Liberals not respecting own process on electoral reform

OTTAWA – The NDP is questioning the Liberal government’s commitment to the electoral reform process led by the Special Committee on Electoral Reform, following the discovery of a mail program from Democratic Institutions Minister Maryam Monsef.

 

“Once again, the Minister appears to be undercutting the work of the Electoral Reform Committee,” said Nathan Cullen who serves as the NDP Critic for Democratic reform and also sits on the Committee. “We are working hard to come to a consensus proposal, but the Minister is forging ahead before we have even made our recommendation. This is the epitome of bad faith from the government.”

 

A recent media report indicates that the government plans to send a postcard to every household in Canada, seeking their response to various survey questions on our voting system. It is unclear how the questions will be framed but the Minister’s office has admitted that they will not ask about specific options for electoral reform.

 

“Nearly nine out of ten expert witnesses, and the vast majority of Canadians who have participated in consultations, all recommend moving towards a fair voting system which is proportional,” said Alexandre Boulerice, NDP Deputy Critic for Democratic Reform and also sits on the Committee. “Are the Liberals preparing to use these vague surveys to justify imposing their own preference because they don’t like what they’ve heard from Canadians?”

 

Last week, Fair Vote Canada tabulated the testiony of expert witnesses heard by the Committee and found that 87% recommended Proportional Representation, which Minister Monsef has been reluctant to support. Another analysis found that of the 428 Canadians who took part in the Committee’s open-mic town halls, 88% expressed support for a voting system which is proportional.