Introducing Local Proportional Representation

Proportional representation systems have been adopted by 94 countries so far. In these systems, if a party gets 30% of the votes, they get about 30% of the seats in Parliament. The Local Proportional Representation (Local PR) proposal adapts the best models available to address the shared values of Canadians and the Liberals'' concerns and conditions.

Local PR is politically viable, provides a solid proposal on which to base the future of Canada's elections, and is simple enough to be implemented in time for the 2019 election.


Canadian Electoral Values & Principles Embodied by Local PR:


  • Locally

    Local PR guarantees an MP is elected in each of our existing ridings.

  • Regionally

    Basic Local PR is moderately proportional and can become very proportional.

  • Sincere

    Preferential ballots let you sincerely vote for your favourite candidate.

  • Candidate

    Local PR requires every candidate to face the electorate.

  • Collaborative

    Preferential voting with a proportional outcome leads to collaboration between parties.

  • Diverse

    Preferential voting in multi-member districts increases parliamentary diversity in terms of gender, ethnicity, and perspective.

  • Manageable Number
    Of Parties

    Local PR has reasonable minimal thresholds for earning seats.

  • Simple Electoral

    Local PR has a simple and extremely flexible ballot design.

  • No
    Additional MPs

    Local PR does not add seats to Parliament (though the "upgrade" would).

  • Inoculate Against

    Candidates benefit from reaching out to diverse voters, which rewards moderation and punishes extremism.

Why Local PR is Good for Canada

With all forms of proportional representation:

  • Election results are fair. Distribution of seats and power better reflects the votes that are cast.
  • Almost every vote helps elect an MP — very few votes are wasted.
  • Parliamentary credibility is not undermined by false majorities.
  • Sincere voting is the rule rather than the exception for all voters. Vote for the candidate(s) you want, not against a candidate or party you don’t want.
  • Voter turnout increases when every vote makes a difference.
  • Government is more balanced with more women and culturally diverse representatives.
  • Government is more collaborative. Parties are rewarded for working together for the common good of Canada.
  • Much less time and money is wasted due to changes in policy direction with every change of government.

Additionally, Local PR specifically:

  • Maintains local representation by ensuring each riding has an MP from that riding.
  • Is easy to implement before the next election: No changes in ridings nor additional seats in Parliament are required.
  • Makes it difficult for extremist splinter parties to get a seat.
  • Ends the politics of division ("wedge politics"). Candidates benefit from treating each other respectfully to get secondary votes.
  • Further promotes collaborative government. Candidates benefit from treating each other respectfully to get second and later choice votes.
  • Gives you choice in how to vote. You may vote for one candidate as you do now or rank as many candidates as you wish, basing your choice on the qualities of the individual candidates and/or their party affiliation.

How Votes Are Distributed Under Local PR

Compare how votes are distributed. In the last election, the Liberals earned only 39.5% of the votes, but were unfairly given 54% of the seats in Parliament. Under Basic Local PR, which does not add any more seats, each party gets a percentage of seats that is more closely correlated to the number of votes they received.

There is also an optional upgraded version of Local PR, which we propose should be introduced after the 2021 census. It adds additional "top up" seats to create a very proportional representational system.

Here's how votes are distributed under each model, using the results from the last election:


Our Current First-Past-The-Post System:

First Past The Post Results


Proposed Basic Local PR (For 2019):

Basic Local PR


Proposed Upgraded Local PR With 42 Extra Seats (After 2021 Census):

Upgraded Local PR

Vote How You Want Under Local PR

It's up to you how involved you get. Choose a single candidate as you do now or rank as many or as few as you want across your riding or party.

The proposal takes the most important part of our current voting system—having a representative from every riding in the country—and adds proportional representation so MPs match voter intentions. Local PR ends the days of false majorities and large percentages of Canadians without representation.

Neighbouring ridings are grouped into regions of about 4 to 7 ridings and Elections Canada sends each household a booklet with a one page profile on each qualifying candidate in the region written by the candidate.


Rank as many or as few candidates as you wish across your region:



Or, rank across your party:

Local PR Ballot Rank by Party


Or, rank who you prefer in your own riding:

Local PR Ballot Rank by Riding


Or, simply mark your preferred candidate with an 'X':

Local PR Ballot Rank by Single Candidate

How Votes Are Counted

Votes are then counted using Preferential Voting Rules. If a candidate has more votes than are required to win, those extra votes are fairly redistributed to the voter's next choice. Otherwise, the candidate with the fewest votes is dropped (unless it's the last candidate in that riding) and votes are redistributed to the voter's next choice. In either case, those votes are no longer wasted. This redistribution of votes is repeated until there is one winner for each riding.

More Information on Local PR

For a deep dive into the more technical aspects of Local PR, please visit

Local PR Timeline

Democracy Guelph is a grassroots all-party movement started in Guelph to propose a practical solution to the Liberal Government's concerns about voting system reform, and to demonstrate the public support for our proposed solution. We are going door to door collecting signatures from February 24 to March 23, to petition our members of parliament to support our made-in-Guelph solution for voting system reform.



Jan 27, 2017Citizens ask Guelph MP Lloyd Longfield to push the Government to deliver PR, keeping its promise to make 2015 the last election under FPTP.

  • He asks for a specific, actionable model of a PR voting system because the government did not get one from the ERRE committee, and says it can not increase seats in the House of Commons.
  • He asks for strong evidence that the people of Guelph really want the model that we propose.

Feb. 1, 2017Liberal election reform promise was broken, stating:

  • Lack of consensus between Liberal, Conservative, and NDP parties
  • Extremist parties could win seats,
  • Lack of broad support by Canadians.

Feb. 12, 2017Rallies in 27 cities across Canada

  • In Guelph, approximately 200 people rallied for election reform.
  • Over 121,000 people signed NDP sponsored petition (so far).
  • A phone poll of 1,530 Guelph homes had 61% saying they had concerns.

Feb. 14, 2017Local Proportional Representation model finalized in Guelph

  • Designed to address above broad concerns and more detailed concerns.
  • Mathematical models created based on Canadian voting data.
  • Has support from many local Liberal, NDP, and Green supporters (and some Conservatives, too).

Feb. 23, 2017Endorsement by a representative group of Guelph citizens

  • Launch of (a non-partisan group) and a petition in support of Local PR.
  • Meeting at the eBar, Thursday Feb 23.
  • Initial Local PR petition and volunteer signup for door-to-door petition.

Feb. 24, 2017:Begin Guelph door-to-door petition

  • Not associated with any party.
  • First step in proving broad support by Canadians across party lines.
  • Model for national door-to-door petition to follow.

Present Local PR petition to Lloyd Longfield

  • Proposal addresses his specific concerns, Liberal Party's concerns, and those of other parties
  • He has agreed to share it with the House if we follow through by showing the public support he wants to see.
  • We are asking him to introduce either a private member's bill or a motion in House of Commons.

Copy this model in cities nationally.

Who's Behind Local PR

Local Proportional Representation is a new proposal, developed in Canada by Byron Weber Becker. It is based upon his work requested by the ERRE Special Committee on Electoral Reform after he delivered testimony to the committee that modeled the results of many different electoral systems. Byron is a faculty member at the School of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo and has been active in electoral reform for the last decade.

It has significant input from Peter Cameron (NDP supporter), Steve Dyck (Previous Green candidate), Frank Valeriote (Previous Liberal MP), Jean-Pierre Kingsley (Previous Chief Electoral Officer), and includes ideas developed by Anthony Hodgson and Leonid A. Elbert.

All Votes Count Canada is incorporated as a non-profit to help bring Local PR to Canada.