For many people, the most important characteristic of the government that they desire is its philosophical approach to governing Canada. There are endless criteria that could be employed for characterizing any given political party, such as concern for the environment, valuing voters' opinions, sharing wealth and so on. A convenient way to characterize our current political parties is to use their position on the left-right continuum whereby the NDP and Green are seen as leftish, Liberals centralish and Conservatives rightish. Currently, there seems to be a feeling that the next government should be anything but the conservatives (i.e. anybody but Stephen Harper). In past years, the sentiment was either the Reform Party or Conservatives should govern. In such situations, many voters used their ballots strategically by voting for the party or candidate that was seen as having a realistic chance at winning the seat and not because they were perceived to be the most desirable candidate.
I suggest that we adopt some form of preferential balloting so that voters can express their wishes for a specific candidate as well as his/her political philosophy. Voters would not have to "waste" their ballots via strategic voting.
Like many others, I feel the Senate is broken. If we can't abolish it, let's change its makeup entirely. I humbly suggest selecting our senators from the Order of Canada? These are all Canadians who have distinguished themselves in many different ways in the service of our country and the world at large. This has the potential of restoring respect to the upper house.