Author: Dave Brekke

Comparison of electoral system results, 2016 Yukon election

If Canadians like Inclusion and Collaboration, why not improve the electoral system, the first step in democracy?

Effective Voters are voters who can point to someone their vote helped to elect.

Under this Alternate System, candidates have two ways to win a seat. Candidates can win riding seats through preferential voting. If not, with so far unrepresented proportional votes in their electoral area, the most popular party candidates can win proportional seats.

When voting is inclusive, false (illusory) majority governments don’t happen. In their place, are inclusive minority governments that require collaboration.

Canadians can have Inclusion and Collaboration by improving their electoral system.

The proposed (alternate) system used in this comparison of electoral system results is the Preferential Ridings Proportional (PRP) system.

Candidates representing a political party have two ways to win a seat:

  1. A preferential riding seat with their own votes.
  2. A proportional seat with party votes

To facilitate connection between voters and their elected representative, proportional seats are determined in ELECTORAL AREAS with between 4 and 10 representatives. In each electoral area, half the seats represent ridings and half the seats represent the entire electoral area, being proportional seats.

Under PRP, the Yukon would be composed of 3 “Electoral Areas”:

  • South East 2 riding seats and 2 proportional seats
  • Whitehorse 5 riding seats and 5 proportional seats
  • North West 2 ridingseats, 2 proportional seats and the 1 Vuntut Gwitchin limited riding seat (Not elligible to win a proportional seat)

Please download the summary and electoral area results for the 2016 Yukon election. The graphs are followed by the details of how the PRP system would have worked in each electoral area.

Letter to Fair Vote Canada

Dear Anita et al,

As Fair Vote Canada FVC knows extremely well, Canada needs to improve its electoral system.

Does FVC give its support to the Preferential Ridings Proportional PRP system? FVC’s support could be very helpful.

As you may know, the Preferential Ridings Proportional PRP system has been applied to past election results taking the effectiveness of voters, (voters who can point to an elected representative whom their 1st choice (X) vote helped to elect), from half to almost all voters casting an effective vote. With preferential 2nd and 3rd . . . choices in their votes, all voters could feel some connection to the election result, i.e. feel included.

The PRP system would be far simpler to implement than most other systems, because the riding boundaries and voting structure are very similar to Canada’s present system, and make modification easier and faster.

This combination Preferential Ridings Proportional PRP system can be simply and seriously considered to replace the FPTP system with an A I R test. The A I R test means that throughout the process of change, the PRP system could be Accepted as is, Improved to make it better, or Replaced with a better system. All political parties would be more fairly represented in all elections with this PRP system. The parties that reject change because they want the possibility of having an illusory majority government, with 100% power and less than half the votes, do not show much respect for the half of the voters who cast ineffective votes in that election. Some of those ineffective voters are in their own party.

Does FVC give its support to the Preferential Ridings Proportional PRP system?

Yours truly,

Dave Brekke, very concerned former Federal Returning Officer for Yukon

Letter to Justin Trudeau

Dear Justin,

Though I have met you in Whitehorse, other commitments you had did not allow us time to discuss the inclusive combination electoral system, Preferential Ridings Proportional PRP. I hope that you have now received it through Yukon’s MP, Larry Bagnell. If not, I hope that you soon will.

This is in reply to a received invitation to join you on, “working together to grow the most open and inclusive movement in Canada. . . . I’m calling on you to help build the best possible country we can. . .” It was a real pleasure for many to see the inclusive structure of the Special Committee on Electoral Reform, and such a disappointment when you and the Liberal Party shut it down.

As you will see in the PRP electoral system, this topic of inclusiveness is of great interest to me.

If you reopen the electoral reform file for more inclusive and truly representative democracy, and think that the combination PRP electoral system is worth consideration, I would very much like to work with you on building the ‘best possible country we can . . .’

Yours truly,

Dave Brekke, Very concerned former Federal Returning Officer for Yukon.

Awareness-raising handouts and discussion prompts

It has been a pleasure to be able to attend Hon. Monsef’s, Minister of Democratic Institutions, and Hon. Bagnell’s, Yukon’s M.P., public meetings on the past two evenings. A couple copies of the attached four two-sided handouts were distributed to the tables on the first evening, and I think that everyone read at least one and hopefully commented on it.

