How has Canada’s single member plurality (SMP) electoral system affected party
politics? Your answer should discuss Canada’s SMP electoral system in relation to party
organization, voter behaviour, and political representation.
The Canadian voting system, known as single-member plurality or SMP, is an electoral
system that has the advantage of simplicity, and generally allows for the formation of a
stable majority capable of governing without deadlock. Its limitation is less pluralism and
therefore less representation of the diversity of the electorate... Indeed, two major
assumptions are made about the Canadian electoral system. Firstly, that the electoral
system has had a lesser and almost non-existent influence on the system of political
parties. Secondly, that the party system was a major actor in nationalization while
preserving the sectional cleavages. Thus, we will first explore how Alain Cairns
challenged the assumptions about the electoral system based on an institutional argument.
Then, we examine how Duverger's First Past the Post Law explains current political
representation in Canada. Finally, we will discuss how the emergence of the "third
parties" observed by Maurice Pinard offers an alternative for voters and influences