RAMPing up Parliament – An Alternative to Electoral Reform

Article 7 / 13 , Vol 39 No 4 (Winter)

RAMPing up Parliament – An Alternative to Electoral Reform

Electoral reform is a complicated proposition, yet the current first-past-the-post (or single member plurality) system has been criticised for leading to “wasted votes” and “strategic voting,” as well as often creating “false majorities.” In this article, the author proposes a novel “Revised Additional Majority Parliamentary” (RAMP) system which could address some of these criticisms without fundamentally altering the way we elect our parliamentarians. He concludes by noting that RAMP is a democratic, inexpensive, and simple way to experiment and innovate if either the status quo or a completely new way of electing parliamentarians are deemed undesirable

Canadian electoral reform involves a befuddling menu of alternatives – first-past-the-post (FPTP), different versions of proportional representation (PR), the alternative vote (AV), the single transferable vote (STV), some combination of different approaches (such as mixed member proportional representation, or MMP), as well as deciding whether the final decision should be determined by a national referendum (which, according to the Chief Electoral Officer, would cost about $300 million). To make things even more complicated, some pundits allege that certain choices will cause political indigestion for certain political parties, while others claim that many options would be unhealthy for the Canadian public. Finally, there has been debate about timing; whatever our choice, will we get served on time? In other words, will the government present Canadians, as promised, with a new voting system for the next election?