Skip to content

Council of Canadians chapters push Trudeau on electoral reform

Council of Canadians chapters are speaking out against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau abandoning his promise of electoral reform.

During the last federal election, the Liberals promised that the 2015 election would be the last held until the first-past-the-post voting system and set a deadline of May 2017 to introduce legislation on electoral reform. Undoubtedly many people voted for Trudeau because of this pledge to make our voting system more democratic. Now, just 15 months after the election, Trudeau has abandoned that promise. We strongly condemn Trudeau’s decision to not make every vote count.

We believe it is wrong that the current electoral system means that the Liberals with only 39.47 per cent of the popular vote hold 54.48 per cent of the seats in the House of Commons and 100 per cent of political decision-making power.

Last night, Trudeau invoked fear-mongering in his response to a woman who asked why he had killed his campaign promise. Trudeau stated, “Proportional representation in any form would be bad for Canada. Do you think that Kellie Leitch should have her own party? Because if you have a party that represents the fringe voices … or the periphery of our perspectives and they hold 10, 15, 20 seats in the House, they end up holding the balance of power.”

Following Trudeau’s announcement on February 1 that his Liberal government would not move forward on electoral reform:

  • the Montreal chapter rallied for proportional representation outside his constituency office (February 2),

  • the Saint John chapter wrote the prime minister and their local Liberal MP to express their disappointment (February 3),

  • the Montreal and Ottawa chapters protested on Parliament Hill (February 5),

  • the Fredericton chapter took part in an “ER Tweetstorm and call-bliz” (February 8),

  • the Quill Plains (Wynyard) chapter has been promoting the House of Commons e-petition on electoral reform, and

  • the London chapter has been attending morning and evening daily rallies in front of the constituency offices of two local Liberal MPs this week.

In addition, the South Shore chapter is working on sending letters to Trudeau and the NWT chapter has posted on Facebook about Yellowknife residents writing letters to the prime minister with the intention of hand-delivering them to him at his town hall meeting in their community this morning.

The Nelson, Winnipeg, Northumberland, Kitchener-Waterloo, Montreal, Fredericton, Saint John and St. John’s chapters will also be rallying in their communities this Saturday February 11. For a complete list of the rallies this weekend please click here.

Since the last federal election, 28 chapters have called for proportional representation by attending consultations with the federal minister of democratic institutions, attending MP town halls, meeting with their MPs, organizing their own public events, handing out leaflets, publishing articles in local newspapers, and holding workshops.