to third place, and so is trying to reinvent itself.

Political parties do that kind of thing when they lose power; some people think Parties exist for ideological reasons, but ideology is simply the “product.” The real reason political parties exist is to get and hold power. If the product doesn’t sell, the party can’t get or hold power, and so it must change.

The most dramatic change the Liberal Party did was to open up voting in their leadership race to anyone who is not a supporter of another political party.

Although I am still unconvinced that Cooperate for Canada is the right way for Canada to go, I decided to sign up as a Liberal Party supporter after meeting and talking to one of the original Cooperate Liberal Leadership candidates, B.C.’s David Merner. David impressed me as an intelligent and grounded individual concerned with actually solving Canada’s problems, but devoid of the self importance Canadians are used to from traditional FPTP Party Leaders. The purpose behind Cooperate is a one time strategic cooperation for the express purpose of implementing electoral reform to a multiple winner system that will have an outcome of Proportional Representation, so I was sorry to see David drop out.  Even so, I have continued to follow the leaderdhip race.  Because so long as Canada has political parties, the public interest will be best served if those parties have the best leaders.

electoral reform

Stéphane Dion close profile

Apparently former Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion suggested electoral reform would be a good start, and to that end, he floated an idea for a system the Liberal Party has since adopted as “Preferential Ballot” to reform our electoral system.

But as it turns out, what the Liberal Party calls “Preferential Ballot” is more accurately known as “Alternative Vote.” At first blush this might seem to be a reasonable interim step toward proportional representation, especially because AV is thought advantageous to centrist parties like the Liberals.

Whether you call the system “Preferential Ballot” or “Alternative Vote,” a closer look reveals it to be another Winner-Take-All system very much like the First Past the Post we’re presemtly saddled with.

Switching to “Liberal Style Preferential Ballot” wouldn’t really change anything much for Canadians, since AV isn’t much different from what we have. Some Liberals have latched onto this system because of the perception that it could return their party to the catbird seat. Yet electoral system scholars paint a very different picture, harking back to the near destruction of the Provincial Liberal Party following adoption of AV out west.

Incredibly, since the Liberal adoption of Preferential Voting, Stéphane Dion has proven himself to be of that rare breed who would rather get it right than pretend infallability. His own genuine concern for the public good led him to continue to investigate electoral reform, and his research brought him to the realization that Proportional Representation would be much better for Canada. He’s since been promoting his own plan for Proportional Representation he calls P3.

Joyce Murray Portrait

voting for a Liberal Leader

The Liberal Leadership Race voting began yesterday. Liberal Party Members and registered Liberal Party Supporters (like myself) can now cast our votes for the next Liberal Party Leader.

The candidates are down to a handful: Deborah Coyne, Martha Hall Findlay, Martin Cauchon, Karen McCrimmon, Justin Trudeau and Joyce Murray.

Joyce Murray is the only remaining Cooperate for Canada candidate.

Justin Trudeau’s famous name catapulted the young geography-drama-teacher-cum-MP into the lead the moment he threw his hat into the ring. He’s personable, good looking, well spoken and the son of a legendary Liberal leader.

Still, It’s hard to know what, if anything, he actually stands for, beyond riding his father’s coat tails. Of all the candidates he’s said the least, presumably so as not to put his foot in it.

The one subject Trudeau has taken a firm stand on is electoral reform. On his website he states in no uncertain terms that:

“I do not support proportional representation because I believe deeply that every Member of Parliament should represent actual Canadians and Canadian communities, not just political parties.”

Justin Trudeau

Trudeau is doggedly hanging onto the Liberal version of AV as the way back to Liberal Glory. He says he’s “listening” but when asked why he brushed off the Canadians asking for Proportional Representation, he said he knew better. Clearly, Justin has inhereited his father’s arrogance along with his mother’s looks. It seems Justin expects Liberals to blindly place their trust in him, policy unseen, not because he’s has a stellar record in the House of Commons… or anywhere else… because he hasn’t. His only real claim to fame is his parentage. But wouldn’t someone planning a career in politics study law, or at the very least, history… but drama?

"Joyce Murray"  and "Your "Vote Should Count" lapel buttons

If the Party chooses the young Trudeau as their leader, it could very well spell the end of the Liberal party as we know it. Although we Canadians try not to speak ill of the dead, and Pierre Trudeau was a Liberal icon, he was not revered by all Canadians.

Our electoral system was just as inequitable in his father’s time, so I’m guessing the advantage his name confers in Liberal circles will become a disavantage out in the wider world. It might be different if he had done something, or stood for something, but he hasn’t.

Further, Justin’s decision to slag Proportional Representation using nonsensical arguments doesn’t win him any points with me.