Though a growing number of Canadians are aware and concerned, many are not yet aware of the importance of improving Canada’s voting system. Just yesterday I was talking with a former student who excitedly described how he knew his vote counted in the last territorial election. He said he and two friends went together to vote, and their candidate won her seat by 3 votes. They had been encouraged to vote differently by friends, but voted the way they thought was best. That would feel good!

Until I heard some ways that our electoral system could be improved in 2005 while serving on a committee to give grass roots feedback on proposals to increase voter turnout, I thought Canada must have one of the best voting systems. “What could be fairer than the candidate with the most votes winning the seat?”, was my thinking at that time. I had never looked at the total electoral system or other systems. Many Canadians have not yet looked.

It wasn’t at Elections Canada that I learned there were several systems in the world in which all votes counted and others in which candidates were elected preferentially, but after the day’s work. I wondered why the good parts couldn’t be taken from several systems to develop a better system, and with a lot of help and feedback I think we now have it, Preferential Ridings Proportional (PRP). Through inclusion of voters, this new system could help to build rather than divide community as our present system does. We hope it will be helpful to you in starting discussions and in the development of a better, more inclusive system.

Attached are four handouts that might raise awareness and help prompt discussion.


Dear Ms. Macdonald, Fair Vote Canada

What an encouraging message!

Thank you Ms. Macdonald and Fair Vote Canada for the very positive message.   The Parliament of Canada with all Canadians now have an opportunity to leave a legacy of truly representative democracy for Canada’s future.  Hopefully, we will succeed.

Many thanks to Hon. Maryam Monsef and the Liberal Party of Canada, Nathan Cullen and the NDP Party of Canada, and Elizabeth May and the Green Party of Canada, and anyone else whom I am not aware of, for the inclusiveness with empowerment in this representative and balanced committee.

The Special Committee on Electoral Reform has been named and the committee has had its first meeting. The committee members are: John Aldag (Liberal), Alexandre Boulerice (NDP), Nathan Cullen (NDP), Natt DeCourcy (Liberal). Gerard Deltell (Conservative), Hon. Jason Kenney (Conservative), Elizabeth May (Green Party), Scott Reid (Conservative), Sherry Romanado (Liberal), Rubey Sahota (Liberal), Francis Scarpaleggia (Liberal), Luc Theriault (Bloc Quebecois). The committee can be seen at this link received from Ms. Macdonald:

Though you and the Special Committee on Electoral Reform know about the ineffectiveness of Canada’s present electoral system, some Canadians do not yet know. When I first learned about the need for change in 2005, I was serving on a committee reviewing proposals to increase voter turnout at elections. I was shocked that there could be a better system than Canada’s ‘First Past the Post’.  I thought Canada’s system must be the best as Canada was such a wonderful country. “What could be wrong with the candidate receiving the most votes winning the seat for each riding?”, was my thinking at that time. I had never before questioned it or considered other possibilities.

After realizing the need for change, my original understanding was that this change would have to start in one of the provinces or territories.  Attempts were made in PEI, Quebec, Ontario and B.C.  I thank the concerned people in those provinces for standing up, as those attempts helped to raise this present awareness of the need for change.

However, in Yukon’s 2011 election, the illusory (false) majority Yukon Party Government was elected by 27% of votes cast, the Opposition by 19% of votes cast, and Nobody by 54% of votes cast.  With my 2005 realization, those results did not shock me. My second shock regarding elections came following that election when I asked at my constituency meeting what Government was going to do about improving our electoral system. I was told that the illusory (false) majority, “Government Members had unanimously agreed that the way all Members would handle the question of electoral reform, was to refuse to discuss the question”.  Believe it or not, I couldn’t even discuss the question privately with a Yukon Party Member.

Although this change is not happening the way that I understood change was supposed to happen with one or more of the provinces or territories leading Canada. At this time I’m convinced that Canada’s Parliament with willing Canadians’ help is going to lead in bringing more truly representative democracy to Canada. When we succeed, this question should no longer have reason to be asked at Federal elections:

“Is my vote going to count?”

As Hon. Monsef has said, inclusion and increased engagement of citizens is of unquestionable importance in both the process of change and functional democracy.

Yours truly,

Dave Brekke, very concerned former Federal Returning Officer for Yukon