18 May 2017

Electoral reform returns to the agenda in British Columbia

British Columbia, Canada’s most Western province, has often been the site of electoral reform intrigue. In the run up to the 1952 provincial election the Conservative and Liberal parties tried to stop the socialist Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) from winning a majority by changing to the Alternative Vote system. Instead the Social Credit party emerged as the largest and changed the […]
3 Nov 2016

Electoral reform is making waves across the Atlantic

There’s something in the air, it seems. As I write, electoral reformers in Canada and the US have a real chance of securing a fairer voting system. As US voters prepare to pick their next President, there’s another interesting vote happening which we’re keeping a close eye on. In the state of Maine, voters are heading to the ballot box in five days to decide whether to adopt ‘ranked voting’ (the […]
19 Oct 2015

Canada heads to the polls

Of all the former colonies to which Britain has left behind the Westminster model of democracy perhaps none so obviously resembles the UK in its politics as Canada. Canadians have a House of Commons with 338 MPs elected by first past the post, an appointed Senate and Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state. The province of Quebec shares many parallels to Scotland, with a strong national identity […]
3 Aug 2015

The Canadian Senate - A second-rate second chamber

In the current debate about Lords reform it can often be tempting to look for easy solutions which broadly keep the structure of the Lords as it is, but deal with some of its defects. If the Lords is too big, why not simply cap its size? Perhaps we could introduce a mandatory retirement age? Get rid of the hereditary peers and the bishops and leave the rest! A few of these ideas and more have […]