Joyce MurrayLiberal leadership candidates do their party no favours by trying to fool their membership into thinking Alternate Vote would provide meaningful reform, since it is simply another flavour of Winner-Take-All. Fortunately for the Liberals, those seeking to reclaim power at all costs are just one faction. There are principled Liberal Party members who are eager to restore their party to greatness, but through honesty and fair voting. Liberals For Fair Voting queried all the candidates about Proportional Representation, and even made up a nice little chart that shows clearly where the candidates stand.

my only choice

Since a majority of Canadians support Proportional Representation, the only reasonable Liberal Leadership contender is Joyce Murray. Whether or not she decides to cooperate, she is the only candidate solidly committed to Proportional Representation.

“I’m talking about winning the next election for a purpose. To reform Canada’s ailing electoral system to create a more representative and more collaborative Parliament; to harness all our talents for a sustainable society for the next seven generations.”

— Joyce Murray

As a Liberal Supporter, I will be casting my vote for Joyce Murray today.

With Ms. Murray at the helm pushing for Proportional Representation, I may very well end up casting my first vote for the LPC in 2015.

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All photographs by laurelrusswurm licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

What’s wrong with Canada’s Electoral System?

horse and buggy

Canada has a form of “Representative Democracy” known as “Single Member Plurality.” Each geographic electoral district (that we call ridings) elects a single candidate to send to parliament.

outdated

Canada’s First Past The Post electoral system, the basis of our Representative Democracy, was progressive in 1867. Before automobiles, telephones, airplanes, space travel, computers or the Internet. Our antiquated electoral system is totally inadequate for Canada in 2013.

unfair

Our winner take all system is inequitable. Some votes count more than others, and some don’t count at all.

Steam Train

mysterious

It has long been considered impolite, if not downright rude, for Canadians to talk about politics. Most Canadians are proud we are not “flag wavers” like Americans are. But although there is plenty wrong with the American electoral system, they understand the mechanics of how their government works. Americans learn about politics in school, and talk about it ever after. Any Canadians who feel the urge to talk about politics tend to talk about American politics.

After all, we know more about how the American system works than we understand our own. We can no longer afford not to talk about politics. We need to learn how our system works.

democracy

We think Canada is governed democratically. But it’s not.

When an election produces a majority government, as is often the case, our government is effectively a time limited dictatorship. And if you take a look at Canadian History, you’ll see that our majoritan electoral system has traditionally produced serial dictatorships.

The only element of democracy in the current system is that Canadians get to vote periodically.

broken

While most of us think we have “majority rule,” the reality is that a minority of voters elect our government. The majority of Canadians are not actually represented in Parliament.

The system is so bady broken, almost half of our eligible voters don’t vote. After all, what incentive is there to vote when your vote doesn’t count?

Since the system is stacked against us, as things have steadily worsened, Canadians have been trying to outsmart the system by voting strategically.

But the point of representative democracy is to allow citizens to vote for the candidate who will best represent our interests in parliament. Yet if we’re voting strategically, we aren’t voting for who we want, we’re voting against someone else.

The fact Canadians have come to accept strategic voting as legitimate demonstrates just how broken our supposed democracy actually is.

crisis

Our civil liberties, human rights, guaranteed Canadians by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, are being steadily eroded. The public good is ignored in favour of special interest lobbyists.

checks and balances

Canada’s Upper House, The Senate, was supposed to catch ill advised government policy. The reality is succeeding governments stack the senate with partisan senators, robbing Canadians of the protection of “sober second thought,” and now all we can expect from the Senate is a rubber stamp.

There are no effective checks and balances available to Canadians. Our system grants majority governments absolute authority for the term; our only recourse is public opinion, the same as in any monarchy or dictatorship.

proportional representation

Most modern democracies have chosen proportional representation. England, Canada and the United States are the only hold outs clinging to our outdated First-Past-The-Post systems.

“Democracy is NOT about picking winners and losers. You are thinking of sports, or perhaps capitalism. Democracy is about working together to accomplish more than we can do as individuals. It is about bringing all stakeholders to the table so everyone can get what they need. When democracy functions as it should, we are all winners. For that, you need a fair voting system”  Wayne Smith, Executive Director, Fair Vote Canada

we want democracy

If two thirds of Canadians want proportional representation, why don’t we have it already?

the problem

The people with the authority to change the system, are the same people who got into power with this system.  If they change the system, they will lose the unfair advantages that put them in power.  One of the loudest advocates for electoral reform to proportional representation was Stephen Harper… before he became Prime Minister.  NDP Party policy supports electoral reform to Proportional Representation, yet they have done nothing to implement it in the two provinces where the currently NDP holds a majority, which begs the question: can we trust the NDP to implement electoral reform?

to be continued . . .

I started out to write “Why I’m a “Liberal Party of Canada” Supporter” but as it turned out, I had to first write this necessary prequel. I will be unable to finish the next article tomorrow, but I hope to have it posted by Saturday night.
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voting for a Liberal leader

banner at the front of the room at the electoral reform debate

Step #1: Sign Up

Remember when I encouraged you to sign up to vote for the Liberal leader? Well, if you did, now it’s time for the next part: Now you need to register.   [I’ll have “Why I’m a “Liberal Party of Canada” Supporter” online by tomorrow.]

