Presiding Officers Conference
Approximately fifty delegates and observers attended the 27th Conference of Presiding Officers which took place in Whitehorse, Yukon from January 21-24, 2010. Every jurisdiction except New Brunswick was represented.
The host of the Conference was Speaker Ted Staffen of Yukon. Among the other Speakers in attendance were: George Hickes (Manitoba), Roger Fitzgerald (Newfoundland and Labrador). Steve Peters (Ontario) Kathleen Casey (Prince Edward Island), Paul Delorey (Northwest Territories), Bill Barisoff (British Columbia), Don Toth (Saskatchewan), Charlie Parker (Nova Scotia), James Arreak (Nunavut), Peter Milliken (House of Commons), and Rose-Marie Losier-Cool (Speaker pro tempore, Senate).
In “Time to Move Beyond Electoral Reform Proposals” (Review, Winter 2009), W. Scott Thurlow raises several questions about representation and the voting system and concludes that electoral reform is less important and more problematic than other possible reforms. I would suggest that proportional representation (PR) is both a pragmatic and necessary reform for the future of democracy in Canada.
It is true that no electoral system counts 100 per cent of the votes. However, in comparing our current system which regularly leaves about half of the votes uncounted to a proportional system that counts all but (depending on the type of PR) maybe five per cent, it is clear that PR is a much fairer system of representation.