If you were hoping that Monday night’s election results would go some way to heal the political divide in Canada, it’s actually looking like the opposite. As the votes from across Canada proved, the country is torn when it comes to politics, as no party was able to secure a strong majority. In fact, while the Liberals scored the most seats, the Conservative Party actually claimed the most votes, and now Jagmeet Singh and Elizabeth May want to change Canada's vote system.
In the months prior to Canada’s 43rd federal election, it was clear that many Canadians were divided when it came to federal politics. If there was any hope that the country would be united come election day, it was quickly dashed when no party managed to secure a strong majority. In fact, while Justin Trudeau’s Liberals managed to claim a minority government with 157 seats, Andrew Scheer and the Conservatives actually got the majority of the popular vote, with 34.4% overall.
As it turns out, the Conservatives are not the only party who lost out due to Canada’s first past the post voting system. Since the election ended, the Green Party have pointed out that while they won approximately 1.1 million votes in the election, they only earned 3 seats, while the Bloc Quebecois claimed approximately 3.3 million votes this year, but managed to secure 32 seats in parliament.
Now, Green Party leader Elizabeth May and New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh are calling for a change to Canada’s electoral system, in the hope that future results could potentially better reflect the number of individual votes cast.
Just 24 hours after the 2019 election results were announced, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh spoke openly about reforming Canada’s voting system. Speaking about the results, he explained, “The results show a broken electoral system and it’s certainly clear we need to fix it. I’ve long called for and will continue to call for true electoral reform.”
While the NDP managed to claim as many as 2.8 million votes and 15.9% of the overall vote, they only secured 24 seats in Parliament. In comparison, the Bloc Quebecois earned 1.3 million votes and approximately 7.7% of the popular vote but gained as many as 32 seats in parliament.
Equally, Elizabeth May and the Green Party felt the first past the post system let Canadians down in this election, as they argue that just three parliamentary seats is not representative of more than 1.1 million Canadians.
Taking to Twitter on Wednesday, the Green Party page shared an image of how the votes were distributed into seats, and added the comment, “It's like we need a new voting system…”
Party leader Elizabeth May liked and retweeted this message, emphasizing her clear support for some kind of electoral reform.
The current voting system has also caused upset across the country with Canadians who do not feel like their votes were accurately reflected in Monday night’s election results.
In Western Canada, where the Conservatives gained 18 seats at the expense of the Liberals who lost 15 seats, some Canadians feel like the Trudeau-minority doesn’t represent their whole region's overwhelmingly Conservative votes.
In fact, the election results are causing some huge online wars between Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador, and things are actually getting nasty.
It’s not really clear yet what a full electoral reform could look like, but with so many Canadians unhappy with the result of Monday's election, it’s likely that reform will be discussed increasingly in the weeks and months to come.