Why Canada Must Embrace Electoral Reform Before 2025 Elections


Electoral reform should be implemented now


In the looming shadow of a potentially seismic electoral shift, it is imperative for both the federal Liberals and New Democrats to embrace a pragmatic approach. The time has come for them to urgently revisit the crucial issue of electoral reform before the next election in October 2025.

A glaring blight on recent Canadian political history remains Justin Trudeau’s broken promise regarding electoral reform after the 2015 election. Trudeau’s backtrack on replacing the first-past-the-post system, despite promising change while in opposition, epitomizes political expediency over principle.

Trudeau’s pivot was particularly galling given the Liberal Party’s earlier advocacy for reform in response to the distorted outcomes of the 2011 election. The disconnect between Trudeau’s rhetoric and actions underscored a cynical disregard for democratic principles.

Despite superficial attempts to explore reform options through an all-party committee, the Liberals undermined the process, highlighting their reluctance to relinquish the advantages of the status quo. Their preference for a ranked ballot system clashed with the New Democrats’ support for proportional representation, further stalling progress.

The failure to enact meaningful reform reflects a broader sense of entitlement within the Liberal establishment, buoyed by a misplaced belief in their perpetual dominance of Canadian politics. Trudeau’s deference to elder statesmen advising against reform epitomized this entrenched mindset.

Now, faced with the specter of a potential Conservative majority under Pierre Poilievre, the stakes have never been higher. Poilievre’s regressive agenda, marked by a rejection of climate action, dismantling of public broadcasting, and fiscal austerity, threatens to upend decades of progress on key issues.

In the face of this looming threat, the Liberals and New Democrats must cast aside ideological rigidity and embrace a practical solution. While the ranked ballot system may not be perfect, its implementation offers a viable path forward that aligns with Canadian electoral traditions.

Unlike more radical proposals, such as proportional representation, the ranked ballot preserves the existing parliamentary structure while mitigating the distortions of first-past-the-post. Its simplicity and familiarity make it a feasible option for swift implementation, minimizing disruption to the electoral process.

Moreover, the ranked ballot system empowers voters by eliminating the need for strategic voting and promoting greater inclusivity in the democratic process. By allowing voters to express their preferences more accurately, it fosters a more representative and responsive political landscape.

In the face of looming electoral upheaval, embracing the ranked ballot system represents an act of political pragmatism and foresight. It is time for the Liberals and New Democrats to prioritize the integrity of Canada’s electoral system over partisan interests, ensuring a fairer and more democratic future for all Canadians.