ELECTORAL REFORM COMING TO CANADA
As part of his election campaign, Justin Trudeau pledged that 2015 would be Canada's last federal election under the first-past-the-post (FPTP) system.
Throughout the summer months, an all-party Special Committee on Electoral Reform (ERRE) has been busy meeting to determine how Canadians will elect their government; Examining the various types of voting systems, considering the addition of online and/or mandatory voting, hearing and questioning witnesses, welcoming input from the public and discussing the idea of lowering the voting age to 16.
Many options are being explored. However, the Liberal government refuses to put this to a referendum, despite the fact that a referendum is the most robust, inclusive consultation process at our disposal.
DEMOCRATIC REFORM REQUIRES DEMOCRATIC VOTE:
Electing government is one of the most critical aspects of our democracy. Whether you are of the mind to keep the electoral system as is, or whether you are wanting to see it changed, Canadians absolutely must have a say!
73% of Canadians Want a Referendum on Electoral Reform, According to Ipsos Poll
Even with the best of intentions it is not possible for elected officials to remain unbiased on the issue of electoral reform. Vice-Chair of the ERRE Committee MP Scott Reid acknowledges, "the temptation is to start steering in the direction of a system that's not merely new, but which weights the system in favour of the party in power."
Minister of Democratic Institutions Maryam Monsef has claimed the government has "every interest in making sure that the voices of Canadians are heard throughout this process", and even committed to abandoning electoral reform altogether if the proposed changes are not accepted by a majority of Canadians. BUT still, they refuse to hold a referendum to hear from this majority of Canadians.
Please scroll down to see how you can get involved in asking Parliament to hold a referendum on electoral reform.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
1) CONTACT YOUR MP AND THE COMMITTEE:
Please take a moment to send an e-mail to the Minister of Democratic Institutions, the ERRE Committee and your Member of Parliament explaining that you think it necessary for the government to hold a referendum before changing our democratic process.
Step 1: Click here to open a new e-mail addressed to Maryam Monsef and the ERRE Committee now.
Step 2: Add your own MP to the e-mail.
Click here to find your MP by postal code.
2) SIGN THE PETITIONS:
Please add your name to the official online petition calling upon the Min. of Democratic Institutions to hold a referendum.
Sign the Let Us Vote petition.
3) TWEET THE ERRE COMMITTEE:
The Special Committee on Electoral Reform is inviting YOU to tweet your questions and comments to their attention on twitter using the hashtag #ERRE #Q. Please take a moment to tweet them now and let them know that you would like to see a national referendum.
4) SUBMIT A PROPOSAL BRIEF:
The Committee is inviting any person or organization to submit a brief. The brief must be no more than 3,000 words in length (including the summary and footnotes) and be submitted to the Committee no later than October 7, 2016, at 11:59 p.m. (EDT). Send your proposal to the Committee by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by using the appropriate button on the Committee’s website here.
We encourage you to take the time to make your voice heard. This is what democracy is all about! What an honour to exercise our democratic right.
5) Spread the word!
We urge you to spread the word and let your networks know about this issue. Invite them to take part in the action points above as well.
Every voice matters! Thank you for adding yours.
MORE INFORMATION ON ELECTORAL REFORM:
Electoral reform: Which party would benefit most?
MPs to spend summer working on electoral reform
Liberal plan to eliminate first past the post is flawed
Special Committee on Electoral Reform Website