Advertisement
ontarionewswatch.com NEWSROOM

Making Election System More Democratic

Key Planks For Fall Election

 

                       Trudeau Won't Commit To Proportional Representation, Mulcair Does

 

  Federal NDP leader Thomas Mulcair speaks to former Ontario NDP leader Howard Hampton in Toronto Tuesday. 

























By Susanna Kelley

The NDP and the Liberals staked out campaign platforms to make Canada's election system more democratic Tuesday, giving voters a clearer choice when it comes to how they would elect their representatives after the next election.

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau announced he would bring in a new voting system for Canadian elections, but unlike Opposition leader Thomas Mulcair, would not commit that it would be proportional representation (PR).

Rather, Mr. Trudeau pledged to set up an all-party committee to study how to replace the current first past the post system, a system in which less than 40 per cent of Canadian voters award one party 100 per cent of the power.

Critics have said that system is a significant distortion of the popular will.

Mr. Trudeau says the committee would be given 18 months to come up with an alternative way of electing governments.

He has said in the past he prefers a ranked ballot system but now says he would consider proportional representation, among other options.

In contrast, Mr. Mulcair spoke strongly in favour of PR after a speech in Toronto.

"We've been clear for a long time on the importance of bringing in proportional representation in our country. We believe in it ... We think that it's more fair, and that's why we're going to fight hard for it," the NDP leader told reporters.

"It's a key file for us," he said.

Mr. Mulcair accused the Liberals of opposing PR in the past.

  "It's something that we so firmly believe in we continued to put that position forward as recently as December, six months ago, in a motion in the House of Commons, word for word that the next election should be the last one with the first past the post system and the Liberals voted against it."

Mr. Mulcair said the fact that 40 per cent of Canadians chose to not even vote in the last election, including 63 per cent of those between the ages of 18 and 25, means there is need for democratic reforms to ensure them that every vote counts.

The NDP leader is putting forward a two-pronged strategy to do that.

Firstly, proportional representation, which will "be very healthy for our democracy," he said. 

Secondly, he promises to abolish the Senate. 

Second and third place parties have historically pledged to bring in PR but shied away from it when elected to government.

The Ontario Liberals under Dalton McGuinty, for example, campaigned on changing the winner take all system but once they won power, ran a low-profile referendum on a system called Mixed Member Proportional (MMP).  That referendum failed when many voters did not understand nor had even heard of MMP before they were asked to vote on it in 2007.

Still, most countries in the Commonwealth have abandoned the British-inspired first past the post systems they once had, modelled as they were after the Westminster parliamentary system.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted date : June 17, 2015
ontarionewswatch.com NEWSROOM
The Trudeau government's new budget, rather than delivering activist government as it promised to do, reveals a party that turns more and more conservative in power. Luke Savage weighs in.
March 23, 2017
Ontario's PCs and NDP are pressuring the Liberals to hold the line on school closures. But to keep them open, says Randall White, no one wants to pay the piper.
March 22, 2017
The Liberals government's proposal to cut energy costs by 25% is just shifting the actual payments to our children, warns Terri Chu.
March 21, 2017
A new report shows Canada is one of the lowest defence spending nations in NATO - we're 22nd out of 28. How much should we be spending? Mahoney, Capobianco and Belanger discuss.
March 15, 2017
A review of Ontario's labour laws is landing on Premier Kathleen Wynne's desk right about now. Brad James wonders if she'll use it to bring about greater fairness.
March 13, 2017
Finance Minister Morneau has announced he will bring down the Liberal government's second budget on March 22nd. What should be in it? Mahoney, Capobianco and Parkin debate.
March 08, 2017
Donald Trump, Brexit, and the French election: could swings to the right affect voters casting ballots in the Ontario's 2018 election? Randall White has more.
March 07, 2017
More and more asylum seekers are sneaking into Canada at non-official border crossings. Should Canada be cracking down on them? Mahoney, Capobianco and Parkin debate.
March 01, 2017
President Trump has done Canada a lot of favours already. Why, the best scientists and academics are headed our way! Terri Chu writes a tongue-in-cheek love letter to The Donald.
February 28, 2017
Trade, military co-operation and working women came up at the Trump-Trudeau meeting. But were the results substantive enough? Bird, Capobianco and Parkin weigh in.
February 15, 2017
Canada's western provinces may have grown fastest, but Ontario remains the country's most populous province, writes Randall White. There was good news for of its areas.
February 14, 2017
Canada has taken a soft-pedal approach to Donald Trump so far. Meanwhile, there are calls in Germany to prepare to treat Trump as a hostile dictator. Mahoney, Capobianco and Parkin on which way Canad
February 07, 2017