Canadian Green leader backs court challenge to first-past-the-post voting system

From the National Post:

A pair of democratic rights groups are teaming up in a legal battle that is urging the nation’s top court to strike down Canada’s first-past-the-post electoral system on the grounds that it doesn’t protect guarantees under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The case would argue that the Constitution protects the right of Canadians to have “effective representation,” which goes beyond having the right to cast a ballot.The two groups, the Association for the Advancement of Democratic Rights and Fair Vote Canada, have also earned an endorsement from Green Party leader Elizabeth May. “The key issue is not that it’s unfair to the Green Party,” May said Tuesday at a news conference with representatives from the two groups. “It’s unfair to democracy. It’s unfair to voters, and I think it’s a big reason for the decline in voter turnout.”

May noted that more than 80% of people vote in Scandinavian countries and some other European nations, but she said the lowest voter turnouts in the world occur in countries with first-past-the-post systems, such as Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom, where governments can be elected with majorities despite having received less than 50% of the ballots cast in elections.

Read the full article at the National Post.

Dave Schwab

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