Prince Edward Island could light the way

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On Tuesday, the writ was dropped for a provincial election April 23 in Prince Edward Island. I don’t normally pay a lot of attention to elections in PEI, but this time I sure will be!

The Green Party of PEI is currently polling in first place. This is unheard of in Canada! We may be about to witness the election of Canada’s first ever Green legislature.

However, for me, this is not even the most exciting possibility: Proportional representation (or PR) is also on the ballot. PEI’s electorate will be voting on whether or not to implement a mixed member proportional voting system. As a strong supporter of PR for years, approval of this referendum would be a game changer.

I believe that one of the reasons proportional representation failed in British Columbia in last December’s mail-in referendum was the lack of a working example in Canada. If PR is implemented in PEI, Canadians from coast to coast to coast will have a tangible precedent of how well it works for voters.

It’s going to be an exciting time watching PEI’s election from now until April 23 on both counts — to see if Prince Edward Islanders elect Canada’s first Green legislature, and whether or not PR is approved.

Canada’s smallest province — the birthplace of Confederation — may be on the verge of setting a giant example and becoming a leading light for us all.

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