There are numerous efforts underway for electoral reform in Canada at federal, provincial/territorial, and municipal levels. At present the most active are provincial. As of early 2006, two electoral reform referendums have been held:
In this referendum 57% of British Columbians (just short of the 60% necessary) voted in favour of the Single Transferable Voting system, while 43% voted against it. This left the Liberal government of BC open to the possibility of adopting the system due to the large mandate it received from voters. Both of BC's major opposition parties -- the New Democratic Party and the Green Party -- support electoral reform.
Another referendum on the same issue is scheduled for May 12, 2009, since the 2005 referendum failed by such a small margin. Some voters were concerned about uncertainty as to the size of the electoral districts under BC-STV and hence the degree of proportionality of the new system. The BC Electoral Boundaries Commission will hold hearings in 2006-7 and make recommendations for new boundaries under both the current single member plurality (SMP) electoral system and the BC single transferable vote (BC-STV) system.
Both referenda failed by clear margins.
One more referendum is tentatively scheduled, but not yet officially called:
As well, the Liberal government of Quebec proposed electoral reform in 2004, which was scheduled to be passed in the fall of 2006 without a referendum. The project was postponed due to divergent views on how to improve it. The province's Chief Electoral Officer was asked on December 21, 2006, to analyze eight characteristics of a possible compensatory mixed member voting system and to submit his opinion to the government, in order to determine the effects of the possible changes that would result from such a system. He submitted his 410 page report exactly one year later, December 21, 2007.
Active advocates of such reforms include Electoral Reform Canada, Fair Vote Canada, the federal New Democratic Party (NDP), Green Party of Ontario, New Brunswick NDP, New Brunswick's former Conservative Premier Bernard Lord, Prince Edward Island NDP and Green Party of Canada, all of which have strongly supported the above referendums.
The federal government of Canada launched a parliamentary committee to investigate and research possible variants of electoral reform, which reported in June, 2005. The New Democratic Party has expressed a strong preference for the Mixed Member Proportional system but advocates a Canada-wide Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform like those of BC and Ontario. The Conservative Party of Canada said a Conservative Government would consider changes to electoral systems, including proportional representation, but will not endorse any new electoral system that will weaken the link between Members of Parliament and their constituents, that will create unmanageably large ridings, or that will strengthen the control of the party machinery over individual Members of Parliament, and a national referendum will be held prior to implementing any electoral reform proposal. The Liberal Party of Canada has taken no position.