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Growing coalition for reform

Archana Rampure | CUPE National Services

polling stationCUPE is not alone in supporting electoral reform and in calling for proportional representation (PR). In fact, we have joined 
dozens of civil society groups who are part of 
the Every Voter Counts 
Alliance, created in February 2016 to campaign for PR. Over 80 countries use a proportional voting system, including 85 per cent of OECD countries, such as Germany, New Zealand, Sweden, and Denmark.

The Alliance brings together organizations and 
individuals in support of a fair voting system where every vote counts, indepen­dent of party interests. 
Supporting organizations include ACORN-Canada, Broadbent Institute, 
Canadian Federation of 
Students, Canadian Labour Congress, Council of Cana­dians, Democracy Watch, Équiterre, Fair Vote 
Canada, Groupe Femmes Politique et Démocratie, Mouvement Démocratie Nouvelle, Idle No More, 
Institut du Nouveau Monde, Leadnow, Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants, Unlock Democracy, and YWCA Canada.

People as diverse as 
Mélanie Sarazin, president 
of the Fédération des femmes du Québec, Guy Giorno, former chief of staff to 
Stephen Harper, Alex Himelfarb, former Clerk of the Privy Council, and Col. Pat Stogran (retired), former Veterans Ombudsman, have already signed on in support of the Alliance, as have many of the major unions in Canada.

CUPE will work with 
the Alliance to provide 
evidence-based facts so 
that Canadians can make an informed decision about electoral reform. We also provide a platform for 
Canadians to add their voice and to let their elected representatives know they support fair and democratic elections. Evidence shows only PR will allow Canadians to choose local representation and see their political views represented in Parliament with equal and effec­tive votes for all.

While even the Liberals know that the current 
first-past-the-post electoral system is broken, some 
of them have suggested 
that it can be repaired by switching to ranked ballots 
– a system in which Cana­dians will get to rank candidates in individual ridings. But for CUPE National 
President Mark Hancock 
that would only make things worse: “Adding ranked ballots to our winner-
take-all federal system would actually exacerbate the problem with our current system by producing larger false majorities and making the House of 
Commons even more unrepresentative of the popular will. We can’t get this wrong. That’s why CUPE is participating in 
the consultation process.”

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