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ISBN: 9781552392362

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The Politics of Voting

Reforming Canada's Electoral System

The Politics of Voting: Reforming Canada’s Electoral System is a timely examination of Canada’s voting system by one of Canada’s leading authorities on electoral reform. In a clear, accessible style, Dennis Pilon presents the various issues, debates, and consequences surrounding how we vote, and what our options are. Drawing on historical and comparative perspectives (from countries such as New Zealand, Ireland, Israel, and Italy, as well as his intimate knowledge of the 2005 referendum in British Columbia), Pilon explains why our current system fails to provide Canadians with proper democratic representation, and examines the myths and political influences that have held back change.

A must-read for anyone interested in or studying Canadian politics, this will be a welcome resource for study at many levels: Introductory Canadian Politics courses, upper-year undergraduate courses in elections and voting systems or provincial politics, as well as graduate level studies.


Dennis Pilon

Dennis Pilon is an associate professor of Political Science at York University. In 2005/06 he was the Canada Research Chair Postdoctoral Fellow in Canadian Studies at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario. Before coming to the University of Victoria in 2006 he taught politics courses at York University, the University of Toronto, and Trent University. His research has focused primarily on issues of democratization and democratic reform in western countries in both contemporary and historical contexts. His published work includes contributions to the Journal of Canadian Studies, the Canadian Journal of Political Science, the Canadian Parliamentary Review and Labour/Le Travail, as well as reports for the Law Commission of Canada, the Centre for Social Justice, and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

Chapter Title Abstract Contributors Pages Year Price


Review of the contents of the book in relation to its two main themes of broadening the current terms of the Canadian voting system component of electoral reform debates and making politics … 11 $1.10


Analysis of different voting systems in support of an argument that a choice of voting system has an effect on political results. 14 $1.40


Outline of the workings of the current plurality voting system and exploration of its implications for voters, parties and the political system in support of an argument that it is not defensible. 23 $2.30


Examination of alternatives to the current voting system and why a proportional representation system is preferred to non-proportional systems as a replacement. 26 $2.60


Historical review of the origins of Canadian electoral institutions and subsequent reform debates to illustrate how the current system evolved, including a comparison to other western jurisdictions. 19 $1.90


Review of debates regarding choices about the means to pursue reform, which jurisdictions should be subject to reform, and whether to reform both houses of the federal Parliament. 25 $2.50


Review of debates between the single transferable vote and the mixed-member proportional forms of the proportional representation principle, and how partisanship in such debates inhibits reform. 15 $1.50


Critical assessment of the classic debate points about voting systems: stability, local representation, and government accountability, plus an examination of newer concerns regarding voter … 24 $2.40


Assessment of why voting system reform is political, and how an understanding of those politics is necessary for effective reform. 21 $2.10