Step #2: Register

If you haven’t registered by March 21st, you don’t get to vote.  [The deadline to register was Thursday, March 15th but there has been a one time only extension to Thursday March 21st, 2013.]  Good thing, too, considering I’m only writing this now.

If you’ve signed up, you should have received an email from the Liberal Party’s Matt Certosimo telling you how to register, and providing you with the specific link to the online registration form. It wouldn’t help for me to share my  link I got, it was only good for me.

If you haven’t received an email, check your spam bucket. If your let your email provider decide what is spam for you, chances are the email has been blocked. What you can do instead is go to http://www.liberal.ca/leadership-2013/registration-help/ and ask for another one.

When you register you confirm:

  • Your wish to participate in the vote for the new Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada;
  • Your proper contact information so we can send you your ballot; and
  • That you meet the requirements to participate, and that the information you provide is true.

Confirmation

I tried regiistering on March 15th, (the original deadline) but the online form didn’t work.

I filled in all the information, it got to “submit” but there was no confirmation.

I sent an email to the link provided but got no reply.  I thought it might be a problem because I use free software, or perhaps something was hung up by AdBlock or NoScript. Perhaps their website was overwhelmed by the volume of last minute responses.  Whatever the problem was, the submit swirlie kept swirling, but didn’t give any conformation that it went through or not.

I tried again and again but nothing worked, so I left my computer on and went to bed. When it was still trying to submit the next morning I was afraid I’d blown my opportunity to register to vote.

Then I got an email about the deadline extension, so I gave it another try. This time I used the Chromium browser instead of Firefox and it worked immediately. It would have been super annoying if it hadn’t.

Your registration was received. Thank you. No further action is required from you at this time. After your registration is approved:     You will receive a voting PIN between March 25 and April 6, 2013.     You will be able to vote online or by telephone beginning at 12:01am ET on Sunday, April 7, 2013, until 3pm ET on Sunday April 14, 2013. Voting instructions will arrive with your PIN.     The Leader will be elected through a preferential ballot (meaning that you only vote once so you indicate all the candidates you support in order of preference on a single ballot) based on a points system that gives every riding in the country an equal voice. Click here to watch a video on the preferential vote and points system.

Step #3: Vote

Once you’re registered, you will receive a voting PIN between March 25 and April 6, 2013.  You will be able to vote online or by telephone starting at 12:01am ET on Sunday, April 7, 2013, until 3pm ET on Sunday April 14, 2013. Voting instructions will arrive with your PIN.

The Liberal Party Leader will be elected through a preferential ballot (meaning that you only vote once so you indicate all the candidates you support in order of preference on a single ballot) based on a points system that gives every riding in the country an equal voice.

Click here to watch their  video on the preferential vote and points system.

You won’t be able to vote if  you don’t register.

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Canadians: Sign Up If You Can

Today is the last day to sign up as a Liberal Party Supporter.

If you sign up,  you can vote in the Liberal Party Leadership race next month — you can help select the new Liberal Leader.

You don’t have to pay anything.  There are only two rules:

  • You must be a Canadian.
  • You can’t be a member of any other Political Party. [If you are, it is acceptable to temporarily resign your other Party membership in order to vote.]

If you’re new to the idea, and have no idea who you might want to vote for, here’s the thing: you don’t have to actually vote today, this is just the last day to register as a “supporter” so you can participate in the vote.

The actual voting will be held on April 14, 2013.

Why?

I am writing an article explaining why I — a proud life long member of NO party — think this is a good idea, but its taking longer than I thought, and I won’t be done until later tonight… in the meantime there is an:

upside

It’s easy to do, and even if you aren’t likely to actually vote Liberal, wouldn’t it be better for you to have a say in who the new LPC leader is — especially if that leader becomes Canada’s next Prime Minister?

downside

I know one dedicated member of another party who is suspending her membership to vote here, and another who can’t see his way clear to doing this. Beyond these considerations, the only downside I can see is a privacy consideration: you have to give up your email address. Still, if that is a concern, sign up for a disposable free Yahoo, Hotmail or Gmail free email address.

Today is the last day to register, so if you decide you want to tomorrow, it will be too late. If you sign up today, you don’t actually have to vote when the time comes. So, why not?

Do It

http://www.liberal.ca/supporter/


Joyce Murray, Liberal Leadership Candidate
Joyce Murray, Liberal Leadership Candidate

Because Canada needs Proportional Representation, the Liberal Leadership Candidate I will probably vote for is Joyce Murray,  the “Cooperate For Canada” candidate.   Although I am not entirely sure about Cooperate,  Joyce is the only candidate I know of who has come out in support of Proportional Representation, which I am sure about.  Some of the others may yet rethink the issue between now and voting day.

Here are a few of her endorsements:

And don’t miss Joyce Murray’s son’s rap video:  Baba Brinkman’s rap video


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