Wednesday, March 21, 2012 - 9:34pm


The leadership contest to succeed the late Jack Layton has attracted an unprecedented degree of interest. When membership numbers in the party were released almost five weeks ago, a record number of 128,351 people had joined - a 50% increase since October, 2011.

With seven leadership candidates repeatedly crisscrossing the country, a series of six national debates to expose Canadians to their ideas and policies, and a preferential voting system, drawing a bead on the standing of the candidates in the race has proved a complex undertaking. There are several approaches each of which can yield certain insights into the standing of the candidates.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - 8:48pm

Political and electoral reform are amongst the most critical issues on the Canadian agenda. How can we achieve better governance, ramp down zero-sum, hyper-partisan, wedge politics that polarizes society and fails spectacularly in developing solutions to critical social, environmental, and political issues? How can Canadian democracy, crumbling at the edges and under assault from various directions, be improved through the development of constructive mechanisms of cooperation between parties, and through electoral reform? Could political cooperation work? Could it make a substantive difference in the composition of the House of Commons?

Sunday, February 5, 2012 - 9:34am

Do Canadians want political cooperation? According to a new survey by, the answer is a resounding "yes". Leadnow proposed the following proposition to electors:

"I call on the opposition party leaders to support political cooperation for electoral reform. During the next federal election, the NDP, Liberals and Greens should work together in key ridings to defeat Conservative incumbents. After the election, they should cooperate to pass electoral reform and make sure our government better reflects the values and priorities of all Canadians." asked Canadians whether they strongly agreed, agreed, disagreed, or strongly disagreed. The results? Out of a total of 9,173 respondents, 73% strongly agreed and 22% agreed. A whopping 95% of respondents want progressive Canadian political parties to cooperate in defeating the Conservatives and to work together to implement electoral reform.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011 - 3:25pm

In this guest editorial, Project Democracy welcomes Nathan Cullen, the Member of Parliament from Skeena-Bulkley Valley, BC, and a candidate for leadership of the New Democratic Party. Below is Nathan's guest editorial for Project Democracy: Joint nominations and electoral reform: defending Canadian values.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011 - 9:09am

Ekos study provides insights from the 2011 election

The 2011 election may be remembered for many remarkable events, not the least of which was its outcome which surprised pollsters, pundits, and parties to say nothing of voters themselves. Many were left scratching their heads, including the polling gurus who (in theory) should have had the best information and insights of anyone. 

Monday, May 30, 2011 - 9:11pm


The dust is settling after the 2011 Canadian election. After a tumultuous campaign, and a conclusion that surprised pollsters, pundits, parties, and perhaps even the electorate itself, we are taking stock of the outcomes, the role of informed strategic voting, and of how effectively Project Democracy assisted voters in making informed electoral choices.

Sunday, May 1, 2011 - 12:23pm

An incredible openness to strategic voting by progressive Canadians was revealed in the results of Saturday’s Angus Reid poll:

Many pundits focused on groundbreaking numbers solidifying for the NDP while at the same time showing the Harper Conservatives polling dangerously close to majority territory. Most importantly, there was significant data indicating that May 2nd could be a watershed moment for co-operative voting. Half of all NDP and Liberal voters are now indicating they are willing to vote strategically in this election to prevent Harper from achieving a majority government.

From Angus Reid:

"more than a third of Canadians (36%) are considering voting strategically in order to reduce the chances of a specific party forming the government, even if it means casting a ballot for a candidate they dislike. More than half of Liberals (55%) and more than two-in-five NDP supporters (44%) are pondering this option."

Sunday, May 1, 2011 - 7:47am

by Christian Nadeau

It is urgent that we prevent the election of a conservative majority. Stephen Harper has based his hopes on a division of the vote and on rivalry amongst his adversaries. Yet we cannot let ourselves be had this way. We do not want a government contemptuous of Canadian institutions, and which believes it has proprietary rights to our country. We may sometimes doubt the efficacy of the strategic vote, as it requires an important degree of coordination amongst the members of the electorate. But Project Democracy makes this coordination possible. It is thus our best tool for opposing the Harper Conservatives today.

Christian Nadeau is a professor at Université de Montréal where he teaches political philosophy and ethics. His most recent book is Rogue in Power: Why Stephen Harper Is Remaking Canada by Stealth, is published by James Lorimer and Company (2011).

Il faut absolument empêcher l’élection d’un gouvernement conservateur majoritaire. Stephen Harper fonde ses espoirs sur la division du vote et les rivalités entre ses adversaires. Mais nous ne nous laisserons pas faire. Nous ne voulons pas d’un gouvernement qui méprise les institutions du Canada et qui se croit propriétaire de ce pays. On peut parfois douter de l’efficacité du vote stratégique, car cela exige un haut niveau de coordination entre les électeurs. Le Projet Démocratie permet cette coordination. Il est donc l’instrument par excellence pour tous ceux qui veulent s’opposer aux conservateurs de Harper.

Christian Nadeau est professeur au Département de philosophie de l’Université de Montréal. Son dernier livre est Contre Harper: Bref traité philosophique sur la révolution conservatrice, Boréal, 2010.

Saturday, April 30, 2011 - 9:34am

by Patricia Rozema

Project Democracy provides a way of holding Stephen Harper's power in check. I worry about what a Harper majority will mean to the country I love. With Project Democracy voters can easily, quickly help make this the country they want to live in by voting strategically. It's important to remember that it is possible, even in Canada, to shut down open discourse. Arrogant leaders honestly believe that it's for their country's own good. We can't let it happen here.

Stephen Harper clearly wants to control traditional media, social media and twitter. He invokes arcane procedures when he doesn't like the way parliament is going. He tries to stir up fear about the perfectly legal normal process of coalition governments. He also rarely makes himself available to answer unscripted questions.

Yes, he's a good calm manager and our country is relatively stable financially. Some of that is, in fact, the Harper minority government's doing. Some of it was the doing of Liberals before him. But our reasonably good performance economically doesn't give him the right to overstep the authority he was given the way that he has. He can't be trusted with our support. I fear issues like abortion, gay marriage, and gun control will all be re-opened. His disregard for environmental concerns would continue unabated.

There's a reason we haven't trusted Harper with the reins in the past. His vision doesn't represent the majority of Canadians.

Saturday, April 30, 2011 - 5:16am

by Yann Martel

It’s a question of character. Policies, after all, come and go; they can be changed when the circumstances require it. Throughout Canadian history, governments of whatever stripe have ruled—spending or cutting, creating or abolishing—not according to party ideology but to the perceived needs of the nation. So, for example, the Liberals favoured free trade in 1911, but opposed it in 1988. More recently, the Conservative party, which espouses a populist, small-government, hands-off approach to governance, embarked on a massive spending spree after the 2008 crash.

What this shows is that in Canada, essentially, any government will do. Two mechanisms explain this miracle of governance: