Re: Putting the axe to vote splitting, election inequities and
electoral reform – will we ever get a fair vote?
Unfortunately under the present electoral system, First Past the Post
(FPP), the fears of vote splitting, the pressures to vote “strategically”
and the unfairness of the election of false majority governments by a
minority of votes are all too real.
Most Yukon voters we have spoken with, at least those not constrained
by strong party affiliations or philosophical dogmas, would welcome
the opportunity to participate in elections by supporting their choice of
the best local candidate without being pushed by these fears,
pressures or unfair results.
If we don’t vote for the best qualified candidate then the best we can
expect to get is second best, or worse third best! And under FPP you
likely will have had no say as to the ranking of the other lessor two.
Obviously the current FPP system is subject to abuse, is undemocratic
and discourages voter turn-out. So what can be done?
The Yukon Green Party has researched electoral systems currently
used in other modern democracies in Europe, Australia and New
Zealand. We support a modified Australian Preferential Ballot (PB)
method as the simplest and best fit for a new Yukon electoral system.
Other proportional voting systems are more statistically accurate and
therefore are considered by some to be fairer. But they have the very
real draw backs of being overly complicated, cumbersome and
expensive. Plus there is the actual possibility that some candidates
may be appointed to an assembly directly by their party rather than
being elected by their constituents.
Under the PB system Yukon voters would mark their first, second and
third choices as to whom they would prefer to have represent them in
the Legislative Assembly. For a candidate to be elected, he or she
would have to get a clear majority of first and second (possibly third)
choice votes cast for them. The candidate receiving the fewest first
choice votes would be knocked out and the second choices on their
ballots would be added to the remaining candidates first choice counts.
This knockout and second vote distribution process would be repeated
for the candidate with the next lowest first choice votes and so on until
one of the remaining candidates achieved a true majority of first plus
second choice votes.
At one time or other, each of the old line political parties
(Conservative/Yukon, NDP and Liberal) while in Opposition have
discussed and flirted with the good idea of electoral reform. But as
soon as they have wrested the reins of power through a FPP false
majority win, i.e. with less than 50% of the popular vote, suddenly
somehow the idea is no longer worth considering. The Preferential
Ballot voting system could be implemented very quickly by relatively
minor amendments to the Yukon Elections Act as approved by a simple
majority vote of the Yukon Legislative Assembly. No other Yukon Acts
or Canadian Laws prevent Yukon from scrapping FPP and replacing it
with PB. PB works Down Under and it can Up Here!
It is interesting to note that in recent party leadership conventions in
Yukon and B.C. the leaders, Darrell Pasloski and Christy Clark,
were both elected under a Preferential Ballot system!
In this upcoming Yukon election, to date, the YUKON GREEN PARTY is
the ONLY political party actively advocating for ELECTORAL REFORM.
The Yukon Green Party supports the Preferential Ballot as the best
democratic electoral process and is convinced that it would ultimately
convert vote splitting fears to vote sharing optimism.
Leader, Yukon Green Party