It’s no secret that Canadian election laws are outdated. A party can
have a majority government with less that 40% of the popular vote. In
the last election there were 59 ridings where a conservative MP was
elected with less than 50% of the vote. 9 of those ridings were won
with less than 40%.
Many have proposed electoral reform such as Alternative Vote but all
have failed in Canada. It is simply too difficult to change the
constitution. There may be another way to keep our 18th century
electoral process relevant to the needs of the 21st century. A
voluntary pre-election between two or three parties that will decide
who will run against the incumbent in the actual election. That way,
there would be two choices on the ballot, the incumbent and the
So if parties B and C decide that they would rather have B or C than
party A they may want to hold a pre-election known as a primary. This
works only if the two parties voluntarily agree to a binding primary.
This may be what the people in the riding want, but it is met with a
lot of resistance by the parties.
Political parties in Canada are traditionally very exclusive and not
willing to give power over to another group. Imagine if halfway
through the season, all the Oilers fans became Flames fans because
they had a better chance of making it to the play-offs. Clearly, there
is more at stake in politics, such as a 30 billion dollar F-35 deal
that gives the Canadian war chest over to American arms dealer
Lockheed Martin. 30 billion dollars that could go toward our
hospitals, schools and repairing our crippled economy through
So in ridings where the winner one with less than half of the vote
could rise above their differences and cooperate then real electoral
reform can happen even without altering the constitution. Stopping the
split won’t fix everything in government, far from it. Yet it will be
more in align with what the voters want on the whole, both as a riding
and a country.