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Electoral Systems


1:00 pm
February 19, 2009



posts 10


Post edited 6:01 pm – February 19, 2009 by craig
Post edited 7:00 pm – February 20, 2009 by craig
Post edited 8:16 pm – February 23, 2009 by craig
Post edited 8:34 pm – February 23, 2009 by craig

Electoral Systems

A voting system for the President of the Métis National Council would either be majority rule or plurality voting. There are pros and cons to either of these methods, but ultimately both systems are democratic and can be held as a fair method to determine leadership. Below are the summaries for each of the systems along with potential questions for the forum:

Majority Rule 

A majority election system requires that the elected leader receive 50 per cent plus one of the total votes cast. It is the win-or-lose decision rule used most often in influential decision-making bodies, including the legislatures of democratic nations. While the 50 percent plus one rule offers a clear “winner” for elections, some recommended against the use of majority rule, at least under certain circumstances, due to the trade-off between the benefits of majority rule and other values important to a democratic society. For example, it has been argued that majority rule might lead to a “tyranny of the majority”, and the use of super-majoritarian rules – in other words, going to the extreme with majority rules. Constitutional limits on government power have been recommended to mitigate these effects. 

In favour of majority rule, some theorists have argued that majority rule may actually be the best rule to protect minorities. This is, in theory, possible because an vote or decision that takes place can be overturned by a majority vote. This creates opportunities for coalitions to form and overturn a vote or to act as a check and balances system and change a series of actions or decisions if they begin to slide down a slippery slope.

Plurality System

A plurality voting system is a single winner voting system which is based on single-member constituencies. In this voting system (which is also refered to as “first past the post”) the single winner is the person with the most votes; there is no requirement that the winner gain an absolute majority of votes, unlike the majority rules system. 

An advantage to this system is when there are more than two candidates in an election one vote can determine a winner. However, Canada’s First Past the Post system has repeatedly come under criticism because for issues of fairness because a candidate can win an election with a minority of the votes. There is also the belief of an entrenched disadvantage to women and minority candidates who often are unable to win either votes or nominations because of a male bias in the structure of the voting system.


Defining the voting system is the first decision required in the design of a new universal ballot electoral system. 

What type of voting system, majority, or a plurality (first past the post), would better capture the will and ambition of the Métis Nation?

Do you have any reservations or concerns with a majority or plurality (first past the post) voting system?


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