Archana Rampure | CUPE National Services
CUPE is not alone in supporting electoral reform and in calling for proportional representation (PR). In fact, we have joined dozens of civil society groups who are part of the Every Voter Counts Alliance, created in February 2016 to campaign for PR. Over 80 countries use a proportional voting system, including 85 per cent of OECD countries, such as Germany, New Zealand, Sweden, and Denmark.
The Alliance brings together organizations and individuals in support of a fair voting system where every vote counts, independent of party interests. Supporting organizations include ACORN-Canada, Broadbent Institute, Canadian Federation of Students, Canadian Labour Congress, Council of Canadians, Democracy Watch, Équiterre, Fair Vote Canada, Groupe Femmes Politique et Démocratie, Mouvement Démocratie Nouvelle, Idle No More, Institut du Nouveau Monde, Leadnow, Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants, Unlock Democracy, and YWCA Canada.
People as diverse as Mélanie Sarazin, president of the Fédération des femmes du Québec, Guy Giorno, former chief of staff to Stephen Harper, Alex Himelfarb, former Clerk of the Privy Council, and Col. Pat Stogran (retired), former Veterans Ombudsman, have already signed on in support of the Alliance, as have many of the major unions in Canada.
CUPE will work with the Alliance to provide evidence-based facts so that Canadians can make an informed decision about electoral reform. We also provide a platform for Canadians to add their voice and to let their elected representatives know they support fair and democratic elections. Evidence shows only PR will allow Canadians to choose local representation and see their political views represented in Parliament with equal and effective votes for all.
While even the Liberals know that the current first-past-the-post electoral system is broken, some of them have suggested that it can be repaired by switching to ranked ballots – a system in which Canadians will get to rank candidates in individual ridings. But for CUPE National President Mark Hancock that would only make things worse: “Adding ranked ballots to our winner- take-all federal system would actually exacerbate the problem with our current system by producing larger false majorities and making the House of Commons even more unrepresentative of the popular will. We can’t get this wrong. That’s why CUPE is participating in the consultation process.”