Hamilton chapter meets with Liberal MP on electoral reform

Hamilton chapter activist Don Giberson and the federal Minister of Democratic Institutions Karina Gould.

On February 17, the Council of Canadians Hamilton chapter met with Karina Gould, Liberal Member of Parliament for the federal riding of Burlington, which is located just north of Hamilton. Gould is also the Minister for Democratic Institutions.

Chapter activist Don Giberson tells us, "We raised concerns about the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), asked if she had received her copy of the book Beyond Banksters, and spoke about electoral reform."

The chapter will also be meeting with Hamilton East-Stoney Creek Liberal MP Bob Bratina this coming Monday (February 27).

Giberson, who is the Chair of the chapter's Electoral Reform Group, has also launched e-790, an electronic petition to the House of Commons that has been sponsored by Hamilton Mountain NDP MP Scott Duvall.

That petition states, "We, the undersigned, citizens and residents of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to keep the Liberal Party’s campaign promise on electoral reform and to implement Single Member Party Proportional (SMPP) for the 2019 federal election and, should the government hold a national referendum on electoral reform, to include SMPP as an option on the ballot in such a referendum."

Giberson points out, "In 2015 the Liberals got 39.5 per cent of the vote, elected 184 MPs and captured 54.4 per cent of the seats. If they adopted Mixed Member Proportional (MMP), Single Transferable Vote (STV) or Rural-Urban Proportional Representation (RU-PR) and got 39.5 per cent of the vote in 2019, they would elect about 134 MPs (39.5 per cent of 338). In other words, they could lose 50 Liberal MPs. But if the 2015 election had been conducted under Single Member Party Proportional (SMPP), the Liberals still would have elected 184 MPs, but they would only have 40.3 per cent of the votes in the House of Commons, close to their 39.5 per cent share of the vote."

He argues, "Single Member Party Proportional (SMPP) allows voters to keep their local MP, does not require redrawing ridings, does not change the number of MPs who are elected, but adds 'top-up votes' in the House of Commons to achieve proportional representation among the parties."

Giberson notes that Single Member Party Proportional (SMPP) would be a doable transition strategy to eventually achieve Mixed Member Proportional (MMP), Single Transferable Vote (STV) or Rural-Urban Proportional Representation (RU-PR) for the October 2023 federal election.

To sign the e-petition, please click here; to learn more about Single Member Party Proportional (SMPP), please visit here.

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