Democracy & Governance

— Oct 20, 2016
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Counting Votes: Essays on Electoral Reform is a new book that finds first-past-the-post is the best electoral system to keep governments accountable, coalition governments (and spending) increase under Proportional Representation, and the Alternative Vote—also known as ranked ballots—would weaken the competitiveness of elections. It also highlights the constitutional requirement—given previous conventions—of a referendum to make any significant change to the way Canadians elect their governments.

— Aug 30, 2016
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First-Past-the-Post: Empowered Voters, Accountable Government

First-Past-the-Post: Empowered Voters, Accountable Government, the third in a series of essays on electoral reform, spotlights several voting systems, including first-past-the-post (FPTP), preferential voting, and proportional representation systems like mixed-member proportional and single transferrable vote. It finds the benefits of first-past-the-post —simplicity, transparency and accountability —make it not only the best way of electing governments, but also the easiest way to defeat them by voting them out.

— Jul 28, 2016
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Electoral Rules and Fiscal Policy Outcomes

The federal Liberal government is committed to change Canada’s electoral system in time for the next election. But changing the way a society elects its political representatives changes the incentives and power structure of government, which in turn influences fiscal policy. Electoral Rules and Fiscal Policy Outcomes, the second in a series of essays on electoral reform, spotlights how replacing Canada’s current electoral system with proportional representation would lead to higher government spending and more deficits.

— Jun 21, 2016
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The Imperative of a Referendum is the first in a series of essays on electoral reform in Canada—spotlighting the conventions that guide governments seeking to change electorar rules (i.e. first-past-the-post).  The essay also examines whether or not any changes to Canada’s electoral system, without consent from the electorate via referendum, would be constitutional.

— Dec 9, 2014
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Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the Equalization Policy Crutch

Equalization payments are discouraging at least two provinces—Nova Scotia and New Brunswick—from developing their natural resources and generating prosperity for their residents, finds a new study by Ben Eisen and Mark Milke. The study, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the Equalization Policy Crutch finds that on a wide range of economic measures, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick perform poorly compared to most other provinces.

— Oct 22, 2014
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Cancelling Contracts: The Power of Governments to Unilaterally Alter Agreements

Provincial governments have the power to change or cancel legally binding agreements, notes a new study by Bruce Pardy. The study, Cancelling Contracts: The Power of Governments to Unilaterally Alter Agreements, is particularly relevant for Ontario where the province has locked itself into a number of long-term contracts with wind and solar power companies, resulting in escalating electricity prices.

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Democracy & Governance Research Experts

  • Senior Policy Analyst, Centre for Natural Resource Studies, Fraser Institute
  • Professor of Political Science, University of Calgary
  • Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Windsor
  • Professor, École nationale d'administration publique