Getting What You Vote For

April 9, 2009 :: Harold Jansen
Moderated by Mark Nelson

The methods we use to elect our Members of Parliament may seem only of interest to political scientists and others who are obsessed with the institutional workings of our system. But they have real consequences for the way our political system operates.

Canada currently uses a single member plurality electoral system (often known as first past the post), and it has profound consequences. The speaker will outline the effects and argue that our electoral system does not serve the needs of Canada’s political institutions, parties, or citizens.

But there are alternative systems out there. We’ll discuss some of the options and the advantages and disadvantages of a shift to various forms of proportional representation.

Speaker: Harold Jansen

Harold Jansen has degrees for Carlton University and the University of Alberta. He received his Ph.D from the U of A in 1998, and has been a professor in the Political Science Department of the University of Lethbridge since then. His area of specialization is Canadian politics, particularly political parties and elections.

Dr. Jansen has published several articles and book chapters on topics such as electoral systems and electoral reform, Alberta politics, political party finance in Canada, and the impact of the Internet on political communication.

Harold Jansen helped to start Mapleleafweb, the leading Canadian political education website. He serves as Senior Editor for the site.

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