“Each citizen is entitled to be represented in government”
– Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, explaining what our Charter right to vote means
Justice McLachlin once said “the Canadian tradition [is] one of evolutionary democracy moving in uneven steps toward the goal of universal suffrage and more effective representation”. But right now, our current voting system denies over half our fellow citizens a voice in Parliament – including Liberal supporters on the Prairies, Conservative supporters in downtown Toronto, NDP supporters in Atlantic Canada or Green Party supporters just about anywhere.
And just as we now all recognize that it was never right that women should ever have been denied the vote, it is increasingly apparent that it’s not right to exclude half the voters. After all, as McLachlin also said, the purpose of our Charter right to vote “cannot be less than to guarantee to citizens their full democratic rights in the government of the country”.
We invite you to read the sections below to learn more about why change is needed, what the main options for change are, and how you can contribute to the government’s current reform process.