The Pros And Cons Of FPTP In Canada

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The pros of FPTP are generally considered to be that it is easy for voters to understand and that it is the voting system that people in Canada are most used to. Vote counting is of course a lot simpler too, compared to other systems that would require a lot more rigorous counting systems. Simplicity is obviously a very important part of any voting system, the average voter needs to understand how their vote works. However, the simplicity is often and lack of representation is often used as an example as to why voter turnout is shrinking as many feel like their votes do not matter. Although whether it is a positive or a negative depends on the viewpoint, first past the post does lead to more majority governments than a MMP form of democracy …show more content…

On top of that, the party that wins can actually have less of the popular vote than the party that lost (obviously coming second in this example). 1997 was considered a very blatant year when it came to issues with FPTP, as an example, the Reform Party of Canada and the Progressive Conservatives had less than one percentage point separating their vote (19.4 percent to 18.8 percent), but the Reform party elected 40 more MPS than the Progressive Conservatives.1 This example shows a clear unfairness in how the voting system works in FPTP, as the voters who voted for the Progressive Conservatives were not being represented fairly. This is where FPTP's major flaw comes into play, it punishes smaller parties that may have wide support across the country, but no centralized support bases anywhere. Parties such as the Green party stand no chance in most areas of the country and hardly get any seats, with 3.4% of the votes in the 2015 federal election, it would be assumed that they would have close to that many seats , however, they had one single seat which converts to 0.3% of the seats.2 Of course, it is important to take into consideration that with the FPTP system voters may be inspired to vote more strategically to not “throw away their …show more content…

The pros of having a more representative system are strong enough that it is something that Canada needs to adopt if it wants to consider itself a truly democratic, inclusive and fair country. The flaws of the MMP system revolve around the fact that the likelihood of governments having majorities is lower, which creates a higher likelihood of coalitions for more “power” so to speak. The more representative system also allows for people to have more choice in their votes, which leads to shorter lifetimes for most parties as voters have more control with their votes. A party that is run badly is less likely to see another term, this is of course a good thing, but inconsistent governments is brought up as a con against the Mixed-Member Proportional System. The Mixed-Member Proportional system also allows a better foundation for smaller parties to form, parties with more singular focuses have a much higher chance of having seats. This has its pros and cons as parties such as Nazi parties can gain even a small amount of parties on the federal level, but it also allows for better representation of fringe groups that would otherwise never get much control in government. This problem has been answered by having a minimum percentage of the popular vote for a party to earn a seat.3

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