The all-parliamentary committee to study electoral reform has finished sitting and will be making their recommendations to the government soon.
I got a bit worried when I heard PM Trudeau say that we may not be so concerned with changing the system now that we have a government we like better.
A letter I received from Francis Scapaleggia, the MP who chaired the committee, states that the House has mandated the committee to make recommendations on “how to change our voting system,” not should we change it. He goes on to state that their “main objective is to replace the current first-past-the-post system (FPTP) with a system that will be more representative of the will of the Canadian people.” It can’t get much clearer than that.
If anyone thinks that all the squawking that was done at election time about our outdated system is going to go away, they have another thing coming. The FPTP system was put into place when there were two parties and men had big whiskers and smoked cigars, and women weren’t allowed to vote or even participate in a political conversation. Even the language is combative — ruling party, opposition, oppose even if it’s a good idea.
Fair Vote Canada has been tracking the process carefully and released the results to 994 media outlets but none of them covered it. No wonder it seems like nobody cares.
Here’s what their website states:
There were 173 MP town hall meetings and dozens more were organized by citizens.
A total of 87 per cent of speakers at the public mic across Canada spoke in favour of proportional representation (PR).
A total of 69 per cent of the MP town hall meetings had a majority calling for PR.
At 83 per cent of town halls and events hosted by individuals and groups had a majority calling for PR.
A total of 88 per cent of the academics, experts and community groups who appeared before the committee spoke in favour of PR.
This is a promise that PM Trudeau ran on and it cannot be allowed to be forgotten until we get to the polls once again. People should feel free to vote with their hearts or heads, without having to try to outguess how others are voting.
I guess it’s hard to give up absolute power and I hope that PM Trudeau won’t try for it again by keeping the same system. It’s a given that he won’t have it with proportional representation but the beauty of that system is that no one will.