Opinion

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votebutton-fullBy Jon Farmer
People keep telling me that if I want a government that will work for me, then I have to vote, mark my ballot, and have my voice heard. I don't believe them.

Don't get me wrong, I do believe in voting but my votes rarely send a representative to Ottawa. The same is true for most Canadians. It's the fault of our first past the post electoral system. We all know how it works. Whichever candidate gets the highest percentage of votes wins and tows their party line all the way to the capital.

It's winner take all and in this case the losers get nothing. For example, if four candidates are running, it's possible for someone to win with only 26 percent of the vote but what about the other 74 percent of the voters?

Every Canadian has the right to have their voice heard and their views represented in our government. Unfortunately, in 2011 almost half of Canadian votes were wasted. It doesn't have to work this way.

Canada could join the other 89 democracies around the world that use some form of proportional representation. There are different models to choose from but they're all based on the belief that no vote should be wasted and that the percentage of MPs sitting in parliament should match the percentage of votes cast. If we believe that every Canadian deserves to be represented, then we need an electoral system that will not ignore Canadian voters.

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