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Political Science Canadian

Should We Change How We Vote?

Evaluating Canada's Electoral System

edited by Andrew Potter, Daniel M. Weinstock & Peter Loewen

McGill-Queen's University Press
Initial publish date
Apr 2017
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    Publish Date
    Apr 2017
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    Apr 2017
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    Apr 2017
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During the 2015 federal election, the Liberal Party pledged that, if elected, they would end the “first past the post” electoral system, where whichever candidate receives the most votes wins a riding even if they have not received a majority of all votes cast. In early 2017, the Liberals reneged on their campaign promise, declaring that there was a lack of public consensus about how to reform the system. Despite the broken promise – and because of the public outcry – discussions about electoral reform will continue around the country. Challenging the idea that first past the post is obsolete, Should We Change How We Vote? urges Canadians to make sure they understand their electoral system before making drastic changes to it. The contributors to this volume assert that there is perhaps no institution more misunderstood and misrepresented than the Canadian electoral system – praised by some for ensuring broad regional representation in Ottawa, but criticized by others for allowing political parties with less than half the popular vote to assume more than half the seats in Parliament. They consider not only how the system works, but also its flaws and its advantages, and whether or not electoral reform is legitimate without a referendum. An essential guide to the crucial and ongoing debate about the country’s future, Should We Change How We Vote? asks if there are alternative reforms that would be easier to implement than a complete overhaul of the electoral system.

About the authors

Andrew Potter is the coauthor of the international bestseller Nation of Rebels. A journalist, writer, and teacher, he lives in Toronto. Follow him on Twitter (@jandrewpotter).

Andrew Potter's profile page

Daniel M. Weinstock is James McGill Professor in the Faculty of Law and director of the Institute for Health and Social Policy, McGill University.

Daniel M. Weinstock's profile page

Peter Loewen is director of the School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Toronto.

Peter Loewen's profile page

Editorial Reviews

“[Should We Change How We Vote?] should be read in preparation for future battles.” Literary Review of Canada

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Other titles by Peter Loewen