Electoral Reform

I have been centrally involved in the debate over electoral reform in Canada. My own position is that rather than choosing electoral systems based on their ability to maximize some value - like accountability, proportionality, or responsiveness - the principal objective of an electoral system is merely to ensure the continued democratic selection of leaders. This provides a simple rule of thumb: if your country has an electoral system which is allowing for popular selection and control, then do not change it. This is a very conservative position, and it happens to be one that recommends FPTP in Canada. But it also recommends pure PR in the Netherlands, MMP in Germany, AV in Australia, and so on. 

That said, my thinking has evolved and is always evolving, so I reserve the right to change my opinions.

A draft of a chapter I wrote for a book, Should We Change How We Vote, available from McGill-Queen’s University Press and edited by Andrew Potter, Daniel Weinstock, and me, is here

You can find some popular columns I have written on electoral reform here: 

Big or small parties? A central question on electoral reform

On electoral reform, Trudeau reveals the truth

Consider the merits of our system before electoral reform

Minister's principles of electoral reform don't narrow down the choices

Crisis of democracy? Look to provincial governments

My testimony the Special Committee on Electoral Reform is available here. My written submission is here

You can watch a few videos of me defending my positions (and in one case losing a debate!) here and here

You can find a statement regarding my involvement in the mydemocracy.ca website here. A letter we sent to Minister Gould regarding opening the data produced by mydemocracy.ca is available here