In Canada and Around the World
Before you can understand voting you need to see the
results so you know what we are talking about.
The following slides show the Canadian Federal
election of 2004 as an example.
PARTY % of the
Bloc Quebecois 12.4
To the right you will
see a chart showing
the popular vote (% Conservative 29.605
of people) who
voted for each of the Liberal 36.705
major parties during
the 2004 election.
result of 2004 PARTY % of % of
election the the
The table to the right Vote seats
shows what the results
of the 2004 federal Bloc 12.4 38.2
election would be IF Quebecois
each party received Conservative 29.605 91.2
the same percentage Liberal 36.705 113.1
of seats as the NDP 15.69 48.3
percentage of votes
that it won. Other 5.6 17.2
Total 100.00 308
of 2004 election
The chart to the PARTY Number of
right shows the
actual number of Seats
seats that each party Bloc Quebecois 54
won during the
PARTY Number % of the Change
of Seats Seats by
The Difference Won Vote
The chart to the Bloc 54 38.2 +15.8
right shows the Quebecois
difference between Conservative 99 91.2 +7.8
the actual number
Liberal 135 113.1 +21.9
of seats won and the
number of seats that NDP 19 48.3 -29.3
would have been Other 1 17.2 -16.2
won based on Total 308 308 0
So the question you should be asking is:
Why is there a difference?
The answer is that Canada decides who
represents Canadians based on
electoral districts not popular vote.
The following slides show our electoral
The following slides show what type of electoral
system Canada uses as well as several others that are
used around the world.
As always it is up to you to decide which one of these
systems is best.
First Past the Post Voting (FPP)
The voter only votes for one candidate and whoever
gets the highest number of votes is elected.
It is the easiest vote counting system to calculate
The winning candidate is the one who gains more
votes than any other candidate, but not necessarily an
absolute majority (50% + 1).
FPP is used in the United Kingdom, Canada, India,
and the United States.
Preferential Voting (PV)
Electors must rank all candidates by placing the number ‘1’
for their preferred candidate and consecutive numbers
from ‘2’ for their 2nd choice, ‘3’ for their 3rd choice and so
on until all candidates are numbered.
If no candidate has an absolute majority, the candidate
with the lowest number of 1st preferences is eliminated,
and their ballot papers are examined for 2nd preferences to
be assigned to remaining candidates in the order as
The totals are then checked and this process is repeated
until one candidate has an absolute majority.
PV is used in the Australian federal House of
Representatives and in Nauru.
Two Round System (TRS)
The TRS is conducted in the same way as an FPP
election and if a candidate receives an absolute
majority of votes, they are elected.
If no candidate receives an absolute majority a second
round of voting is conducted, often a week or two later
and the winner of this round is declared elected.
The TRS is used in countries such as France, Mali,
Togo, Egypt, Iran, Belarus and Ukraine.
List Proportional Representation
List PR is used in multi-member electorates where
votes are cast in order of preference for the parties
which have registered a list of candidates.
Parties receive seats in proportion to their overall share
of the total vote and winning candidates are taken
from the lists in order of their position.
Mixed Member Proportional
A proportion of the parliament is elected by majority
methods, usually from single-member electorates,
while the remainder come from PR Lists.
Under MMP systems, the List PR seats compensate for
any disproportions produced by the district seat
MMP is used in countries such as Germany, New
Zealand, Italy and Venezuela.