GPM Deputy Leader and Union Station MLA candidate Andrea Shalay announced that if elected this fall, Greens would push for proportional representation in Manitoba.

“Currently, Manitoba’s winner-take-all voting system allows political parties to govern with a majority without having won a majority of the votes,” said Shalay. “This is not fair to the majority of the voters and is not how representative government should work.”

Instead, Greens would introduce a mixed-member proportional representation system into the Manitoba Legislature. According to this system, a majority of seats would still be allocated by the traditional first past the post system, and the remainder of the seats would be filled based on each party’s share of the popular vote. In the 2016 election, a proportional representation system would have resulted in the PCs losing 10 seats, and the Greens winning three seats.

“A proportional representation voting system will give every vote more meaning and result in a more representative and accountable legislature,” said Shalay.

Shalay delivered the announcement alongside fellow candidate Dave Nickarz (Wolseley) as well as Green Party of Ontario leader Mike Schreiner (MPP Guelph) and PEI Green MLA Hannah Bell (Charlottetown-Parkdale). Schreiner and Bell have also strongly pushed for proportional representation in Canada.

In addition to discussing proportional representation, the Greens also made several other proposals relating to government reform, including enacting measures to allow for more “free votes” in the Legislature so that MLAs can more directly represent the wishes and views of their constituents. Their reforms would also require the Premier to hold at least two town hall meetings annually, and every Minister to hold at least one public forum a year to explain and answer questions regarding his or her department’s major initiatives.

 “We are committed to strengthening democracy in Manitoba by implementing increased accountability measures, greater citizen participation between elections, and greater fairness and stability regarding elections,” said Dave Nickarz, Green MLA candidate in Wolseley.  “Greens want to do politics differently. We will work to build confidence in our government by putting the needs of Manitobans first.”