Here’s an important opportunity to have your voice heard and demand a referendum.
The House of Commons’ Special Committee on Electoral Reform is holding public open microphone sessions in the Edmonton area tomorrow.
When: Thursday September 29, 2016.
4:15pm to 5:00 p.m.
7:30pm to 9:30 p.m.
Where: Renaissance Edmonton Airport Hotel (attached to the airport)
4236 – 36 St. East
To speak, you must be registered at least 30 minutes prior to the start of the session.
If you can’t make it to this meeting, you can also complete the Committee’s online e-consultation form here.
By KERRY DIOTTE
The governing Liberals insist we must have a new system of voting for future federal elections. Here are 10 reasons why this is a very bad idea:
1 – There’s no groundswell in the Canadian public demanding a new voting system. While knocking on thousands of doors for the October 2015 election I cannot recall one person bringing up the issue.
2 – The Liberals have repeatedly ruled out sticking with our current system of first-past-the-post elections, a method that has served Canada well since Confederation.
3 – Despite pledges to do widespread consultations with the public before changing our system, there’s no plan to hold a national referendum on this historic change to our democracy.
4 – Critics rightfully point out that other systems of voting can favour the ruling Liberals. Under a so-called ranked ballot or proportional representation system, it’s predicted the Liberals would have increased their current seat count Oct. 19 from 184 to 224 in this current Parliament.
5 – The Liberals are already tipping their hand that they’re leaning to the ranked-ballot system. That comes amid news the Privy Council Office (that reports directly to the Prime Minister and minister in charge) recently hired Derek Alton, who founded a group that advocates the ranked ballot system.
6 – A ranked-ballot system would put Conservative voters at a disadvantage. Studies have shown NDP supporters would tend to pick Liberal candidates as their second pick while Liberal supporters would choose NDP reps for their second-string choice. Conservative voters frequently indicate they don’t wish to have a second choice of another candidate at all.
7 – Liberal Minister of Democratic Institutions Maryam Monsef has actually claimed in the House of Commons that consultation on reform using Twitter and townhalls is more valid than holding a national referendum.
8 – Much has been made of the fact Liberals recently changed the makeup of a parliamentary committee tasked with coming up with a new voting system. Now opposition members from the Green Party, the Bloc Quebecois and the NDP will get a vote. But the truth is, the committee is little more than a paper tiger. The ruling Grits can still ignore its finding and choose any new voting system it desires. Such are the perks of winning a majority government.
9 – There are precedents for holding voting referendums in Canada. Through referenda, in British Columbia, Ontario, and Prince Edward Island voters rejected changes to their systems.
10 – Recent opinion polls show that nearly three quarters of Canadians believe a national referendum should be held if there is to be a change in our way of voting.
If you believe there’s no reason to change our voting system or you think we must hold a national referendum before doing so, take action. Write to the Prime Minister at House of Commons, Ottawa, ON. K1A 0A6. There is no postage required to send that letter.