Citizens call on Liberals to live up to election promises about electoral reform

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On December 1 at noon, all across the country, citizens descended upon their MP’s offices to request that the Liberal government live up to its election promise to study and legislate electoral reform.

In Pictou County, they showed up at Sean Fraser’s constituency office in New Glasgow and across the province they were at Darren Fisher’s and Andy Filmore’s offices.

This day of action was co-ordinated by the volunteer organizing group Leadnow, which has for several years been attempting to rectify the situation whereby, with a minority of votes, a political party can form a majority government, thereby excluding the political choices of more than 60 per cent of the voting population.

Participants in the demonstrations carried posters reading “Make Every Vote Count”; they also presented each MP with a copy of the Liberal Party’s election promise, in which Prime Minister Trudeau affirmed that: “We will convene an all-party Parliamentary committee to review a wide variety of reforms, such as ranked ballots, proportional representation, mandatory voting, and online voting. … Within 18 months of forming government, we will introduce legislation to enact electoral reform.”

Marike Finlay-de Monchy, host for the visit to MP Sean Fraser’s office, called for the Liberal government to implement a form of mixed proportional representation.

“Over 87 per cent of participants at the public meetings and round tables conducted by the  all-party parliamentary committee charged with studying electoral reform recommended some form of proportional representation; 67 per cent of those who voted Liberal in the last election want to see electoral reform happen. Even many Conservatives are in favour of electoral reform,” Finlay-de Monchy said.

“Under the system of Mixed Proportional Representation, every riding would still elect their MP. The change is that if a party garners 20 per cent of the vote then they get to appoint other members from their party to enjoy 20 per cent of the members of parliament.  People can vote for the party whose policies they most agree with rather than against a party they do not wish to see in power. That is real democracy. Indeed, the top seven countries in terms of good governance have a system of proportional representation.  Proportional representation would yield a far less oppositional, far more collaborative relationship between the governing parties.”

Several people gathered at Sean Fraser’s New Glasgow office on Tuesday at noon to to request that the Liberal government live up to its election promise to study and legislate electoral reform.

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