If you wish to learn about electoral systems and have access to
a public or university library, many introductory texts on Canadian
or comparative politics have a section on electoral systems and
Here is a list of recommended readings that could be
of interest to anyone wanting to know more about electoral reform
or the process of dialogue.
[This website also offers online some easy-to-read fact sheets
electoral systems. And about the BC-STV system
recommended for B.C.]
The research staff at the Citizens' Assembly do not endorse the
following books and articles. However, the texts are
useful to illustrate some of the issues that
were considered by the Citizens' Assembly:
Amy, Douglas. Behind the Ballot Box: A Citizen's Guide to
Voting Systems. New York: Praeger Publishing, 2000.
Blais, André and Elizabeth Gidengil. Making
Representative Democracy Work: The Views of Canadians. Vol. 17
of the Research Studies. Royal Commission on Electoral Reform and
Party Financing, Toronto, 1991.
Blais, André, and Louis Massicotte. 'Electoral
Systems', In Lawrence LeDuc, Richard G. Niemi and Pippa Norris
(eds.). Comparing Democracies: Elections
and Voting in Global Perspective. Thousand
Oaks: Sage Publications. 1996.
Blais, André. 'The Debate over Electoral Systems',
International Political Science Review, Vol. 12, No. 3,
1991, p. 239-260.
International IDEA Handbook of Electoral System Design
to read it online or to order it in hardcopy.
Interparliamentary Union. Parliaments of the World. Vol.
I. 2nd edition. New York: Facts on File Publications, 1986.
Farrell, D. Electoral Systems: a Comparative
Introduction. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2001.
This book is the one issued to Assembly members as a
Jackson, Robert and Doreen. Politics in Canada: Culture,
Institutions, Behavior and Public Policy. 2nd edition.
Scarborough, ON: Prentice-Hall Canada, 1990.
Law Commission of Canada. Voting Counts: Electoral Reform For
2004. Visit their
to read it online or to order a free copy.
Leonard, Dick and Richard Natkiel. World Atlas of Elections:
Voting Patterns in 39 Democracies. London: The Economist
Lijphart, Arend. Patterns of
Democracy: Government Forms and Performance in Thirty-six
Countries. New Haven and
London: Yale University Press, 1999.
Loenen, Nick. Citizenship and Democracy: A Case
for Proportional Representation. Toronto: Dundurn, 1997.
Mackie, Thomas T. and Richard Rose. The International Almanac
of Electoral History. Glasgow, Scotland: Center for the Study
of Public Policy, University of Strathclyde, 1997.
New Zealand, Electoral Referendum Panel. The Guide to the
Electoral Referendum. Wellington, 1992.
Norris, Pippa. Electoral Engineering: Voting
Rules and Political Behavior
. Boston: Cambridge University
Press, to be published Spring 2004. Draft chapters
Reynolds, Andrew and Ben Reilly. The International IDEA
Handbook of Electoral System Design.
Sweden: International Institute for Democracy and Electoral
Assistance, 1997. Available online
(on the powers and electoral
arrangements of the National Assembly for Wales) reported that the
Welsh assembly needs to increase in size, and recommended that it
move to the Single Transferable Vote (STV). The report is a long
one: Chapter 12 deals with the electoral system and why the
commission believes it should be changed.
Vancouver electoral commissioner Tom Berger’s
A City of
, recommended that the city adopt the
single-member plurality (First Past the Post) electoral system for
city council elections but keep the at-large system for electing
the Parks Board.
The Independent Commission to review Britain's Experience of
PR Voting Systems
has produced a
entitled Changed Voting Changed
Politics: Lessons of Britain's Experience of PR since 1997.
The Ontario government has
introduced a bill
in the provincial legislature providing for
fixed election dates (first Thursday of October every four years
Premier Pat Binns of Prince Edward Island
in late May that he will appoint a commission to come
up with a prospective new electoral model for the province.
Dialogue and Group Decision-Making
Many of the written submissions to the Citizens' Assembly
include downloadable articles and offer links to informative
View the Submissions
» ASSEMBLY MEMBERS' SUMMER
Members of the Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform looked on
summer 2004 as a Reading Break — two months of study,
reading, review and homework.
Their reading list included
given to the Assembly in writing, the summaries
formal presentations made at 50 public hearings by more
than 370 individuals and
, all over B.C., in May and June; the latest
field of electoral reform. and their main textbook:
Electoral Systems: a comparative introduction
, by David M.
Farrell (Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave, 2001). ISBN
0-333-80162-8 (paperback), 0-333-80162-X (hardback)
We also have more reading online: an overview
what Assembly members heard at the public hearings, and
the news releases
that the Assembly
issued after each public hearing. We also have
online lectures and presentations members heard during
their "learning phase" in January through March. The materials
include documents, PowerPoint presentations, audio, and video. For
all these, check out our Learning Resources