Sunday, August 27, 2023

Canada’s election laws have silenced Green [and "labour"] voters for far too long – says constitutional expert in Op Ed supportive of the Charter Challenge for Fair Voting

David Beatty, a noted constitutional expert, recently wrote an Op Ed in the Globe and Mail entitled "Canada's election laws have silenced Green voters for far too long," which is supportive of the Charter Challenge for Fair Voting. 

But it's not only Green voters who should take note of this challenge: Beatty has demonstrated his constitutional expertise with publications such as Putting the Charter to Work: Designing a Constitutional Labour Code which may be of interest not only to Green Voters interested in labour rights but also to NDP voters interested in labour rights: 

Both these voter groups should take an interest in how the Charter Challenge for Fair Voting can help in their particular struggles for their basic civil rights -- rights that have been denied to them by the unfair electoral systems in Canada and its provinces which, on average, tend to favour the top two dominant parties. See evidence in Footnote below.

Question: Would a court decision in the Charter Challenge for Fair Voting apply to provincial electoral systems as well, or just the federal system?

Answer (from this link on the Charter Challenge website): "Our case asks the court to rule specifically on the federal voting system. A decision in our favour would only have immediate implications and effects on the federal government.

However, a Supreme Court decision in favour of our case would set a strong precedent for all future cases of it’s kind. In many cases involving charter law where a strong precedent has been set by the Surpeme Court, it increases the chances that a case will be resolved at a lower court, and governments often take proactive steps to avoid legal battles they cannot win."


Above graph sourced from "Is Canada Fair?" at this link. (Orange is NDP; green is Greens; red is Liberal; blue is Conservative.)

Also, it should be noted that the above graph shows national results only. But when you look at regions, election results from all parties are distorted with First Past the Post, as we see in Wilf Day's quote below (See his great blog at this link):


"Myth: PR helps only the NDP and Greens.
Fact: In the 2015 election, in the GTA 396,000 NDP votes were ineffective, disregarded, wasted, and thrown in the garbage can by our skewed winner-take-all system.
But 944,000 Conservative votes in the GTA were ineffective.
And so were 993,000 Liberal votes in Western Canada.
While 235,000 Atlantic NDP voters elected no one, so did 249,000 Atlantic Conservative voters and 384,000 Alberta Liberals.
Across Canada, 8,921,682 votes were ineffective. That’s 50.7% of all votes cast.
But the majority of those disregarded votes were for Liberals and Conservatives: 30% for Conservatives and 26% for Liberals, while 29% were for NDP candidates, 7% for the Bloc Quebecois, and 6% for the Greens."

(End Quote)

My response to Wilfred Day: While all of this is true, the national averages, as opposed to regional data, shown in the graph above, speaks for itself. In the national average, it is generally* the smaller parties who lose the most in ANY country that uses the "First Past The Post" voting system. In Canada's case, it's the NDP and Greens who generally* lose most.

* Parties that have voters dispersed across many ridings/regions are worse off than parties (such as the Bloc) which are not dispersed. 

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