Big electoral changes loom for Canada. Prime minister-designate Justin Trudeau has promised that Monday’s election would be the final one ever conducted using the traditional first-past-the-post system. That means the “winner-takes-all” way Canadian voters have always elected their MPs will be changed in time for the 2019 federal campaign. “It was one of our commitments that this would be the last election based on this process,” Trudeau told reporters in Ottawa on Tuesday. “We have much work to do, to consult, to be engaged with Canadians, to study the issue so that upcoming elections are indeed done in a different way,” he said in French. Trudeau made his comments even though his Liberals won 184 seats in the 338-member Commons — or 54.4 per cent — with just 39.5 per cent of the popular vote.
At the other end of the political spectrum, Elizabeth May’s Green party took one seat — or 0.3 per cent of the Commons — despite attracting 3.4 per cent of the vote.
“Over 9 million Canadians didn’t get to vote in a representative in this election,” said Kelly Carmichael, executive director of Fair Vote Canada, which is advocating for electoral reform and would like to see proportional representation.
If a form of that voting system were in place, Trudeau’s Liberals might have won 134 seats in the Commons, a minority that would have forced them to seek partners for a governing coalition with smaller parties such as the Greens, who would have won 12 seats.