For immediate release
May 3, 2011
Canada’s national citizens’ movement for voting reform has released analysis of Tuesday’s federal election results showing that the outcome does not accurately reflect the way Canadians voted.
“The Conservative party increased their vote percentage by less than two points,” says Fair Vote Canada (FVC) President Bronwen Bruch, “but this allowed them to win 24 more seats than in 2008, when they were already over-represented. Stephen Harper calls this a ‘decisive endorsement’, but we call it a rip-off.”
At the time of writing, these were the actual seats won and leading for each party:
CON 167, NDP 102, LIB 34, BQ 4, GREEN 1
If the seats were won in proportion to the votes that were cast, the numbers would look like this:
CON 122, NDP 95, LIB 59, BQ 19, GREEN 13
According to these results, the Conservatives have won 54.22% of the seats with only 39.62% of the votes, one of the least legitimate majorities in Canadian history.
“This is a classic phony majority,” said Bruch, “and leaves us with a government that is completely unaccountable to Parliament. As long as they maintain rigid party discipline, nothing bad can happen to them for four years.”
The FVC analysis shows that the NDP, historically under-represented by Canada’s winner-take-all voting system, is now over-represented by seven seats, thanks to the “orange wave” that vaulted them into second place.
The Liberal Party, on the other hand, traditionally over-represented to the degree that they were regarded as Canada’s “natural governing party”, is now the chief victim of the voting system. While their vote percentage fell by less than 8%, they lost more than half their seats.
The Bloc Québècois, which has always previously been over-represented because their votes are concentrated in one region, has been decimated. Although their vote percentage has collapsed, they should still be entitled to 19 seats, but they are winning or leading in only four seats.
The Green Party is ecstatic to have finally won a single seat, but they actually received enough votes across the country to win 13 seats.
“Across the country,” added Fair Vote Canada Executive Director Wayne Smith, “vote splits between the Liberals and NDP allowed the Conservatives to steal seats. Once again, our antiquated voting system has given us the wrong government, a government that most of us voted against.
“It is truly time to change our voting system. If we want politics to be different, we need a vote that makes a difference.”