Democracy is defined as majority rule, majority being greater than 50 per cent, so in Canada today when more than two political parties are running in an election where a “first-past-the-post” system is in place, a winning party only needs a minimum of 100 divided by the number of parties plus one per cent to win.
In order to qualify these elections as democratic, a run-off is usually required to qualify a winner as a democratic choice.
For an example of the “consequences” of a multi-party election without a run-off we only have to look at the results of the recent Alberta election. Rachel Notley’s NDP party “won” the election with only approximately 36 per cent of the vote, whereas the combined vote of the Wildrose and Conservative parties was approximately 64 per cent. It would be safe to predict that with a run-off vote, some form of conservative government would be in power instead of the NDP.
Complicating this further is the practice in Parliament and provincial legislatures that requires a 50 per cent plus one to pass bills and so conduct government.
The current election, considering how close the polls are, could result in a minority government, which will require another election.
A run-off could be accomplished today aided by current technological advances. The initial choice would be made between all parties running, while further choices would be displayed based on all possible results of the initial vote. This secondary run-off vote would be between the top two in all possible permutations and combinations.
For example if there are three parties A, B and C:
The run-off options or combinations would be between A&B, A&C and B&C. Voters would choose their preferences in each of these three scenarios. The computer program would log only the appropriate combination that is the one involving the top two parties and if the margin of votes is a majority, a democratic winner is chosen without a costly separate run-off vote.
Initiatives like proportional representation is a secondary issue. A further refinement, the priority being to democratize the Canadian electoral process and make Canada the democratic country most Canadians already erroneously feel it is.