CPJ has long advocated for electoral reform, engaging with the electoral system and its implications for politics from the very beginning of its work. CPJ believes that introducing proportional representation to our electoral system would make it fairer for the representation of views, respecting the reality of pluralism.
Our CPJ backgrounder examines the current First Past the Post political system and its impact on representation, as well as the alternative of proportional representation or a PR hybrid system. By exploring the nature of representation, our backgrounder considers the different effects that an electoral system can have on authorization, accountability, access to representatives, geographic representation, and descriptive and substantive representation.
CPJ’s public justice framework calls for government to promote just relationships and foster conditions that enhance the common good, and for citizens to participate in the creation of laws in order to ensure that public justice is pursued. Representation is essential to the fulfillment of both tasks, as well as to ensuring respect for the rights, responsibilities and dignity of all people.
CPJ’s position on electoral reform is grounded in the belief that respect for the choices of citizens and public dialogue is more important than any particular electoral system. However, in the present context, CPJ believes that introducing PR to our electoral system, whether through a PR or hybrid system, would make it fairer for the representation of views expressed through political parties. Any reforms should be made based on consultation with Canadians in the context of sufficient information and informed public debate, however. CPJ also understands that electoral reform will not solve every issue Canadians might have with the political system, and that other political reforms should be considered on that basis.
CPJ’s current emphasis is on education about electoral reform, providing information to our members and to the public, highlighting our unique public justice perspective, and addressing the debate in the media.
CPJ’s policy papers on electoral reform and representation: