Democracy & Governance

— Aug 29, 2017
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Measuring the Impact of the 2017 Election on Uncertainty in British Columbia

Measuring the Impact of the 2017 Election on Uncertainty in British Columbia finds that the tenuous nature of the recent provincial election in British Columbia has increased political and policy uncertainty to the highest levels since 2009, which could drive away business investment and slow the economy.

— Mar 21, 2017
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Custom Election Codes for First Nations

Custom Election Codes for First Nations: A Double-Edged Sword finds that nearly 60 per cent of Canada’s First Nations have adopted custom election systems for band chiefs and councils, instead of using Indian Act rules. And while custom-made election systems for individual First Nation bands may produce more accountable and transparent government, they may also lead to abuse of power and discrimination.

— 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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referendum

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.

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Democracy & Governance Research Experts

  • Professor of Political Science, University of Calgary
  • Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Windsor